Fact-Finding is available to parties in contract negotiations who are unable to reach agreement and are at impasse.
The Fact Finder Selection process:
- Submit an email request to the Bureau of Mediation for a Fact Finder Panel (no form).
- Within five days of the request, a randomly selected panel of five Fact Finders, from the Roster of Neutrals, will be sent to both parties.
- Within seven days of receipt of the Fact Finder Panel, the parties shall make a selection.
- Parties shall select a Fact Finder by the alternate striking of names method unless the parties agree to an alternative means of selection.
- A second fact finder panel may be requested when good cause is shown and the timeline can be met.
- SERB will appoint a Fact Finder if the parties are unable to reach mutual agreement.
Fact-Finding Hearing process:
- The fact finder will establish a hearing date, time, and location after consultation with the parties.
- Fact Finder must then hold a fact-finding hearing.
- Fact-Finding Position Statements are due to the Fact Finder and other side no later than 5:00 pm on the last business day prior to the hearing.
- Fact Finder issues a written recommendation on the disputed issues to both parties.
- The fees of the Fact Finder are split between the parties 50/50.
Approve or Reject A Fact-Finding Report:
- Immediately upon receipt of the Fact-Finding Report, the Employee Organization's members (Union) and Employer’s Legislative Body may vote to reject the recommendations of the Fact Finder.
- Both parties have seven calendar days to vote to reject the Fact-Finding Report and submit the Certification of Fact-Finding Vote form. The seven calendar day requirement may be extended by the parties upon mutual agreement; notice must be filed with SERB.
- If no vote is taken, the report is deemed accepted.
- Failure to submit the Certification of Fact-Finding vote within 24-hours of the expiration of the seven calendar day voting period constitutes acceptance of the Fact-Finding Report.
- A 3/5 majority of eligible voters is needed to reject the Fact-Finding Report.
- If the report is rejected, both parties must post the Board provided Notice of Rejection in a conspicuous location.
- The Board notifies the local media of the rejected Fact-Finding Report.
What happens if the Fact-Finding Report is rejected?
The employer may implement their last best offer. If offer is not accepted:
- The union may file a 10-day Notice of Intent to Strike with SERB if the existing agreement has expired.
- The Board shall require the parties to proceed to Conciliation (Learn More).