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Fact-Finding

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:

Strike-Permitted Units

  • The union may file a 10-day Notice of Intent to Strike with SERB if the existing agreement has expired.

Strike-Prohibited Units

  • The Board shall require the parties to proceed to Conciliation (Learn More).