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I need you to reply to the two discussion board below. Make sure you put which post it belong to so I can attached it to the correct Post.

Post 1

1. Assume the role of a Conventional Interest Arbitrator: Analyze the arguments for a two – year vs. a three-year contract. Which arguments are most compelling? Why?

Under Conventional Interest arbitration, both parties submit their offers to the arbitrator for analysis. The arbitrator analyzes the offers and comes to a conclusion that both parties are required to accept. The arguments for a three-year contract is more compelling because the City did not present adequate proof for the need to change the contract term from a three year to two years. Even though the City has changed their current health care plan, they still have enough time to bargain on the subject. In addition, the Association was able to argue for a three-year term in the past so why change now. Given that the time has elapsed since the expiration of the old contract, a two-year contract would turn out to be several months shorter than two years. With this being said, a three-year contract would end up shorter than three years and technically be a two-year contract.

2. Turning to the wage issue, consider the three “other factors:” (1) the ability to pay, (2) bargaining history of the parties, and (3) retention and recruitment of personnel. Which side does each factor tend to favor? Why?

Each factor tends to favor the union because even though the City made the above arguments, there were evidences to show the opposite of what they said. The Mayor’s statement during an interview was that the City is “back from the brink” and on solid financing footing implies that the City was fully capable of paying the cost increases. Other evidences presented by the union were the Employee Newsletter, three news releases from the past year and a transcript of the City’s revenue. Past and current contracts were all three years, the city added a head to their workforce last year, and economy is not showing signs of recession anymore are all in favor of the union. Their requests are reasonable based on facts.

3. Why does the list of comparable cities matter? Other than population, what should an arbitrator consider when deciding whether a city is “comparable” to another city?

The list of comparable cities matters because it serves as a benchmark to see where the City lands compare to like cities with similar population and capabilities. Other than population, wages of the different employee groups should also be considered when compared to other cities. Though population is similar, pay might be on different levels. The number of hours worked and conditions of working environment should also be considered because they contribute to the pay.

4. If you were a Conventional Interest Arbitrator, how would you rule on the wage issue? Explain your rationale.

As a Conventional Interest Arbitrator, I would rule on the wage issue in favor of the union because inflation has increased 2.86% while the members received no wage increase. The City’s own inflation index shows that union members pay increase fell behind inflation by 5.67% during the period of current contract. Inflation increased means cost of living has increased, therefore, wages need to be adjusted accordingly. If COLA is built into the current contract, that means the associates are guaranteed increases each year (Roberts, 2019).

5. If you were a Final-Offer Interest Arbitrator, and you could only pick one sides’ “package” of proposals, which side would you pick? Why?

In a Final-Offer Interest arbitration, one proposal will be chosen of the two offered by both parties and pushes parties to act more reasonably. This kind of arbitration causes both parties to make more realistic demands and be more considerate towards the other party’s needs (Danilo Rugger, 2019). As a Final-Offer Interest arbitrator, I would pick the union’s proposal because of their compelling evidences to prove their arguments. It appears the City was bargaining on past data during the recession and not looking at the current financial situation, which is improving.

6. Supposed you were asked to mediate this dispute. What would you do, procedurally? What would you suggest regarding the issues? How would you motivate the parties to settle?

If I was asked to mediate this dispute, there are several steps that need to be taken. First, my role as a mediator would involve assisting the parties and developing resolutions. I would not have the power to make any decisions on which offer to go with. Facts from both sides would need to be analyzed to see if their requests are reasonable. If the City truly cannot afford the increases then their financial statements should back that up, if not then the union made a reasonable request. Next, I would encourage the parties to meet in the middle and not drag the negotiation for too long before it goes into arbitration. If it does then there will be less chance of meeting in the middle. The arbitrator would either come up with a solution for the parties or pick one of the two offers. I would suggest the three -year contract term and include the yearly increases since the union did not get an adequate increase with the current contract. Since the economy has recovered and the City is recovering, there is no need to hold off to the wage increases. Inflation has increased several times during the current contract so wages will need catch up or exceed it for employees to make a decent living. To motivate the parties to settle, I would outline the negative side of not coming to an agreement and the positive side of settling the negotiation. Ultimately, it’s either they settle voluntary on most of the terms or be forced to come to an agreement. If that happens the terms in the contract might not be what they wanted.

References

Danilo Ruugero, Di Bella. (2019). “Final-Offer Arbitration”: A Procedure to Save Time and Money? [BLOG]. Retrieved from http://arbitrationblog.kluwerarbitration.com/2019/…

Roberts, Michael. (2019). Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA). Retrieved from https://www.thebalancecareers.com/cost-of-living-a…

Post 2

  1. Assume the role of a Conventional Interest Arbitrator: Analyze the arguments for a two-year vs. a three-year contract. Which arguments are most compelling? Why?

The argument that is the most compelling is the three-year contract. The Association states, “the amount of time that has elapsed since the expiration of the contract, a two year contract would actually be several months shorter than two years. Second, the last four contracts have all been three-year agreements… The PSU group has no relevance to the Association’s negotiations: the issues that relate to the two bargaining groups are different because they are different types of jobs…there is sufficient time for parties to bargain on issues related to the change in health care plans.” (Holley, 2016, P.485) The city wants to ensure that the contractual language is the same as between both unions along with being handled at the same time. The Association has a more plausible argument as previously stated the unions have different jobs and different issues.

2. Turning to wage issue, consider the three “other factors:” (1) the ability to pay, (2) bargaining history of the parties, and (3) retention and recruitment of personnel. Which side does each factor tend to favor? Why?

The wage issue has three factors to consider, ability to pay, bargaining history, and retention and recruitment of personnel. The ability to pay favors the City as they must have sufficient funds to accommodate pay raises that have taken place. However, the Association does have adequate evidence that demonstrates that the City can handle the pay increases. “The Association argues that the City’s financial problems have been exaggerated and introduces into evidence: (1) an Employee Newsletter from last May, (2) three new releases from the past year, (3) a transcript of last month’s City Council meeting where City revenues were discussed, and (4) a City website printout regarding revenue and expenses.”(Holley, 2016, P.486) The second factor which is the bargaining history of the parties falls in favor of the Association as they are always willing to agree to contracts that result in benefit for the City during the issues the City was encountering with the recession. Finally, retention and recruitment of personnel will rule in favor of the City as they were able to retain and recruit individuals even through the negativity of the recession.

3. Why does the list of comparable cities matter? Other than population, what should an arbitrator consider when deciding whether a city is “comparable” to another city?

The list of comparable cities matters as it will provide an idea of what the wages should be in comparison to the other areas listed. Other than population, one should consider cost of living, crime and tax rate, and finally the distance between one city to another in order to give a better idea of which area or city if you will is comparable to another. This provides a foundation with which one can conclude what the wage should be.

4. If you were a Conventional Interest Arbitrator, how would you rule on the wage issue? Explain your rationale.

If I were a Conventional Interest Arbitrator I would rule that the City start at 2% raise then for the second year increase to a 2.5% raise and then finally a 3% increase. It needs to be done a little bit at a time in order to contest the inflation rate. One wants to be able to retain the people they have working for them and support them accordingly. If one does not fall in line with the increases then one may have disgruntled employees who will seek work elsewhere.

5. If you were a Final-Offer Interest Arbitrator, and you could only pick one side’s “package” of proposals, which side would you pick? Why?

If I were a Final-Offer Interest Arbitrator, and could only pick one side’s “package” of proposals I would choose the side of the City. The City’s proposal will be beneficial for both sides as it will allow to get the pay increase stabilized and in place and allow the City to become more profitable to where it will allow a proposal of higher wage increases. The City’s proposal will allow the pay increases to take place at sooner date as they will be able to establish themselves in a more positive and profitable light to be able to support those increases.

6. Suppose you were asked to mediate this dispute. What would you do, procedurally? What would you suggest regarding the issues? How would you motivate the parties to settle?

The first step I would take when assessing the dispute would be to make sure that I had all of my facts from both sides of the parties. One wants to be able to hear both sides of the situation. I would make sure that I research the financial elements of the City to see what can and cannot be afforded. I would request that I get information financially from the Association as well to make sure that I am seeing both sides of the dispute. I would request that the City has a plan in place if they are seeking to go with lower wages to ensure that the employees will get their pay increases in a timely manner when they are financially able to support those increases. I would ask the Association to look and see what the City can and cannot afford based on financial history. I would ask that they come to a middle ground that year one starts at 2.5% increase by 5% each year in order to break even with regards to inflation. I would recommend that they fall in line with a shorter contract as it would be beneficial to both parties from a financial standpoint and finally I would suggest that they can negotiate both but PSU and Association must be done separately. It is important to take into account that, “The mediator does not have the power to make a decision for the parties, but can help the parties find a resolution that is mutually acceptable. The only people who can resolve the dispute in mediation are the parties themselves.”(American Bar Association) There must be common ground found in this dispute that both the Association and the City can agree upon.

References

American Bar Association. (n.d.). Mediation. Retrieved from

https://www.americanbar.org/groups/dispute_resolut…

esses/mediation/

Holley, W. H., Jennings, K. M., & Wolters, R. S. (2016). The Labor Relations Process. Boston,

MA: Cengage Learning.

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