House reaches compromise on binding arbitration law

PA 312, the state’s binding arbitration law, could undergo dramatic changes with the passage of HB 4522 yesterday.  PA 312 has been used since 1969 to settle labor disputes in municipal police and fire departments.

The changes include:

  • Both sides would have a 180-day window for arbitration and must present a list of disputed issues.
  • The arbitrator would have up to 60 days to make a ruling.
  • The process would take into consideration comparables of salaries and benefits offered to public and private employees, as well as the pay and benefits of other public employees in the local government involved in the arbitration.
  • The Employment Relations Commission would provide training and a set of qualifications for arbitrators.

 The legislation was endorsed by unions that had originally supported similar legislation under SB 397 and now moves to the Senate.