Interest Arbitration Expanded To Delaware School Districts

Governor Minner has signed House Bill 283 into law.

This bill amends the Delaware Public School Employment Relations Act. As a result, interest arbitration will now be used to resolve impasses in collective bargaining between Delaware public school districts and their organized employees. Binding interest arbitration replaces non-binding “fact finding.”

Under binding interest arbitration, an arbitrator determines the final terms and conditions of employment by selecting one of the parties’ “last, best, and final” offers. This process has been used in negotiations involving other Delaware public entities for several years.

The arbitrator looks at seven factors in determining whether to accept the employer’s or the union’s offer:

(1) The interests and welfare of the public.

(2) Comparison of the wages, salaries, benefits, hours and conditions of employment of the employees with other employees performing the same or similar services or requiring similar skills under similar working conditions in the same community and in comparable communities and with other employees generally in the same community and in comparable communities.

(3) The overall compensation presently received by the employees.

(4) Stipulations of the parties.

(5) The lawful authority of the public school employer.

(6) The financial ability of the public school employer based on existing revenues, to meet the costs of any proposed settlements
(7) Such other factors which are normally or traditionally taken into consideration in the determination of wages, hours and conditions of employment through voluntary collective bargaining, mediation, binding interest arbitration or otherwise

With the exception of paragraph (6) of above, no single factor in subsection, shall be dispositive.

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