HOUSE BILL 1398
State of Washington 52nd Legislature 1991 Regular Session
By Representatives Beck, Wood, Nealey, Hochstatter and Fuhrman.
Read first time January 28, 1991. Referred to Committee on Education.
AN ACT Relating to teachers' strikes; and adding new sections to chapter 41.59 RCW.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
NEW SECTION. Sec. 1. If an agreement has not been reached following a reasonable period of negotiations and mediation but in no event later than the beginning date of the school year in which the contract expires, and the executive director of the commission, upon the recommendation of the assigned mediator, finds that the parties remain at impasse, then an interest arbitration panel shall be created to resolve the dispute. The issues for determination by the arbitration panel shall be limited to the issues certified by the executive director. Within seven days following the issuance of the determination of the executive director, each party shall name one person to serve as its arbitrator on the arbitration panel. The two members so appointed shall meet within seven days following the appointment of the later appointed member to attempt to choose a third member to act as the neutral chair of the arbitration panel. Upon the failure of the arbitrators to select a neutral chair within seven days, the two appointed members shall use one of the two following options in the appointment of the third member, who shall act as chair of the panel: (1) By mutual consent, the two appointed members may jointly request the commission, and the commission shall appoint a third member within two days of such request. Costs of each party's appointee shall be borne by each party respectively; other costs of the arbitration proceedings shall be borne by the commission; or (2) either party may apply to the commission, the federal mediation and conciliation service, or the American arbitration association to provide a list of five qualified arbitrators from which the neutral chair shall be chosen. Each party shall pay the fees and expenses of its arbitrator, and the fees and expenses of the neutral chair shall be shared equally between the parties.
The arbitration panel so constituted shall promptly establish a date, time, and place for a hearing and shall provide reasonable notice thereof to the parties to the dispute. A hearing, which shall be informal, shall be held, and each party shall have the opportunity to present evidence and make argument. No member of the arbitration panel may present the case for a party to the proceedings. The rules of evidence prevailing in judicial proceedings may be considered, but are not binding, and any oral testimony or documentary evidence or other data deemed relevant by the chair of the arbitration panel may be received in evidence. A recording of the proceedings shall be taken. The arbitration panel has the power to administer oaths, require the attendance of witnesses, and require the production of such books, papers, contracts, agreements, and documents as may be deemed by the panel to be material to a just determination of the issues in dispute. If any person refuses to obey a subpoena issued by the arbitration panel, or refuses to be sworn or to make an affirmation to testify, or any witness, party, or attorney for a party is guilty of any contempt while in attendance at any hearing held hereunder, the arbitration panel may invoke the jurisdiction of the superior court in the county where the labor dispute exists, and the court has jurisdiction to issue an appropriate order. Any failure to obey the order may be punished by the court as a contempt thereof. The hearing conducted by the arbitration panel shall be concluded within twenty‑five days following the selection or designation of the neutral chair of the arbitration panel.
The neutral chair shall consult with the other members of the arbitration panel, and, within thirty days following the conclusion of the hearing, the neutral chair shall make written findings of fact and a written determination of the issues in dispute, based on the evidence presented. A copy thereof shall be served on the commission, on each of the other members of the arbitration panel, and on each of the parties to the dispute. That determination shall be final and binding upon both parties, subject to review by the superior court upon the application of either party solely upon the question of whether the decision of the panel was arbitrary or capricious.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 2. An interest arbitration panel created pursuant to section 1 of this act, in the performance of its duties under this chapter, exercises a state function and is, for the purposes of this chapter, a state agency. Chapter 34.05 RCW does not apply to proceedings before an interest arbitration panel under this chapter.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 3. In making its determination, the interest arbitration panel shall be mindful of the legislative purpose enumerated in RCW 41.59.010 and as additional standards or guidelines to aid it in reaching a decision, it shall take into consideration the following factors:
(1) The constitutional and statutory authority of the employer;
(2) Stipulations of the parties;
(3) Comparison of the wages, hours, and conditions of employment of personnel involved in the proceedings with the wages, hours, and conditions of employment of like personnel of like employers of similar size on the west coast of the United States;
(4) The average consumer prices for goods and services, commonly known as the cost of living;
(5) Changes in any of the foregoing circumstances during the pendency of the proceedings; and
(6) Such other factors that are normally or traditionally taken into consideration in the determination of wages, hours, and conditions of employment.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 4. During the pendency of the proceedings before the interest arbitration panel, existing wages, hours, and other conditions of employment shall not be changed by action of either party without the consent of the other but a party may so consent without prejudice to his or her rights or position under this chapter.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 5. If the representative of either or both the educational employee and the employer refuse to submit to the procedures set forth in RCW 41.59.120 and section 1 of this act, the parties, or the commission on its own motion, may invoke the jurisdiction of the superior court for the county in which the labor dispute exists and such court shall have jurisdiction to issue an appropriate order. A failure to obey such order may be punished by the court as contempt of court. A decision of the interest arbitration panel shall be final and binding on the parties, and may be enforced at the instance of either party, the interest arbitration panel, or the commission in the superior court for the county where the dispute arose.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 6. The right of educational employees to engage in any strike, work slowdown, or stoppage is not granted. An organization recognized as the bargaining representative of educational employees subject to this chapter that willfully disobeys a lawful order of enforcement by a superior court pursuant to this section and section 5 of this act, or willfully offers resistance to such order, whether by strike or otherwise, is in contempt of court as provided in chapter 7.21 RCW. An employer that willfully disobeys a lawful order of enforcement by a superior court pursuant to section 5 of this act or willfully offers resistance to such order is in contempt of court as provided in chapter 7.21 RCW.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 7. If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected.