As outlined in our prior Bulletins, interest-based Arbitration of any unresolved issues between the Parties can occur but only if both Parties agree to it. In such cases there is no ratification process by Members and the decision of the Arbitrator is final. Arbitrators take a number of factors into consideration including the principle of replication.
The replication principle follows the proposition that since interest arbitration is a substitute for free collective bargaining, the award of an arbitration board should replicate the agreement the parties would have made if they had reached an agreement through free collective bargaining.
Replication focuses on objective standards rather than notions of “fairness” or “what is just.” Often the best evidence arbitrators will consider is comparative data of agreements reached by the same or a similar Employer with similar classifications of workers. For example, if the arbitration board was considering a dispute over what a hospital should pay its nurses, the freely negotiated rates of pay for nurses at a similar hospital in the same jurisdiction could be compelling evidence for the Arbitration Board.