§925. Mediation; fact finding

Link to law: http://legislature.vermont.gov/statutes/section/03/027/00925
Published: 2015

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925. Mediation; fact finding

(a) Whenever the

representatives of a collective bargaining unit and the representative of the

employer, after a reasonable period of negotiation reach an impasse during the

course of collective bargaining on subjects defined in section 904 of this

title, the Board, upon petition of either or both parties, may authorize the

parties to submit their differences to mediation. The Board shall within five

days appoint a mediator who shall communicate with the employer and the

employees or their representatives and endeavor by mediation to obtain an

amicable settlement. Any mediator so appointed shall be a person of high

standing in no way actively connected with labor or management.

(b) If after a

reasonable period of time not less than 15 days after the appointment of a

mediator the impasse is not resolved, the mediator shall certify to the Board

that the impasse continues. The Board shall appoint a fact finder mutually

agreed upon by the parties. If the parties do not agree, the Board may appoint

a neutral third party to act as fact finder pursuant to rules adopted by the


(c) [Repealed.]

(d) The fact

finder shall conduct hearings, pursuant to rules established by the Board. Upon

request of either party or of the fact finder, the Board may issue subpoenas of

persons and documents for the hearings and the fact finder may require that

testimony be given under oath and may administer oaths.

(e) Nothing

herein shall prohibit a fact finder from endeavoring to mediate the dispute,

which the fact finder is considering, at any time prior to the issuance of


(f) The fact

finder shall consider if applicable to the issues the following factors, among

others, in making a recommendation:

(1) wage and

salary schedules and employee benefits to the extent they are inconsistent with

prevailing rates both internally and in commerce and industry for comparable

work within the State;

(2) work

schedules relating to assigned hours and days of the week as they relate to the

employee's needs and the general public's requirement for continual service;

(3) general

working conditions as they compare with generally accepted safety standards and

conditions prevailing in commerce and industry within the State.

(g) Upon

completion of the hearings, the fact finder shall make and file with both

parties written findings and recommendations.

(h) The costs of

witnesses and other expenses incurred by either party in fact-finding

proceedings shall be paid directly by the party incurring them, and the costs

and expenses of the fact finder shall be divided equally between the parties.

Each party shall make payment of its half of the total to the fact finder

within 15 days after receipt of the fact finder's bill.

(i) If the

dispute remains unresolved 20 days after transmittal of findings and

recommendations to the parties or within a time frame mutually agreed upon by

the parties that may be no more than an additional 30 days, each party shall

submit as a single package its last best offer on all disputed issues to the

Board. Each party's last best offer shall be filed with the Board under seal

and shall be unsealed and placed in the public record only when both parties'

last best offers are filed with the Board. The board shall hold one or more

hearings. Within 30 days of the certifications, the Board shall select between

the last best offers of the parties, considered in its entirety without



Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (i) of this section, should the

Board find the last best offers of both parties unreasonable and likely to

produce undesirable results, or likely to result in a long-lasting negative

impact upon the parties' collective bargaining relationship, then the Board may

select the recommendation of the fact finder under subsection (g) of this

section as to those disputed issues submitted to the Board in the last best


(k) In the case

of the State of Vermont, the decision of the Board shall be final, and the

terms of the chosen agreement shall be binding on each party, subject to

appropriations in accordance with subsection 982(d) of this title. In the case

of the University of Vermont or the Vermont State Colleges, the decision of the

Board shall be final and binding on each party.

(l) Nothing

herein shall be construed to permit the Board to issue an order under

subsection (i) of this section binding upon the parties that is in conflict

with any statute or any rule or regulation that is not bargainable. (Added

1969, No. 113, § 1; amended 1971, No. 185 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. March 29,

1972; 1971, No. 193 (Adj. Sess.), § 8, eff. April 3, 1972; 1977, No. 109, § 6;

1987, No. 177 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 2005, No. 71, § 178a, eff. June 21, 2005;

2005, No. 1 (Spec. Sess.), § 1; 2005, No. 194 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 2011, No. 22, §