University offers to pay cost of arbitrator

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University offers to pay cost of arbitrator

Published on March 04 2011

The University today released the following statement regarding ongoing labour negotiations:
On March 2, the University wrote to CUPE 4207 to offer binding arbitration to resolve all outstanding issues in the current labour negotiations, and to avert a strike.

The University’s letter to CUPE 4207 came after the Brock University Students’ Union implored all parties to consider binding arbitration as a mechanism to resolve outstanding issues and “avoid a strike at all costs”.

The University’s central concerns remain the potential disruption of the education of students and of the research and scholarly activities of faculty.

CUPE 4207 has not responded to the University regarding the letter, but media reports quote union officials as rejecting the offer of arbitration because the parties “already have mediation dates established” and because the arbitration process is “very long” and “incredibly expensive”.

To address the concern that arbitration is “incredibly expensive”, the University is willing to pay the full cost of the arbitrator. The cost of an arbitrator is typically between $3,500 and $5,000 per day, and the cost is normally split between the parties.

The cost of arbitration is much more preferable than the cost of a strike.

In its letter, the University informed the union that a number of well-respected arbitrators have dates available in March and April, and the University is prepared to schedule one of these dates. In fact, a grievance arbitration hearing that was scheduled for March 14 was recently cancelled because that date is the union’s strike deadline. If this arbitrator is still available, the University is willing to accept this date.

On the matter of rejecting arbitration because mediation dates have already been set, these sessions can easily be cancelled and it does not preclude the parties from entering into binding arbitration.

The University continues to be prepared to submit all outstanding issues to binding arbitration in order to avoid the effects of a strike on students and the academic term.

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