The Long-Haul Effects of Interest Arbitration: The Case of New York State’s Taylor Law
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Kochan, Thomas A.; Lipsky, David B.; Newhart, Mary; Benson, Alan
The authors use experiences with interest arbitration for police and firefighters under New York State’s Taylor Law from 1974 to 2007 to examine the central debates about the effects of this form of arbitration on collective bargaining. They draw on old and new data to compare experience with interest arbitration in the first three years after it was adopted with experiences from 1995 to 2007. They find that no strikes have occurred under arbitration, rates of dependence on arbitration declined considerably, the effectiveness of mediation prior to and during arbitration remained high, the tripartite arbitration structure continued to foster discussion of options for resolution among members of the arbitration panels, and wage increases awarded under arbitration matched those negotiated voluntarily by the parties. Econometric estimates of the effects of interest arbitration on wage changes in a national sample suggest wage increases between 1990 and 2000 in states with arbitration did not differ significantly from those in states with non-binding mediation and factfinding or states without a collective bargaining statute. The length of time required to complete the arbitration process increased substantially and several critical employment relations issues facing the parties have not been addressed within the arbitration system. The authors suggest these findings should be considered by both critics and supporters of proposals to include a role for interest arbitration in national labor policy.
interest arbitration; arbitration; police; firefighters; New York; Taylor Law; collective bargaining
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