Substitute Senate Bill No. 311

Public Act No. 00-98

An Act Concerning Observance Of Martin Luther King Day.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (a) Each municipality shall include a requirement in any collective bargaining agreement executed on or after the effective date of this act that all nonessential municipal offices shall be closed on any day designated as Martin Luther King Day pursuant to section 1-4 of the general statutes.

(b) Any municipality that did not observe the Martin Luther King Day legal holiday on January 17, 2000, by closing all nonessential municipal offices shall close all such nonessential municipal offices on any day designated as Martin Luther King Day pursuant to section 1-4 of the general statutes.

Sec. 2. (NEW) Notwithstanding the provisions of the general statutes, each municipal employer and each employee organization in a municipality that is required to close all nonessential municipal offices in observance of Martin Luther King Day pursuant to subsection (b) of section 1 of this act shall reopen each collective bargaining agreement approved in accordance with the provisions of sections 7-467 to 7-477, inclusive, of the general statutes for the sole purpose of negotiating compensation or exchange of benefits, if any, for the bargaining unit members covered by such agreement for observance of Martin Luther King Day.

Sec. 3. (NEW) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 7-473c of the general statutes, if any such municipal employer and any such employee organization are unable to resolve the compensation or exchange of benefits issue after reopening the agreement pursuant to section 2 of this act by May 31, 2000, the parties shall submit the issue to the State Board of Mediation and Arbitration, and said board shall make every effort to resolve the issue through mediation not later than June 30, 2000.

Sec. 4. (NEW) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 7-473c of the general statutes:

(1) If the parties are unable to resolve the compensation or exchange of benefits issue pursuant to section 3 of this act, by June 30, 2000, the parties shall submit the issue to an arbitration panel for resolution through binding arbitration pursuant to this section not later than July 15, 2000.

(2) If neither the municipal employer nor the municipal employee organization has submitted the issue to an arbitration panel for resolution through binding arbitration pursuant to this section by July 15, 2000, said board shall notify the municipal employer and municipal employee organization that binding and final arbitration is now imposed on them, and the arbitration panel selected pursuant to this section shall resolve the issue through binding arbitration not later than September 30, 2000. Written notification of such imposition shall be sent by registered mail or certified mail, return receipt requested, to each party.

(3) Within two days of receipt of such notification, the chief executive officer of the municipal employer and the executive head of the municipal employee organization each shall select one member of the arbitration panel. Within two days of their appointment, the two members of the arbitration panel shall select a third member, who shall be an impartial representative of the interest of the public in general and who shall be selected from the panel of neutral arbitrators appointed pursuant to subsection (a) of section 7-473c of the general statutes. Such third member shall be the chairman of the panel. In the event the municipal employer or the municipal employee organization have not selected their respective members of the arbitration panel or the two members of the panel have not selected the third member, the State Board of Mediation and Arbitration shall appoint such members as are needed to complete the panel, provided (A) the member or members so appointed are residents of this state, and (B) the selection of the third member of the panel by the State Board of Mediation and Arbitration shall be made at random from among the members of the panel of neutral arbitrators appointed pursuant to subsection (a) of section 7-473c of the general statutes.

(4) The panel shall, within two days, by the call of its chairman, hold a hearing within the municipality involved. The chairman of the panel shall preside over such hearing. Any member of the panel shall have the power to take testimony, to administer oaths and to summon, by subpoena, any person whose testimony may be pertinent to the matters before said panel, together with any records or other documents relating to such matters. In the case of contumacy or refusal to obey a subpoena issued to any person, the Superior Court, upon application by the panel, shall have jurisdiction to order such person to appear before the panel to produce evidence or to give testimony touching the matter under investigation or in question, and any failure to obey such order may be punished by said court as a contempt thereof.

(5) The panel shall conclude the hearing within fifteen days after its commencement. Within ten days after the hearing, the panel shall issue, upon majority vote, and file with the State Board of Mediation and Arbitration its decision which shall immediately and simultaneously distribute a copy thereof to each party. In making its decision, the panel shall accept the last best offer of either of the parties. As part of the arbitration decision, each member shall state the specific reasons and standards in making a choice on each unresolved issue. In arriving at its decision, the panel shall be limited to the consideration of the criteria set forth in subdivision (2) of subsection (d) of section 7-473c of the general statutes. The decision of the panel shall be final and binding upon the municipal employer and the municipal employee organization except as provided in section 5 of this act and, if such award is not rejected by the legislative body pursuant to section 5 of this act, except that a motion to vacate or modify such decision may be made in accordance with sections 52-418 and 52-419 of the general statutes.

(6) In regard to all proceedings undertaken pursuant to this section the secretary of the State Board of Mediation and Arbitration shall serve as staff to the arbitration panel.

(7) The cost of the arbitration panel shall be distributed among the parties in the following manner: (A) The municipal employer shall pay the costs of the arbitrator appointed by it, (B) the municipal employee organization shall pay the costs of the arbitrator appointed by it, (C) the municipal employer and the municipal employee organization shall equally divide and pay the cost of the chairman, and (D) the costs of any arbitrator appointed by the State Board of Mediation and Arbitration shall be paid by the party in whose absence the board appointed.

Sec. 5. (NEW) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 7-473c of the general statutes:

(1) Not later than October 30, 2000, the legislative body of the municipal employer may reject the award of the arbitrators or single arbitrator issued pursuant to section 4 of this act by a two-thirds majority vote of the members of such legislative body present at a regular or special meeting called and convened for such purpose.

(2) Not later than November 10, 2000, the legislative body or its authorized representative shall be required to state, in writing, the reasons for such vote and shall submit such written statement to the State Board of Mediation and Arbitration and the municipal employee organization. Not later than November 20, 2000, the municipal employee organization shall prepare a written response to such rejection and shall submit it to the legislative body and the State Board of Mediation and Arbitration.

(3) Not later than November 20, 2000, the State Board of Mediation and Arbitration shall select a review panel of three arbitrators or, if the parties agree, a single arbitrator who are residents of Connecticut and labor relations arbitrators approved by the American Arbitration Association and not members of the panel who issued the rejected award. Such arbitrators or single arbitrator shall review the decision on each such rejected issue. The review conducted pursuant to this subdivision shall be limited to the record of the hearing pursuant to section 4 of this act, the written explanation of the reasons for the vote and a written response by either party. In conducting such review, the arbitrators or single arbitrator shall be limited to consideration of the criteria set forth in subdivision (2) of subsection (d) of section 7-473c of the general statutes. Such review shall be completed not later than December 10, 2000.

(4) Not later than December 15, 2000, after the completion of such review, the arbitrators or single arbitrator shall render a written decision with respect to each rejected issue which shall be final and binding upon the municipal employer and the employee organization except that a motion to vacate or modify such award may be made in accordance with sections 52-418 and 52-419 of the general statutes. The arbitrators or single arbitrator shall accept the last best offer of either of the parties. The decision of the arbitrators or single arbitrator shall be in writing and shall include specific reasons and standards used by each arbitrator in making a decision on each issue. The decision shall be filed with the parties. The reasonable costs of the arbitrators or single arbitrator and the cost of the transcript shall be paid by the legislative body. Where the legislative body of a municipal employer is the town meeting, the board of selectmen shall perform all of the duties and shall have all of the authority and responsibilities required of and granted to the legislative body under this subsection.

Sec. 6. This act shall take effect from its passage.

Approved April 26, 2000