The ATU is strike prohibited due to legislation that they sought in Salem in 2007. If both parties are unable to reach a negotiated agreement, the parties are bound by binding interest arbitration — meaning an outside arbitrator selects only one proposal and there will not be a vote to ratify. State law dictates the process for Binding Interest Arbitration. While the timeline is listed below, our experience has been that delays can occur throughout, including selecting and schedule availability of the arbitrator.
Strike Prohibited Unit Bargaining Process
1. Direct Bargaining (Minimum 150 days): If the parties cannot reach agreement, the next step is mediation.
2. Mediation (Minimum 15 days): The Oregon Employment Relations Board (ERB) assigns a mediator.
3. After the minimum 15-day period of mediation, either party may declare an impasse (notification to ERB).
4. Within seven days after declaring impasse, each party submits its "Final Offer," including any proposed contract language and each party's cost summary related to issues where the parties have failed to reach agreement. ERB makes the Final Offers public.
5. If a tentative agreement is reached prior to binding arbitration, ATU members would vote to ratify the proposed contract and TriMet's board of directors would also ratify the agreement. If no agreement is reached, the parties move into binding arbitration.
6. Following selection of an arbitrator and a 30-day cooling off period, each party submits its "Last Best Offer" package 14 days before the arbitration hearing. Following the hearing, the parties normally have 30 days to submit final briefs to the arbitrator.
7. The arbitration decision is due by 30 days after final briefs are submitted.
8. The arbitrator can only select one of the offers. No combining elements from each parties' offers.
9. The arbitrator's selection is binding upon the parties. There is no vote by either side. The award results in the new collective bargaining contract between TriMet and the ATU for the term of the award.