THE STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION OF THE BOARD OF COLLECTIVE BARGAINING
The OCB consists of two adjudicative boards, the Board of Collective Bargaining ("BCB") and the Board of Certification ("BOC"). The seven-member BCB is tripartite in composition. It has two City members appointed by the Mayor; two Labor members appointed by the Municipal Labor Committee, and three Impartial members elected by the unanimous vote of the City and Labor members.
The BCB Chair is the only full-time, salaried, Board member. The other two Impartial members receive per diem fees. The salaries, fees and expenses of the Impartial Board members are paid jointly by the City and the Municipal Labor Committee.
Pursuant to NYCCBL § 12-309(a), the BCB determines questions concerning improper practices, the arbitrability of grievances, the scope of bargaining,determination of impasses in collective bargaining, and appeals from impasse panel awards.
• Improper practice cases may include issues of interference with the right to join or refrain from joining a union, unlawful employer, domination or assistance to a union, discrimination or retaliation for union activity, refusal to bargain, and/or breach of the duty of fair representation. The Board is empowered to grant an appropriate remedial order if a violation is found.
• Arbitrability cases involve questions of substantive (but not procedural) arbitrability, i.e., whether the subject of a grievance is within the scope of the parties' agreement to arbitrate.
• Scope of bargaining cases involve questions whether a demand or subject involves a mandatory subject of bargaining. Such questions may be raised either in a refusal to bargain charge or a petition for a scope of bargaining determination. The latter is analogous to a declaratory judgment.
• Impasses may be declared by the BCB when it determines that the parties to have exhausted bargaining without reaching agreement. After the BCB has declared an impasse, the OCB will appoint an impasse panel -- an interest arbitration panel appointed to determine the terms of the parties' contract. Appeals from an impasse panel's award may be taken to the BCB only on very limited statutory grounds.