The Deputy Director for Dispute Resolution is in charge of all dispute resolution services available at OCB and administers the dispute resolution procedures set forth in the NYCCBL. The Deputy Director maintains a panel of arbitrators from which the parties select an arbitrator to serve in individual cases. (Inclusion on the panel is accomplished by a unanimous vote of the City and Labor members of the Board of Collective Bargaining.)
A Request for Arbitration can be made by completing the form available on this site and submitting it to the Deputy Director for Dispute Resolution. In most of the City's collective bargaining agreements, the right to invoke arbitration is limited to the Union and not the individual employee. Therefore, employees seeking to bring an issue to arbitration must first consult with their union. As a prerequisite to the arbitration process, the NYCCBL requires that the union and grievant(s) submit a waiver of the right to file the underlying dispute with any other administrative or judicial tribunal, except for the purposes of enforcing the arbitrator's award. A Wavier Form is also available on this site. Once a waiver by the union and the grievant has been submitted, OCB sends both the employer and the union a list of nine arbitrator's names. Each party is directed to strike four names and rank the remaining five names. The lists are returned to OCB and compared in order to determine which arbitrator has the highest ranking by both parties. The parties are then notified of the arbitrator designated to hear the dispute. Thereafter, the parties contact the designated arbitrator to arrange a hearing date and/or resolve any pre-hearing matters. OCB has several hearing rooms available for use for arbitration hearings. The parties should advise the Deputy Director for Dispute Resolution when a hearing has been scheduled, so that a room can be reserved for the hearing.
Since 1992, OCB has offered an expedited arbitration procedure for certain cases which the parties mutually agree are appropriate for this process. Typical types of claims heard in an expedited manner include out-of-title claims and minor disciplinary infractions.
The parties may request expedited processing on the Request for Arbitration Form. On at least one day per month the Deputy Chair hears several of these cases. The arbitrator seeks to settle the claims through joint agreement of the parties. If the case is not resolved, the arbitrator hears the case and issues within two weeks of the hearing a short award containing a brief explanation of his or her rationale.
Claims appropriate for this forum require only a limited amount of testimony. Presentation of the issue, to the extent possible, is made in a narrative form. The parties endeavor to stipulate to the issue and exchange documents that they seek to offer into evidence at least one week in advance of the hearing date. Decisions in this expedited procedure are not considered precedent for any other case and cannot be entered into evidence in any other forum, except to enforce the arbitrator's award.
Pursuant to the NYCCBL, OCB maintains a Register of Neutrals composed of arbitrators who hear and resolve issues arising between the City and its unions. These neutrals serve as mediators, arbitrators in contract grievances and panel members in impasse proceedings. The arbitrators and mediators on the Register of Neutrals have been approved for inclusion on the Register of Neutrals by a majority of the entire board of Collective Bargaining including at least one City member and one Labor member. Click here to access resumes of arbitrators and mediators on the Register of Neutrals.