Senate Passes Changes to State’s Binding-Arbitration Law

Crain’s Detroit Business
June 29, 2011

After much compromise between unions and local governments, the Michigan State Senate voted this week to approve legislation (House Bill 4522 which amends Public Act 312 of 1969) which will mandate binding arbitration for police and fire union contract disputes.

The bill “makes a community’s ability to pay for an award the most heavily weighted factor considered by an arbitration panel” which was a key point for the Municipal League. The bill also sets timelines for arbitration, qualifications for arbitrators sitting on the panel, and the apportionment of expenses for the cost of arbitration. The bill also requires police and fire authorities to submit to binding arbitration while still excluding the majority of existing authorities.

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