Arbitrator Gavel Scale

Senate Bill 5055 was passed during this last legislative session and signed into law by Governor Inslee. The bill requires the Commission to create a roster of 9 to 18 arbitrators to arbitrate disciplinary grievances of law enforcement personnel. The bill also requires the Commission to annually set fee schedules for these arbitrations.

Applicants for this new roster must have a minimum of six years’ experience as
•   a full-time labor relations advocate who has been the principal representative for either labor or management in at least 10 arbitration proceedings,
•   a full-time labor mediator,
•   an arbitrator who has decided at least 10 collective bargaining disputes, or
•   a practitioner or full-time instructor of labor law or industrial relations.

The Commission must also consider an applicant’s experience and training in cultural competency, racism, implicit bias, and recognizing and valuing community diversity and cultural differences as well as the law enforcement profession.

Appointees to the roster must complete training specified by the Executive Director. The training must include the following:
•   Six hours in cultural competency, racism, implicit bias, and recognizing and valuing community diversity and cultural differences.
•   Six hours on topics related to the daily experience of law enforcement officers, which may include
      -   ride-alongs with on-duty officers,
      -   participation in citizens' academies conducted by a law enforcement agency,
      -   shoot/don’t shoot training provided by a law enforcement agency, or
      -   other activities that provide exposure to the environments, choices, and judgments required of officers in the field.

The bill requires that all arbitrators of law enforcement personnel disciplinary grievances come from the roster of arbitrators appointed by PERC. The appointment must be made on a rotating, alphabetical basis.

PERC is in the process of identifying the training requirements and developing processes to implement the bill. PERC expects to begin soliciting applications for the roster in June with consideration by the Commission at its July 13, 2021, meeting. Check the PERC Announcements page for updates. To see the bill, its definitions, and effective dates, click here

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