Labor Practice


Arbitration is determining a dispute between parties by a person chosen or agreed to by them.

Grievance Arbitration Request


A grievance arbitration determines a dispute about the interpretation of the collective bargaining agreement resulting in discipline.


Interest Arbitration determines a dispute about the terms of the collective bargaining agreement.

Interest Arbitration is ONLY available to:

Firefighters, paramedics, nuclear security guards, public transit workers, state ferry employees, interpreters, individual providers of home care, child care providers, adult family home providers, some county corrections personnel, some fire dispatchers, and some law enforcement officers.

If the employer and union do not reach agreement in contract mediation about the collective bargaining agreement, the PERC Executive Director can authorize interest arbitration over the unresolved issues. An impartial arbitrator from PERC’s Arbitration Panel or PERC staff member is selected.


PERC Staff Arbitrator

  • PERC staff perform arbitrations at no cost to the parties.
  • One or both parties file a written request for a grievance arbitration or submit the Grievance Arbitration Request form.
  • Once the arbitrator is assigned, the parties work with the arbitrator to schedule an arbitration hearing.
  • A court reporter is not provided. The arbitrator will work with the parties to schedule and address logistics for the hearing.
  • The contract determines the timeline when the award or opinion is to be issued.
  • The arbitration award is final and binding and cannot be appealed to the Commission.

Arbitration Panel

  • An independent, private arbitrator is selected and the parties pay their service fees and travel costs.
  • One or both parties must submit the Grievance Arbitration form and designate the number of arbitrators they would like on their list.
  • PERC will provide the parties with either a PERC staff arbitrator at no cost or a list of arbitrators on PERC’s Arbitration Panel whose fees are paid by the parties.
  • Once the arbitrator is jointly selected by the parties, they will work with the arbitrator to schedule an arbitration hearing.
  • The contract determines the timeline when the award or opinion is to be issued.
  • The arbitration award is final and binding on the parties and cannot be appealed to the Commission.

What to expect at a hearing when a PERC staff arbitrator is selected

Arbitrations are similar to a trial before a judge. Your assigned arbitrator will work with you and the other party to schedule and address the logistics for the arbitration hearing. Hearings are held using PERC’s Zoom account. PERC utilizes a Dropbox account to facilitate the exchange of exhibits, either prior to or during the hearing. Generally, you can expect your arbitrator to schedule a pre-hearing conference to go over hearing logistics, including Zoom and Dropbox tech setup. 

Evidence: Parties must provide evidence through testimony of witnesses and exhibits regarding the disputed issues.

Recording of Hearing: The hearing may be recorded by a court reporter if the parties hire a reporter for the proceedings.

Hiring an attorney: PERC staff will not represent you or provide you with an attorney. Staff are strictly neutral and can only answer questions about rules and procedures, and cannot provide legal advice.

  • You may hire an attorney to represent you or review your complaint, but you are responsible for paying any attorney fees.
  • You are not required to hire an attorney to participate in a PERC hearing. If you do not it is recommended that you:

    1. Study the rules and statutes
    2. Review your claims and evidence
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