Section 1. If the Parties fail to settle any grievance processed under the Negotiated Grievance Procedure (NGP) in this Agreement, and if the decision is made to refer the matter to arbitration, either Party shall make such application within twenty (20) workdays of the final decision.
Section 2. Within five (5) workdays from the date of the request for arbitration, the Parties shall jointly request the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) to provide a list of five (5) impartial persons qualified to act as arbitrators. The Parties shall meet within five (5) workdays after the receipt of such a list. If they cannot mutually agree upon one of the listed arbitrators, the Parties will each strike one arbitrator's name from the list of five (5) and will then repeat this procedure. The remaining person shall be the duly-selected arbitrator.
Section 3. In grievances the arbitrator's fee and expense shall be borne by the losing Party, except that the arbitrator may, where he/she deems the circumstances so warrant, assess the Parties a different percentage of his/her fee and expenses. In midterm bargaining impasses the Library shall pay the arbitrator's fee. In cases where timeliness is raised pursuant to Section 8 below, the Library will pay all of the arbitrator's fees for time spent hearing and deciding this issue. There may be a verbatim transcript made of the hearing, the cost of which shall be borne by the Party(s) ordering it. Normally, the arbitration hearing will be held on Library premises (LJ, LA, and LM) during the regular day shift hours of the basic work week. Guild representatives and all witnesses on behalf of the Guild shall attend the hearing on official time.
Section 4. Mini-Arbitration
For grievances, each Party may unilaterally invoke mini-arbitration for their own grievances three (3) times during the life of the contract, but no more than once every six (6) months. In all other grievances which the Parties wish to expedite, mini-arbitration shall be used by mutual agreement. For midterm bargaining impasses, upon mutual agreement, mini-arbitration shall be used with the consent of the Federal Service Impasses Panel (FSIP).
- No transcripts shall be made and no briefs filed in mini-arbitration, though the arbitrator otherwise shall conduct the hearing in the same manner as in regular arbitration.
- The arbitrator's decision shall be rendered within five (5) workdays of the date of the hearing. The decision shall be in writing, but it may be limited to a brief, focal-reasoning statement.
- The decision in a mini-arbitration shall be dispositive of that case only and shall not be considered precedential, unless the mini-arbitration involves a midterm bargaining impasse.
Section 5. The arbitrator shall have no authority to change, modify, alter, subtract from, or add to, the provisions of this Agreement.
Section 6. The arbitrator will be requested to render his/her decision as quickly as possible, but in any event not later than thirty (30) days after the conclusion of the hearing unless the Parties mutually agree to extend the time limit.
Section 7. The decision of the arbitrator shall be final and binding on the Parties. However, either the Library or the Guild may file exceptions to an award pursuant to 5 USC 7122.
Section 8. The arbitrator shall make timeliness determinations prior to addressing the merits of the grievance(s) before him/her. Should the arbitrator find that a grievance is untimely, the merits of the grievance need not be reached, subject to the mutual consent of the Parties to this Agreement.
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