SHOULD "NIGHT BASEBALL" ARBITRATION BE USED IN LIEU OF PUBLIC SECTOR STRIKES? PSYCHOLOGICAL CONSIDERATIONS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR RESEARCH
WILLIAM H. ROSS
Abstract"Night Baseball" (NB) arbitration is a variant on final-offer interest arbitration (FOA) where the arbitrator cannot fashion his/her own settlement, but must pick one side's proposals. Unlike FOA, disputants do not present specific proposals at the NB arbitration hearing, but instead present only evidence and testimony; their final offers are sealed and unknown to both the opponent and the arbitrator. After fashioning a nonbinding opinion, the arbitrator compares his/her opinion to the proposals and selects a winner. Should NB arbitration be used in public sector labor relations as an alternative to public sector strikes? Prior to making a recommendation, research on the psychological dynamics of NB arbitration is needed. The dynamics that must be considered to evaluate NB arbitration include: 1) the effects of the procedure on each party's pre-arbitration bargaining strategy and arbitration proposal strategy, 2) the process of arbitrator decision making, 3) the processes that arbitrators use when comparing proposals to their own decision, 4) ethical issues, and 5) procedural justice considerations.
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