BEFORE THE BOARD OF PERSONNEL APPEALS
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND INDUSTRY
OF THE STATE OF MONTANA
In the matter of the amendment of ARM 24.26.697 and the adoption of NEW RULE I pertaining to the stay of an informal investigation
NOTICE OF AMENDMENT AND ADOPTION
TO: All Concerned Persons
1. On November 14, 2013, the Board of Personnel Appeals (board) published MAR Notice No. 24-26-279 pertaining to the public hearing on the proposed amendment and adoption of the above-stated rules at page 2030 of the 2013 Montana Administrative Register, Issue Number 21.
2. The board has thoroughly considered the comments and testimony received. A summary of the comments received and the board's responses are as follows:
COMMENT 1: The board received one comment expressing concern that the ability of the investigator to stay proceedings and refer the matter to arbitration could delay the normally quick unfair labor practice process, or that time limits to file grievances may have lapsed while awaiting response on the unfair labor practice charge.
RESPONSE 1: Arbitration is designed to be a quick, efficient, and cost effective solution to labor disputes and has been the favored resolution process in labor matters for decades. The board believes that further encouraging the use of arbitration will not cause any problems as it relates to time limits.
COMMENT 2: The board received one comment that it lacked the authority to change the statutory definition of a grievance.
RESPONSE 2: The board is not changing the definition of a grievance. The board is reducing the administrative burden by encouraging arbitration, as has been the case in the federal system for some time, in appropriate situations. This change is consistent with the board's authority to promulgate rules necessary to carry out Montana's collective bargaining statutes.
COMMENT 3: The board received one comment that suggested a revision to the amendment. The suggested revision was to separate the conditions of board-initiated factfinding and party-initiated factfinding in ARM 24.26.697(8).
RESPONSE 3: The board adopts the suggested revision because it adds clarity to the rule without making any substantive alterations. The requirement for splitting the cost of factfinding is specified in 39-31-309, MCA.
3. The board has amended ARM 24.26.697 with the following changes, stricken matter interlined, new matter underlined:
24.26.697 FACT FINDER (1) through (7) remain as proposed.
(8) When a party petitions the board to initiate factfinding, the cost of factfinding must be equally borne by the parties. The fact finder shall, within ten working days of the written findings, send a copy of the invoice to both parties on which they will be billed for one-half of the total. The parties shall pay directly to the fact finder within five days.
(8) remains as proposed, but is renumbered (9).
4. The board has adopted NEW RULE I (ARM 24.26.680A) as proposed.
BOARD OF PERSONNEL APPEALS
ANNE L. MACINTYRE, CHAIRPERSON
/s/ Mark Cadwallader /s/ Pam Bucy
Mark Cadwallader Pam Bucy
Alternate Rule Reviewer Commissioner
Department of Labor and Industry
Certified to the Secretary of State April 28, 2014.