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The parties appear before an arbitration panel and present evidence through witnesses and/or exhibits. The neutral arbitrator decides procedural issues, such as the date, time, and information that is needed.
The law creating the JLMC lists the criteria that the arbitration panel should consider in reaching a decision. The basic questions are:
The parties generally submit post-hearing briefs about a month after the arbitration hearing, and the arbitration panel generally issues its decision about a month after receiving the briefs.
The arbitration panel's award is binding on the union and the executive branch of the employer. However, in order for the contract to be funded, it is binding only if and when the legislative branch of the government votes to appropriate such funding.
Most awards are funded by the legislative branch. If it is not, the award is no longer binding and the parties are sent back to the table for bargaining. The JLMC may get involved once again at that point.
A JLMC case is closed once an agreement or arbitrator's award has been funded. If the matter settles prior to arbitration, the JLMC tracks the tentative agreement through ratification and then funding. If an arbitration award is issued, the case is closed once the legislative branch has funded the decision.