Baltimore Charter Decoded

Accessible Law for All People

§ II-55 Municipal employee relations.

(a) In general.

To provide by ordinance an orderly procedure for participation by municipal employees and their
representatives in the formulation of labor relations and personnel policies, recognizing the right
of employees to organize and bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing
and generally authorizing the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore to provide for

(1)the manner of establishing units appropriate for collective bargaining and of designating
or selecting exclusive bargaining representatives;

(2)the rights of the employer, employees and the employee organization designated as the
exclusive representative in an appropriate unit;

(3)the procedure for the negotiation of a collective bargaining agreement with respect to the
terms and conditions of employment and the manner for resolution of a negotiation

(4)the payment of a service fee, as a condition of continuing employment, for administration
of the collective bargaining agreement and the right of the exclusive representative to the
checkoff of dues or service fees;

(5)the designation of unfair labor practices and remedies for the same;

(6)the definition of a grievance and the procedure for resolution; and

(7)other related matters to effectuate the ordinance.

The Mayor and City Council of Baltimore are authorized, consistent with the provisions of the
Charter of Baltimore City, to submit to binding arbitration any dispute arising from the
interpretation of, or the application of, any collective bargaining agreement with an exclusive
representative. Binding arbitration for fire fighters and fire officers shall be conducted as
provided in subsection (b).

This section does not authorize a strike by any municipal employee or employees.

Until amended by ordinance, the presently existing municipal employee relations ordinance shall
remain in force and effect.

(b) Arbitration for fire personnel.

(1)If the certified employee organization or organizations representing fire fighters and fire
officers within the Fire Department and the employer have not reached a written agreement
concerning terms and conditions of employment by March 1 of any year, either party may
request arbitration by a board of arbitration, as herein provided, which request must be

(2)The board of arbitration shall be composed of 3 members, 1 appointed by the Mayor, and 1
appointed jointly by the certified employee organizations representing the fire fighters and
fire officers involved. These members shall be selected within 4 days of the request for
arbitration. The third member shall be selected within 4 additional days by the 2 arbitrators
previously chosen and in accordance with the procedures of the American Arbitration
Association from a list furnished by the Association. Such member selected shall act as
chairman of the board of arbitration.
The board of arbitration thus established shall commence the arbitration proceedings within 7
days after the chairman is selected and shall make its decision, by a majority vote, within 15
days after the commencement of the arbitration proceedings. For good cause the chairman
may extend the time requirement set forth herein.

(3)Within 3 days after the selection of the chairman of the board of arbitration, the Labor
Commissioner or his designated representative shall provide to each member of the board of
arbitration and to all parties, a detailed itemization of the last proposal made by the respective
parties during the negotiations.

(4)The board of arbitration shall identify the major issues in the dispute, review the positions of
all parties and shall take into consideration wages, benefits, hours, and other working
conditions of other fire department and public safety employees in Maryland as well as in
comparable metropolitan political subdivisions in other states, and shall also consider the
value of other benefits available to or received by other employees of the Mayor and City
Council of Baltimore as compared with private sector employees in the metropolitan
Baltimore City area and as compared with employees of other fire departments and other
public safety employees. The board of arbitration shall further consider consumer prices for
goods and services and other related items, cost of living data, and such other factors, not
confined to the foregoing, which are normally utilized in the determination of wages and
other benefits in the collective bargaining process, and shall also take into account the
financial condition of the City.

(5)The board of arbitration shall have the power to administer oaths, compel the attendance of
witnesses, and require the production of evidence by subpoena.

(6)The board of arbitration after hearing witnesses and considering and receiving such written
evidence as may be submitted shall, by written decision, order the implementation, in its
entirety, of the last proposal of one of the respective parties previously submitted in
accordance with subparagraph (c) of this section.

(7)The decision of the majority of the board of arbitration thus established shall be final and
binding upon the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore and upon the certified employee
organizations involved in the proceedings. No appeal therefrom shall be allowed. Such
decision shall constitute a mandate to the Mayor of Baltimore City in respect to such matters
which can be remedied administratively by him, and as a mandate to the Board of Estimates
and the City Council with respect to matter(s) which require legislative action necessary to
implement the decision of the board of arbitration.

With respect to matters which require legislative action for implementation, such legislation
shall be enacted within 45 days following the date of the arbitration decision.

With respect to salaries and wage scales, the amounts determined by the final decision of the
board of arbitration shall be included in the proposed Ordinance of Estimates in accordance
with Section 2(c)(1) of Article VI, shall not be reduced by the City Council in accordance
with Section 2(g) of Article VI, and shall be adopted by the Board of Estimates as the salary
and wage scales for employees of the Fire Department in accordance with Section 5 of
Article VI.

(8)The cost of the arbitration proceedings provided for herein shall be borne equally by the
parties involved.
(Ch. 704, Acts of 1985.)