Baltimore Charter Decoded

Accessible Law for All People

§ VII-53 Fire Department: arbitration for fire fighters and officers.

(a) Request for arbitration.

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 honored.

(b) Board of arbitrationselection; proceedings generally.

The board of arbitration shall be composed of three members, one appointed by the Mayor, and
one appointed jointly by the certified employee organizations representing the fire fighters and
fire officers involved. These members shall be selected within four days of the request for
arbitration. The third member shall be selected within four additional days by the two 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
seven days after the chairman is selected and shall make its decision, by a majority vote, within
fifteen days after the commencement of the arbitration proceedings. For good cause the
chairman may extend the time requirement set forth herein.

(c) Submission of last proposals.

Within three 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.

(d) Considerations.

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.

(e) Oaths, subpoenas, etc.

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

(f) Decisionin general.

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.

(g) Decisionimplementation.

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 matters 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 forty-five 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 Article VI, Section 4(a), shall not be reduced by the City Council in accordance with Article
VI, Section 7(a), 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 12 of Article VI.

(h) Costs.

The cost of the arbitration proceedings provided for herein shall be borne equally by the parties
involved.

Department of Health

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