Cornell University

Cornell Labor Arbitration & Mediation Services

450 Research Building, 607-255-1124

Agency Fee Arbitration Rules


  1. Commencement of Arbitration:  The union shall notify the Cornell Labor Arbitration Administrator that it requests arbitration arising out of a challenge from one or more employees regarding union fees.  The written request must provide the names and addresses of the union and the employees who have challenged the union’s fees.
  2. Application of Rules: A union may request administration by Cornell ADR to provide arbitration of an agency fee dispute. Cornell rules are subject to applicable laws as well as the internal procedures of the union involved. The union’s request for arbitration must also provide a description of the issues involved as well as any applicable time limits.
  3. Arbitrator Appointment Procedure: Upon receipt of an initiating letter, Cornell Labor Arbitration’s Case Manager shall appoint an arbitrator from a special panel of arbitrators experienced in employment relations and agency fee issues. The appointed arbitrator is required to hear and decide such issues in accordance with applicable law and union’s internal procedures, and who is prepared to meet the applicable time limits. The Case Manager will notify the parties of the arbitrator’s appointment.
  4. Disclosure and Challenge Procedure: Any prospective or designated neutral arbitrator shall disclose to the Case Manager any circumstance likely to affect impartiality or the impression of impartiality. Upon receipt of this information, the Case Manager shall communicate the information to the parties. If a party objects to the continued service of a neutral arbitrator, the Case Manager, after consultation with the parties and the arbitrator, shall determine whether the arbitrator should be disqualified and shall communicate the decision to the parties. The Case Manager's decision is final.
  5. Date, Time, and Place of Hearing: The Arbitrator will set the date and time of the   hearing.  Notice of the date, time and place of the hearing will be mailed to the parties not later than 14 days in advance of the hearing.
  6. Representation: Any party may be represented by counsel or other
    authorized representative.
  7. Postponements: All requests for hearing postponements will be decided by the arbitrator.
  8. Stenographic Record & Interpreters:
    a.
    Any Party may arrange for a stenographic or other record to be made of the hearing and shall inform the other parties in advance of the hearing. The requesting party shall bear the cost of such stenographic record. If all other parties agree to share the cost of the stenographic record, it shall be made available to the arbitrator and may be used in the proceeding.

    b. If there is no agreement to share the cost, the stenographic record may not be provided to the Arbitrator and may not be used in the proceeding unless the party arranging for the stenographic record either agrees to provide access to the stenographic record at no charge or on terms that are acceptable to the parties and the reporting service.

    c. If a party requests the services of an interpreter, that party must make the arrangements directly with the interpreter and is responsible for the interpreter's fees and costs.
  9. Attendance at Hearings:  The arbitrator shall maintain the confidentially of the hearings unless the law provides to the contrary.  Persons having a direct interest in the arbitration are entitled to attend the hearings.  The arbitrator shall have the power to require the retirement of any witness during the testimony of other witnesses.  It shall be up to the arbitrator’s discretion to determine the propriety of the attendance of any other person.
  10. Order of Proceedings: The arbitrator shall determine how the case can bet be presented so that all parties have a fair opportunity to contest the issues.  The names and addresses of all witnesses and exhibits in the order received shall be made a part of the record.  The arbitrator shall afford full opportunity for presentation of relevant proofs.
  11. Arbitration in the Absence of a Party: Unless the law provides to the contrary, if  any party fails to be present or fails to obtain an adjournment and the arbitrator is persuaded that due notice has been given, the arbitrator may proceed with the arbitration in the absence of any party or party representative.
  12. Evidence: The parties may offer such evidence as they desire and shall produce such additional evidence as the arbitrator may deem necessary to an understanding and determination of the dispute.  The arbitrator shall be the judge of the relevance and materiality of the evidence offered and conformity to legal rules of evidence shall not be necessary.
  13. Evidence by Affidavit and Filing of Documents: The arbitrator may receive and consider the evidence of witnesses by affidavit, giving it only such weight as seems proper after consideration of any objection made to it admission.
  14. Date and Delivery of Award to Parties: The arbitrator's award is deemed to be rendered on the date it is transmitted to Cornell by the arbitrator either by regular mail, electronically, or via facsimile. Parties to these rules agree to accept as legal delivery of the award the placing of the award or a true copy thereof in the mail, electronically or by facsimile by the Case Manager addressed to the party at its last known address or to its representative. The Award of the arbitrator shall be in writing and signed and shall be accompanied by written explanation of the arbitrator’s decision.
  15. Closing of Hearings: Once the hearings are completed and, if applicable, all briefs have been submitted, the hearing shall be declared closed.  A decision by the arbitrator shall be rendered within thirty-five (35) days, if briefs are filed and thirty (30) days if there are no briefs filed, unless the parties mutually agree to extend the time of the award.
  16. Reopening of Hearings: Any party may move to reopen the hearings, or the arbitrator may reopen the hearings on his or her initiative, at any time prior to the final award being rendered.
  17. Extensions of Time: The parties, by mutual agreement, may modify any time period set forth in these procedures or the parties own procedures.
  18. Judicial Proceedings: Cornell ADR shall, upon the written request of a party, furnish to such party, at its expense, certified facsimiles of any papers in Cornell ADR's possession that may be required in judicial proceedings relating to the arbitration.

    a. Neither Cornell ADR nor any arbitrator in a proceeding under these rules is a necessary party in judicial proceedings relating to the arbitration.

    b. Neither Cornell ADR nor any arbitrator shall be liable to any party for any act or omission in connection with any arbitration conducted under these rules or in any proceeding administered by Cornell ADR.
  19. Communication with Arbitrator: Direct communication between the parties and a neutral arbitrator on substantive matters relating to the case other than at oral hearings is prohibited, unless the parties and the arbitrator agree otherwise. However this rule does not prohibit communications on no substantive matters such as travel arrangements and driving directions. And, the rule does not prohibit direct communications in special circumstances (such as emergency delays) when the Case Manager is unavailable.
  20. Interpretation and Application of Rules: Once appointed, the arbitrator shall resolve disputes about the interpretation and applicability of these rules insofar as they relate to the arbitrator’s powers and duties including the conduct of the hearing. The resolution of any issue by the arbitrator shall be final. In cases involving more than one arbitrator, issues involving this section shall be decided by a majority of the panel. If such a decision is not obtainable, the Case Manager will decide the issue.
  21. Administrative Fee: Cornell shall charge a fee payable by the union to compensate Cornell for the cost of providing necessary administrative service.
  22. Expenses:  The expenses of witnesses shall be paid by the party producing such witnesses.
  23. Arbitrator Compensation: The Arbitrator will be compensated by the union, in accordance with their per-diem rate currently on file for that arbitrator.
  24. Hearing Room Rental: Hearing rooms are available on a rental basis at Cornell Upstate offices. Please check with the Case Manager for specific availability and rates.