Grievances, Arbitration & Past Practices

September 22-24, 2021
The Luxor
Las Vegas, Nevada


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    Wednesday, September 22, 2021

    9:00 Introduction And Recent Developments In Public Safety Labor Issues

    Recent developments from around the country in the area of public safety labor relations, including:

    • A review of wage and benefit settlements over the last six months in public safety agencies.
    • Police reform legislation, and how it can impact all public safety employees.
    • The new world of social media discipline.
    • Phones, flash drives, GPS trackers, and other electronic equipment.
    • How the privacy rights of employees depend upon the circumstances.

    Will Aitchison, Attorney at Law, Public Safety Labor Group, LLP;
    Executive Director, LRIS.

    10:30 The Impact Of Past Practice On Collective Bargaining

    • The two ways that a past practice is important: In interpreting a collective bargaining agreement, and in limiting an employer’s ability to make changes in rules and operations.
    • The continuing nature of the duty to bargain and how past practices can require mid-contract negotiations.
    • The topics that are mandatory for bargaining, including hours of work issues, disciplinary standards and proceedings, civilianization, staffing, residency, and more.
    • The elements that make a past practice binding, and the steps an employer must follow to make changes in past practices.

    Will Aitchison.

    12:00 Lunch (Included in registration)

    1:00 The Impact Of Past Practice On Collective Bargaining

    Continued from the morning session.

    2:00 Basic Principles Of Grievances And Arbitration

    • A discussion of sample grievance procedure language.
    • A discussion of what is grievable and what is not.
    • The detail necessary on a grievance.
    • Time limits in a grievance procedure.
    • The advisability of grievance meetings rather than written processing.
    • Selecting arbitrators.
    • The basics of how an arbitration hearing is conducted.
    • The finality of arbitration decisions.
    • The relationship between grievance procedures, unfair labor practices, and lawsuits in court.

    Will Aitchison.

    4:00 Adjournment

    4:15 Hosted Reception

    Thursday, September 23, 2021

    9:00 The Special Case Of Social Media

    • The negotiability of social media rules.
    • The First Amendment, labor law principles, and off-duty social media use.
    • The types of social media speech likely to be protected and unprotected, and why.
    • How arbitrators consider social media questions.

    Anil Karia, Attorney at Law, Public Safety Labor Group, LLP.

    10:30       A Grievance And Arbitration Checklist

    A basic checklist that both labor and management representatives can use whenever a grievance is at hand.

    • The goals of the checklist are to ensure that all possible relevant issues are researched and considered and to provide a vehicle for evaluation of the merits of a grievance.
    • Topics on the checklist include Bargaining History, Past Practice, Historical Contracts, Prior Arbitration Decisions, Other Grievance Resolutions, and more.

    Anil Karia.

    12:00 Lunch (Included in registration)

    1:00 How An Arbitrator Looks At Grievances

    • When an arbitrator will look beyond the language of the contract to determine the meaning of the contract.
    • The types of evidence considered in interpreting contracts, including bargaining history, past practice, and evidence of practices under other contracts.
    • From an arbitrator’s perspective, the factors that make a past practice binding.
    • The interpretation aids arbitrators use in interpreting and applying contract language.
    • How arbitrators decide who has the burden of proof, and how much proof is necessary?
    • The rules of evidence in arbitration, including issues of hearsay and relevance.
    • The decision-making process – what’s convincing and what is not?

    Margaret Brogan, Arbitrator and Mediator, Philadelphia, PA.

    4:00 Adjournment

    Friday, September 24, 2021

    8:30 Principles Of Just Cause And Disciplinary Grievances

    A point-counterpoint discussion featuring management and labor perspectives:

    • The 12 elements of the requirement of just cause for discipline and how they arise in public safety disciplinary grievances.
    • Principles covered will include progressive discipline, disparate treatment, the burden of proof in disciplinary cases, the need for clear and understandable work rules, the timeliness of disciplinary action, and proportionate punishment.

    Harry Stern, Managing Principal, Rains Lucia Stern St. Phalle & Silver, PC.
    Keri-Lyn Krafthefer, Attorney at Law and Equity Partner, Ancel Glink.

    11:30 Adjournment


    The Luxor
    3900 Las Vegas Blvd South
    Las Vegas, NV 89119

    Room rates Tuesday through Thursday nights are $79 per night, plus a $30 resort fee and 13.38% tax. Rates Friday and Saturday nights are $139 plus resort fee and tax.

    To make arrangements, visit the hotel’s website or call the hotel directly and request the group rate for this seminar. A limited number of rooms are available at these rates on Friday and Saturday nights, so book early if you plan to stay over. Reservations must be made by August 20, 2021. Reservations received after this date will be on a space-available basis only and at the prevailing rate.


    Will Aitchison
    Mr. Aitchison is a Portland, Oregon attorney who has represented over 100 law enforcement and firefighter labor organizations in five western states. He is a veteran of hundreds of public sector labor negotiations. He received his Doctor of Jurisprudence from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. and is the author of several books on public sector labor matters, including The Rights of Law Enforcement Officers (7th Edition), and The Rights of Firefighters (4th Edition).

    Margaret Brogan
    Ms. Brogan is a full-time labor arbitrator and mediator, with offices in Oakland, CA and Philadelphia, PA. She is the immediate past-president of the National Academy of Arbitrators. In her 29 years of arbitration practice, she has had significant experience with regard to public safety employees in both the grievance and interest arbitration forums. She received her J.D. from Villanova University, and has been on the adjunct faculty for both the University of California, at Berkeley, School of Law, and St. Joseph’s University.

    Anil Karia
    Mr. Karia is a founding member of the Public Safety Labor Group in Portland, OR. He has been practicing union-side labor law since 2009. He specializes in representing law enforcement associations and guilds in Oregon, Washington, and Alaska in all aspects of their labor relations and is general counsel for police associations and guilds of all sizes, including the Portland Police Association. He has bargained many labor agreements and has participated in numerous arbitrations on their behalf. He graduated from Reed College in 1999, and obtained his law degree from the University of Oregon School of Law in 2006.

    Keri-Lyn J. Krafthefer
    Keri-Lyn has spent her entire career representing Illinois municipalities, townships, park districts, library districts, and school districts, and their officials in the day-to-day matters that arise, including corporate matters, labor and employment matters, tax objections, as well as in litigation. She represents politicians and candidates in election law matters, including ballot access, referenda, campaign finance and related matters. Keri-Lyn also serves as one of the primary attorneys for the Municipal Clerks of Illinois. She received her B.A. from the University of Illinois and her J.D. from The John Marshall Law School.

    Harry Stern
    Mr. Stern is the managing partner of the California law firm Rains Lucia Stern St. Phalle Silver. His practice is focused on civil litigation and criminal defense. He has successfully defended peace officers in a number of high-profile trials. He regularly represents peace officers in internal investigations, administrative hearings, coroner’s inquests, grand jury proceedings and related court actions. He is a graduate of the University of San Francisco.


    P.O.S.T. Certification
    Peace Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) credits may be available on a state-by-state basis. If you would like information on your state, please contact Seminar Coordinator Claire Cowan at (503) 282-5440 or Claire@LRIS.com prior to the seminar.

    Continuing Legal Education certification
    LRIS has been approved as a CLE provider by the State Bar of California. This program will qualify for 12.5 hours of MCLE credit by the State Bar of California. If you require certification from any other state, please call Seminar Coordinator Claire Cowan at (503) 282-5440 or Claire@LRIS.com  prior to the seminar.

    Registration fees are $795 per person; $695 per person if three or more attend from the same organization. Registration fees include attendance, lunch on the first two days of the seminar, all seminar materials, and a hospitality reception on the first evening.

    Each attendee will receive a handbook containing extensive written materials pertaining to each of the subjects addressed.

    Reservations may be canceled up to ten days prior to the seminar with a full refund. Cancellations made within ten days are subject to a $150 fee. Substitutions may be made at any time.

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