Seminar Information


Grievances, Arbitration And Past Practices

September 26 to September 28, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
The Flamingo Las Vegas



September 26, 2018

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

Recent developments from around the country in the area of public safety labor relations.

  • Recent court decisions and laws enacted by Congress.
  • Recent changes in state public sector bargaining laws.
  • Discussion of the ADA, the FMLA, physical fitness plans, sexual discrimination, the Garrity Rule, the Weingarten Rule, and affirmative action.
  • A review of national trends on wages and benefits.

Will Aitchison

10:30 am – 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 pm – Lunch (Included in registration)

1:00 pm – The Impact Of Past Practice On Collective Bargaining, continued from the morning session.

2:00 pm – 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 pm – Adjournment

4:15 pm – Hosted Reception

September 27, 2018

9:00 am – 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

12:00 pm – Lunch (Included in registration)

1:00 pm – 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

4:00 pm – Adjournment

September 28, 2018

8:30 am – 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 and Jon Holtzman

11:30 am – Adjournment

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Hotel And Travel

The Flamingo Las Vegas

3555 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
702-733-3111 • 800-732-2111


The LINQ Hotel
3535 Las Vegas Blvd South
(702) 369-5162 • (888) 458-8471

To make arrangements, visit or call the hotel directly and request the group rate for this seminar. For the Flamingo, use Group Code SFGAP8 Room rates Tuesday through Thursday nights are $112 per night, plus a $29 per room, per night resort fee and 13.38% tax.  Rates Friday and Saturday nights are $145 plus resort fee and tax. For the Linq, use Group Code SQGAP8. Room rates Tuesday through Thursday nights are $160 per night, plus a $30 per room, per night resort fee and 13.38% tax.  Rates Friday and Saturday nights are $225 plus resort fee and tax. 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 September 3, 2018. Reservations received after this date will be on a space-available basis only and at the prevailing rate.

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Will Aitchison

Mr. Aitchison is a Portland, Oregon attorney who has, over the course of his career, 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 (6th 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 currently the president of the National Academy of Arbitrators. In her 28 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 Doctor of Jurisprudence from Villanova University.

Jon Holtzman

Mr. Holtzman is a founding partner of Renne Sloan Holtzman Sakai LLP (Public Law Group®). He frequently speaks and writes on matters pertaining to municipal bankruptcy, ballot initiatives, interest arbitration, bargaining, fact finding, comparability, fiscal analysis for bargaining, and pension and retirement medical programs. Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Holtzman served as Director of Labor and Policy in the office of San Francisco Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr. and was San Francisco’s Chief Deputy City Attorney. Mr. Holtzman graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Haverford College in Pennsylvania in 1978, with honors in political science. He attended Stanford Law School, graduating in 1981.

Anil Karia

Mr. Karia is a lawyer with the Public Safety Labor Group in Portland, Oregon. He specializes in representing public safety labor organizations, including the Portland Police Association, in all aspects of their labor relations. He is a graduate of the University of Oregon School of Law.

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.

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CLE And POST Certification

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 POST/CLE Coordinator Tanja Olson at (503) 282-5440 or Tanja at LRIS dot 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 POST/CLE Coordinator Tanja Olson at (503) 282-5440 or Tanja at LRIS dot com prior to the seminar.

Fees And Other Information


Registration fees are $695 per person; $595 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 notebook 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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