Yvonne Abraham (Laboring over a position, Boston Globe, October 3rd., 2013:B1) finds the arbitration award to police officers excessive. She derides arbitrators as being split the difference automatons. There is a better way: final offer arbitration.
This is the best procedure to use in public sector bargaining if
the parties cannot come to agreement themselves.. In final offer
arbitration, the city and the union would put forward heir best and
final offers. The arbitrator would hen select from the two positions.
This process forces both parties to come up with “reasonable
I would take strong exception to her acceptance of the norm that
“workers all over the city are taking no pay increases, or worse.”
This is not what we should expect; we should expect that workers
share in the productivity increases that the county has enjoyed. This
has not happened since the 1970's. Prior to 1970, employees shared
the wealth. Pay increases averaged 4.2% per year. between 1948 and
1970. Since 1975, pay increase have averaged 0.3% per year in
We need to return to a society that values the contribution of all
Sent to Boston Globe