Look here for information on examinations in IRL 402.  When will the mid-term be held?  Will there be changes?  Also look here for sample exam questions, specifically the questions from the final exam the last time the course was offered.

Exam Schedule
The mid-term exam is scheduled for Wednesday, March 15.  It will cover all the material until that point in the course.
The final exam is scheduled for the exam week.  As dicusssed in class, it will be Wednesday, May 10, at 9:00 a.m. in room R340.  It will be comprehensive.

Sample Exam Questions
Here you will find all questions from the final exam the last time the course was given.  Essentially the exam has two parts.  The first is a conventional examination asking about various concepts covered in the class.  The second is a case, a fact pattern, which you are asked to analyze.  The second part is "open book, open notes."
IRL 402 Le Moyne College
May 2005 Cliff Donn
Final Examination
Instructions: This examination has three parts. You must complete all three. Two are attached here and the third is separate. Answer as completely as possible in the space provided but do not exceed that space. Give relevant examples wherever possible.
PART A: Answer four and only four of the following five questions.
1) What is superseniority and why does it exist? Explain.
2) What is hearsay evidence? How is it treated in arbitration and how do courts treat it?
3) Why is management often not given the contractual right to use the grievance procedure? Explain!
4) What is substantive arbitrability? Provide an example and explain.
5) What is a default award? Explain.
PART B: Answer four and only four of the following five questions.
1) What is a "management rights clause" in a collective bargaining agreement? What purpose does it serve?
2) What is a "past practice?" How is it relevant to the way arbitrators decide cases?
3) Under what circumstances are arbitrators likely to give the interpretation of statutory meaning by courts relatively little weight?
4) Under what circumstances might an arbitrator uphold the discharge of an employee even when there was no specific rule prohibiting what the employee did? Explain.
5) Identify and explain at least two sets of circumstances in which an arbitrator might uphold the discipline of an employee for holding a second job (i.e.moonlighting)..

This section contains the case, i.e. fact pattern, that students were asked to analyze as the first part of the final exam.
IRL 402 Le Moyne College
May 2005 Cliff Donn
Read the following case and in the space provided write a decision as though you are the arbitrator in this case.  I shall be evaluating the organization of your answer as well as your reasoning and your use of the concepts discussed during the course. 

This case involves the Happy Valley Central School District (the District) and the Happy Valley Teachers Association (the Association). The hearing in this matter was held on May 6, 2003. The parties filed briefs which were due on June 10, 2003. The briefs were received and the record closed at that time.


At the hearing the parties agreed to phrase the issue to be determined by the arbitrator as:

Did the District violate the collective bargaining agreement concerning salary, Article IIIA and Appendix A, in determining salaries for newly hired teachers? If so, what shall the remedy be?


The interpretation of the following contractual language is in dispute:

Article III


A. Schedules

1. The salaries of all teachers in the Happy Valley Central School District will be based upon the salary schedule attached as Appendix A.


The facts which led to the instant arbitration are quite simple and are not in dispute. The District has hired teachers over the past year and placed them on the salary scale beyond what their years of experience would indicate. New teachers were hired above Step 1 (the starting step on the scale) and all new teachers were in essence credited with at least one more year of experience than their records indicated they possessed. Some were credited with more. The District also hired part-time teachers and, in at least some cases, negotiated salaries directly with them disregarding the salary schedule. The Association asserts that these practices violate the collective bargaining agreement while the District asserts that they do not.
The only section of the contract which deals explicitly with "out-of-district" experience is that part of Article III which addresses longevity payments. There, a table was created which essentially counts each year of out-of-district experience as half a year of district experience. A practice similar to this had sometimes been used in hiring new teachers and placing them on the salary scale, a practice which apparently disturbed the Association and which it attempted to modify in collective bargaining negotiations but the relevant language was never changed.


The Superintendent of Schools in the District, Mr. George Jamison, asserts that he has sole discretion to place new teachers on the salary scale as he sees fit. The District asserts that this is the practice which has been followed for many years and that it has been common for new teachers to be placed on the salary scale at a level different from that indicated by their years of experience. In the language of the District brief, "The provisions of Article II, A and Appendix A of the negotiated agreement do not require the school district to place newly hired teachers on any specific step of the salary schedule." The District argues that there is no language in the agreement which requires that the steps of the salary scale be interpreted as the Association has requested.
The District asserts additionally that the Association has attempted in the past to negotiate limits to the discretion of the Superintendent to place new teachers on the salary scale. However, the Association was never successful in having those limits included in the collective bargaining agreement. Accordingly, the District argues that the Association should not be able to secure in arbitration that which it failed to win in negotiations.
The Association argues that the clear language of the collective bargaining agreement, Article III,A,1. limits the discretion of the Superintendent in placing teachers on the salary scale. That is, the steps on the salary scale must correspond to the experience credited to the teacher.
The Association asserts that, prior to the 2001-2002 school year, the context in which this issue existed was that the District did not always credit teachers new to the District with all of the experience that they claimed. Its witnesses testified that the attempts to negotiate limits to the discretion of the Superintendent in placing teachers on the salary scale were aimed only at requiring that at least some amount of prior experience be credited. In the words of the Association brief, "The Association has long recognized the employer's right to evaluate previous work experience of teachers newly hired by the District and to credit all, some, or none of that experience for salary step placement. However, the Association does not accept the assertion of the employer that it can credit experience where none exists."
The Association also argues that the District's interpretation of the salary scale would, in effect, nullify the longevity payment provision of the collective bargaining agreement. That section credits time served in the Happy Valley District more than time served elsewhere. The Association notes that the District's position would allow the District to overcome that by placing new teachers higher on the schedule than their experience merits, in effect treating them as longer serving employees than they are.
Essentially, the Association argues that the District is subverting the collective bargaining process by subverting the salary scale. It argues that if the District finds its salary scale is not sufficiently attractive to new teachers, its remedy is to negotiate with the Association over that scale. It cannot offer those new teachers years of experience (i.e. steps) which they have no claim to having earned.