The Arbitration Process for Interest Disputes

If the parties are unable to resolve their differences in conciliation and they are unable to agree to an arbitrator or chair of a board of arbitration, either party may request the Chair of the Arbitration Commission to appoint an arbitrator under section 122 of the Police Services Act.

Method of Arbitration

The method of arbitration is mediation-arbitration unless the Chair selects mediation-final offer selection or conventional arbitration.


Mediation is the first stage of this dispute resolution mechanism. The mediator-arbitrator will attempt to facilitate an agreed-to settlement between the parties.

The second stage, arbitration, occurs if mediation is unsuccessful. In this stage the mediator-arbitrator will make a written decision that is final and binding on the parties.

Prior to making a decision, the arbitrator will hear written and oral arguments on the issues and base his/her award according to the evidence produced.

Mediation-Final Offer Selection

The mediation stage is the same as in mediation-arbitration.

In the arbitration stage, the selector will request a “final” offer from each party, hear arguments supporting them and select one of the “final” offers. This decision is final and binding.

Final offer selection can either be on the “total package” or on an “issue by issue” bases.

Conventional Arbitration

The parties make representations to the arbitrator supporting their positions on the issues.

The arbitrator will make an award that is a final and binding decision based on the evidence produced.

Time for Hearing

The first day of hearing must be within 30 days after the appointment of the arbitrator or mediator-arbitrator, unless the parties agree to extend this time frame.

Time for Decision

Unless the parties agree to an extension, a decision should be made within 90 days of appointment.

Remuneration and Expenses

Each party pays one-half of the remuneration and expenses of the arbitrator or chair, appointed by the Chair of the Arbitration Commission.

Filing of Awards, Decisions and Collective Agreements

Awards and Decisions

The arbitrator or chair of the arbitration board must file a copy of the decision or award with the Arbitration Commission.

Collective Agreements

The Chair of the Police Services Board is required, under section 119 (4) of the Police Services Act, to file a copy of all current collective agreements with the Arbitration Commission.