Legislators propose cap on binding arbitration awards

HARTFORD — State representatives Rosa Rebimbas, R-Naugatuck, and David Labriola, R-Oxford, have proposed limiting binding arbitration awards for increased wages to reflect, or stay within, the Consumer Price Index.

The current legislative session is one focused primarily on fiscal matters, and only legislative committees can propose non-budgetary bills. Rebimbas and Labriola wrote the Labor and Public Employees Committee to ask that they consider raising a bill to cap binding arbitration awards, according to a press release.

Binding arbitration is the process by which collective bargaining disputes are settled amongst three judges. These disputes typically arise between a town and a union over negotiations of a new or expired contract outlining benefits and wages.

“This is an important issue for Connecticut municipalities and I hope to see it through this session,” Labriola stated in the release. “I urge the Labor and Public Employees Committee to raise this bill for a public hearing.”

Rebimbas stated, “By indexing binding arbitration awards to the Consumer Price Index local municipalities will be better able to handle any potential additional expenses incurred through the arbitration award process. Local budgets are set months in advance and this legislation will protect towns and limit the damage from unreasonable contract awards that can cause serious budgetary impact.”