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The operations of the Mediation Board are directed from Washington, DC. No field offices are maintained. Field mediators, located at strategic duty stations, travel throughout the country depending on the need of the Board in providing service to its constituents as required by the Railway Labor Act.

The following table reflects actual travel expenses for FY 1977, and estimated figures for FYs 1978 and 1979. Approximately 50 percent of the travel days were spent in high cost geographical areas.

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Activity 2. Voluntary Arbitration and Emergency Disputes

(1978, $144,000)
(1979, $144,000)


Narrative Description of Program

Under the terms of section 10, of the Railway Labor Act, if a dispute threatens to interrupt interstate commerce, the President may create an Emergency Board to investigate and report to him on the dispute within 30 days. These boards serve a major purpose in focusing attention on issues involved in disputes which could seriously disrupt the economy of the nation. The parties are allowed adequate time to resolve their differences based upon the objective recommendations of the impartial board.

Section 5.3(a) of the Railway Labor Act provides that when mediation is unsuccessful, the Board shall endeavor to induce the parties to submit their controversy to arbitration under the provisions of section 7 of the Act. Voluntary interest arbitration under the Act has been promoted by the Board concerning "major" disputes. The railroad industry continuously has utilized arbitration boards to decide certain types of dispute issues which could otherwise result in interruptions to interstate commerce. Airline labor and management are placing an increasing reliance on this type of dispute resolution procedure.

In FY 1977, no emergency boards were created and in accordance with the Board's past practice the unused funds were returned to the U.S. Treasury. However, as repeatedly stated in the past, the Board cannot precisely predict the number of emergency boards that may be created during any given year. Such a prediction is contingent upon the national economy and the existing collective bargaining patterns in the industry.

Eight new arbitration boards were created and nine convened during FY 1977.

In FY 1978, it is essential, in estimating the number of labor unrest, prior to the present three year moratoriumt 17 A moratorium Is a negotiated agreement between the parties

that specifically excludes further bargaining on specified subjects during the duration of the agreement.

25-260 (Pt. 7) O - 78 - 55

During the years 1950, 1951, 1960 and 1962, national bargaining in the railroad industry was difficult. The failure to resolve through formal negotiations such sensitive issues as firemen manning and crew consist required a greater number of emergency boards than required in the past three year period (1.e., 1950: ll emergency boards; 1951: 6 emergency boards; 1960: 6 emergency boards; 1962: 6 emergency boards; as compared to 1974: 1 emergency board; 1975: 2 emergency boards; and 1976: 1 emergency board). During the present three year moratorium, railroad labor management relations has been stable. However, with the expiration of this moratorium, circumstances similar to the early 1950's and 1960's may emerge which could require the creation of the number of emergency boards estimated.

Similarly, it is estimated that the number of arbitration boards required will increase due to several airline agreements reached during negotiations in FY 1977, that include interest arbitration provisions.

In FY 1979, the estimates for both emergency boards and arbitration boards are based on the periods noted above.

Changes for 1979

Mandatory changes amount to..
Program changes amount to...




Activity 3a.

Adjustment of Railroad Grievances (National
Railroad Adjustment Board)
(1978, $893,800, pos. 28 permanent, 6 other than
(1979, $876,200, pos. 21 permanent, 6 other than

Narrative Description of Program

Under the 1934 amendment to the Railway Labor Act, the National Railroad Adjustment Board was created to hear and decide disputes involving railway employee grievances and questions concerning the application and interpretation of agreement rules.

The Adjustment Board is composed of four divisions on which the carriers and organizations representing the employees are equally represented. The jurisdiction of each division is described in section 3 First (n) of the Act.

Section 3(a) of the Railway Labor Act provides that the Adjustment Board' be composed of thirty-four members, seventeen of whom are selected and compensated by the carriers and seventeen of whom are selected and compensated by the major labor organizations. The headquarters of the Adjustment Board are in Chicago, Illinois.

When members of any of the four divisions are unable to agree upon an award on any dispute being considered, because of deadlock or inability to secure a majority vote, they are required under section 3 First (1) of the Act to attempt to agree upon and select a neutral person to sit with the division as a member and make an award. if the members fail to agree upon such neutral person within 10 days, the Act provides that that fact be certified to the National Mediation Board, whereupon the latter body selects the neutral person or referee.

In FY 1977, the National Railroad Adjustment Board closed 893 cases, 39 more than the 854 it received during the period. The amount of 1,830 referee man days was used in the course of the year.

In FY 1978, the National Railroad Adjustment Board anticipates 900 new cases will be received and 800 cases

closed. The estimate for a decrease in cases closed is predicated on the fact that 1,513 referee days are available, 317 days less than were available in 1977.

In FY 1979, he National Railroad Adjustment Board anticipates that 1,000 new cases will be received and that 1,034 cases will be closed. The estimate for FY 1979 contains monies for 1,558 referee days.

Referee costs will rise in FYs 1978 and 1979 due to an increase in the daily rate from $152.32 to $175.00 per day, which became effective October 1, 1977.

It should be noted that the Adjustment Board has no control over the number of cases submitted.

Changes for FY 1979

Changes amount to..


$ -30,000


The number of employees requested for the Adjustment. Board for FY 1979 is 21. The decrease in cost of $26,000 from FY 1978 is due to a reduction in the personnel ceiling. Twenty-eight positions were authorized for FY 1978, of which 25 are presently filled.

There is an increase of $13,000 in the amount available in FY 1979 for referee salaries. The total amount requested would provide 1,588 referee days, 75 more than were available in FY 1978.

A reduction of $5,000 in the amount available for personnel benefits is based on a reduction in the personnel ceiling outlined above,

The amount estimated for rent in fiscal year 1979 is $14,000 less than available in fiscal year 1978. The estimate was furnished by the General Services Administration for space leased at 220 So. State Street, Chicago, Illinois.


1977 Actual

1978 Estimate

1979 Estimate

National Railroad Adjustment



Cases pending, start of year...


1,543 Cases received during year.


900 1,000 Cases closed during year..

.1/ 893 goo

1,034 Cases pending, end of year.

1,443 1,543 1,509 1/ Includes referee and divisions awards, and cases withdrawn.

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