§ 39-18-17 Labor relations with employees of acquired transit facilities.
(a) Whenever the authority acquires transit property facilities under the provisions of this chapter, the authority shall continue the payment of all pensions and retirement allowances under and in accordance with the pension plan in effect at the time of the acquisition.
(b) As of the date of the acquisition of the transit property under the provisions of this chapter, such officers and employees as may be determined by the authority to be qualified and necessary for the carrying on of the transit operations shall be transferred to and become officers and employees of the authority, it being the intention hereof that transit property facilities acquired by the authority shall at all times be operated under personnel qualified to supervise mass transit facilities. No officer or employee so transferred and becoming an officer or employee of the authority in accordance with this section shall, by reason of the transfer, without his or her consent be removed, lowered in rank or compensation, or suspended except for just cause and for reasons specifically given to him or her in writing within twenty-four (24) hours after the removal, suspension, or transfer or lowering in rank or compensation; nor shall any officer or employee by reason of transfer, without his or her consent, be in any worse position in respect to workers' compensation, pension, superannuation, sickness, or other benefits or other allowances granted by his or her previous employer to him or her, the widowed person, family, or personal representatives than he or she enjoyed under any person, firm, or corporation under whom he or she held his or her employment immediately prior to his or her transfer to the employment of the authority; provided, however, that the authority may abolish any office or post of any existing executive officer if in the opinion of the authority the office or post is an unreasonable addition to the staff of the authority. The authority shall have the authority to bargain collectively with labor organizations representing employees of the authority and to enter into agreements with the organizations relative to wages, salaries, hours, working conditions, health benefits, pensions, and retirement allowances of the employees.
(c) In case of any labor dispute where collective bargaining does not result in agreement, the authority shall offer to submit the dispute to arbitration by a board composed of three (3) persons, one appointed by the authority, one appointed by the labor organization representing the employees, and a third member to be agreed upon by the labor organization and the authority. The member selected by the labor organization and the authority shall act as chairperson of the board. The determination of the majority of the board of arbitration thus established shall be final and binding on all matters in dispute. If after a period of ten (10) days from the date of the appointment of the two (2) arbitrators representing the authority and the labor organization, the third arbitrator has not been selected then either arbitrator may request the American arbitration association to furnish a list of five (5) persons from which the third arbitrator shall be selected. The arbitrators appointed by the authority and the labor organization promptly after the receipt of the list, shall determine by lot the order of elimination, and, thereafter, each shall in that order alternately eliminate one name until only one name remains. The remaining person on the list shall be the third arbitrator. The term "labor dispute" shall be broadly construed and shall include any controversy concerning wages, salaries, hours, working conditions, or benefits including health and welfare, sick leave, insurance or pension or retirement provisions, but not limited thereto and including any controversy concerning any differences or questions that may arise between the parties including but not limited to the making or maintaining of collective bargaining agreements, the terms to be included in the agreements and the interpretation or application of the collective bargaining agreements and any grievances that may arise. Each party shall pay one half (1/2) of the expenses of the arbitration.
(P.L. 1964, ch. 210, § 1.)