(a)Definition.—In this section, the term “public welfare” includes, with respect to arbitration under an interstate compact—
the financial ability of the individual jurisdictions participating in the compact to pay for the costs of providing public transit services; and
the average per capita tax burden, during the term of the collective bargaining agreement to which the arbitration relates, of the residents of the Washington metropolitan area, and the effect of an arbitration award rendered under that arbitration on the respective income or property tax rates of the jurisdictions that provide subsidy payments to the interstate compact agency established under the compact.
(b)Factors in Making Arbitration Award.—An arbitrator rendering an arbitration award involving the employees of an interstate compact agency operating in the national capital area may not make a finding or a decision for inclusion in a collective bargaining agreement governing conditions of employment without considering the following factors:
The existing terms and conditions of employment of the employees in the bargaining unit.
All available financial resources of the interstate compact agency.
The annual increase or decrease in consumer prices for goods and services as reflected in the most recent consumer price index for the Washington metropolitan area, published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The wages, benefits, and terms and conditions of the employment of other employees who perform, in other jurisdictions in the Washington standard metropolitan statistical area, services similar to those in the bargaining unit.
The special nature of the work performed by the employees in the bargaining unit, including any hazards or the relative ease of employment, physical requirements, educational qualifications, job training and skills, shift assignments, and the demands placed upon the employees as compared to other employees of the interstate compact agency.
(6) The interests and welfare of the employees in the bargaining unit, including—
the overall compensation presently received by the employees, having regard not only for wage rates but also for wages for time not worked, including vacations, holidays, and other excused absences;
all benefits received by the employees, including previous bonuses, insurance, and pensions; and
the continuity and stability of employment.
(c)Ability To Finance Salaries and Benefits Provided in Award.—
An arbitrator rendering an arbitration award involving the employees of an interstate compact agency operating in the national capital area may not, with respect to a collective bargaining agreement governing conditions of employment, provide for salaries and other benefits that exceed the ability of the interstate compact agency, or of any governmental jurisdiction that provides subsidy payments or budgetary assistance to the interstate compact agency, to obtain the necessary financial resources to pay for wage and benefit increases for employees of the interstate compact agency.
(d) Requirements for Final Award.—
In resolving a dispute submitted to arbitration involving the employees of an interstate compact agency operating in the national capital area, the arbitrator shall issue a written award that demonstrates that all the factors set forth in subsections (b) and (c) have been considered and applied.
An award may grant an increase in pay rates or benefits (including insurance and pension benefits), or reduce hours of work, only if the arbitrator concludes that any costs to the agency do not adversely affect the public welfare.
The arbitrator’s conclusion regarding the public welfare must be supported by substantial evidence.