The referendum impasse resolution procedure and its potential application to the education profession

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


The purpose of this dissertation was to determine the degree of acceptance of the referendum impasse resolution procedure in education and to determine under what conditions such a procedure would be most readily accepted.

A survey research design was used. Teacher negotiation statutes of the fifty states were categorized into four strata. One representative state from each strata was selected (Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia), Specific populations were assigned representation of the major interest groups in teacher negotiations (school board chairmen, local association presidents, local superintendents, and local elected officials) and were sampled within the selected states.

lt was concluded from the principal findings that the degree of acceptance of the referendum procedure was generally greater than the acceptance of interest arbitration, the strike, or the absence of an impasse resolution procedure. The conditions which contributed to the acceptance of the procedure included: the district's labor relations environment; the district's financial dependency; the district's average teacher salary; the district's community type; and experience with, and the perceptions of, other impasse resolution procedures used in the district.

The study provided several implications for the education profession. The referendum impasse resolution procedure is a potentially viable alternative impasse procedure for education negotiation impasse. The referendum procedure is most likely to be accepted in states or localities where interest arbitration and/or the strike are commonly used.