Arbitration Program takes participants through each step of the arbitration process from the initial filing of a grievance, to investigating and preparing the case, and the actual presentation of the arbitration itself. At the beginning of the week participants are given a case overview to work on which will ultimately be arbitrated at a simulated hearing at week's end.
Each participant who attends the arbitration program is assigned to work on a team which prepares a case for arbitration. The teams cover material relating to how the grievance originated, and analyze the merits of the case and the documentation which was created while the case moved through the grievance procedure. They also receive training on using published resources to fully research and develop a theory of the case prior to arbitration.
Each team then prepares a position paper which it will use to guide its case through the hearing, including opening and closing statements. The procedures governing the conduct of the hearing are covered as is the union's duty of fair representation. Participants are also given guidelines to follow when preparing evidence and witnesses for the hearing.
The culmination of the week occurs when each team presents a case in a simulated arbitration hearing. Professional arbitrators conduct hearings just as they would those which involve disputes between an employer and the IAM. When the hearing is completed the arbitrators announce their awards, explain the reason behind their decisions; and offer a critique of the teams' performance and answer questions from the participants about the arbitration process.