University of Northern B.C. and the faculty association have agreed on New Westminster arbitrator Stanley Lanyon as the man who will determine their first collective agreement in binding arbitration.
While Lanyon doesn't have a background in post-secondary arbitration, for the faculty it was most important to have someone who had a strong record in labour relations issues, said Eric Jensen, vice-president of the faculty association.
"From our perspective we wanted to find someone who had good experience in frankly some complex labour arbitration," said Jenson, adding he was pulled from a long list of arbitrators both sides examined.
"When you establish a first agreement you want that to be quite solid because once you have that language embedded, it's actually quite difficult to get things change.
UNBC didn't provide comment on Lanyon's recommended appointment as they are still waiting on approval from the Labour Relations Board.
Jenson compared the arbitration process to a court case, with both sides bringing briefs, presenting oral descriptions and providing documentation to support their arguments.
But it may be some time before the sides meet with Lanyon who, like most "top tier" arbitrators, has a very busy schedule.
"We're expecting that we probably won't be having the arbitration hearings before sometime in the fall, possibly even late in the fall."
Binding arbitration isn't a quick process, Jensen said.
"Frankly it does take some time to prepare the brief that we would need to present so it's not the sort of thing where we'd want to be in front of the arbitrator even in the month," he said.
"It's a substantial thing to prepare."
The two sides last met with a mediator in late March after the university invoked a rare section of the Labour Relations code to end the two-week faculty strike. After a one-day meeting, the mediator ordered binding arbitration.