PART IX. EMPLOYEES OF EXISTING SYSTEMS.
§8-27-21. Protection of employees of existing transportation systems.
Whenever any authority acquires any existing system pursuant to the provisions of this article, the employees of such system shall be protected in the following manner:
(a) The employees of such system shall be retained to the fullest extent possible consistent with sound management, and if terminated or laid off shall be assured priority of reemployment;
(b) The individual employees who are retained shall be retained in positions the same as, or no worse than, their positions prior to the acquisition of such system;
(c) The rights, privileges and benefits of the employees under existing collective bargaining agreements shall not be affected and the owning authority shall assume the duties and obligations of the acquired system under any such agreement;
(d) Collective bargaining rights shall be continued with respect to employees of any acquired system;
(e) The rights, privileges and benefits of the employees under any existing pension or retirement plan or plans shall not be affected and the owning authority shall assume the duties and obligations of the acquired system under any such plan or plans;
(f) The owning authority shall provide paid training or retraining programs when necessary; and
(g) The authority owning a system, or any of the employees of any system owned by the authority, shall, in the case of any labor dispute relating to the terms and conditions of employment which is not settled through any established grievance procedure, have the right to submit the dispute to final and binding arbitration by a board of arbitration consisting of three arbitrators, one arbitrator to be chosen by the authority, one by the employee and the third to be chosen by the two arbitrators selected by the authority and the employee. A decision of a majority of the members of the board of arbitration shall be final and binding on the parties. The parties shall each pay the arbitrator of its or his own selection, and they shall jointly pay the third arbitrator and any other expenses connected with submitting such labor dispute to the board of arbitration.
In the event any authority acquires a system and (1) leases such acquired system, or (2) enters into a management contract for superintendence and management services for the operation of such acquired system pursuant to any provision of this article, the lease or contract shall include terms and provisions insuring the protection specified in this section.