The District and United Teachers Los Angeles have been unable to reach a settlement after three mediation sessions. When mediation fails, state statutes require the parties go to fact-finding, a process that involves the establishment of a panel that looks at all the facts and issues a report with a recommendation on how to settle the contract dispute. The fact-finding panel includes a UTLA appointee, a District appointee, and a neutral chairperson appointed by the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB). Each side has a maximum of five days to select a representative to the fact-finding panel, and a maximum of five days after that PERB has to determine a chairperson. To select the chairperson, PERB gives both sides a list of experienced attorneys or arbitrators and the District and union will alternately eliminate names until only one remains. That person then becomes the chairperson.
The three-person panel then