Article 64Benefits Arbitrator
Section 1. Selection(a)
The NFL and the NFLPA will submit five candidates for Benefit Arbitrator to each other within two weeks of the ratification of this Agreement. If the parties are unable to agree on a Benefit Arbitrator from among the ten candidates submitted, a flip of the coin, no later than three weeks after ratification of the Agreement, will determine which party first strikes a name from the other party’s list of candidates, and the parties will alternately strike names beginning within 24 hours of the coin flip and continuing for no more than a total of 24 hours until the parties are able to agree on the selection of the Benefit Arbitrator, or until only one candidate’s name remains, which candidate will become the Benefit Arbitrator. If for any reason this procedure does not result in the selection of the Benefit Arbitrator within one month of the ratification of this Agreement, the Notice Arbitrator provided for in Article 43, will appoint the Benefit Arbitrator of his or her choice within one week of written request by either party.(b)
In the event of a subsequent vacancy in the position of Benefit Arbitrator, the procedure in this Section will be followed to fill the vacancy, substituting only the date of such vacancy for the date of ratification of this Agreement, and permitting the party who lost the prior coin flip to strike the first name from the other party’s list of candidates. Either party may dismiss the Benefit Arbitrator between May 1 and June 1 of each calendar year of this Agreement by written notice to the Benefit Arbitrator and the other party.
Section 2. Compensation
To the extent that the fees and expenses of the Benefit Arbitrator are not properly charged to and paid by one of the employee benefit plans described or created by this Agreement, such fees and expenses will be divided equally between the parties.
Section 3. Role
The Benefit Arbitrator will resolve any and all disagreements relating to Articles 52 through 63A of this Agreement, except to the extent provided for in ERISA plans. However, disagreements relating to eligibility for pension, disability, or other benefits under the Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle Plan and disagreements relating to eligibility for disability benefits under the Disability Plan will be resolved in accordance with the procedures that have previously been adopted by the Members of the Retirement Board of the Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle Plan for the resolution of such issues under that Plan, or such other procedures as may be jointly agreed upon by the parties. Also, prior to the merger of the Bert Bell Plan and the Pete Rozelle Plan, disagreements relating to eligibility for benefits under the Pete Rozelle Plan will be resolved in accordance with the procedures established under that Plan. The parties may jointly agree to enlarge or restrict the role of the Benefit Arbitrator. Either party may refer a matter to the Benefit Arbitrator by so notifying the Benefit Arbitrator and the other party. If no other provision in this Agreement governs the procedures for resolution of the dispute, the following procedures will apply. The parties will have two weeks to submit briefs or other documents to the Benefit Arbitrator. Thereafter, upon the request of either party, the Benefit Arbitrator will immediately convene an expedited hearing at the site of his or her selection. Such hearing will proceed for no more than three days, the first day of which will include whatever mediation efforts the Benefit Arbitrator deems appropriate; provided, however, that such mediation will not be binding on the parties. As soon as possible following the closing of such expedited hearing, the Benefit Arbitrator will render his or her decision, which will be final and binding on the parties. Posthearing briefs following the close of such hearing will be permitted only if requested by the Benefit Arbitrator, and any posthearing briefs so requested by the Benefit Arbitrator must be submitted within one week of the close of the hearing, with no extensions. The parties intend that posthearing briefs will be requested only in unusual situations. In no event will the Benefit Arbitrator’s decision be rendered and delivered to the parties any later than 60 days after a hearing is requested.