Sec. 7a. (1) In addition to mediation conducted under section 7, 1 if a public school employer and a bargaining representative of a bargaining unit of its employees mutually agree that an impasse has been reached in collective bargaining between them, the parties may agree to participate in additional mediation under this section.
(2) If parties described in subsection (1) agree to participate in mediation under this section, then not later than 30 days after the date of impasse, each of the parties shall appoint 1 individual to represent the party in the mediation, and those 2 representatives shall select through a mutually agreed process a neutral third party to act as the mediator. The mediator and the 2 representatives shall meet to attempt to agree to a recommended settlement of the impasse.
(3) Not later than 30 days after appointment of a mediator under subsection (2), if the representatives of the parties mutually agree on a recommended settlement of the impasse, the representatives each shall present the recommended settlement to the party he or she represents for approval.
(4) If 1 or both of the parties fail to ratify a recommended settlement described in subsection (3) within the 30-day time limit specified in subsection (3), the public school employer may implement unilaterally its last offer of settlement made before the impasse occurred. This section does not limit or otherwise affect a public school employer's ability to unilaterally implement all or part of its bargaining position as otherwise provided by law.
(5) Both parties shall share equally any expenses of mediation conducted under this section.
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