Computer Research Methods For Interest Arbitrations and WERC Cases

 [updated 2-26-13]

Formats of Available Computer Research Content

Internet (most on WERC website: http://werc.wi.gov)

  • HTML (e.g., most WERC website pages other than decisions/awards etc.)
  • PDF (e.g., WERC website decisions/awards files)
  • Scanned (e.g., decisions/awards pre 1989, PA decisions pre 2003)
  • Keyed (e.g., more recent decisions/awards/PA decisions)
  • RTF word processor (e.g., editable format for WERC forms)

CD-ROM (proprietary) (WASB municipal/state decisions digest 1976-May 2002)
Westlaw (proprietary) (e.g., WERC labor decisions 2006-present)

Content Attributes Useful for Searching

Title (i.e., supercitation)

  • labor relations decision — complaint case — employer name followed by
    • Dec. No. 29094-A ( Nielsen, 12-29-98 ) (Findings, Conclusions. . .
    • Dec. No. 29094-B ( WERC, 11-23-99 ) (Order Affirming in Part and . .
    • Dec. No. 29094-C ( CirCt Brown, 10/05/00 ) (complaint)
    • Dec. No. 29094-G ( CtApp, 1/29/02 ) (complaint)
    • Dec. No. 29094-H ( SupCt, 3/12/02 ) (complaint)
  • other types of labor relations decisions:
    • Beloit School District, Dec. No. 11831 ( WERC, 5/8/73 ) (declaratory ruling)
    • State of Wisconsin (DOA), Dec. No. 7984-D ( WERC, 8/9/68 ) (representation)
    • City of Madison, Dec. No. 30009-B ( WERC, 9/19/01 ) (impasse resolution)
    • Racine County, Dec. No. 17196-B ( WERC, 2/8/80 ) (mediation-arbitration)
    • City of Appleton, Dec. No. 11597 ( WERC, 2/7/73 ) (police-fire interest arbitration)
  • grievance award:
    • Eggers Industries, Inc., WERC A-6230 ( Gallagher, 11/28/06 )
    • City of Superior (Parks), WERC MA-9792 ( Shaw, 11-18-97 ) (Supplemental Award)
  • interest award:
    • City of Wisconsin Dells, Dec. No. 34567-A ( Zeidler, 4/88 ) (union)
    • City of Madison (Laborers), Dec. No. 29993-A ( Bellman, 6-27-01 ) (employer)
    • Appleton, City of (Police), Dec. No. 29488 ( LeRoy, 7-12-99 ) (issue-by-issue)
    • Milwaukee, City of (Police), Dec. No. 26109-A ( Vernon, 5/22/90 ) (Conventional)
  • personnel appeal decision by Personnel Commission
    • 82-PC-ER-30-B
    • 90-0085-PC-ER-C
    • 92-0221-PC-ER-B
  • personnel appeal decision by WERC
    • Elmer v. DHFS, Dec. No. 31380-B ( WERC, 3/7/07 )
    • Ryf v. OSER, Dec. No. 32025 ( WERC, 2/22/07 )
    • Danielsen v. OSER and Smith v. OSER, Dec. Nos. 31977, 31978 ( WERC, 1/9/07 )
  • URL (Internet address including filename)
    • labor relations decisions:
      • commission and examiner
        • http://werc.wi.gov/decisions/12345-A.pdf
        • http://werc.wi.gov/decisions/12345-B.pdf
      • circuit court
        • http://werc.wi.gov/decisions/12345BC1.pdf
      • court of appeals
        • http://werc.wi.gov/decisions/34567BA1.pdf
      • supreme court
        • http://werc.wi.gov/decisions/12345BS1.pdf
    • grievance awards:
      • http://werc.wi.gov/grievance_awards/1234.pdf
        (filename number is at bottom of first and last award pages)
    • interest awards: “werc.wi.gov/interest_awards” followed by:
      • /int_pre-99_vol_1_of_2/int16554.pdf
      • /int_pre-99_vol_2_of_2/int25631.pdf
      • /mia_pre-99_vol_1_of_1/mia16185.pdf
      • /int30096.pdf (for awards issued 1999 on)
        (“int” filenames are general employee cases)
        (“mia” filenames are police-fire cases)
    • personnel appeals cases: “werc.wi.gov/personnel_appeals” followed by:
      • /personnel_commission_1978-99/83-0077-PC-A.pdf
      • /personnel_commission_1999-2002/83-0077-PC-A.pdf
      • /werc_2003_on/pa31380-B.pdf
  • Body text
  • words
  • phrases (including names)
  • caption information
    • party names
    • docket numbers, e.g., Case 123 No. 23456 MP-10876
  • appearances — representatives’ names
  • author — e.g.:
    • Herman Torosian, Chairman
    • Daniel J. Nielsen, Examiner
    • Coleen A. Burns, Arbitrator
  • date of issuance
  • citations
    • employer name, e.g., City of Milwaukee, Walworth County
    • decision number, e.g., Dec. No. 12345-C
    • tribunal/author — e.g., WERC, CirCt, CtApp, SupCt, Kerkman
  • other typical document sub-heads — e.g., Issues, Remedy, Memorandum

Basics for Using Ultraseek, Google and WisBar* Search Engines

    • For Ultraseek search engine searches of WERC website content:
      • open the WERC website which is located at http://werc.wi.gov
      • enter search terms in blank search box top right corner of most pages
      • choose scope of search from drop down in Entire Site box
      • if searching for decision numbers, use lower case only
      • left clicking “Search” button should open to an Ultraseek advanced search results page
      • scroll down to view the Search Results list of links to found documents
      • follow one of those links to view the document associated with it
      • locate particular word or phrase in the found document using browser’s Find command
      • use the Acrobat Reader buttons rather than browser commands to print
        (printer picture), save (diskette picture), copy a portion of the text for pasting into a Word document (I+arrow or T+square button and then highlight text to be copied e.g. using mouse, then right click on highlighted portion and choose a copy command).
      • use your browser’s Back button to return to the list of Found Documents.
      • strengths and weaknesses
        • searches broadest range of years and case types
        • slower than Google in opening search screen and running searches
        • high content inclusion reliability — i.e., likely to find most hits
        • optional summaries often reveal caption/opposing party in results
        • allows easy combinations of URL, body text, and title searches
        • allows easy combinations of word, phrase, name searches
        • title hits are listed first in results list
        • single line results show more on screen simultaneously
        • no option for snippets in results list; open and find to view context
        • date ordering option not fully effective
        • decisions and awards only in PDF; copied text requires clean-up
        • date range limits based on file creation date; so none before 1998
    • For Google searches of WERC website content:

-or-

    • strengths and weaknesses
      • seachable content limited to interest awards and non-case content
      • fast search screen open and search responses
      • popular and familiar user interface
      • may find fewer hits than Ultraseek
      • archives updated less promptly/often than Ultraseek or WisBar*
      • snippets in results list show 1st instance of search terms in context
      • offers rough cached HTML of PDF files, highlighting all hits
      • results ordered by relevance; title hits usually listed first
      • number range search permits rough date limitations
      • no option for date ordering of search results
    • For WisBar* search engine searches of WisBar* WERC and other archives
      • open the WisBar website which is located at http://www.wisbar.org
      • follow “Legal Research” link at top of opening page
        • log in to WisBar account (limited to WI Bar members, members’ staffs and students)
        • Decisions>Grievance Award Resources>WisBar* Search 1989 on

– or –

      • Decisions>labor relations decisions> search on WisBar* 1989 on
    • to view a calendar year case index (list), choose year and left click “Go”
    • to search all years, left click either simple or advanced search
    • choose database from “Court or Agency” dropdown
    • enter search term or terms in “Keywords” field and left click “Go”
    • scroll down to view the Search Results list of links to found documents
    • follow one of those links to view the document associated with it
    • or follow link in context snippet (if any) to open and find that linked term
    • locate particular word or phrase in the found document same as Ultraseek
    • print, save, copy and same as noted re Ultraseek above.
    • use your browser’s Back button to return to the list of Found Documents.
  • strengths and weaknesses
    • WisBar legal research content access is limited to WisBar account holders
    • content inclusion reliable but limited to July-1989 to present
    • fast responses to non-complex searches
    • some complex searches are very slow
    • court cases not included in WERC decisions archive 2006-present
    • indexes allow flexible searches of calendar year case lists
    • snippets in results list, but only in non-complex searches
    • snippets include link that opens document and finds search term
    • full HTML files provide easy copying/pasting
    • offers links to full PDF files for reliable viewing/printing
    • date ordering precise and reliable because based on date document issued
    • results ordered by employer name or date of issuance
    • relevance-based ordering of results not available

Available Research Content

  • Labor relations disputes
    • Statutes and rules
    • Manuals
      • Complaint examiner (current only as of early 1990’s)
      • Representation examiner (current only as of early 1990’s)
      • Election conduct
    • Digests
      • WERC website
        • Private Sector 1939-1988
        • Muncipal Sector 1962-71, 1971-74
        • State Sector 1967-75
      • WASB CD-ROM
        • Municipal Sector 1976-May 2002
        • State Sector 1976-May 2002
      • WASB hard copy annual compilations for other years
    • Decisions search (WERC examiners, commission and related court)
      • WERC website via Ultraseek (1971-present, municipal to 1962)
      • WERC website via Google (1971-present, municipal to 1962)
      • WisBar* website via WisBar* (July 1989-present)
      • Westlaw (2006-present)
    • Decisions lists
      • WERC website
      • WisBar* index
    • Wisconsin Court decisions and related resources
      • Supreme Court via WisBar* (1993-present)
      • Court of Appeals via WisBar* (1993-present)
    • Other Internet resources
      • NLRB decisions and digest/index search (1992-present)
  • Grievance arbitration disputes
    • Rules
    • Manual for WERC-employed Grievance Arbitrators (as of early 1990’s)
    • Awards search
      • WERC website via Ultraseek (July 1989-present)
      • WERC website via Google (July 1989-present)
      • WisBar* website via WisBar* (July 1989-present)
    • Awards lists
      • WERC website
      • WisBar* index
    • National Academy of Arbitrators Proceedings (1948-2004) index/search
  • Interest arbitration disputes
    • Statutes and Rules
    • Ad Hoc Roster Arbitrator biographical information
    • Awards search via Ultraseek (1971-present)
    • Awards search via Google 1971-present)
    • Issues Tables (1971-present)
      • general employee
      • police-fire
    • Award lists (1971-present)
    • Awards summaries (1989-94)
      • Personnel Appeals disputes
    • Statutes and Rules
    • Digest and case list (Personnel Commission 1978-99)
    • PA decisions (selected Pers. Comm. 1978-2002; all WERC 2003-present)
    • search via Ultraseek
    • search via Google

Techniques for Using Available Content

  • Browse
  • Search (custom search links on WERC website limit searches to case types)
  • Find (use Acrobat Reader find command when applicable, rather than browser’s)
  • Print (use Acrobat Reader print command when applicable, rather than browser’s)
  • Copy as text (HTML text retains formatting; PDF requires formatting/correction)
  • Copy as graphic (pasted graphic is not editable as text)
  • Save copy of file on hard drive