(1) If during the course of the informal investigation of the unfair labor practice charge, the board's agent determines that the charge is one that may be resolved through deferral to the final and binding arbitration provisions contained in the collective bargaining agreement between the parties, the board's agent may issue a recommended order staying the board's proceedings.
(2) A party may appeal the recommended order to stay proceedings by filing an appeal with the board within 14 days after service of the recommended order.
(3) An appeal of the recommended order to stay proceedings must clearly set forth the specific factual or legal reasons indicating error. At the discretion of the board, interested parties will be afforded an opportunity to respond to an appeal of the recommended order.
(4) The board or the board's agent has the discretion to dissolve the stay and continue with its investigation into the unfair labor practice if a party makes a proper showing that:
(a) the unfair labor practice charge has not been resolved in a reasonable amount of time;
(b) the arbitration decision has not resolved the unfair labor practice; or
(c) the decision to stay the proceedings was inconsistent with the laws that govern collective bargaining in Montana.
(5) A decision by the board or the board's agent to dissolve a stay is not appealable.
(6) If the board affirms and adopts the recommended order to stay proceedings, the stay remains in place until there is a subsequent request to review the stay or the board's order affirming and adopting the recommended order is removed by operation of court order.