Although parties to collective bargaining agreements have often become sophisticated in the use of arbitration to resolve their disputes, grievance mediation is still an emerging area. An increasing number of parties are expressing interest in adding this expeditious and inexpensive option to their already existing machinery for dispute settlement.
This article discusses a pilot mediation program initiated by Southwestern Bell Telephone Company and District 6 of the Communications Workers of America. The elements of a successful program are explored, together with the training that is necessary to implement such a program. Initial results indicate that where the parties show commitment to making the grievance mediation process work, satisfaction with the program is generally high.