Process, Strategy and Tactics in Labor-management Mediation - Chapter 13 - AAA Handbook on Labor Arbitration & ADR, 3rd Edition
Paul D. Roose
Paul D. Roose is an Arbitrator and Mediator at Golden Gate Dispute Resolution. Previously, he was a full-time staff mediator for the California State Mediation and Conciliation Service. Over the past several years he has mediated settlement agreements in over 100 public employment jurisdictions.
CHAPTER 13 PROCESS, STRATEGY AND TACTICS IN LABOR-MANAGEMENT MEDIATION
Paul D. Roose
When management and union fail to reach an agreement during contract negotiations, they often call in a mediator. At this juncture, the parties have generally been bargaining for weeks or even months. One or both sides believe that they cannot make further progress without the assistance of a third-party neutral.
The mediation of labor contract disputes (known as “interest disputes”) is not a science; it’s an art. Each mediator has a unique style, shaped by personality and experience. This chapter describes some of the techniques and strategies that labor mediators can use to help the parties mediate interest disputes. It also touches on the pros and cons of certain bargaining tactics in the mediation setting.
As a general rule, mediators in the labor-management field have had experience as a negotiator for either an employer or a union. They bring to the table an insider’s understanding of the dynamics of collective bargaining. No amount of study or training can substitute for this practical experience.