ALTERNATIVEDISPUTE RESOLUTION(ADR) A better way for resolving conflict
Alternative Dispute Resolution • ADR is a group of processes that provide alternative ways for resolving disputes.
Alternative Dispute Resolution ADR uses 1. a trained neutral person, 2. who is not associated with the problem, 3. to help the parties resolve the dispute.
Mediation Definition Mediation is a process which • uses a trained neutral third party called a mediator • to assist the disputing parties in finding • a mutuallyacceptable solution.
Taking control • In a mediation, it is the disputing parties who decide whether they are ready to resolve their dispute.
ADR MEDIATION GROUP LLC • The mediator helps the parties craft their own solutions to the problem. The mediator does not decide who is right or who is wrong. Rather, the mediator assists the parties in communicating with one another so that the parties can arrive at a solution that bests meets both their interests.
MEDIATION • Emphasizes problem solving Not assessing blame.
MEDIATION Emphasizes the future Not the present or the past.
The Mediation Process • Mediation is a multi-stage process. Most mediations involve introductions, story telling, joint and private meetings, problem-solving and, finally, agreement writing.
Stage 1: Preliminary Arrangements • Upon receipt of the case to be mediated, the mediator immediately considers the type of dispute, the relationship of the parties, and who should be included in the mediation. • Thoroughly plans to prevent confusion. • Informs the parties that they are participating in a structured process and what they may expect. • Coordinates the times, dates, locations, and seating arrangements.
Stage 2: The Introductory Statement • Explains the mediation process • Establishes the ground rules soliciting input from the parties • Explains the use of a private session (caucus)
Stage 3: Initial Statements • Provides parties an opportunity to present their sides of the story without interruption. • Both parties are encouraged to listen to understand during the other party’s statement (possibly for the first time) and to take notes on important issues.
Stage 4: Two-way Exchange • Parties express feelings and emotions to each other in a productive and positive manner. • Parties ask and answer each others’ questions. • Information gaps are filled.
Stage 5: Issues and Clarification • Parties and mediators uncover the motivating interests of each position. • Parties “frame the issues.” • “Hidden agendas” uncovered. • Mutual interests are identified. • Mediators reaffirm the interests, not the positions of the parties..
Stage 6: Settlement Agreement • Most mediations warrant a written settlement agreement signed by the parties. • Written agreements should be specific: WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, AND HOW. • Always give the written agreement a “reality check.”
Mediation & Workplace Disputes Mediation is an effective tool for resolving workplace disputes. If you have a disagreement with your supervisor or your co-worker, going to work every day can be a very unpleasant experience If you can avoid hostility and adversarial relations with those you work with, your workplace will be a better place to work. Mediation is less threatening than traditional dispute resolution processes. It provides the parties the opportunity to listen to one another and to come up with creative solutions to their problems.
How do I ask for a mediation? There are several ways you can access your facility’s mediation program. 1. You can contact your facility’s ADR Coordinator and request a mediation. 2. You can request a mediation by contacting an Office of Resolution Management counselor. 3. You can contact your local union.
When can I ask for a mediation? You can ask for a mediation at any time. In fact, the earlier you ask for a mediation, the better. If you let a problem fester and go on, positions harden and emotions heighten making resolution that more difficult.
Are there any time limits I should be aware of? Yes. If you have a discrimination dispute, you must contact an ORM EEO Counselor within 45 days of the date the dispute arose. Contacting your facility”s ADR coordinator or EEO and Affirmative Employment Program Specialist does not meet the 45 day notification requirement. Choosing to use mediation extends the pre-complaint processing period up to 90 days. If the dispute is not resolved within the 90 day period, a notice of the right to file a formal complaint will be issued.
MSPB gives an automatic extension (from 30 to 60 days) to file an MSPB appeal when the Agency and the employee agree in writing to use an ADR process to try and settle their dispute. MSPB appeals apply to certain agency actions such as removal, reduction in pay or grade, suspension for more than 14 days and other designated actions.
Regardless of the type of personal dispute being mediated, the goal of a mediation is to have the parties sign a written agreement resolving all issues in dispute. Remember, litigation often does not resolve the real issues underlying a dispute. Mediation can and does because the parties focus less on blame and more on resolution. Even without an agree- ment, mediations often help the individuals in conflict at a minimum by opening lines of communication in discussing the dispute and possible solutions.
How long will the mediation process take? There is no set time period for how long a mediation session lasts -- most last 4 to 8 hours. The mediator or any party can terminate the mediation at any time if he or she feels the mediation is not working. If a mediation ends without a resolution of the dispute, the complaint process proceeds as if no mediation occurred.
You’re in control. Remember, mediation affords the parties in conflict with an opportunity to craft a creative solution that best meets their needs. The only limitation is that the agreement cannot violate any law, regulation, merit principles or any applicable labor agreements.
What happens if mediation does not result in an agreement? ADR success rates are high (around 75%). However, if ADR fails, you simply return to whatever options you would have had before you tried ADR. You do not lose any rights. Even a “failed” mediation has benefits. Sometimes the issues have been narrowed, or relationships between the parties improved somewhat as each realizes the other’s willingness to try to work things out. Even without an agreement, mediations often help the individuals in conflict at a minimum by opening lines of communication in discussing the dispute and possible solutions.
So, where do you go from here? If you are an employee with a complaint, propose mediation. If you are a supervisor, suggest mediation either when complaints are made against you or when you see a problem start to surface (remember, you don’t have to wait until someone else mentions it first). Mediation is flexible, opens lines of communication, helps salvage ongoing work relationships, and gives you control in the outcome of your complaint. Try mediation. You might like it.
Contact us for more information • ADR MEDIATION GROUP, LLC • 450 N. Sam Houston Pkwy E. – Suite 224 • Houston, Texas 77060 – 3520 • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org • Phone: (281) 999-3094 or Fax: (281) 966-1824 • Visit us at: http://www.adrmediationgroup.com • Promote the mediation process as an alternative dispute resolution technique for future issues.