Role and Function of the FMCS
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Role and Function of the FMCS. PAGE TITLE GOES HERE. August 2008. Statutory Mission. 1947 :Created as an Independent agency under Taft-Hartley Act Neither a regulatory nor an enforcement agency, but a neutral designed to assist Labor & Management

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Role and Function of the FMCS


August 2008

Statutory mission
Statutory Mission

1947:Created as an Independent agency under Taft-Hartley Act

Neither a regulatory nor an enforcement agency, but a neutral designed to assist Labor & Management

Resolve collective bargaining disputes which threaten the free flow of commerce.

Purpose:“Make available full and adequate government facilities for conciliation, mediation and voluntary arbitration to aid and encourage [the parties] to settle differences through collective bargaining”

Fmcs mission
FMCS Mission

  • Promote sound and stable labor/management relations;

  • Prevent or minimize work stoppages;

  • Advocate collective bargaining, mediation, arbitration;

  • Advocate the art, science and practice of ADR;

  • Provide conflict resolution services;

  • Foster improved labor-management relationships


  • Headquarters in Washington, DC

  • Director appointed by the President of the United

    States, and reports directly to the President

  • 10 District Offices

  • 69 Field Offices in 43 states

FMCS: How Can

We Help You?

How can mediation benefit you
How Can Mediation Benefit You?

Mediation, the use of a third-party neutral, can help you “bridge the gap.”

A mediator can
A Mediator Can….

Clarify Issues

Define problems

Generate options

Explore alternatives

Keep talks moving

Make suggestions

Establish realistic expectations

Why mediation can be an effective tool for conflict resolution
Why mediation can be an effective tool for conflict resolution

  • Parties retain control of resolution

  • Voluntary (in most cases)

  • Informal vs. formal process

  • Time efficient

  • Cost effective

Fmcs services

  • Collective Bargaining Mediation

    • Private, Public, & Federal Sectors

  • Relationship Development and Training

    • Customized training for labor and management

  • Education, Outreach & Advocacy

    • Of collective bargaining processes

  • Employment Mediation

    • In-lieu of litigation of non-labor employment disputes

  • Grievance Mediation

  • Arbitration Services

In depth training and help
In-depth Training and Help

  • Training in interest-based problem solving, communication skills and relationship-building

  • Look at “best practices” in USA and abroad

  • Hold major conferences – National Labor-Management Conference

  • Work with negotiations and mediation training for government agencies, industry and unions, and US Marine Corps

  • Develop courses in dealing with generational conflict at the workplace; grief at the workplace, and the FMCS Institute

Fisher and Ury , Getting to Yes

Fmcs cbm statistics
FMCS CBM Statistics

22,000 expired contracts

FMCS mediated about 31%

FMCS settlement rate = 86%

Hot topics at the table

Job Security


Off-shore job losses


Successor language

(I.E. Hotel Industry)

Staffing issues

Healthcare industry

“Foreign” nurse recruiting

Construction building trades

Pension Benefits

Defined benefits vs. defined contributions

Two-tier systems

“Freezing Plans” (IBM, HP, Verizon, Alcoa, Motorola)

Health Insurance

Active employees & retirees

Plan costs & design

Co-pays & cost sharing

Hot Topics at the Table

Fmcs impact on u s economy
FMCS Impact on U.S. Economy

  • FMCS mediation in CBM disputes saved U.S. workers & businesses $2.3 billion in 2007 by averting or shortening the duration of work stoppages

  • Prevented an estimated 299 work stoppages in 2007

  • Shortened duration of 69 work stoppages in 2007

  • Reduced number of lost worker hours by 47.5 million

Source: FMCS Economic Model

Estimated direct financial impact of work stoppages by year
Estimated Direct Financial Impact of Work Stoppages by Year

Source: Employment Policy Foundation 2005;

FMCS 2006-07

Work stoppages u s all size bargaining units
Work Stoppages(U.S.)(all size bargaining units)

Source: FMCS Case Data

Early fmcs intervention is key to reducing work stoppage duration
Early FMCS Intervention is Key to ReducingWork Stoppage Duration

Source: Employment Policy Foundation 2005;

FMCS 2006-07

Work stoppage trends
Work Stoppage Trends

Number of Work Stoppages Ended in Fiscal Year, 1970-2007

Source: FMCS Case Data

Alternative Dispute Resolution

  • 2007 U.S. Statistics

  • 1,060 assigned cases

  • Federal agency ADR contracts, public sector and private sector employment mediations

Employment mediation
Employment Mediation

Although the agency provides employment mediation services to the private sector, efforts are concentrated on Federal sector employment mediation.

Employment mediation in the private and public sectors are reimbursable activities. We are compensated for travel, delivery and preparation time for each case handled.

Mediation Services for Federal Sector,

State and Local Governments

Outside the collective bargaining arena, FMCS provides employment mediation services to the federal sector and to state and local governments.

The Administrative Dispute Resolution Act of 1990, the Negotiated Rulemaking Act of 1990, and the Administrative Dispute Resolution Act of 1996 expanded FMCS’ role as a provider of alternative dispute resolution services.

Mediation Services for Federal Sector,

State and Local Governments

FMCS provides consultation, training, dispute resolution systems design and facilitation services.

Our services help you reduce litigation costs and promote better government decision-making.

Fy 2007 employment mediation
FY 2007 Employment Mediation

Our Growing Federal Case Load

Organizational conflict management services


Communication Skills

Rebuilding Workplace Relationships

Basic & Advanced Conflict Management Skills

Consensus Building & Working Styles for Team Collaboration


EEO Informal & Formal Grievances

Workplace Interventions

Public Policy & Community Issues

Contract Disputes

Organizational Conflict Management Services

Organizational conflict management services1

Organization Enhancements

Systems Design for Conflict Management and Resolution

Succession Planning

Mentoring & Coaching

Facilitation Services

Work Group Meetings

Internal & External Stakeholder Meetings

Management & Labor Committee Forums

Organizational Conflict Management Services

Arbitration functions
Arbitration Functions

  • FMCS administers a roster of arbitrators (1,000 experts)

  • It also provides panels of names for requests from labor and management

  • It makes sure that the procedures are fair

  • It has a “Arbitrator Review Board” to deal with any complaints and to decide who is permitted to be on the roster

  • It provides training for the parties in arbitration and for neutrals who wish to become arbitrators --- this is done through the FMCS Institute.

Getting to yes
Getting To Yes


  • Don’t Bargain Over Positions

  • Separate People From the Problem

  • Focus On Interests, Not Positions

  • Invent Options For Mutual Gain

  • Insist on Using Objective Criteria

Fisher and Ury , Getting to Yes

Cooperative Relationships

Keys To Cooperative Relationships, Of Any Kind

COMMUNICATION (Develop joint problem solving teams)

COMMUNICATION (Don’t let problems fester)

COMMUNICATION (Be honest about issues)

COMMUNICATION (Know when to get help)