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Role and Function of the FMCS. PAGE TITLE GOES HERE. February 2012. 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


February 2012

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

FMCS Structure

  • Headquarters in Washington, DC
  • Director appointed by the President of the United States,

and reports directly to the President

  • 10 Sub Regional Offices
  • 67 Field Offices in 37 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
FMCS Services
  • Collective Bargaining Mediation

Private, Public, & Federal Sectors

  • Relationship Development and Training (RDT)

Customized training for labor and management

  • Grievance Mediation
  • Arbitration Services
  • Education, Outreach & Advocacy

Of collective bargaining and dispute resolution processes

  • Employment Mediation and Non-Bargaining Related ADR Services

In-lieu of litigation of non-labor employment disputes, public policy and regulatory disputes

in depth training and help
In-depth Training and Help
  • Provides training in interest-based problem solving, communication skills and relationship-building
  • Looks at “best practices” in USA and abroad
  • Holds frequent training seminars through FMCS Institute, plus major labor-management conferences each year
  • Works with negotiations and mediation training for all private industry sectors and unions, also public and federal sector employers and unions
  • Offers courses in dealing with special workplace topics, such as generational conflicts or grief in the workplace
the impact of mediation on the bargaining process

The Impact of Mediation on the Bargaining Process

Last fiscal year, FMCS mediators were actively monitoring nearly 14,000 collective bargaining negotiations

They were actively involved in nearly 4,700

Achieved settlement in 85% of the cases

collective bargaining and fmcs a national look fy 2011
Collective Bargaining and FMCSA National Look – FY 2011

23,122Notices Filed with FMCS

13,712 Assignments to Mediators

4,665 Active Mediations*

2,301 Training Programs Conducted (RDT)

1,905 Grievances Mediated

1,330 Employment Mediations Conducted

*FMCS Open and Closed Case Data

contract duration notice trends
Contract Duration & Notice Trends

Number of Work Stoppages Ended in Fiscal Year, 1970-2011

Source: FMCS Case Data

contract duration notice trends14
Contract Duration & Notice Trends

Bargaining Notices Received and Contract Durations, 1985-2011

Source: FMCS Case Data

contract durations during recession
Contract Durations During Recession

Contract Durations and GDP Growth, FY 1985- 2011


Sources: FMCS; Department of Commerce; National Bureau of Economic Research

average yearly impact of fmcs mediation 1999 2011
Average Yearly Impact of FMCS Mediation 1999 – 2011*

Average Work Stoppage Duration—Timely Mediation = 42 days

Average Work Stoppage Duration—Delayed Mediation = 69 days

Average Reduction of Work Stoppage Duration of 39.7%

*Based on Research by the Employment Policy Foundation

average estimated annual savings
Average Estimated Annual Savings*

Average Estimated Annual Savings to Employer Profits & Employee Earnings Through FMCS Work Stoppage Reduction and Avoidance:

$1.2 billion through fewer stoppages

$320 million through shorter stoppages

$1.6 billion in total benefits

*Based on Research by the Employment Policy Foundation


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.

employment mediation
Employment Mediation

Although the agency provides non-collective bargaining related 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.

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 services22
Organization Enhancements

Systems Design for Conflict Management and Resolution

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-plus experts)
  • It provides panels of arbitrators names in response to requests from labor and management
  • It has an “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

The General Principles

Source: 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)