Grievance Mediation is a voluntary, informal process designed to address grievances which are still outstanding after the formalized grievance procedure is exhausted and prior to the matter proceeding to arbitration. A neutral mediator assists labour and management to arrive at a satisfactory solution to an outstanding issue. The process, which involves the grievor, provides a forum for the parties to improve communications, increase cooperation and work together on a joint problem solving basis.
Grievance Mediation is a successful way to solve problems in the workplace with a success rate of approximately 84%. It is conducted on a without prejudice basis and does not interfere with the parties right to proceed to arbitration. It also allows labour and management to join forces to successfully address a problem and fashion their own settlement rather than have a decision imposed upon them by a third party. Grievance Mediation is a cost-effective, timely and informal way to yield positive results.
Grievance Mediation's primary goal is to resolve grievances between labour and management and to develop a positive labour relations environment. A mediator works with representatives of labour and management to help them understand their common goals and objectives. The mediator also provides leadership and assistance in acknowledging the parties different interests and concerns. Through joint participation and a cooperative effort by labour and management, constructive ideas are generated and positive solutions are found.
Either management or labour can initiate the process by submitting a request for service. The mediator will determine if grievance mediation is appropriate and if both parties are agreeable to participate. Grievance Mediation deals with the issue away from the adversarial atmosphere of negotiations and outside a legal framework. An informal meeting, which fully includes the grievor, is chaired by the mediator. All parties are encouraged to speak freely to reach a compromise. Responsibility for enforcing the settlement rests with the parties.
Control: The parties control the process, discuss the issues and shape their settlement together, thereby improving workplace communications and cooperation.
Attitudes: Grievance Mediation helps the parties build and maintain a constructive working relationship and reach a better understanding of their respective roles.
Time: Grievance Mediation attempts to resolve issues as quickly as possible, thus eliminating costly time delays and ensuring improved morale and productivity.
Grievance Mediation enables Mediators to assist clients in designing mutually acceptable solutions to labour relations concerns in a spirit of co-operation and compromise. Grievance Mediation resolves grievances and also helps the parties identify, prevent, and resolve issues that may become grievances in the future. In addition, it helps labour and management establish and maintain a sound working relationship which creates a positive labour relations environment and increases the chances for peaceful resolution of contract negotiations.
"The Grievance Mediation service has been successfully used. We are more than pleased with the program. We would also encourage participation by all organizations involved with labour relations."
"Grievance Mediation results are very positive from both a time and a cost perspective."
" We are pleased with our successful experience with Grievance Mediation. It provides a cost effective, timely opportunity for both parties to air their differences, to reach mutual compromises acceptable to all, and most importantly fully includes the grievor in the process."
"Grievance Mediation is successful in resolving work place problems. It involves the grievor, union and employer and is faster than arbitration. The assistance of the mediator helps the parties reach a compromise."
If your labour/management relationship encounters difficult circumstances that might benefit from neutral, third party assistance, consider participating in the Preventive Mediation Program.
For more information, contact us.