|How Collective Bargaining Mediation Works
In collective bargaining mediation, FMCS mediators are in touch with both parties even before negotiations actually begin. The contact is triggered by the legally-required notice of intent to open a collective bargaining agreement.
During negotiations, effective mediators use knowledge of the parties and issues "on the table" to guide negotiators through potential deadlocks to a settlement which both sides can accept.
Mediators may make suggestions and offer procedural or substantive recommendations with the agreement of both parties. However, they have no authority to impose settlements. Their only tool is the power of persuasion.
The mediators’ effectiveness derives from their acceptability to both parties, their broad knowledge, experience in the process of collective bargaining, and their status as respected neutrals.