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Frequently Asked Questions About DyADS
1. What does FMCS charge for its services in assisting organizations to design and build a dispute resolution system?

During the pilot phase, FMCS services are free of charge. In return for participating in one of the national pilot projects, an organization reaps the full benefit of FMCS expertise and resources.

2. What is the value of DyADS?

In traditional labor-management relationships, the grievance process is utilized to resolve conflicts over contract interpretation. But there are numerous workplace complaints— ranging from statutory claims of discrimination to personality conflicts—not typically resolved in the collective bargaining arena.  Those matters can turn into protracted disputes, costly and time-consuming lawsuits, and poisoned relationships, with a devastating impact on employee morale. New alternative processes are needed to resolve individual employment disputes that threaten competitiveness, efficiency, productivity and morale.  DyADS is an acronym for Dynamic Adaptive Dispute Systems. It is a dispute resolution system designed by the parties themselves, with FMCS facilitation and support, to manage conflict other than matters that fall within the scope of the collective bargaining agreement.  

2.  What kind of disputes will be managed in a DyADS program?  

Any kind of workplace dispute arising outside of the collective bargaining agreement can be addressed and resolved through DyADS. Such matters can range from complex statutory claims (like discrimination complaints based on race, gender, disability, sexual orientation or age) to more common day-to-day workplace disputes like personality conflicts or misunderstandings, as well as disputes among supervisors or among employees. 

3.  Will this system replace the collective bargaining grievance procedure?

No.  DyADS does not interfere with the grievance-arbitration provision of a collective bargaining agreement. Employees and unions should always feel free to utilize the contractual provisions for resolution of contractual disputes. 

4.  Is DyADS a particular product or model that FMCS is promoting? 

No.  DyADS is not a particular product or model. It is a process by which FMCS mediators help representatives of labor and management design their own unique conflict resolution system. No two DyADS necessarily look the same. Instead, stakeholders develop their own ideas and their own system for handling workplace disputes. The result is a system that suits the needs of that particular organization. 

5.  Will DyADS allow an employee to file a grievance or a lawsuit if he or she wants to? 

Yes. A core principle of DyADS is that it does not take away any right under the collective bargaining agreement or any other workplace rights—including the right to take legal action—created by the Constitution or statute.  

6.  Must all workplace complaints be sent to DyADS? 

No one is required or obligated to use DyADS. However, the premise of DyADS is that all participants will voluntarily decide that it is quicker, easier, less restrictive and less costly to the workplace relationship. 

7.  How does an organization know who should participate in a DyADS design?

An FMCS team will assist management and labor leaders in identifying appropriate participants.  

8.  Is the company required to give employees or shop stewards paid time off to participate in DyADS?

It is up to the parties to decide whether members of the dispute resolution design committee should receive paid time off to participate in the creation of DyADS. It is anticipated that collaborative efforts will allow the parties to reach agreement on this issue that is satisfactory to all involved. 

9.  Can DyADS apply to non-bargaining unit employees? 

Yes it can, if the parties want it that way. If the parties reach consensus that DyADS should apply to non-bargaining unit employees, they are considered stakeholders with an opportunity for input so that their needs and interests are considered during the design process. 

10.  Is DyADS solely for employee complaints, or can supervisors and managers use DyADS? 

DyADS can and should be able to handle issues raised by anyone: employees, supervisors or managers. The program should remain open to all users to resolve any kind of workplace conflict. 

11.  Can someone be fired for participating in a DyADS design or for filing a complaint in DyADS?  

It is essential that all parties expressly prohibit any form or reprisal or retaliation for participating in the design process or for filing a complaint in the system.

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