|The FMCS’ primary responsibility is to mediate collective bargaining negotiations, and to otherwise assist in the development of improved workplace relations.
We do not handle unfair labor practices or elections under the National Labor Relations Act, nor do we interpret or enforce any statutes or regulations governing notice requirements or labor relations. Unfortunately, we are unable to answer questions you may have regarding alleged unfair labor practices by employers or by unions, or regarding the interpretation of statutes or regulations governing such matters as notice requirements. If you have these kinds of questions, you may contact the National Labor Relations Board. Their Web site is www.NLRB.gov. Click on the “Offices” tab and enter the employer’s zip code to obtain the address and telephone number of the local NLRB office. When you contact that office, please ask for the Information Officer. Below are some frequently asked questions that might assist you:
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. What are the requirements are for filing an 8(d) notice?
Section 8(d) is the section on the National Labor Relations Act requiring parties to a contract to notify the FMCS of upcoming contract expiration. There are different requirements for health care and non-health care institutions. For non-health care, the Act requires:
a. 60 days prior to expiration of the current contract, serve written notice on the other party to a contract of proposed termination or modification; and
b. 30 days prior to contract expiration, notify the FMCS of the existence of a dispute if no successor agreement has been reached by then
For a health care institution, in the case of renewal contracts, two kinds of notices are required:
a. 90 day notice, in advance of termination/expiration of the contract, of intent to renegotiate to be given by one party to the other; and
b. 60 day notice, in advance of termination/expiration of the contract, notifying FMCS and State mediation service of intent to terminate or renegotiate.
NOTE: Once one of the parties sends the 90 day notice, it is the same party that is obligated to send the FMCS the 60 day notice.
If you are unsure whether your institution is a health care or non-health care institution, or your are unsure of your legal requirements regarding notice filing, please contact the local NLRB office closest to you. To locate that office, go to www.NLRB.gov, on the “offices” tab and ender the employer’s zip code. Ask for the information officer on duty.
2. Was the 8(d) notice filed on time?
The FMCS does not retain copies of your contract and does not interpret statutes or regulations. Therefore, we simply cannot evaluate whether your notice was timely filed. We can, however, notify you that we are in receipt of the notice, and inform you of the date we received it.
3. What are the requirements for filing strike notice in a health care case?
Section 8(g) of the NLRA requires 10 day notification of intention to strike or picket at any health care institution. This includes picketing of any kind, or short lived work stoppages. The purpose of this provision is to allow the health care institution sufficient time to plan for patient care and to give mediation agencies an opportunity to resolve the dispute before patient care is adversely impacted by a work stoppage. If you are unsure whether your institution is a health care or non-health care institution, please contact your local NLRB office.
10 days prior to a union’s intent to strike or picket a health care institution, the union must:
a. Prepare, in writing, a letter explaining the date and time that the strike or picketing will begin;
b. Serve it on the employer; and
c. Send a copy to the FMCS
4. Can the 10 day notice (in the health care industry) be extended? Does the union have to give new notice if it does not strike or picket at the time specified?
There are a significant number of legal issues surrounding 8(g) notice and the FMCS is not in any position to evaluate whether a union’s actions are lawful or not. If you have any questions regarding the legal requirements of an 8(g) notice, please contact your local NLRB office.
5. Can you tell me whether my notice was filed on time?
Because of the legal issues involved in an 8(g) case, we cannot tell you whether your notice was timely filed. We can tell you whether we are in receipt of the notice, and inform you of the date we received it.
6. If I have to file a charge, can I ask a mediator to testify regarding the bargaining sessions, or during a grievance mediation?
Under no circumstances will a mediator testify at any proceeding (court, administrative, or arbitration proceedings) about any discussions that occurred during mediation. This is the case with collective bargaining mediation, or mediation of grievances or employment disputes. Even if a subpoena is served, the FMCS will move to quash the subpoena and will engage in every effort to avoid testimony of mediators at any proceeding.
7. If a mediator will not testify, will he/she at least talk to an investigator from the NLRB or a local/state agency about the conduct at negotiations?
No. A mediator will not speak to any investigator from any state or federal agency inquiring about the content of a mediation in which he/she was involved.
8. If a mediator appears to be biased, where do I file a complaint?
If you have any concerns regarding a mediator, please contact the Director of Mediation Services in that mediator’s territory. The Director of Mediation Services will respond to you.