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 What We Do / Arbitration / How to Become an FMCS Arbitrator
  Becoming an FMCS Arbitrator

Criteria for Being an Arbitrator on the FMCS Roster
Applicants for the FMCS Roster must demonstrate experience, competence, and acceptability in decision-making roles in the resolution of disputes arising from collective bargaining agreements. The Arbitrator Review Board, which is appointed by the Director of FMCS, reviews the qualifications of all applicants for listing on the Roster and recommends to the Director the acceptance or rejection of applicants for the Roster.  

The Board meets on a regular basis to review applicants for the Roster.  FMCS has established general criteria for admission to the Roster (See Section 1404.5(a) of the FMCS Arbitration Policies and Procedures.)  Applicants will be listed on the Roster upon a determination that he or she:

(1)  Is experienced, competent and acceptable in decision-making roles in the resolution of labor relations disputes; or

(2)  Has extensive and recent experience in relevant positions in collective bargaining; and

(3)  Is capable of conducting an orderly hearing, can analyze testimony and exhibits and can prepare clear and concise findings and awards within reasonable time limits.

(4)  For applicants who are governmental employees, the following criteria shall also apply:

Federal Employees: These applicants must provide the OAS with written permission from their employer to work as an arbitrator. Federal employees will not be assigned to panels involving the Federal Government or its contracts.

Governmental Employees other than Federal:  These applicants must provide the OAS with written permission from their employer to work as an arbitrator as well as a statement of the jurisdiction(s) in which the applicant is not permitted to perform this work.

The qualifications listed above are preferably demonstrated by the submission of  five recent labor arbitration awards prepared by the applicant while serving as an impartial arbitrator of record chosen by the parties to labor relations disputes arising under collective bargaining agreements.  If you do not have the five awards, you may successfully complete the FMCS Labor Arbitrator Training Course, sponsored by the FMCS Institute, within the five years immediately preceding the date of application, and submit two arbitration awards as described above.  In addition, you must submit information demonstrating extensive and recent experience in collective bargaining, including at least the position or title held, duties or responsibilities, the name and location of the company or organization, and the dates of employment.  

The Labor Arbitrator Training Course is a 40-hour course is geared toward labor management practitioners with substantial experience in industrial, labor and employment relations who wish to become labor arbitrators.  For information on this course, you may contact Lynda Lee of the FMCS Institute at (206) 553-2773 or go to the FMCS website; LEARNING: FMCS INSTITUTE.

Non-advocacy.  FMCS does not permit advocates to serve on its Roster. Any person who at the time of application to the Roster is an advocate, as defined in the FMCS Arbitration Policies and Procedures (See Section 1404.5(c)(1)), must agree to cease such activity before being recommended for listing on the Roster by the Arbitrator Review Board.

Listing on the Roster is by the decision of the Director of FMCS, based upon the recommendation of the Arbitrator Review Board. The Board may recommend, and the Director may remove, any person listed on the Roster, for violation of any part of the FMCS policies or The Code of Professional Responsibility for Arbitrators of Labor-Management Disputes.

Application Process
You must submit the Arbitratorís Personal Data Questionnaire (FMCS Form R-22), five labor arbitration awards, five references, and a comprehensive biographical sketch describing your collective bargaining experience. If you completed the Labor Arbitrator Training Course described above, you must submit at least two labor arbitration awards, together with a copy of your Certificate confirming you have successfully completed the course. Submit your application to the Roster Administrator, Ms. Lakisha Stuart,, at least five (5) working days prior to a scheduled Arbitrator Review Board meeting. Ms. Stuart's address is: Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, Office of Arbitration Services, 2100 K Street, N.W., Washington, DC  20427. You will be notified in writing within two weeks of the Review Board meeting of your acceptance or denial to the Roster.