WASHINGTON, D.C.– Starting March 1, 2016, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) is accepting labor-management grants applications for fiscal year 2016 focused on the 21st century economy and its rapidly evolving workplaces. While the Agency will consider applications from plant-level committees, the FMCS especially encourages applications from area-wide, industry or sectoral joint labor-management committees confronting specific, definable problems for which they have developed clear, innovative, and measurable long-term solutions.
FMCS Director Allison Beck urges business and labor to submit proposals that address the transitioning workplace, hiring and retaining new generations of workers, and rapidly advancing technology-based work structures. “Dramatic shifts in labor market trends, coupled with the fact that significant labor-management reform activity is taking place across industries and at the city, state, and regional level, cry out for area-wide or industry-wide collaborative approaches to workplace problems,” Ms. Beck said.
“In this economy,” Ms. Beck observed, “broad partnerships are in the best position to improve job security, skills, and working conditions for an increasingly mobile workforce, to achieve consensus on standards and organizational effectiveness in new sectors of the economy, and to enhance economic development and competitiveness for entire communities.”
The FMCS grants program has a record of proven success in building labor-management cooperation, encouraging innovative solutions, and disseminating “best practices.” Since its beginning in 1981, Ms. Beck said, “The FMCS grants program has been an important tool for advancing the basic mission of this Agency, which is to encourage cooperative, problem-solving labor-management relationships as the best means for producing innovation, competitiveness, productivity and job growth.”
Under the terms of the Labor-Management Cooperation Act, area or industry-wide applicants must include, among their participants, an employer and the collective bargaining representative of its employees. As long as this threshold requirement is met, area or industry-wide committees may also include community organizations, state and local government entities and employers whose employees are not represented by a labor organization.
FMCS grants in 2016 will be awarded in amounts from $50,000 up to $400,000. Applications may be submitted until May 31, 2016. Prospective grant applicants are reminded that no grant funding may be used for training, facilitation, or other services available through FMCS appropriated programs. Detailed information about how to apply is available at this link, where prospective grant applicants can also access three training videos to assist them in preparing their grant applications. If, after reviewing these materials, parties have additional questions, they may contact the FMCS Grants Office at 202-606-8181.
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