Offices of Arbitration, Shared Neutrals, and Notice Processing


The labor policy of the United States promotes and encourages the use of voluntary arbitration to resolve disputes over the interpretation or application of collective bargaining agreements. Voluntary arbitration and fact-finding are important features of constructive labor-management relations and virtually all collective bargaining agreements contain arbitration provisions. FMCS administers a roster of qualified labor arbitrators. We promptly provide arbitrator panels from the roster when parties request and appoint arbitrators pursuant to parties’ agreement. The director provides education, advocacy, and outreach to actual and prospective FMCS arbitration customers. The telephone number for the Arbitration office is 202-606-5111.  The fax number for Arbitration is 202-606-3749 (Some older fax machines may not be able to send faxes to this number.  If this is the case, please email your attachment to

For more detailed information about the FMCS arbitration program, click on Arbitration Services.

Shared Neutrals

Shared Neutrals (SN), is an interagency mediation program in the National Capital Region including the Washington, DC area and Baltimore, operating since the 1990s. Management of the program was transferred from the Department of Health and Human Services to FMCS in December, 2018. Upon request, SN assists participating federal agencies through a pool of trained, collateral-duty federal employees who provide mediation services to agencies other than their own in exchange for like services to the program from the recipient agency. For more information on the program, please check out the web page for Shared Neutrals.

Notice Processing

A party to a collective bargaining agreement is required by statute to notify FMCS within 30 days (60 days if it involves employees of a healthcare institution) of serving notice to the other party of intent to terminate or modify the agreement. Our dedicated Notice Processing staff is responsible for ensuring timely and accurate recording of these notices of collective bargaining contract termination or modifications (F-7 notice). Online submission of the notice is simple and creates a clear record to protect the submitting party. When the employer is a healthcare institution, a labor organization is separately required to notify FMCS at least ten days prior to any strike, picket, or other concerted refusal to work. The telephone number for Notice Processing is 202-606-5499.  The fax for Notice Processing is: 202-606-4253 (Some older fax machines may not be able to send faxes to this number.  If this is the case, please email your attachment to

headhsot of Arthur PearlsteinDirector of Office of Arbitration; Shared Neutrals; and Notices 

Arthur Pearlstein

Arthur Pearlstein has a substantial background in arbitration, mediation, and negotiation, with experience as a practitioner, manager, professor, and trainer. In addition, he has worked extensively in the area of dispute systems design in the organized workplace. He has previously served FMCS as a field mediator, as general counsel, and as head of the Agency’s ADR and International Program.

Arthur was also inaugural director of the Werner Institute for Negotiation and Dispute Resolution and Professor of Law at Creighton University in Omaha. He is co-author of a textbook on dispute resolution and the author of the chapter on arbitration (Dispute Resolution: Readings and Case Studies, 3rd Ed. 2011, Edmond Montgomery pub.) He was a contributing author of The Legal Guide to Human Resources (West pub.) and wrote sections on dispute resolution. He has presented on arbitration as well as grievance management at a variety of conferences, programs, and trainings across the United States and overseas.

Arthur received his J.D. with honors from Harvard Law School, holds a master’s in dispute resolution from the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University in California, and a B.A. from Haverford College in Pennsylvania.