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FMCS Statement on Six-Year Agreement Between SSA and AFGE

WASHINGTON, DC – Following the announcement of a six-year agreement affecting more than 45,000 federal employees between the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) headquarters in Washington, DC on Sept. 27, FMCS Director Nominee Richard Giacolone praised the efforts of the parties and the mediator who assisted in the negotiations in the following statement:

“I am very happy to hear the parties were able to reach a fair and mutually beneficial agreement and proud that FMCS was able to assist the parties in reaching this contract. The dedication and commitment of everyone involved in these difficult negotiations were the reason a deal was achieved. This resolution is a testament to the power of good faith bargaining, where both sides are willing to come to the table, put aside their differences and get to work on a mutual agreement that addressed the interests of both sides.  I commend the leadership of SSA and AFGE for their commitment to resolving these difficult issues in the spirit of constructive engagement. As always, FMCS is ready and willing to assist in negotiations like these both as a mediating third party or as a host for a neutral location.”

FMCS Commends the State of Alaska and the Inlandboatmen’s Union on Tentative Agreement

WASHINGTON, DC – Following the announcement of a tentative agreement on Aug. 1 in talks between the State of Alaska and the Inlandboatmen’s Union (IBU), the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) commended the parties on their compromise which effectively ended a work stoppage that began on July 24.

Seattle-based FMCS Commissioner and Regional Director Beth Schindler mediated the talks between the parties and helped to facilitate their achievement in reaching a successor collective bargaining agreement.

“The parties worked around the clock in mediated negotiations over the last week to reach this settlement.  It’s my privilege to help both sides work through challenges resolving their disputes in order to come away with a new contract,” said Schindler. “At the end of the day, that’s why we do what we do, help manage conflict and get people talking.”

FMCS Director Nominee Richard Giacolone issued the following statement on today’s announcement: “We recognize and commend the hard work and perseverance of the State of Alaska and the IBU.  It’s laudable that the parties were willing to narrow their differences and reach a resolution that addressed the interests of both sides. Our goal at FMCS in negotiations like this is to help bridge the divide between labor and management, helping workers get back to their jobs and service to continue. We stand ready to help the parties with continued and improved labor-management relations as the best means for assuring future uninterrupted ferry service.”

Fraud Alert: Transnational Fraud Ring Targets U.S. Government Procurement Offices and Vendors

In July 2018, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) discovered that members of a transnational fraud ring based in Atlanta, Georgia, had impersonated a DHS procurement official to obtain computer equipment from private vendors. Further investigation into the ongoing fraud scheme revealed that the subjects were also stealing electronic equipment intended for other Federal agencies, including the Departments of Commerce, Defense, Housing and Urban Development, Justice, Labor, and Transportation; the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; the Securities and Exchange Commission; and the Railway Retirement Board. Some of the purchase orders identified were for hundreds of thousands of dollars each.

Full Press Release:  Fraud Alert: Transnational Fraud Ring Targets U.S. Government Procurement Offices and Vendors

FMCS and FLRA Sign Memorandum of Understanding

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) and the Federal Labor Relations Authority (Authority) have announced a new commitment to work together to provide labor organizations and agencies with an opportunity to resolve negotiability appeals before they are considered by the Authority’s Members for a decision. Negotiability appeals arise when there is a dispute relating to whether an issue is outside the statutory duty to bargain.

FMCS FLRA MOU

WASHINGTON, DC (June 27, 2019) Representatives from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) and Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) look on as FMCS Director Nominee Richard Giacolone (left) and FLRA Chairman Colleen Duffy Kiko exchange signed copies of a Memorandum of Understanding for a new pilot procedure for resolving negotiability appeals. (FMCS Photo/Greg Raelson)

In a ceremony at FMCS headquarters on June 27, Authority Chairman Colleen Duffy Kiko and FMCS Director Nominee Richard Giacolone signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU), creating a new pilot procedure for resolving negotiability appeals at no cost to the parties. Under its terms, FMCS will develop a unique cadre of mediators, who will receive specialized training from the Authority, to assist the parties in the resolution of negotiability appeals through mediation.

Under the pilot program, before a negotiability appeal is considered by the Authority’s Members for a decision, the Authority may refer such appeals to FMCS, either on the Authority’s own initiative or based upon a request from the parties. Upon referring a negotiability appeal to FMCS, the Authority will inform the parties that it is placing the case in abeyance and will defer further processing of the case.
The negotiability appeal mediation procedure is expected to take between 30 and 60 days.

If the parties settle their entire dispute, FMCS will request that the parties notify the Authority in writing in order to enable the Authority to dismiss the negotiability appeal. If the parties do not settle their entire dispute, the Authority will resume processing of the negotiability appeal.

“I am excited about the opportunity to partner with FMCS and their outstanding team of mediators,” said Chairman Kiko. “The Authority is committed to fulfilling our statutory obligation to expedite negotiability appeals to the extent practicable and to resolving these matters as quickly and efficiently as possible in order to advance the process of collective bargaining. This pilot program with FMCS is a great first step, and we hope to continue our collaboration.”

Director Nominee Giacolone said, “It is our pleasure to use alternative dispute resolution to assist the Authority in the furtherance of productive federal sector labor-management relations. I am confident that our expert mediators will quickly make a real difference in resolving disputes among the parties appearing before the Authority. I look forward to FMCS expanding the work our Agency does on behalf of our federal agencies and dedicated public servants.”

FMCS FLRA

WASHINGTON, DC (June 27, 2019) Representatives from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) and Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) gather for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for a new pilot procedure for resolving negotiability appeals. (FMCS Photo/Greg Raelson)

 

FMCS Commends New England Stop & Shop and UFCW on Ratification of Recent Agreement

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In the evening hours of April 21, 2019, New England-based grocery store chain Stop & Shop and representatives from Locals 328, 371, 1445, 1459, and 919 of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) reached a tentative agreement (TA), effectively stopping an 11-day strike.

The five UFCW Locals, representing more than 31,000 employees, went on strike April 11 following the expiration of a three-year contract on Feb. 23.

Federal mediators Paul Chabot and Martin Callaghan from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) were requested by management and the unions to join the negotiations on April 3 following an impasse between the two parties.

FMCS Director Nominee Richard Giacolone commended the parties on their signing of the TA and the hard work of the FMCS mediators assigned to the case. “Bargaining sessions are no easy task for anyone involved, and I’m proud to see the tenacity and efforts by the parties and FMCS’ mediators pay off with a successful outcome. Being able to create a path for workers to get back on the job is great for management and labor, and certainly great for the customers eager to visit Stop & Shop for their grocery needs once again.”

The work stoppage was highly publicized in local and national media and gained a wide array of attention, including participation by celebrities and political figures.

With assistance by fellow FMCS Commissioners Barbara Owens and Dan Ross, Chabot and Callaghan were able to assist the parties in coming to the table and reaching a mutually-acceptable agreement.  The agreement reached by the parties concerned provisions on a variety of issues including health care and retirement benefits, wage increases, and overtime pay on Sunday for current members.

FMCS Regional Director Peter Donatello, whose area of responsibility includes New England said, “I am proud of our FMCS team in assisting the parties to reach an agreement.  Working with multiple contracts and multiple parties all at the same time and for sometimes up to 12-14 hours a day can bring a unique challenge to mediating any negotiations.”

“Part of our job as mediators is to be able to sort through and assist the parties to align their wants and needs and help better streamline the discussions. We were happy to be able to do just that and we commend the parties in their willingness to be open to each other’s points of view and work tirelessly for an agreement,” said Donatello.

Commissioner Martin Callaghan expressed his thoughts on the agreement, “From our neutral third-party perspective, it was evident the parties worked hard to achieve mutually acceptable solutions addressing their primary interests.”

Callaghan continued, “Any time there is a stalemate, it’s important that the parties keep talking, even if it is indirectly through the mediators. The parties themselves are then able build on that momentum until the deal is done.  I am extremely pleased and thankful to the parties for their tireless efforts in bringing this work stoppage to a peaceful resolution, and happy FMCS was invited to be a part of it.”

FMCS and EEOC Sign Memorandum of Agreement: Shares Commitment To Actively Resolve Federal Workplace Disputes

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) have officially committed to work together to resolve federal workplace disputes by utilizing Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) as a means of efficiently reducing the backlog of federal sector charges, the EEOC and FMCS announced today.

WASHINGTON, DC (April 11, 2019) Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) Director Nominee Richard Giacolone (left) and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Acting Chair Victoria A. Lipnic sign a Memorandum of Agreement pledging the agencies to work together to resolve federal workplace disputes. (FMCS Photo/Greg Raelson)

In a ceremony at the EEOC, the EEOC Acting Chair Victoria A. Lipnic and FMCS Director Nominee Richard Giacolone signed a national memorandum of agreement, creating a voluntary working relationship between the two agencies. Under its terms, FMCS will work with the EEOC to identify parties involved in federal sector complaints and provide the opportunity to resolve pending conflicts prior to a decision by an Administrative Judge (AJ).

The agreement establishes a voluntary contractual working relationship where the EEOC will identify federal sector cases in its inventory suitable for mediation by FMCS.  The parties to these cases will then work with the EEOC staff to get their cases before a FMCS mediator who will provide mediation services to the parties. The EEOC retains responsibility for the closure or continued processing of all cases. FMCS has tremendous talent and experience assisting parties in the resolution of disputes.  Moreover, FMCS mediators are located across the country, which allow them the flexibility to conduct mediations wherever there is a need.

Created in 1947, FMCS is a government agency that helps build better relationships through joint problem-solving and constructive responses to inevitable conflict. In turn, this improves the ability of organizations to create value for customers, shareholders and employees alike and substantially benefits the national economy. FMCS concentrates its efforts on assisting employers and employees in coping with the demands of a rapidly changing workplace.

WASHINGTON, DC (April 11, 2019) Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) Director Nominee Richard Giacolone (left) and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Acting Chair Victoria A. Lipnic shake hands following their signing of a Memorandum of Agreement pledging the agencies to work together to resolve federal workplace disputes. (FMCS Photo/Greg Raelson)ng workplace.

“Charges of discrimination in our federal workplaces are no less important than the private sector” said EEOC Acting Chair Lipnic. “During the past two years we increased hiring for AJ’s and implemented strategies to increase efficiency in the hearings program. This resulted in a 30 percent increase in resolutions and for the first time, a decrease in the pending inventory of hearings. However, we still need to do more. Achieving and maintaining a balanced and manageable inventory is crucial to providing quality customer service to our primary stakeholder: the American workforce. This agreement with FMCS allows us to do just that.”

Richard Giacolone said, “It is our pleasure to partner with the EEOC and provide our federal mediators to assist in resolving federal workplace disputes before the involvement of an AJ.  Any time opposing parties can come together to make a mutually-agreeable decision is a positive development.  With our expert mediators at the ready, we are happy to assist the EEOC in providing the most efficient and effective service to workers across the federal sector.”

WASHINGTON, DC (April 11, 2019) Representatives from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) stand behind FMCS Director Nominee Richard Giacolone (front left) and EEOC Acting Chair Victoria A. Lipnic following their signing of a Memorandum of Agreement pledging the agencies to work together to resolve federal workplace disputes. (FMCS Photo/Greg Raelson)

FMCS Statement on the Passing of Former Director Bernard E. DeLury

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) senior leadership issued the following statement regarding the passing of former Director Bernard “Bernie” E. DeLury on March 20, 2019:

“It is with great sadness that we mourn the loss of a great leader and friend to FMCS, Bernard E. DeLury.  Bernie was our 12th director, nominated by President H.W. Bush and sworn in on April 27, 1990.  A former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Labor and New York State Labor Department official, Bernie began his career as a journeyman building tradesman. His corporate labor relations experience included Vice President of labor relations for the Sea Land Corporation. He served FMCS until 1993.  Bernie was an admired colleague and leader who led FMCS through many tough negotiations, perhaps most notably the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) and Greyhound strikes occurring just after his appointment.  Through the years, Bernie would often attend FMCS events and symposiums, offering mediators words of advice and encouragement from his experience and history with the agency. We will miss his presence dearly. With our deepest condolences to Bernie’s family and friends, we humbly wish them peace during this time.”

B.E. DeLury

FMCS Commissions New Mediator Class of 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) commissioned 18 new mediators March 19, 2019 in its Washington, DC headquarters as part of an annual ceremony and training program designed to prepare new mediators for their role as dispute resolution and conflict management experts, providing services to labor and management during contract negotiations, workplace disputes and other workplace issues.

The mediators arrived from across the country for the five-day program led by senior FMCS staff. A comprehensive and holistic training program, the new mediators will be introduced to a variety of professional topics including transitioning to a neutral, administrative procedures, mediator code of conduct and ethics, FMCS history, the National Labor Relations Act and alternative dispute resolution.

WASHINGTON, DC (March 19, 2019) Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) Deputy Director Richard Giacolone administers the oath of office to a group of new federal mediators from around the country at the FMCS headquarters. The mediators were at the headquarters to attend a five-day training program to prepare them for their role in helping to resolve labor-management conflicts, build better relationships, and create more effective organizations. (FMCS Photo/Heather Brown)

FMCS Deputy Director Richard Giacolone, himself having more than 23 years as an FMCS mediator, welcomed the new mediators and spoke about their joining the agency at a critical time of change.

“It’s exciting to see a group of folks who are coming into the agency as we evolve from a focus on mostly resolving labor-relations disputes to a workplace conflict management agency focusing on more than just the labor-relations side,” Giacolone said. “We are getting into some very new and exciting work on both the domestic and the international side and in very sophisticated areas like negotiated rulemaking. I’m very much looking forward to having our new mediators involved in these new projects.”

The mediator class of 2019, as all other mediator classes, is assigned a peer mentor whose role is to act as an administrative resource, a helpful sounding board, and to assist in facilitating their transition to commissioned federal mediators at FMCS.
Ligia Velasquez, a veteran mediator from FMCS’ Seattle field office who is mentoring her first new class, said she is “excited to be a part of the development of an amazing and very talented group of people.” Velasquez continued, encouraging them to “ask questions and take advantage of all the resources available to them.”

Mediators from FMCS provide services to the federal, public and private sectors in building labor-management partnerships, managing conflict, and averting or mitigating the damaging effects of workplace disputes. During the week-long training FMCS helps the new mediators develop their expertise in building better relationships through joint problem-solving and by advocating constructive responses to inevitable conflict. Ensuring a well-prepared staff early on is important for FMCS and for the overall mission. The ability to help organizations reduce conflict means they will become more efficient, creating more value for customers, shareholders and employees alike, and substantially benefit the national economy.

Many of the new mediators are already experienced labor-relations professionals. New mediator Kevin Wagner, assigned to the Washington, DC field office, has a background on both sides of the negotiating table and as a neutral, previously working for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association union, working for a neutral labor arbitrator, and working as director of labor relations for Bloomberg BNA before coming to FMCS. He also is a third generation FMCS mediator. “My father and grandfather were both federal mediators, so I’ve been around the agency my whole life,” he said.

“I’m very happy to continue that legacy here at FMCS,” Wagner said. “I look at mediation as more of a vocation than a job. When you really want to do this, it’s not really work. I’m excited about the variety of work we will be exposed to. Whether it’s collective bargaining or (alternative dispute resolution), I enjoy not having a foot in one bucket.”

At the end of the training, the new mediators will return to their respective field locations to continue working alongside more seasoned FMCS mediators until they begin working their own cases.

Giacolone offered his advice to the new mediators. “Be a good listener,” he said. “That’s half of what we do, making sure we understand what the problem is that the parties are facing and understanding it completely. That helps us to help them and helping them is what it’s all about.”

WASHINGTON, DC (March 19, 2019) Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) Deputy Director Richard Giacolone (center) poses with newly commissioned federal mediators from around the country at the FMCS headquarters. The mediators were at the headquarters to attend a five-day training program to prepare them for their role in helping to resolve labor-management conflicts, build better relationships, and create more effective organizations. (FMCS Photo/Heather Brown)

WASHINGTON, DC (March 19, 2019) Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) Deputy Director Richard Giacolone (center) poses with newly commissioned federal mediators from around the country at the FMCS headquarters. The mediators were at the headquarters to attend a five-day training program to prepare them for their role in helping to resolve labor-management conflicts, build better relationships, and create more effective organizations. (FMCS Photo/Heather Brown)

FMCS Issues Joint Statement on Barton Healthcare System and the California Nurses Association Cooling Off Period

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On behalf of Barton Healthcare System (Barton Health) and the California Nurses Association (CNA), the U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) has issued the following statement:

“On the request of the mediator, the parties have agreed to abide to a 35-day cooling off period beginning Feb. 19, 2019. During this period, neither party may conduct any sanctioned labor action, to include strikes or lockouts. However, the parties will continue to be actively engaged in negotiations to exchange proposals under the guidance of FMCS.

Only official representatives of CNA are authorized to speak on behalf of CNA regarding any matters related to the parties’ negotiations. Similarly, only official representatives of Barton Health are authorized to speak on behalf of Barton Health regarding any matters related to the parties’ negotiations.”

As is Agency practice, FMCS does not disclose information regarding meeting dates and locations, nor information regarding the status or substance of the negotiations.

FMCS Issues Joint Statement on Behalf of Barton Healthcare System and the California Nurses Association

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On behalf of Barton Healthcare System (Barton Health) and the California Nurses Association (CNA), the U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) has issued the following statement:

“With the assistance of FMCS, Barton Health and CNA collectively have agreed to work with FMCS in mediated labor negotiations towards a new collective bargaining agreement. Only official representatives of CNA are authorized to speak on behalf of CNA with regard to any matters related to the parties’ negotiations. Similarly, only official representatives of Barton Health are authorized to speak on behalf of Barton Health with regard to any matters related to the parties’ negotiations.”

As is Agency practice, FMCS does not disclose information regarding meeting dates and locations, nor information regarding the status or substance of the negotiations.

FMCS Commends National Grid and USW on Ratification of Recent Agreement

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Jan. 7, 2019, National Grid and United Steelworkers Locals 12003 and 12012-04 ratified a tentative 5 1/2 -year agreement that was reached Jan. 2. The new agreement covers approximately 1,250 gas workers across eastern Massachusetts and ends a six-month work stoppage that had been widely covered in the media. The company and unions have negotiated a transition schedule beginning with onboarding sessions this week that will lead to a full return to work later this month.

Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) Commissioner Martin Callaghan of the Boston field office was assigned to the case in April and began mediating negotiations in June before the work stoppage. Assisted by fellow FMCS Commissioners Barbara Owens and Todd Austin, they were able to assist the parties in coming to the table and reaching a mutually-acceptable agreement.  The parties are commended for their hard work and openness to mediation, working through 36 collective bargaining mediation sessions, and for their tenacity in meeting continuously throughout the holidays to find a resolution both sides would find satisfactory.

FMCS Acting Director Rich Giacolone applauded the agreement, the parties, and the FMCS mediators for their roles bringing both sides together during the bargaining. “It has been a long six months, and I’m happy to see the long hours and commitment by everyone involved resulted in a successful and positive outcome. Getting back on the job is good for the workers, good for the company and good for the many customers who rely on normal operations.”

Both parties recognized the improvements made to the contract in the areas of wages, pensions, healthcare and the creation of new positions, among other items.

“I am pleased to know FMCS was able to play a role in creating an environment where both parties      can put aside their differences and come to an adequate agreement.” said Giacolone. “It’s what we’re here for.”

FMCS Statement on Tentative Agreement in Professional Referee Organization and Professional Soccer Referees Association Contract Talks

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Jan. 7, 2019, representatives from the Professional Referee Organization and the Professional Soccer Referees Association reached tentative agreement on a successor collective bargaining agreement under the auspices of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS). Subject to the ratification of the membership, the new agreement will cover a five-year term with a new expiration date of January 15, 2024. This agreement followed five consecutive days of mediation at the FMCS offices in Woodbridge, New Jersey.

FMCS Acting Director Rich Giacolone commended the work of FMCS Deputy Director and National Representative Scot Beckenbaugh and FMCS Commissioner Bill Domini of the Northeast Region who provided valuable assistance throughout the mediation process. “We applaud the efforts of the negotiating teams in reaching this tentative agreement,” Giacolone said. “I am gratified that FMCS was able to aid in these negotiations and look forward to a positive conclusion.”

In accordance with FMCS practice and consistent with the requirements of mediator confidentiality, FMCS will have no further comment on the details of the agreement or the substance of the negotiations.

FMCS Again Selected As “Best Place to Work” Among Small Federal Agencies in Back-to-Back Years

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) again received the top ranking among small Federal agencies as a Best Place to Work in the Federal Government, according to the 2018 rankings released today by the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service and Boston Consulting Group.

With rankings first being held in 2003, this marks the fifth time FMCS was selected for the top spot, having earned this distinction in 2005, 2007, 2015, and in 2017. Additionally, the Agency has consistently ranked in the top 4 since the “small agency” category rankings were first included in 2007. Data points from the FEVS revealed that FMCS’s 2018 employee engagement score is 87.2 out of 100, which placed FMCS at 1 out of 29 small agencies. The FMCS score improved by 0.3 points since last year, while the government-wide engagement score is 62.2, down 0.6 points from last year.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Dec. 12, 2018) (From L to R) Deputy Director, Field Operations Gary Hattal, Acting Director Rich Giacolone and Change Management Advisor Traci Coddington accept a plaque recognizing the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) as the Best Place to Work in the Federal Government (Small Agency category) for 2018. (Photo courtesy of Partnership for Public Service)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Dec. 12, 2018) (From L to R) Deputy Director, Field Operations Gary Hattal, Acting Director Rich Giacolone and Change Management Advisor Traci Coddington accept a plaque recognizing the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) as the Best Place to Work in the Federal Government (Small Agency category) for 2018. (Photo courtesy of Partnership for Public Service)

“I could not be prouder of our FMCS team, and I am truly humbled that FMCS has earned the top award for small agencies once again,” said FMCS Acting Director Rich Giacolone. “Serving as an FMCS employee myself for more than 23 years, I’ve always been honored to be a part of our vital mission helping to resolve workplace conflict. Our team also holds this mission in the highest regard and it continues to be reflected in their self-reported analysis of job satisfaction in this survey. Time and again, FMCS employees have demonstrated their strong commitment to excellence as public servants and to the mission which unites the FMCS organization.”

Looking forward to the 2019 FEVS, FMCS will maintain its focus on continuous improvement and has already begun work to increase innovation, one of two categories where scores declined slightly from the previous year. The nonprofit Partnership for Public Service, and Boston Consulting Group, which released the rankings of Federal workplaces today, based their overall ratings on responses from more than 598,000 civil servants to the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) conducted by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) annually. Historically, there have been between 28 and 35 agencies in the “small agency” category for Federal government rankings.

The Best Places to Work rankings provide critical information to help Federal agencies and Congress assess workplace health and performance. In addition to overall satisfaction and commitment, the rankings measure employee attitudes on multiple workplace categories, including effective leadership, strategic management, innovation, support for diversity, training and development, work-life balance, teamwork and pay.

Complete rankings and more information about the survey are available at the Partnership for Public Service website at https://bestplacestowork.org/

FMCS to Head Administration of National Capital Area Shared Neutrals Program

FMCS today announced it will begin administrative management of the Federal Shared Neutrals Program, an interagency collaborative effort in support of alternative dispute resolution, formerly operated as Sharing Neutrals by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). FMCS will administer the program in the National Capital Region, including the Washington, DC area and Baltimore, in coordination with participating federal agencies that contribute to, and make use of, a pool of collateral-duty federal employees to mediate cases outside their own agency. In many regions of the country, Federal Executive Boards (FEBs) have created individual programs modeled after the DC-based program but run through each FEB. These programs will continue separate operations, except for those who may wish to have FMCS administer their regional SN program.

Annually, the SN Program provides workplace mediation services at little or no cost for approximately 250 cases across more than 50 participating agencies and sub-agencies. This has been a very successful relationship supported by a pool of more than 250 collateral-duty federal employees who are dedicated to assisting in the resolution of workplace disputes.

To learn more about using Shared Neutrals services, or joining the program, contact the Shared Neutrals Program Coordinator at (202) 796-1533, email sharedneutrals@fmcs.gov, or visit our information page at www.fmcs.gov/sharedneutrals.

FMCS Announces Labor-Management Grants Totaling $441,753

Release Date: 11/7/18

WASHINGTON, DC – The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) today announced the selection of three recipients of labor-management grants totaling $441,753 to fund cooperative projects addressing cooperation as a means to improve collective bargaining, and fund joint, innovative solutions to proactively mitigate workplace issues, including quality assurance and the “skills gap” between applicants and job vacancies in fields such as healthcare, manufacturing and the building trades.

As has been the case in previous years, FMCS sought applications targeting a shortage of skilled workers for U.S. manufacturing jobs and other vital economic sectors. This year, FMCS showed special interest in applications that look ahead to training for high-tech jobs that will emerge from an economy where new technology such as artificial intelligence is becoming more commonplace. The successful labor-management applicants reflect both economic and geographic diversity, including diverse industries and regions.

“I am extremely impressed with the quality of applicants for this year’s grants program. Our grantees distinguished themselves by showing that collaborative and creative approaches can be used by both labor and management to jointly resolve workplace issues, avoiding potentially disruptive disputes,” said FMCS Acting Director Rich Giacolone.

“FMCS enthusiastically supports this type of joint problem solving and we encourage groups representing both sides of the table to work together to collectively succeed,” said Giacolone.

Under the Agency’s grants program, FMCS awards a limited number of competitive grants to encourage and promote labor-management cooperation as well as joint, innovative solutions to workplace issues.

Through its grant awards, the Agency supports best practices in labor-management cooperation as a way of improving collective bargaining and proactively mitigating labor-management disputes. The grants program helps foster the establishment and operation of joint labor-management committees at the company level, on a community or area-wide basis, within a particular industry, or for public sector employees.

The grants program, which began in 1981 under the authority of the Labor-Management Cooperation Act of 1978 (PL 95-524), has funded a broad range of projects including outreach, communications, strategic planning, minority recruitment and process development.

Please see the attached FY-2018 Labor-Management Cooperation Grant Program Funding Summaries.

FMCS Statement on Tentative Labor Agreement Between Kaiser Permanente and the Alliance of Health Care Unions

WASHINGTON, D.C. —Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) Acting Director Rich Giacolone issued the following statement today on the announcement of a tentative agreement between Kaiser Permanente and the Alliance of Health Care Unions:

“I want to acknowledge Kaiser Permanente and the Alliance of Health Care Unions for this exceptional achievement. These were lengthy and difficult negotiations, and despite the challenges, the parties were able to reach a tentative agreement on extremely complex and comprehensive issues with the potential to benefit thousands of patients and workers across the country.”

The negotiations, which began in May, were the largest private-sector health care negotiations in the United States. The tentative agreement carries special importance as it is the first between Kaiser Permanente and the newly formed Alliance of Health Care Unions. The tentative agreement covers nearly 48,000 Kaiser health care workers, in 22 union locals, located in seven states and the District of Columbia.

“Our goal as neutrals is to help the parties reach agreement, but we always recognize that the credit for that agreement rightfully belongs to the negotiating parties. We are honored to have contributed in some small part,” said Giacolone.

In addition to recognizing the work of the negotiating teams, Giacolone also praised the efforts of FMCS Commissioners Isael Hermosillo, Rachel Lev, Steve Kessler and Jimmy Valentine, along with Regional Director Linda Gonzalez and FMCS Deputy Director Scot Beckenbaugh, who assisted the parties during this extensive process. “Our team put in many long hours throughout these negotiations,” Giacolone said. “We extend our congratulations to the parties and thank Kaiser Permanente and the Alliance for their cooperation.”

In accordance with FMCS practice and consistent with the requirements of mediator confidentiality, FMCS will have no further comment on the details of the agreement or the substance of the negotiations.

The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, created in 1947, is an independent U.S. government agency whose mission is to preserve and promote labor-management peace and cooperation. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 10 district offices and more than 60 field offices, the agency provides mediation and conflict resolution services to industry, government agencies and communities.

Download a PDF copy of this news release by clicking HERE.

FMCS Contingency Plan for Agency Operations in the Absence of Appropriations

This FMCS memorandum sets forth a contingency plan that will be operational in the event of a lapse in appropriations to fund current Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service activities.  The plan provides for an orderly suspension of agency operations and for continuation of those agency operations deemed to be excepted from suspension.

To access the FMCS 2020 Contingency Plan, click here.

FMCS 2018 National Labor-Management Conference Hears From Top Labor Experts, U.S. Secretary of Labor

The FMCS 2018 National Labor-Management Conference concluded August 23 in Chicago after hearing from a lineup of distinguished speakers during the three-day event, including U.S. Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta as well as experts on dispute resolution, negotiation, collective bargaining and other labor relations topics.

 

For more information about NLMC 2018, visit the conference web page at http://www.cvent.com/events/national-labor-management-conference-2018/event-summary-441d929858ac4e7e8dbc21b929d1b996.aspx

FMCS mediator and spouse help disabled theft victim

San-Antonio-TX-based FMCS mediator Walter Darr and his wife Lara were moved by a local TV-news story about a disabled Marine veteran whose livelihood was threatened when a wood saw that was vital to his work was stolen from his home workshop. Inspired by the plight of the former Marine, Water and his wife purchased a replacement saw for the vet, which attracted the attention of Houston-based KHOU11-TV. The KHOU news crew returned to do a follow-up report on the Darrs’ compassionate assistance for the work-at-home former Marine. View the news video coverage.

Announcement: FMCS Announces Key Personnel Positions

WASHINGTON, DC – Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) Acting Director, Rich Giacolone announced on June 26 during a regularly-scheduled managers’ meeting that, effective immediately, FMCS Commissioner Gary Hattal will be replacing John Pinto as Deputy Director of Field Operations in preparation for Pinto’s upcoming retirement.

Pinto served FMCS for almost 30 years, beginning his career as a field mediator in 1988 and assuming the duties of Deputy Director, Field Operations in 2016.

The Deputy Director, Field Operations oversees the FMCS field office structure and ensures maximum support to all field staff, including administrative assistants, mediators, and managers.

WASHINGTON, DC (June 26, 2018) Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) Acting Director, Rich Giacolone (second from right) announces at a regularly-scheduled managers’ meeting his selection of FMCS commissioners Gary Hattal (right) and David Thaler to serve as the new Deputy Director of Field Operations and Senior Advisor to the Director’s Office, respectively.  (FMCS Photo/Released)

WASHINGTON, DC (June 26, 2018) Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) Acting Director, Rich Giacolone (second from right) announces at a regularly-scheduled managers’ meeting his selection of FMCS commissioners Gary Hattal (right) and David Thaler to serve as the new Deputy Director of Field Operations and Senior Advisor to the Director’s Office, respectively. (FMCS Photo/Released)

Hattal has been with FMCS since 1995 and has served as a field mediator in three field stations (Washington, D.C., Oakland, CA and Seattle, WA), director of Arbitration Services for the FMCS, director of the FMCS Institute for Conflict Management, and as a special assistant to the FMCS’s former Agency Director. He has served across a variety of arenas including dispute settlement, preventive mediation, training, assessment, coaching, and facilitation skills to achieve enhanced work relationships. He has varied and extensive experience in the phases of interest-based negotiations procedures, organizational culture, and labor-management partnership development.

Prior to receiving his FMCS appointment, Hattal’s experience includes over 15 years of labor relations representation, contract negotiations, and has served as an adjunct professor for numerous colleges and universities.

Giacolone also announced that FMCS Commissioner David Thaler will be transitioning to a new position as Senior Advisor to the Director’s Office. In this capacity, Thaler will advise and support senior managers in the Office of the Director in policy development and implementation.

Thaler, previously based out of the Metro New York field office, mediated disputes involving collective bargaining, and designed and facilitated labor-management committee cooperation efforts involving major hospitals and unions in the New York City area. He also trained labor and management partners in a variety of industries in core relationship and communications skills so that they could excel in the administration phase of their collective bargaining agreements. Prior to joining FMCS, Thaler practiced employment and commercial litigation in New York City, handling cases involving employment-related statutes such as the Fair Labor Standards Act and Title VII. He later served as an International Programs Officer with the Bureau of International Labor Affairs at the U.S. Department of Labor.

Develop Collective Bargaining Skills with FMCS Training

Collective bargaining in today’s environment is challenging. Economic uncertainties, com-
plex health and pension benefit issues, social media, and influences from external forces
often make the collective bargaining process difficult to navigate. Improved negotiation
skills can increase your odds of achieving a collective bargaining agreement that meets
the needs of both sides.

Click here for more information.

For a Winning Combination, Build a Better Labor-Management Relationship

The American workplace is the basic foundation of the U.S. economy, and the ability of American business to compete worldwide relates directly to workplace performance. The workplace labor-management relationship, therefore, has major economic implications, because it affects product and service quality, productivity and profits of firms, and the jobs and employment security of workers. To assist management and labor in improving their relationship so they can learn to work together on issues of mutual interest, as a team instead of adversaries, FMCS offers a range of Relationship Development and Training services.

To learn more, click here.

Deadline Approaching for FMCS Labor-Management Grants Applications Due May 31, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC – The deadline to apply for a labor-management grant from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) is now less than a month away; and time is growing short to earn grant funding for projects such as improving workers’ skills, addressing workplace health and safety issues, or jointly resolving labor-management issues.

FMCS grants totaling approximately $500,000 will be awarded in FY 2018 to promote best practices in labor-management cooperation as a way of improving collective bargaining and proactively mitigating labor-management disputes. The grant program supports the establishment and operation of joint labor-management committees at the company level, on a community or area-wide basis, within a particular industry, and for public sector employees.

FMCS grants are intended to support and promote labor-management cooperation as well as joint, innovative solutions to disruptive workplace issues.

As has been the case in previous years, FMCS is encouraging applications to address the shortage of skilled workers for U.S. manufacturing jobs and in other vital economic sectors. Also of special interest are grant applications that look ahead to training for high-tech jobs that will emerge from an economy where new technologies such as artificial intelligence, self-driving vehicles, and Internet-based transactions are commonplace. John Pinto, FMCS Deputy Director, Field Operations, said, “It is imperative that management and labor begin preparing for the new jobs and workplaces that new technologies will create in the near future.”

FMCS Deputy Director Scot Beckenbaugh added, “We want to encourage labor organizations and employers to think about the jobs of tomorrow and to explore options with the FMCS grants program for developing joint training programs that can teach the skills needed to fill these jobs.”

Detailed information and application training videos are available at https://www.fmcs.gov/resources/forms-applications/labor-management-grants-program/.

Interested parties are urged to contact the FMCS Grants Office at (202) 606-8181 with any questions they might have.

The grants program, which began in 1981 under the authority of the Labor-Management Cooperation Act of 1978 (PL 95-524), has funded a broad range of projects including outreach, communications, strategic planning, minority recruitment and process development.

New FMCS Mediators Train to Resolve Labor-Management Conflicts

WASHINGTON, DC– The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) hosted 14 newly commissioned mediators Mar. 19-23 in its Washington, DC headquarters as part of an annual training program designed to prepare new mediators to help FMCS labor and management customers better manage disruptive contract and workplace disputes.

The five-day program, led by senior FMCS staff, introduced a variety of professional topics including administrative procedures, mediator code of conduct and ethics, the history of FMCS, the National Labor Relations Act and alternative dispute resolution.

FMCS Deputy Director Scot Beckenbaugh welcomed the new mediators as “the newest members of the FMCS family,” he said. “Our primary goal throughout this week is to provide our mediators with the highest levels of training, allowing them to best support labor-management negotiations in the field and support the institution of collective bargaining.”

WASHINGTON, DC (March 20, 2018) Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) Deputy Director, Scot Beckenbaugh, welcomes a group of new federal mediators from around the country at the FMCS headquarters. The mediators were at the headquarters to attend a five-day training program to prepare them for their role in helping to resolve labor-management conflicts, build better relationships, and create more effective organizations. (FMCS Photo/Heather Brown)

WASHINGTON, DC (March 20, 2018) Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) Deputy Director, Scot Beckenbaugh, welcomes a group of new federal mediators from around the country at the FMCS headquarters. The mediators were at the headquarters to attend a five-day training program to prepare them for their role in helping to resolve labor-management conflicts, build better relationships, and create more effective organizations. (FMCS Photo/Heather Brown)

Mediators from FMCS provide a multitude of services to both the public and private sector to build labor-management partnerships, manage conflict, and avert or mitigate the damaging effects of workplace disputes. Many of the new mediators are already experienced labor-relations professionals, with expertise in resolving labor-management disputes, building labor-management relationships, and alternative dispute resolution for government agencies. FMCS equips them to help build better relationships through joint problem-solving and by advocating constructive responses to inevitable conflict. Organizations that reduce conflict become more efficient, creating more value for customers, shareholders and employees alike, and substantially benefit the national economy.

“This was very helpful training,” said Antionette Turner, one of the new mediators attending the course. “The best part was that I learned a lot of techniques from very experienced mediators that help shed light on how to be most effective and value-added to the parties I will be assisting in negotiations.”

Mediators arrived in Washington from across the country, representing some of the more than 60 FMCS field offices and 10 regional offices. Although new to federal mediation, all the mediators are experienced in labor-management negotiations whether on the labor side or the management side.

“With my previous background as a union representative, I wanted to take my experience into another level of development,” said Tim Healy, a new mediator based out of Chicago. “I’ve used FMCS in the past and respect their mission statement. I’m grateful to be aboard.”

At the end of the training, the new mediators returned to their respective field locations to continue working alongside more seasoned FMCS mediators until they begin working their own cases.

“I’m excited to develop this skillset and use my position as a neutral to help facilitate better relations among disputing parties to hopefully avoid strikes or lockouts and get everyone to a place they are equally comfortable with,” said Healy.

FMCS, created in 1947, is an independent agency whose mission is to preserve and promote labor-management peace and cooperation. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with ten regional offices and more than 60 field offices, the agency provides mediation and conflict resolution services to industry, government agencies and communities.

WASHINGTON, DC (March 20, 2018) John Pinto, director of field operations for the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS), administers the oath of office to a group of new federal mediators from around the country at the FMCS headquarters. The mediators were at the headquarters to attend a five-day training program to prepare them for their role in helping to resolve labor-management conflicts, build better relationships, and create more effective organizations. (FMCS Photo/Greg Raelson)

WASHINGTON, DC (March 20, 2018) John Pinto, director of field operations for the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS), administers the oath of office to a group of new federal mediators from around the country at the FMCS headquarters. The mediators were at the headquarters to attend a five-day training program to prepare them for their role in helping to resolve labor-management conflicts, build better relationships, and create more effective organizations. (FMCS Photo/Greg Raelson)

FMCS Ranks First Among Small Federal Agency “Best Places to Work”

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) has received the top ranking among 28 small Federal agencies as a “best place to work” in the government, according to an analysis of survey results by the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service.

“We are pleased and honored at this recognition of FMCS,” said John Pinto, Deputy Director of Field Operations. “Once again, FMCS employees have demonstrated their strong commitment to high standards of excellence for themselves and for FMCS leadership, and have shown their dedication to our vital mission of helping to resolve workplace conflict.”

FMCS Deputy Director Scot L. Beckenbaugh added, “FMCS has performed consistently well in the yearly ratings because of the hard work of FMCS managers and employees in practicing daily what we advocate for our customers, which is to encourage a workplace culture based on transparency, trust, respect, tolerance, and communication. We pride ourselves in working together as managers and employees to both raise our individual performance levels and achieve our organizational goals.”

FMCS was recognized at a Partnership for Public Service news conference Friday for its first place ranking in 2017, which also rated FMCS first among small agencies in several individual categories, including “Effective Leadership,” “Innovation,” and “Empowerment.” based on employee responses to survey questions.

The nonprofit Partnership for Public Service, and Deloitte, which released the rankings of Federal workplaces today, based their overall ratings on responses from more than 486,105 civil servants in 410 Federal organizations to the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) conducted by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) from May to June in 2017.

The Best Places to Work rankings provide critical information to help Federal agencies and Congress assess workplace health and performance. In addition to overall satisfaction and commitment, the rankings measure employee attitudes on 10 workplace categories, including effective leadership, innovation, support for diversity, work-life balance and pay.

Based on previous surveys, the FMCS was the top-ranked “best place to work” among small agencies in 2005, 2007, and 2015. The rankings began in 2003, and since 2007 have been conducted annually. The FMCS generally has scored among the top five finishers for small agencies in every year that Agency results were available for comparison.

Complete 2017 rankings and information about the survey are available at the Partnership for Public Service website at http://bestplacestowork.org/BPTW/.

For Federal News Radio coverage of the FMCS ranking, click here.

FMCS Labor-Management Grants Program Accepts Applications for FY 2018

WASHINGTON, DC– The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) has opened its labor-management grants application period for fiscal year 2018 and is encouraging grant applications focused on building a skilled workforce in every segment of the U.S. economy where employers have experienced difficulties in filling available good-paying jobs requiring specialized training and new skill sets.

FMCS grants are intended to support and promote labor-management cooperation as well as joint, innovative solutions to disruptive workplace issues.

FMCS grants totaling approximately $500,000 will be awarded in FY 2018 to promote best practices in labor-management cooperation as a way of improving collective bargaining and proactively mitigating labor-management disputes. The grant program supports the establishment and operation of joint labor-management committees at the company level, on a community or area-wide basis, within a particular industry, and for public sector employees.

As has been the case in previous years, FMCS is encouraging applications to address the shortage of skilled workers for U.S. manufacturing jobs and in other vital economic sectors. Also of special interest are grant applications that look ahead to training for high-tech jobs that will emerge from an economy where new technologies such as artificial intelligence, self-driving vehicles, and Internet-based transactions are commonplace. John Pinto, FMCS Deputy Director, Field Operations, said, “It is imperative that management and labor begin preparing for the new jobs and workplaces that new technologies will create in the near future. Management and labor, working collaboratively, and with FMCS assistance, can develop plans to suit their individual circumstances and special needs, whatever they might be, to fill our nation’s requirement for skilled workers tomorrow, next year and the next decade.”

“We want to encourage labor organizations and employers to think about the jobs of tomorrow and to explore options with the FMCS grants program for developing joint training programs that can teach the skills needed to fill these jobs,” said FMCS Deputy Director Scot L. Beckenbaugh. “Working with FMCS to build cooperative efforts, unions and employers can also benefit from improved labor-management relationships and increased competency in joint problem-solving through anticipating and teaching the skills that the workers of tomorrow will need,’ Beckenbaugh said.

Starting March 12, 2018, grant applications may be submitted until May 31, 2018. Application information and instructions for completing the process can be obtained online on the FMCS website.  Interested parties are urged to contact the FMCS Grants Office at (202) 606-8181 with any questions they might have.

The grants program, which began in 1981 under the authority of the Labor-Management Cooperation Act of 1978 (PL 95-524), has funded a broad range of projects including outreach, communications, strategic planning, minority recruitment and process development.

 

FMCS Announces Labor-Management Grants Totaling $895,096

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) today announced 10 recipients of labor-management grants totaling $895,096 to fund cooperative projects addressing disruptive workplace issues, including the “skills gap” between applicants and job vacancies in fields such as manufacturing and the building trades.

In this year’s grants program, FMCS especially sought applications targeting a shortage of skilled workers for U.S. manufacturing jobs and other vital economic sectors. Grant recipients reflected a variety of approaches to developing a more skilled workforce as well as proposals that jointly tackle other workplace issues for labor and management. The successful labor-management applicants reflect both economic and geographic diversity, including diverse industries and regions.

“I am extremely gratified by the outstanding applications we received for this year’s grants program. Our grantees represent the best of the best. They offer real creative approaches to building skill levels in young workers for our nation’s workplaces. In addition, our grantees are showing innovative ways that labor and management can team up to jointly resolve other, potentially disruptive workplace issues,” said FMCS Acting Director John Pinto.

“It is my belief that management and labor, working collaboratively, and with FMCS assistance, can develop plans to suit their individual circumstances and special needs, whatever they might be,” he added. “A strong labor-management relationship is a key factor in the success of businesses and labor organizations that build their communities while they fuel regional and national economies. At FMCS, we are all about growing these relationships.”

Under the Agency’s grants program, FMCS awards a limited number of competitive grants to encourage and promote labor-management cooperation as well as joint, innovative solutions to workplace issues.

Through its grant awards, the Agency supports best practices in labor-management cooperation as a way of improving collective bargaining and proactively mitigating labor-management disputes. The grants program helps foster the establishment and operation of joint labor-management committees at the company level, on a community or area-wide basis, within a particular industry, or for public sector employees.

The grants program, which began in 1981 under the authority of the Labor-Management Cooperation Act of 1978 (PL 95-524), has funded a broad range of projects including outreach, communications, strategic planning, minority recruitment and process development.

Click for a summary of the FY 2017 FMCS labor-management grant recipients.

Former FMCS Directors Join in Agency 70th Anniversary Celebration

WASHINGTON, DC –The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) observed its 70th anniversary with a celebratory cake on August 22, 2017 with a day of seminars and webinars for its labor-management customers and interested parties seeking to improve their collective bargaining relationship, resolve workplace disputes, or bargain more effectively and efficiently.

Acting Director John Pinto slices an FMCS anniversary cake, and former Director Ken Moffett observes.

Acting Director John Pinto slices an FMCS anniversary cake, and former Director Ken Moffett observes.

Anyone interested in learning more about FMCS dispute resolution services was invited to attend either the in-person or online events as well as a noontime anniversary cake-cutting ceremony led by Acting Director John Pinto with distinguished guests and former FMCS Directors Ken Moffett (1981-82), Bernard DeLury (1990-93), Peter Hurtgen (2002-05), and George Cohen (2009-13).

Former FMCS Directors gather for the Agency's 70th anniversary celebration.

Former FMCS Directors gather for the Agency’s 70th anniversary celebration. Left to right, Deputy Director Scot Beckenbaugh; former Director Ken Moffett (1981-82); former Director Peter Hurtgen (2002-05); Acting Director John Pinto; former Director George Cohen (2009-13); and former Director Bernie DeLury (1990-93).

The former FMCS Directors joined Acting Director John Pinto and Deputy Director Scot Beckenbaugh in cutting an FMCS anniversary cake and marking the occasion with some impromptu remarks and remembrances.

New, Improved System to Request FMCS Arbitration Panels Launches

What You Need to Know

To better serve our customers, FMCS launched a totally new arbitration software system on Monday, June 19, 2017. The new system is designed to be more user-friendly for customers and to offer more options, flexibility, and more efficient service. With a step-by-step guide, learning how to use the new FMCS software interface should be quick and easy, and FMCS staff is available to help at every phase. As a first step, customers are asked to complete a simple, one-time registration before making their first panel request following the June 19 launch. Detailed instructions are on the arbitration panel request page. If you have questions at any stage, please contact us at arbitration@fmcs.gov.

FMCS Observes 70th Anniversary

FMCS observed the Agency’s 70th Anniversary at FMCS headquarters at 250 E Street SW, Washington, D.C.,  on August 22, 2017, with a day of seminars and webinars for its labor-management customers and interested parties seeking to improve their collective bargaining relationship, resolve workplace disputes, or bargain more effectively and efficiently.

The new FMCS C3 Conflict Resolution Series of webinars was launched as part of the day’s events, highlighting trends and strategies related to conflict resolution that are designed to help labor-management better communicate and collaborate to create solutions for the Future@Work.

The day also featured a panel discussion focusing on 21st Century Leadership – and how labor and management can apply best practices of leadership in their own organizations. Panelists included: Brian Redmond PhD, Penn State University; Silvia Fabela, The Center for Popular Democracy; Israel Nunez, USAF Reserve and FMCS; and Moderator Conrad Bowling.

Currently, all seats for anniversary events have been fully booked. Join us online for the launch of the C3 Conflict Resolution Panel Series. 

Click the image to enlarge the schedule of events or download it here.

FMCS Applauds ILWU-PMA West Coast Ports Announcements

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) Acting Director John Pinto today applauded the recent announcements regarding a three-year contract extension between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and of the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA). When finalized on August 4, the extension will ensure stable labor relations among employers and the ILWU at all 29 U.S. West Coast ports to July 1, 2022.

The FMCS Acting Director praised both labor and management representatives for taking early and decisive action to resolve their differences well ahead of the scheduled contract expiration in 2019. “Recognizing and addressing mutual issues of concern in advance of a contract deadline is always our recommendation where difficult and complex issues are involved,” Pinto said. “ ILWU President, Bob McEllrath, PMA Executive Director Jim McKenna, the members of their bargaining committees and the respective members of both organizations are to be commended for their success in utilizing the collective bargaining process to bring the hope of calm, stable, and continued economic progress to the West Coast ports and the U.S. economy.

Pinto added, “This is almost a text book example of following the blueprint of FMCS best practices to a successful conclusion at the bargaining table.” The extended contract was based upon the one reached in February, 2015 following what were characterized as “volatile union-employer relations.”

Those talks, which led to a settlement that ultimately restored the ports to normal operations, were successfully mediated by FMCS Deputy Director Scot L Beckenbaugh. With their recent announcements, the ILWU and PMA have extended the main provisions of that contract, with wage, pension, and health care amendments, until a July 1, 2022 expiration date.

FMCS Hosts International Leaders at National Headquarters

As evidence that FMCS expertise in labor dispute resolution is recognized and valued around the world, the Agency hosted leaders from many nations June 29-30 for discussions about labor-management conflict and the role of the Agency in providing mediation and other dispute resolution services.

Management and Labor Leaders Come Together at Louisiana-Mississippi Labor-Management Conference July 31-Aug. 2

This year’s Louisiana-Mississippi Labor-Management Conference will give leaders in management and labor opportunities to examine the impact of social media on the workplace and other hot topics in labor and employment law. Also on the conference agenda, program segments featuring a Healthcare Update; the Affinity Method of Collaborative Economic Bargaining; Updates from Regulatory Agencies, and much more!

For more information, visit the conference website.

Learn the “Competitive Edge” at Texas Labor-Management Conference, July 12-14

Customers, consumers, and, increasingly, employees, expect companies to care about social issues and reward those that engage their employees. In the Federal work place, “employee engagement” is usually the deciding factor in determining the “Best Place to Work.”

Understanding and recognizing this “collective activism” – a desire to leverage the resources of large entities, including government, to change the world rather than act alone – is essential for companies that hope to develop effective labor-relations strategies and have the Competitive Edge.

Learn how to get the “Competitive Edge” at the Texas Labor-Management Conference, July 12-14.

Promoting labor-management cooperation at the Georgia Labor-Management Conference

The Georgia Labor Management Conference brings together unionized workers and their employers, along with lawyers, educators, government agencies and others whose work supports labor management relations.

For more conference information, click here.

FMCS provides services and programs that enable labor and management to better work together in joint problem solving and resolve differences at the collective bargaining table.

 

FMCS Announces Extension For Labor-Management Grants Applications

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) today announced that the deadline for applications for FMCS labor-management grants for fiscal year 2017 has been extended to June 16, 2017.

Under the program, FMCS awards a limited number of competitive grants to encourage and promote labor-management cooperation as well as joint, innovative solutions to disruptive workplace issues.

Through its grant awards, the Agency supports best practices in labor-management cooperation as a way of improving collective bargaining and proactively mitigating labor-management disputes. The grants program helps foster the establishment and operation of joint labor-management committees at the company level, on a community or area-wide basis, within a particular industry, or for public sector employees.

This year, FMCS has especially encouraged applications to address the shortage of skilled workers for U.S. manufacturing jobs and in other vital economic sectors. In announcing this year’s program, FMCS Acting Director John Pinto stated, “It is my belief that management and labor, working collaboratively, and with FMCS assistance, can develop plans to suit their individual circumstances and special needs, whatever they might be, to sufficiently restore a skilled workforce for our nation’s employers.”

With today’s announcement of an extension to the deadline, grant applications may now be submitted to FMCS until June 16, 2017. Application information about how to apply can be obtained online at the Agency’s Web site—www.fmcs.gov. Interested parties are urged to contact the FMCS Grants Office at (202) 606-8181 with any questions they might have.

The grants program, which began in 1981 under the authority of the Labor-Management Cooperation Act of 1978 (PL 95-524), has funded a broad range of projects including outreach, communications, strategic planning, minority recruitment and process development.

 

FMCS Statement on Negotiations Between Honeywell Aerospace and United Auto Workers

WASHINGTON, D.C. — John Pinto, Acting Director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) issued the following statement today regarding the mediation session conducted today at the request of FMCS:

“I am pleased to announce that following a lengthy mediation session held in the Chicago offices of FMCS, Honeywell has agreed to issue a revised offer which the UAW bargaining representatives will recommend positively to their membership for ratification. I want to commend the representatives from Honeywell and the UAW for agreeing to attend the mediation session and I congratulate them on this hopeful outcome.”

In accordance with FMCS practice and consistent with the requirements of mediator confidentiality, FMCS will have no further comment on the details of the agreement or the substance of the negotiations.

 

FMCS Issues Joint Statement on Behalf of League of Resident Theatres and Actors’ Equity

WASHINGTON, D.C. — John Pinto, Acting Director of the U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS), issued the following statement today on behalf of the League of Resident Theatres (LORT) and the Actors’ Equity Association (AEA), regarding progress in their ongoing labor contract negotiations affecting 72 member theaters in 29 states, including the District of Columbia:

“The League of Resident Theatres and Actors’ Equity have agreed to announce that their continuing negotiations, conducted under the auspices of the FMCS, have produced progress in the past week, and that, with more work still to be done, they have agreed to extend their current collective bargaining agreement, which expires February 12, to allow time to continue their productive exchange. FMCS will continue to provide assistance during these negotiations.”

As is Agency practice, the FMCS is not releasing additional information regarding meeting dates and locations. In addition, the FMCS will have no further comment at this time regarding the status or substance of the negotiations.

FMCS Open House Events Draw Crowds for Tours and Demos at New Headquarters

Two FMCS Open House events earlier this month attracted scores of visitors Jan.9 and Jan. 12 to the Agency’s new headquarters for tours of state-of-the-art meeting and conferencing facilities, demonstrations of new technologies, and information on FMCS programs and services.

 

 

FMCS Again Ranks Among “Best Places to Work” In Federal Government

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) today was again ranked among the top five Federal government’s small agencies as being a “best place to work” in the yearly 2016 government rankings, released by the Partnership for Public Service at a news conference this morning.

In two individual categories within the overall rankings, FMCS received a top-rated, number one ranking among small Federal agencies—for employee “Empowerment” and for “Training and Development.” Throughout the other rating categories, FMCS ranked at or near the top.

“Again this year we are honored to have maintained our high standing in the Partnership for Public Service ratings,” said FMCS Director Allison Beck. “This recognition is a testament to the dedication and commitment of our FMCS employees and supervisors and to their pursuit of excellence in their professional lives and in the fulfillment of our vital mission of helping to resolve workplace conflict.”

Under Director Beck, FMCS two years ago launched a re-organization and re-structuring that emphasized employee engagement, inclusion, and new ways to inspire creativity, teamwork, innovation, and service delivery. As a neutral, dispute resolution agency, a priority for the re-structuring was to ensure the Agency’s culture fully reflected the values that FMCS espouses, both with customers and employees—open communications, transparency, and joint problem-solving, Director Beck said.

The 2016 rankings add to many years of recognition for FMCS as a “best place to work” within the Federal government. FMCS achieved the Partnership’s overall number one ranking in 2015 among all small Federal agencies. Based on previous surveys, FMCS also was the top-ranked “best place to work” among small agencies in 2005 and 2007. The rankings began in 2003, and since 2007 have been conducted annually. FMCS generally has scored among the top five finishers for small agencies in every year that Agency results were available for comparison.

Produced by the Partnership and Deloitte, the Best Places to Work rankings provide critical information to help individual agencies, the Administration, and Congress assess workplace health and performance. The FMCS carefully reviews and analyzes the results of each year’s survey to identify areas where improvements can be made. In addition to overall satisfaction and commitment, the rankings measure employee attitudes on 10 workplace categories, including effective leadership, innovation, support for diversity, work-life balance, and pay.

Agencies are ranked based on the responses of their own employees to the government-wide, Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey conducted by the Office of Personnel Management. For detail on the FMCS ranking, go to http://bestplacestowork.org/BPTW/rankings/detail/FM00.

Complete 2016 rankings and information about the survey are available at the Partnership for Public Service website at http://bestplacestowork.org/BPTW/.

FMCS Honors Labor-Management Cooperation With 2016 Director’s Award for Excellence To American Water and the Utility Workers Union of America

WASHINGTON, D.C. — FMCS Director Allison Beck today honored the outstanding leadership of the American Water Works Company, Inc. and the Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA) as a “shining example” of labor-management cooperation in the United States with the presentation of the FMCS Director’s Award for Excellence in Labor-Management Cooperation.

“Over the years, and in various ways, FMCS has paid tribute to great labor-management partnerships,” Director Beck stated. “This year, it is my distinct pleasure to recognize two very special organizations with the FMCS Director’s Award for Excellence in Labor Management Cooperation.” In bestowing the Agency’s highest award to labor and management, Director Beck cited joint efforts by the company and the union in support of efforts to rebuild the national water infrastructure with public-private partnerships and to improve the skills and safety of American Water employees with training.

“American Water and the Utility Workers Union of America have set a shining example of what a company and its workers can achieve when they choose cooperation over conflict,” Director Beck stated in presenting the FMCS award to American Water CEO Susan Story and UWUA President Mike Langford during an online presentation ceremony.
American Water Works, headquartered in New Jersey, is the largest publicly traded water and wastewater utility company in the country, serving over 15 million people in 47 states and Ontario Canada. The Utility Workers Union of America is the company’s largest union.

Many years of contentious labor-management relations between the company and union changed when American Water’s current CEO assumed her position in 2014 and decided with the UWUA president to explore a more cooperative labor-management approach. “Susan and Mike decided to put the past behind,” Director Beck said. “Today, we celebrate their commitment, their leadership, and some of the remarkable accomplishments they’ve achieved in just two short years.

Joint labor-management efforts between American Water and the UWUA include:

* Participation by American Water and the UWUA in two nationwide, joint labor-management conferences involving the FMCS, the most recent focusing on a “Trust Building Training Program” for conference participants at which the American Water CEO and UWUA president personally renewed their commitment to working together.

* Joint authorship by CEO Story and President Langford of a published letter to government leaders calling on them to jointly tackle the nation’s utility infrastructure crisis with practical and collaborative solutions for “Rebuilding America’s Water Infrastructure with Public-Private Partnerships.”

* Full support from American Water for the Utility Workers’ “Power for America Training Trust Fund (P4A),” which secured a Susan Hayward Department of Labor Grant to improve the skills and safety of American Water employees.

* An American Water Charitable Trust Foundation Awards Grant given to the Union Sportsmen’s (USA) Alliance for Water Conservation Projects to benefit three American Water communities with improved public access to water-based recreational opportunities and enhanced environmental sustainability of existing recreational areas.

* Recognition in 2016 for American Water because of the support of its worker as the only water utility named to Newsweek magazine’s list of 500 of “America’s Top Green Companies.”
After citing the American Water-UWUA list of labor-management accomplishments, Director Beck concluded, “We are honored to have worked with you, to have supported your journey thus far, and it will be our great privilege to be there for you in the future,” she said. “Thank you for your leadership, your commitment, and the great example you have set.”

 

 

Statement by FMCS Director Allison Beck on a Tentative Labor Agreement Between the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and Musicians

WASHINGTON, D.C. – FMCS Director Allison Beck issued the following statement today on the announcement of a tentative agreement between the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra Association and the American Federation of Musicians, Local 72-147:

“The announcement of a tentative agreement between the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra Association and the musicians who make it one of the nation’s premier orchestras is indeed music to the ears of music lovers everywhere. I applaud the musicians and orchestra management for their perseverance and their commitment to the artistic excellence of the orchestra and the collective bargaining process during extremely difficult negotiations,” Director Beck said. “Orchestra management and musicians have come together and demonstrated their devotion to their community, their supporters, and their art. The FMCS is honored to have played a small role in assisting the orchestra and its outstanding musicians in resolving the issues that divided them.”

Labor conflicts related to the financial stresses that some orchestras, operas, and performing arts institutions are facing have prompted a program of special training for FMCS mediators across the country. “At FMCS, our goal is to ensure that our skilled, professional mediators are armed with the most current knowledge, information, and innovative solutions in these increasingly difficult and more frequent disputes,” Director Beck said.

Beck also praised the efforts of FMCS Commissioners Dave Renfro and Rich Giacolone, who along with the Director, assisted the parties in Fort Worth. “They deserve enormous credit for their efforts in helping the parties reach a mutually acceptable agreement.”

In accordance with FMCS practice and consistent with the requirements of mediator confidentiality, FMCS will have no further comment on the details of the tentative agreement or the substance of the negotiations.

FMCS Director Allison Beck Statement on New Contract Between Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Musicians

WASHINGTON, D.C. – FMCS Director Allison Beck issued the following statement today on the announcement of a new contract between the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the American Federation of Musicians, Local 60-471:

“For music lovers in Pittsburgh and around the world, the agreement between the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and its world class musicians is welcome news. These were extremely difficult negotiations, and I commend the musicians and orchestra management for their perseverance and their commitment to the collective bargaining process,” Director Beck said. “We are especially pleased that the Orchestra’s remaining performance season will be restored, that a European concert tour will now go forward, and that one of America’s top-tier symphonies will be thrilling audiences again.

Labor conflicts related to the financial stresses that some orchestras, operas, and performing arts institutions are facing have prompted a program of special training for FMCS mediators across the country. “At FMCS, our goal is to ensure that our skilled, professional mediators are armed with the most current knowledge, information, and innovative solutions in these often difficult disputes,” Director Beck said.

Director Beck also praised the efforts of FMCS Commissioners Richard Giacolone and Jack Yoedt, who together oversaw the orchestra negotiations in Pittsburgh. “They deserve enormous credit for their efforts in helping the parties reach a mutually acceptable agreement. They put in many long hours and worked diligently to find creative approaches to help the parties resolve the issues that divided them.”

In accordance with FMCS practice and consistent with the requirements of mediator confidentiality, FMCS will have no further comment on the details of the agreement or the substance of the negotiations.

FMCS Statement on Tentative Agreement In Actors’ Equity and Off-Broadway League Contract Talks

FMCS Director Allison Beck issued the following statement today on the announcement of a tentative agreement between Actors’ Equity and the League of Off-Broadway Theatres and Producers, covering six major, nonprofit theatrical companies and about 100 commercial producers:

“This tentative agreement is a great relief for theatre lovers everywhere and means that the show will go on in Off-Broadway venues. The parties worked through some extremely complex issues in these lengthy and difficult negotiations. At FMCS, we are especially grateful to the representatives of Actors’ Equity and the Off-Broadway League for their patience, their perseverance, and their commitment to the process of collective bargaining.”

“I also want to acknowledge the outstanding efforts of Javier Ramirez, FMCS Director of Field Programs and Innovation and New York-based Commissioner David Thaler,” she said. “They worked around the clock, putting in many long hours, to make certain these negotiations reached a positive outcome for the parties involved.”

In accordance with FMCS practice and consistent with the requirements of mediator confidentiality, FMCS will have no further comment on the details of the agreement or the substance of the negotiations.

FMCS Mediation Earns Praise in St. Louis Labor Settlement

FMCS mediation played a key role in assisting parties involved in St. Louis, MO grocery negotiations reach a settlement that avoided a potential strike, according to local news coverage. UFCW Local 655 President David Cook credited FMCS Deputy Director Scot Beckenbaugh for his assistance in the labor negotiations between UFCW and  the St. Louis-based Schnuck Markets Inc.,  covering some 4,000 employees at 52 stores in the metropolitan area.  The Deputy Director led a team of FMCS mediators that included  FMCS Regional Director Barbara Rumph and FMCS Commissioners Roland Lewis and Glen Reed from the Agency’s St Louis office.

For local news coverage, click here.

FMCS Announces 2016 Grants For Innovative Labor-Management Partnerships

WASHINGTON, D.C. – FMCS Director Allison Beck today announced the award of three grants to assist community, sectoral and industry labor-management partnerships address 21st century workplace challenges in hiring and retaining the next generation of workers, enhancing workers’ skills and safety, and adapting to the needs of businesses and workers in the transitioning economy.

“I am happy to announce the successful completion of our FY 2016 FMCS grants award cycle, which has yielded three impressive grant recipients, selected from a highly competitive field of applicants,” Ms. Beck stated. The three labor-management grants total $514,486 in available funds out of nearly $3 million in proposals submitted.

This year’s grantees are:

Finishing Trades Institute of the Mid-Atlantic Region (FTI MAR), Philadelphia, PA ($250,000)
The highly regarded FTI MAR labor-management partnership will receive funding for a new initiative designed to attract, hire, and retain the next generation of workers in the construction industry, where there is a significant shortage of highly skilled workers. Uniquely, this program will develop both hard and soft skills among high school graduates and provide important opportunities for continuing education in post-secondary degree programs at institutions of higher learning. Partnering with two colleges on programming and curriculum development, FTI MAR will guide newly hired workers in the construction industry finishing trades from high school to a bachelor’s and master’s degree, providing program participants with advanced opportunities in construction management, architecture, and organizational design.

• SEIU Healthcare NW – Health Benefits Trust, Seattle, WA ($150,827)
Due to well-documented demographic changes in the U.S., there is a dramatically increasing need for skilled Home Care Workers (HCWs) to care for the elderly and disabled in their homes. Providing care in the home not only saves on hospital and nursing home costs, but also improves the quality of life of this growing population. One issue that has not been addressed in the context of this widely expanding sector of the economy, however, is the increased risk of on-the-job injuries to individual HCWs. Unlike workers in other industries, such as manufacturing, construction, or facility-based health care delivery, Home Care Workers lack access to standard safety equipment. To the extent such equipment is available, it currently depends entirely on the elderly or disabled client to drive the requisition process and HCWs are therefore at increased risk for on-the-job injury. FMCS seed money will permit the creation of a Labor-Management Committee to evaluate the potential of worker-carried mobile assistive devices in a “safety toolkit” that can easily be carried into clients’ homes by the HCW. The project will produce much-needed evidence about the injury reduction potential of the portable toolkit and serve as foundation for developing best practices in HCW safety. Results will be shared with key stakeholders in Washington State’s home care system as well as with a national audience to help build awareness, develop best practices, and prevent on-the-job injuries in home care.

• Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ ($113,659)
The New Jersey K-12 Public School Labor-Management Committee (the “Committee” or “LMC”) will receive a grant to advance student performance, teacher retention, and overall educational quality. Evidence has shown that a collaborative, partnership approach is a cornerstone of excellence in teaching and learning. FMCS seed money will allow the Committee to broaden and deepen its reach by regularly convening an innovative Inter-District Learning Network to facilitate the exchange of ideas, experiences, and best practices for improving educational outcomes. In addition, the establishment of a website and annual state-wide information and learning exchange will further support this network of districts, administrators, and educators. The Committee, aided by researchers from Rutgers University, will evaluate and deliver a report on the impact of increased labor-management collaboration on student performance, teacher retention, and overall educational quality at the district and local school level.

The FMCS grants program, which began in 1981 under the authority of the Labor-Management Cooperation Act of 1978 (PL 95-524), has funded projects designed to improve communications, strategic planning, recruitment, industry changes, and economic development by encouraging cooperative efforts among labor, management, and communities to jointly address issues such as health, safety, employee training, and the resolution of workplace disputes.

For a PDF version of the FMCS announcement, click here.

FMCS Director Allison Beck Takes Future@Work Discussion to Cornell University as Neutral-In-Residence

FMCS Director Allison Beck meets with Cornell University faculty members and students this week as she takes part in the Neutral-in-Residence program in the university’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations. On the list of Future@Work topics for discussion with students and faculty are labor-management issues arising from the new workplaces of the 21st Century and the on-demand economy, where workplaces may be virtual and workers may not be “employees.”

Connect with FMCS on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube!

 

FMCS Director Allison Beck Addresses Maine LERA Chapter on Future@Work Issues and Innovation

Advances in science and technology are bringing enormous changes to workplaces in the 21st century with accompanying challenges to labor and management. FMCS Director Allison Beck today outlined FMCS services and programs to help unions and employers navigate the on-demand services and platform-based workplaces of the Internet-enabled economy.

 

Connect with FMCS on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube!

Coverage of the FMCS Future@Work Labor-Management Conference

Three days of successful workshops, expert speakers and inspiring dialogue at the FMCS 2016 National Labor-Management Conference in Chicago concluded Friday, August 19, with a morning plenary panel discussion titled “NLRB Trends in the Future@Work: The View from All Sides.” The distinguished panel members included: Mark Gaston Pearce, Chairman, NLRB; and Richard F. Griffin, Jr., General Counsel, NLRB. Lynn Rhinehart, General Counsel, AFL-CIO; and Randel K. Johnson, Senior Vice President, Labor, Immigration and Employee Benefits, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, served as moderators with introductions by FMCS Director Allison Beck. NLRB Member Philip A. Miscimarra, appeared via pre-recorded video.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel speaks to conference attendees

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel speaks to Future@Work attendees in first-day session.

Jason Dorsey, Chief Strategy Officer and Millennials Researcher at The Center for Generational Kinetics, wrapped up the Conference with a plenary address titled “Recruiting and Retaining the Next Generation of Workers,” introduced by Lu-Ann Glaser, FMCS Manager of National Programs and Initiatives.

FMCS Director Allison Beck delivered summary remarks to close the conference.

Bernard J. Tyson, Chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente

Bernard J. Tyson, Chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente, speaks on change and technolog to Future@Work first-day attendees.

The awesome line up of conference speakers and presenters began Wednesday with remarks from Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago, Jorge Ramirez, President of the Chicago Federation of Labor; and a keynote speech by Bernard Tyson, CEO and Chairman of Kaiser Permanente, who spoke on the prospect of technological change and a coming “Fourth Industrial Revolution.” Other featured speakers and presenters during the conference included national labor-management and new economy leaders, such as Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO; Susan N. Story, President and Chief Executive Officer of American Water; Christina Stembel, Founder and CEO Farmgirl Flowers, Thomas Kochan, George Maverick Bunker Professor of Management and Co-Director, MIT Sloan Institute for Work and Employment Research; Wilma B. Liebman, Former Chairman, National Labor Relations Board; and Dan Yager, President and CEO of the HR Policy Association, along with many others.

An inspiring pre-conference “Partnership Day” program on Tuesday, led by former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich with panel discussions by labor and management representatives on successful partnerships between unions and major employers around the country, set the stage for the three-day FMCS gathering.

Also see FMCS Director Says Working Together Is Key to Future@Work

Also see Labor and Management Look Ahead at Federal Sector Labor Relations at FMCS Future@Work Conference.

Also see Telework a Hot Topic for Federal Labor-Management Discussion at FMCS Future@Work Conference.

Connect with FMCS for coverage of Conference events on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube!

Scroll down to check out the Conference coverage on Facebook and Twitter!

Scroll down for Conference dialogue on Twitter!


At FMCS Future@Work Conference, Panel Spotlights Success of FMCS Grants Program

An $80,000 labor-management partnership grant in 2011 from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service to the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers and a group of some 60 employers gave an important boost to the IAMAW Local 701 Training Center in Carol Stream, IL. The grant money helped create a state-of-the-art automotive apprenticeship training program. In succeeding years, the number of employers participating in the apprenticeship training program has grown from 60 to more than 500; more than 400 courses have been taught, and the program is still growing.

For coverage of the FMCS-funded project and the Future@Work Conference panel discussion in the IAMAW newsletter, click here.

The 2011 FMCS labor-management grants spotlighted in the Future@Work Conference panel discussion was just one of the grants awarded that year.  The FMCS grants program funds a number of partnership grants applications, depending on funding availability, each fiscal year.  For information on the FMCS grants program, click here.

Future@work

FMCS Director Says Working Together is Key to the Future@Work

In closing remarks at the FMCS Future@Work National Labor-Management Conference, FMCS Director Allison Beck pointed to the new problem-solving tools and techniques highlighted by speakers and presenters at the Conference that can help unions and employers find their way through complex new workplace issues of the 21st century.

FMCS Director Allison Beck at Conference final session

FMCS Director Allison Beck at Future@Work conference conclusion

In summing up the three days of expert speakers, more than 70 workshops and informal dialogue among attendees and participants at the FMCS national conference, Director Beck told the more than 1,000 attendees that a main point emerging from the program was, “In this new economy–people have to work together and trust each other.“

“Working together,” she told attendees, “It’s possible to find common ground, to find solutions. And there are so many new tools and techniques to help you do that. None of them are complicated.

“Sometimes they mean learning a fact–like learning that robots can actually increase jobs, not eliminate them,” she said.
“Sometimes they mean remembering history–like recalling that the challenges of the gig economy are really not new, that our colleagues in industries as different as construction and performing arts solved them decades ago.

“And, sometimes they mean learning some science, that what was once an esoteric science about brain function is fundamental to the success of our organizations” she said.

Concluding, she declared, “We can fix our economy and make our country stronger—if labor and management work together: communicate and compromise, sacrifice and listen, find common ground, and use common sense for the common good.”

“And, if you stumble,” she told the audience of labor and management representatives, “I promise you that FMCS will be there to get you back on track.”

For more Future@Work coverage, click here.

Telework a Hot Topic for Federal Labor-Management Discussion at FMCS Future@Work Conference

Federal sector labor and management leaders from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the General Services Administration shared knowledge and their experiences with designing and implementing expanded telework programs in a broad-ranging panel discussion that was among the more than 70 workshop sessions at the recently concluded FMCS Future@Work Conference in Chicago.

Topics included opportunities for cost savings, performance improvement, and employee engagement. The Federal panelists also looked at how to sustain workplace connections and collaborations for teleworkers with their co-workers, and how to hold teleworkers accountable for their work.

Julia Akins Clark, Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) General Counsel, introduced the panel, which included: William R. Dougan, National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE) President; Charles Hardy, GSA Chief Workplace Officer; Ron La Due Lake, GAO Employees Organization; Jackie Nowicki, GAO Education, Workforce and Income Security Team Director; Shamar Cowan, GAO Chief Negotiator; and Greg Weddle, FLRA Regional Attorney. Marsha Ross-Jackson, Assistant Dean for Student Professional Development, Executive Director of the Institute for Law and the Workplace, moderated the discussion.

For news coverage of the Future@Work workshop “Making Telework Work: Best Practices for Sustaining High Performance and Customer/Employee Satisfaction,” click here.

For coverage of the FMCS Future@Work Conference, click here.

Labor and Management Look Ahead at Federal Sector Labor Relations at FMCS Future@Work Conference

In a program session at the FMCS Future@Work Conference in Chicago this week, Federal sector union leaders and Acting OPM Director Beth Cobert acknowledged improved labor relations in many Federal agencies, but could not predict what the future may hold with a change in Administrations.

NFFE President William Dougan and OPM Acting Director Beth Cobert

OPM Acting Director Beth Cobert engages NFFE President William Dougan during panel discussion

To read news coverage of what David Cox, national president of the American Federation of Government Employees; Greg Junemann, president of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers;Tony Reardon, national president of the National Treasury Employees Union; Bill Dougan, president of the National Federation of Federal Employees; and OPM’s Beth Cobert told FMCS conference attendees, click here. 

For more coverage of the FMCS Future@Work conference, click here.

With FMCS Assistance, Joffrey Ballet and Dancers Reach Five-Year Agreement

With assistance from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, the New York City-based Joffrey Ballet has reached a new five-year contract for its company of 41 dancers, represented by the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA). According to a recent announcement of the contract by the Ballet, the agreement is effective immediately and extends through the 2020-2021 season.

Read news coverage of the agreement and negotiation here.

FMCS National Labor-Management Conference – Sold Out!

The FMCS 2016 National Labor-Management Conference is sold out! To get your name on the Conference wait list:  Register Now!  The FMCS 2016 National Labor-Management Conference August 17-19 at the Chicago Hyatt Regency Hotel.  Check out the complete conference program for the list of nationally known keynoters and more than 70 workshops !

Trends, Tools, Techniques for Partnering in the New Economy

Hyatt Regency –- Chicago -– August 17-19, 2016

Registration is now open for the FMCS 2016 National Labor-Management Conference in Chicago! Join us at the Chicago Hyatt Regency Hotel to prepare for the Future@Work!

For program and registration information, click here! Or check out the complete conference program brochure! Don’t miss this opportunity to:

  • Learn from distinguished labor, management, and new economy thought leaders
  • Problem Solve at workshops focused on actual situations and practical solutions
  • Network with labor relations and workplace professionals from around the country and the world
  • Prepare your organization for the future with advice from experts who are forging paths to partnership and organizational success

The FMCS 2016 National Labor-Management Conference will highlight and explore current labor-management successes and future solutions. Join us during the August 16th pre-conference for an examination of longstanding successful labor-management partnerships. Then from August 17-19, choose from more than 70 workshops, panels, and plenary sessions on challenges and opportunities in the private, public, and federal sectors, such as:

  • Bargaining Trends in new media, education, healthcare, performing arts
  • Innovative Solutions for health care and pension benefits
  • Recruitment and Retention of Millennials and Alphas
  • Partnering in the New economy by building on the traditional LMC framework
  • The Neuroscience of Conflict exploring why and how we act to improve our approach
  • Innovative and Expedited Bargaining Processes including the Affinity Model of Collaborative Bargaining – an FMCS pioneered process that has a proven track record of success in completing even the most complex economic bargaining in hours versus days, weeks, or months!

You won’t want to miss these distinguished speakers and outstanding experts!

Featured Speakers include national labor-management and new economy leaders, such as Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO; Susan N. Story, President and Chief Executive Officer of American Water; Jason Dorsey, International Expert on Generational Dynamics, Millennials, and Generation I; Richard F. Griffin, Jr., General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board; Christina Stembel, Founder and CEO Farmgirl Flowers, Thomas Kochan, George Maverick Bunker Professor of Management and Co-Director, MIT Sloan Institute for Work and Employment Research; Wilma B. Liebman, Former Chairman, National Labor Relations Board; and Jorge Ramirez, President of the Chicago Federation of Labor. Invited speakers include William Clay “Bill” Ford, Jr., Executive Chairman of the Ford Motor Company; and Thomas Perez, U.S. Secretary of Labor and many more!

Check out the conference program brochure for a complete list of nationally known speakers and more than 70 workshops! For more information on the great programs being lined up as well as registration for the conference, please visit the FMCS National Labor Management Conference Website.

 

NLMC FMCS Program Cover A (6)

FMCS Director Allison Beck Hosts Conversation on the Future@Work at FDR Training Town Hall

In an increasingly competitive and fast-moving environment where new technologies and business models are disrupting nearly every sector of the U.S. economy, the FMCS continues to develop innovative new services to minimize and prevent workplace conflict. With that reality in mind, FMCS Director Allison Beck today hosted a Town Hall Conversation at the Federal Dispute Resolution Training Conference in New Orleans, LA to help attendees better understand the FMCS resources available to help parties develop and sustain good labor-management relationships.

Follow Allison Beck on Twitter and view social posts from the town hall.