|Alternative Dispute Resolution
The National Mediation Board ADR Program offers a range of services, including training, facilitation, grievance mediation, facilitated problem solving, research, and online dispute resolution (ODR). These services are designed to help the parties resolve grievance and bargaining disputes effectively and reduce the number and scope of disputes which require mediation and arbitration services.
The NMB ADR Program is focused on assisting the parties with bargaining at earlier stages than mediation, and in addressing issues that may not be directly related to negotiating collective bargaining agreements.. For example, the ADR program is available for assistance with problem solving, team building, and other endeavors in which carrier and union representatives desire to work together.
The ADR Training Program offers joint training in facilitated problem solving and bargaining, grievance mediation, and training in specialized areas identified by the parties. The training is conducted by ADR staff and NMB mediators, and is free to the parties.
The ADR Facilitation Program supplies facilitators for collective bargaining using a problem solving approach. Normally, the NMB facilitator works with the parties for the first few sessions, gradually transferring the facilitation duties to the parties themselves. The goal of the program is to develop facilitation skills in the parties that can be transferred to their every day work. NMB Facilitators remain available to the parties, serving in an advisory role. In special circumstances, NMB facilitators can stay with parties for an extended period.
The ADR Grievance Mediation program helps the parties resolve grievance disputes in a manner that is efficient, timely, informal and binding, without having to go to arbitration. On an ad hoc basis, or on a regular schedule, NMB facilitators work with the parties to identify appropriate grievances for mediation, and to work through mediation sessions in which the goal is to achieve a consensus agreement. If no agreement is reached, the parties are free to pursue the grievance through arbitration.
The NMB Research Program features a comprehensive online tool -- the NMB Knowledge Store -- that contains an archive of arbitration decisions, representation decisions, PEB records, and other basic research data bases relating to the NMB. The Knowledge Store is available online to anyone, and training is available from the ADR Services staff.
The ODR program at the NMB makes available online technology for use at no charge to the parties. Currently, the NMB offers web-based video and audio conferencing, online brainstorming, and online workspaces with secure document sharing and editing. Training is available to the parties, and consultation regarding the best and most appropriate uses of technology is available for work between carrier and union groups or within carrier or union groups.
If you have any questions regarding the NMB's ADR program please call Denise Hedges, Senior Mediator, ADR (202-692-5047). We'll be glad to help you set up a program for bargaining or grievance handling.