About the NMB
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November 14, 2012
During Fiscal Year 2012, the National Mediation Board entered its 78th year as the agency responsible for promoting harmonious relationships among management and labor organizations in the airline and railroad industries in America. That task remains as challenging as ever, but there were a number of very positive developments during FY 2012 that mark our progress as an agency.
The Office of Mediation and ADR Services leadership and staff have continued to pursue innovative approaches to mediation and facilitation with the parties, and they have navigated potentially stormy weather—PEB’s, mergers, and bankruptcies—with skill and aplomb.
The Office of Arbitration Services has implemented a number of new accounting and work flow processes that address Government Accounting Office best practices, and place Section 3 on its most sound business footing ever in the history of the NMB. Full implementation of the online Arbitrator Workspace has allowed for accurate tracking of cases and increased efficiency. The “cases pending” figure in Arbitration for the end of FY 2012 is a fraction of the same figure just a few years ago and a new low in the history of the NMB.
In FY 2012, the NMB was able to solidify partnerships with two institutions of higher education— Cornell’s Industrial and Labor Relations School, and Dominican University’s Graduate Program in Dispute Resolution. Agreements with both institutions give NMB staff access to superior education and training opportunities at little or no cost to the agency, enhancing the capability of the NMB to help educate future labor relations specialists and dispute resolvers.
As FY 2012 came to a close, the NMB was on the verge of moving its information and communication technology completely into the cloud, with a considerable cost savings for the agency, and with considerably more access to information for all NMB staff, regardless of where they are working. In this regard, the NMB remains a government (and industry) leader.
In short, FY 2012 has been a good year in many ways for the National Mediation Board. Challenges remain—but watch this space in the next Annual Report to see how we successfully handled them in FY 2013.
Chief of Staff