Advanced Education, Skills and Labour

Mediation

First Agreement Mediation

When a new certification occurs, the Minister will appoint a first collective agreement mediator within a prescribed time frame.

The legislation stipulates that if the parties are unable to conclude a collective agreement within 60 days (75 days by mutual agreement) following serving of the notice to negotiate, the Minister will appoint a first collective agreement mediator.

Preventive Mediation Program (PMP)

Advanced Education, Skills and Labour offers Preventative Mediation assistance through the Labour Relations Division. These programs are facilitated by professional mediators who have extensive experience in both private and public sectors and come from a variety of backgrounds. The mediators will meet with representatives of management and labour, together or separately, to discuss how the program works and to determine which components are best suited to the workplace.

Preventative Mediation only works when management and labour share the desire for improved stability within the organization, which will result in a more viable, productive and united workplace for all stakeholders.

Preventative Mediation is not the solution to all labour/management problems. It is, however, a starting point for parties who have a sincere desire to build a more co-operative and productive workplace. It improves communications and helps the parties build a relationship based on mutual trust and respect by identifying common goals and ways to reach these goals together. Preventative Mediation is the team approach to better labour relations.

The Preventative Mediation Program is a 7 component program which promotes a stable and constructive labour relations environment and fosters productive workplace relationships to maximize harmony within unionized environments.

Preventative Mediation is based on joint participation by both labour and management; both parties share the work, and both parties share the benefits.
The seven (7) components of the PMP include:

  1. Mediator Consultation (MC)
  2. First Agreement Orientation (FAO)
  3. Labour Management Committee (LMC)
  4. Joint Problem Solving Training (JPST)
  5. Grievance Mediation (GM)
  6. Workplace Intervention (WI)
  7. Relationship by Objectives (RBO)

The components are informal and flexible. Participants choose to implement the components which best suit their needs.

A co-operative and productive workplace is the goal of all organizations, the Preventative Mediation Program is intended to employers and union who are experiencing difficulties in their organization to better establish and maintain a more productive relationship with the help of a mediator. Workplace disputes are often time consuming and costly; the PMP is a program that assists management and labour to work together before issues become unmanageable. It encourages the parties to improve communications, increase co-operation and resolve issues with the aid of a neutral, third party mediator. The PMP encourages a shift to a more positive labour relations environment and promotes responsible collective bargaining in the Province.

Participation in the Preventative Mediation Program is voluntary and there is no cost to the parties, however, this program will only succeed if both the union and employer acknowledge that the relationship needs improvement. Both parties must want to implement positive changes and be committed to developing a constructive labour relations environment.

How do I Request Services under the Preventative Mediation Program?

If your labour/management relationship encounters difficult circumstances that might benefit from neutral, third party assistance, consider participating in the Preventative Mediation Program. You may contact the Labour Relations Division at 709-729-2711.

Preventive Mediation Request Form Word Document

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Mediator Consultation

Neutral, third party assistance provided to management and labour to introduce them to the PMP and tailor components to address their unique situations in an effort to build a more positive labour relations environment.

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First Agreement Orientation

An information service provided to management and labour concerning their rights, responsibilities and obligations under provincial labour legislation. It may include information on notification requirements, bargaining rights and duties, conditions precedent to a legal strike or lockout, tips on conducting effective negotiations and other topics of interest.

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Labour / Management Committee

Mediators help establish and enhance the functioning of joint committees which meet regularly to discuss the constructive resolution of day-to-day workplace issues, and thereby improve workplace productivity through greater co-operation and joint consultation.

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Joint Problem Solving Training

JPST is a one day training seminar in communications, joint problem solving, and consensus decision making. It provides an opportunity for parties to understand and respect the other's point of view and build a constructive relationship. This workshop requires participation of both employer and union representatives and is at no cost to either party.

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Grievance Mediation

Grievance Mediation is an alternative to a costly arbitration process; it is designed to resolve grievances which are still outstanding after the formalized grievance prodecure is exhausted and prior to the matter proceeding to arbitration. The process involves the grievor and assists management and labour in resolving grievances with the aid of a mediator. The settlement rate is greater than 84%. Grievance Mediation is voluntary, informal and a cost-effective alternative to arbitration.

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Workplace Intervention

Workplace Intervention is a service designed to provide conflict resolution in situations where people who work together and interact on a regular basis are in conflict and require intervention to resolve their dispute to foster a better work environment.

This service, which requires approval from both the Employer and the Union, requires voluntary participation from the parties. A mediator will work with the parties in an effort to resolve their dispute. This may include developing a Workplace Agreement in which the parties, through the assistance of the mediator, develop a set of ground rules to follow, which will enable them to reduce conflict and maintain a more productive work environment.

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Relationship By Objectives

A conflict resolution process that brings management and labour together in an intensive three-day session to analyze their current relationship, identify any problems, establish solutions, and develop an action plan for an improved future relationship based on common objectives. (While the department does not charge for this service, there is considerable cost associated with offsite meeting space and accomodations.)

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