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January 26, 1996 · PR 104-96
Contact: Helenann Hirsch


The Federal Labor Relations Authority today announced that it has launched the Collaboration and Alternative Dispute Resolution Program (CADR), a new agency-wide program dedicated to reducing the costs of conflict in the federal workplace by improving labor-management relationships and encouraging alternative methods of resolving conflict.

CADR is a first. It's the first time all three independent components of the FLRA -- the Authority, the General Counsel and the Federal Service Impasses Panel -- have joined forces to create a unified program within the agency. It's the first unified program in the history of federal labor-management relations to target collaboration and alternative dispute resolution efforts to every step of the labor-management dispute -- from investigation and prosecution to the adjudication of cases and resolution of bargaining impasses.

In jointly announcing the program, FLRA Chair Phyllis Segal, General Counsel Joseph Swerdzewski and FSIP Chair Betty Bolden emphasized how the significant changes in the federal sector labor-management relations program over the last two years have made CADR possible. "CADR is a program whose time has come. Managers, unions and the employees they represent are moving away from the traditional adversarial way of doing business. They're working together, instead of against each other, to resolve disputes without costly, time-consuming litigation so that they can focus their energies on providing quality customer service to the American taxpayer. CADR will help them do this. It aims to institutionalize collaboration and alternative dispute resolution approaches to ensure that service is at the heart of federal sector labor-management relations."

CADR's services will revolve around the FLRA's core mission, focusing on resolving cases and helping parties provide interest-based conflict resolution services in pending unfair labor practice, representation, negotiability and impasse bargaining disputes. It will also assist labor and management in developing collaborative relationships and constructive approaches to conducting their relationships.

CADR will be directed by Thelma Colwell, who brings to this effort a special blend of experience and skills. These include expertise in federal sector labor relations, as a practitioner and as a decision writer; leadership and organizational development skills, as a federal agency Division Head, Office Head, and private sector entrepreneur; and seasoned experience in teaching, curriculum development and delivery of conflict resolution training. She has a deep understanding of and extensive experience with interest-based problem solving in federal sector labor relations.

The FLRA is an independent agency that administers the labor-management relations program for over 1.9 million federal employees worldwide. It is charged with providing leadership in establishing policies and guidance relating to federal sector labor-management relations and resolving disputes under the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute.

For information about CADR contact:

     Thelma Colwell
     Director, Collaboration and Alternative Dispute
        Resolution Program (CADR)
     Federal Labor Relations Authority
     607 14th Street, N.W.
     Washington, D.C.  20424-0001
     (202) 482-6503