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Procedures, Understanding Mediation

 

Why Mediation?

Mediation is intended to provide a confidential, informal means of settling disputes. Mediation permits both employees and their employing office to come together with a neutral third party to attempt to resolve their dispute under mutually acceptable terms. Mediation also permits the parties to resolve a dispute promptly and avoid a long complaint process. The advantage of a mediated settlement is that it allows both parties to a dispute to take an active role in reaching a settlement, rather than having one imposed upon them by a hearing officer or judge. Mediated settlements are always voluntary and are never imposed by the mediator.

What is a Mediator?

  • Skilled professional trained to help resolve disputes
  • Neutral third party who works with both sides to a dispute, but who represents neither side
  • Helps develop options to settle disputes
  • Facilitates mutually acceptable settlements, but NEVER imposes one

What to Expect During Mediation

At the first meeting, the mediator explains the “ground rules” of mediation to both parties. The parties then discuss the dispute. After the introductory meeting, the mediator may meet separately with each side to explore issues raised at the joint meeting. Further mediation sessions may take place jointly or separately.

During mediation sessions, the mediator helps the parties find mutually acceptable solutions and assists the parties in understanding the costs, benefits, and feasibility of certain options. It is important to remember that the mediator is a neutral and objective professional.

Throughout mediation, issues and options are explored in a risk-free environment because mediation proceedings are strictly confidential. The mediator never shares information from one party with another, unless given express permission to do so.

 

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