An Introduction to Postal 650 Mediation PAGE TITLE GOES HERE Compliments of NAPS Central Region Postal 650 Employee and Labor Relations Manual 650 Non-Bargaining Unit Cases: Proposed letters of warning in lieu of time-off Proposed Adverse Action “What is 650?” • Part 650 of the Employee and Labor Relations Manual (ELM) includes mediation for letters of warning in lieu of time-off, suspensions and adverse actions. • Mediation can only be selected by the employee. • Supervisors and managers who issue or propose disciplinary action against a non-bargaining unit employee are required to participate in mediation. Types of Cases • Notice of discharge for improper conduct: AWOL, harassment, fighting, credit card abuse, internet abuse, etc. • Letters of discipline may arise from conduct or from failure to carry out postal responsibilities (e.g. leaving mail on the dock, not arriving on time). Once a mediation is scheduled • Postal coordinator provides information packet to mediator. • Packet includes letter on mediation, copy of discipline, mediator checklist & all necessary forms. • Mediator may contact parties if he/she so determines in advance or at the meeting. • The parties determine who, if anyone, will accompany them to the mediation. At the Mediation Session • Both parties must sign “Agreement to Mediate” at start of session. • If resolved, agreement completed and signed by parties. • If no resolution mediator signs and dates “no agreement” letter. • If no agreement appellant has 10 days to file response to USPS – mediator must give this form to appellant at end of session. • There is an evaluation form to be filled out by parties and sent back to the coordinator by the mediator. At the conclusion of the Mediation • Mediators must submit Agreement to Mediate, disposition form, and invoice to USPS coordinator. • Copies of invoice retained by mediator and submitted to Regional or National Office (NOTE: $475 per mediation, $250 for cancellation less than 72 hours). • Mediators - relate to their FMCS Directors of Mediation Services any observations to root causes of problems or abuses of mediation process or failure to participate in good faith for possible additional actions. • All other mediator notes and records destroyed by mediator. FMCS Expectations • Strong effort by mediators to resolve cases. • Make best effort to accommodate scheduling. (try to schedule mediation within 14 days, and no later than 21 days if at all possible). • Keep Directors of Mediation Services at FMCS informed. • In many ways, these cases are like grievance mediation, with the same expectations. Common Problems Observed • Late cancellations or no shows by USPS and/or complainant. • Authority to settle not always in evidence. • Understanding of process by participants may not always sufficient. • No flexibility in time frame; USPS expects mediation session to be completed in one meeting. • Preconceived “settlements” set in stone. • USPS coordinator may not be available if problems occur. PEOPLE • Acknowledge Emotions without Blaming. • Distinguish Perceptions from “Truth”. • Look at how they see it – Put yourself in their shoes. • Speak for yourself; Use ” I”, AVOID “YOU” • Listen Actively. FIVE BARRIERS TO COOPERATION • Your Reaction. • Their Emotion. • Their Position. • Their Dissatisfaction. • Their Power. FOCUS– DON’T REACT • Step back, collect your wits, and see the situation objectively. • Don’t try to control the other person’s behavior, control your own. • Don’t get mad, Don’t get even, Get what you need. STEP TO THEIR SIDE DON’T ARGUE • Listen Actively. • Acknowledge Their Point. • Acknowledge Their Feelings. • Acknowledge Their Authority & Competence. • Acknowledge Your Differences with Optimism. REFRAME DON’T REJECT • Ask problem solving questions. • Ask Why? Ask Why Not? • Ask for their Advise. • Change the game from Positional Bargaining to Joint Problem solving. BUILD A GOLDEN BRIDGE DON’T PUSH • Actively involve them in devising the solution. • Help them save face. • Help them write their victory speech. USE POWER TO EDUCATE • Let them know the consequences. • Keep implementation in mind. • Aim for mutual satisfaction, not victory. ALTERNATIVES • Know your alternatives. • Improve your alternatives. • Consider the other side’s alternatives. • Educate the other side of your alternatives. CLOSURE • Begins before you sit down at the table. • Don’t commit until the end. • Create emotional commitment. TOP 10 TIPS FOR WORKING WITH A MEDIATOR 10. Work with the mediator, don’t compromise the mediators credibility or acceptability. 9. Don’t renege on agreements. 8. Come willing to reach an agreement. TOP 10 TIPS FOR WORKING WITH A MEDIATOR 7. Be open to persuasion or correction by facts or principles. 6. Don’t withhold critical information from the mediator. TOP 10 TIPS FOR WORKING WITH A MEDIATOR 5. Don’t misuse mediation as a means to get something else, e.g. hidden agendas, delay, information gathering. 4. Negotiate in good faith. TOP 10 TIPS FOR WORKING WITH A MEDIATOR 3. Come to a mediation with authority to settle the issues. 2. Have the right players at the table who can provide information. 1. Come to mediation prepared; do your homework. Thank You! Questions?