U.S. Federal Labor Relations Authority

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Negotiation Impasse

In carrying out the obligation to bargain collectively, it is not uncommon for parties to simply not agree on certain issues and, during bargaining, to reach an impasse.  In the federal sector, the next step after bilateral negotiations fail to result in a settlement is for the parties to find a third-party neutral to provide mediation assistance.  In such circumstances, the parties may agree to bilateral arrangements, or they may seek assistance from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS).  If the parties still cannot reach a voluntary settlement, either side, or the parties jointly, may seek assistance from the Federal Service Impasses Panel (FSIP).