At this time FLRA remains fully operational. Effective Friday July 31, 2020, the agency now extends the prohibition on in-person filings indefinitely.  

See details: here.

U.S. Federal Labor Relations Authority

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Collaboration and Alternative Dispute Resolution Office (CADRO)

What we do

Since 1996, CADRO has created value for the American public by helping federal agencies and labor organizations more effectively perform their missions, improve quality of work life, mend institutional workplace relationships, and contribute to a more engaged workforce.

CADRO dispute resolution services offer FLRA parties informal, voluntary, and confidential ways to minimize risks and increase opportunities to successfully resolve negotiability disputes and arbitration exceptions pending before the Authority, as well as post-complaint unfair labor practice (ULP) cases pending before FLRA Administrative Law Judges.  When appropriate, CADRO also helps FLRA parties address related collective bargaining matters and other labor-management disputes.  

CADRO training and facilitation services help representatives of agencies and labor organizations effectively manage conflict, prevent conflict from erupting into disputes, and develop and maintain constructive problem-solving relationships.

CADRO staff has more than 20 years of experience hosting complex, sensitive labor-management matters online.  More than two decades before the Covid-19 pandemic struck, the current CADRO Director began developing and using online technology with labor-management parties while serving as FMCS Director of Mediation Technology Services. He continued developing online expertise as the National Mediation Board’s Counsel for Dispute Resolution Technology.  CADRO’s Senior Dispute Resolution Specialist also has extensive experience helping remote parties resolve disputes.  CADRO staff can host almost any labor-management matter on its secure WebEx platform or use your secure platform of choice, including Zoom, Skype, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, Adobe Connect, FacilitatePro, and others.

Negotiability Appeals and Arbitration Exceptions

Negotiability Appeals.  Federal-sector labor organizations can file a negotiability appeal with the FLRA to challenge an agency head's disapproval of negotiated contract language or to challenge an agency's claim that the labor organization's proposals are nonnegotiable or outside the duty to bargain. See the Authority's Guide to Negotiability.  At any point after the union files its negotiability appeal, the parties can voluntarily seek CADRO assistance to resolve the negotiability disputes and any related bargaining-obligation disputes.  And most parties do.

Under the CADRO umbrella, a team of FLRA experts often helps parties voluntarily resolve hundreds of legal questions per year that arise in negotiability appeals and arbitration exceptions.  The CADRO team helps parties identify the issues that must be resolved, assess the strengths and weaknesses of their case, explore possible solutions, and usually resolve the case in a mutually agreeable manner.  They most often do so by using a quicker, less costly, and less risky approach than the litigation that brought them to the FLRA.  At the election of the parties, they often go beyond the legal questions and work on the underlying problems that litigation often ignores.  

Arbitration Exceptions.  Federal agencies and labor organizations can appeal final arbitration awards to the FLRA on specific, narrow grounds.  These appeals are called "exceptions."  See the Authority's Guide to Arbitration.  At almost any point during the exceptions process, the parties can voluntarily agree to seek CADRO assistance to resolve the exceptions.  CADRO staff offers assistance in appropriate cases.

Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) Resolution Program

CADRO staff serve as settlement officials for cases in which parties elect to utilize the FLRA's Settlement Judge Program.  

After the General Counsel issues a ULP complaint, and the Office of Administrative Law Judges (OALJ) sets a hearing date, the General Counsel, a labor organization representative, or an agency representative can ask the OALJ to assign a settlement official to help resolve the case.  The settlement official schedules a settlement conference with the parties, usually prior to the filing of prehearing disclosures.  During the conference, the settlement official helps the parties explore ways to reach a negotiated resolution to the case.  For this reason, the settlement official normally requires that the representative for each party be (virtually) present at the settlement conference and that persons with full settlement authority be (virtually) present or available by telephone. 

The settlement official does not discuss any aspect of the case with the assigned hearing Judge.  Section 2423.25(d) of the Authority’s Regulations describes the Settlement Judge Program and provides that no evidence regarding statements, conduct, offers of settlement, and concessions of the parties made in proceedings before the settlement official are admissible in any proceeding before the OALJ or the Authority, except by stipulation of the parties.

Custom Training Services

Some of CADRO’s most important work is to help labor and management representatives improve the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to grow healthy workplace relationships, prevent workplace problems from interfering with mission and quality of work life, and solve problems without third-party intervention.  

Most CADRO training programs are designed specifically for each training group.  Samples of CADRO training sessions include:

  • Constructive Labor-Management Engagement
  • Traditional and Integrative Bargaining (sometimes called interest-based bargaining or IBB)
  • Interest-Based Problem Solving (IBPS) in the Workplace
  • ​Labor-Management Relations (LMR) Assessment and Action Planning
  • LMR Repair & Improvement
  • Active Listening and Other Essential Communication Skills
  • Dispute System Design for Workplace Disputes

Other types of training are available from other FLRA offices and through the FLRA's online resources.  See the Training Page on this website. 

Facilitation Services

Some of the most effective groups rely on a facilitator—a skilled individual with no stake in the outcome—to manage group process and help participants accomplish their goals.

 A facilitator offers structure, helps participants develop rules of engagement, and helps the group remain focused and productive.  As needed, the facilitator manages discussion, group dynamics, conflict, communication, problem solving, and decision-making processes. An effective facilitator always allows participants to determine content and control the outcome.

When appropriate and as time permits, CADRO staff offers facilitation services for federal agency and labor organization representatives, including: 

  • Labor-Management leadership groups
  • Problem solving & decision-making sessions
  • Collective bargaining 
  • Ad hoc sessions

Contact information

Contact CADRO staff at or (771) 444-5802 to request assistance or information.