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U.S. Federal Labor Relations Authority

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Bargaining Impasses

When an agency and union have negotiated over a particular subject and have reached an impasse, the Statute provides a mechanism to resolve their impasse. First, the parties must seek mediation assistance from a third party, such as the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) in an attempt to informally resolve the matter. After this, they may seek assistance from the Federal Service Impasses Panel. After an investigation and determination is made concerning jurisdiction, the Panel has authority to recommend and/or direct a variety of informal and formal procedures to resolve the impasse. These include telephone conferences, mediation, fact finding, written submissions and arbitration by Panel Members or private arbitrators. If the dispute is not voluntarily resolved, the Panel may take final action by imposing contract terms. The merits of the Panel's decision may not be appealed to any court.

Information that would assist you in resolving a bargaining impasse includes the form for requesting FSIP assistance and the regulations. You can find out how the FSIP has resolved impasses over specific issues by reviewing FSIP decisions. A Guide to FSIP Procedures, which describes a variety of impasse resolution procedures, is also available.