U.S. Federal Labor Relations Authority

Search form

OGC Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

The OGC encourages parties to meet and, in good faith, attempt to resolve labor relations disputes.  To that end, we provide ADR services to facilitate parties’ efforts to identify and communicate their respective issues and interests, and develop mutually beneficial resolutions to labor relations disputes.

 If  you want to know more about our efforts to resolve specific ULP charges, visit our Settlement Corner.  And you can learn more about our training programs here.

Why use ADR?

ADR will help you evaluate the success of your current labor-management relationship and develop the type of relationship that best suits your interests.  Among other things, ADR can:

  • Ensure understanding of and compliance with the Statute;
  • Resolve potential or ongoing ULP disputes without the need for litigation;
  • Implement processes for avoiding or resolving future disputes; and
  • Promote stable and productive labor-management relationships.

What ADR services can the OGC provide?

We can provide ADR services both before and after a charge has been filed. 

  • Facilitation:  We can assist the parties in improving their labor-management relationship;
  • Intervention:  Using an interest-based technique, we can intervene when parties are experiencing or expect significant ULP disputes;
  • Training:  We can train union and management representatives on their rights and responsibilities under the Statute, and how to avoid litigation over those rights;
  • Education:  We will work with the parties to recognize the benefits of, and establish processes for, avoiding disputes without the need for litigation.

What kind of situations might call for ADR?

  • ​If there is a newly-certified unit, we can provide statutory training for union officers and agency managers;
  • If numerous ULP charges are filed at one agency, we can intervene and get to the root cause of the problem, instead of treating each charge as an isolated incident;
  • If contract negotations become too adversarial, or are taking too long;
  • If the general interactions between union and management representatives are poor; for example, the parties do not talk to each other, and allegations are personalized.

In situations that call for relationship-building over resolving specific ULP disputes, the OGC may arrange for assistance from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS). The FMCS provides a variey of relationship-building programs for labor-management groups.

How do I request ADR services?

ADR services may be initiated by the OGC or by a request or agreement of the parties.  To request pre-filing ADR services, contact the Regional Director for your area.  Depending on the type of assistance requested, we might requre that the parties jointly agree to ADR.  

If a charge has already been filed, you should direct ADR inquiries to the agent assigned to your case.