The BMS provides neutral mediation of collective bargaining disputes. Such disputes arise over the negotiation of terms and conditions of a labor contract or as a result of an alleged violation of the provisions of an existing labor contract. The former is referred to as "contract mediation" and the latter as "grievance mediation."

Contract Mediation

Contract mediation usually starts when negotiations between the parties become non-productive or cease altogether. Labor or management may petition the BMS for the services of a mediator. The mediator convenes a meeting to help the parties find a basis for resolving the dispute on terms that are acceptable to both parties. The mediator examines and analyzes positions and interests to ensure that both parties have clear understanding of the issues before them. Attempts are made to identify priorities and focus the parties' effort on problems that must be solved for an agreement. The mediator works to foster an atmosphere that is conducive to idea-sharing and problem-solving.

Grievance Mediation

Grievance mediation is a significant and growing area of BMS services. Mediators assist labor and management in the resolution of disputes over contract interpretation or employee discipline which might otherwise be submitted to arbitration. Resolution of grievance disputes through the mediation process tends to improve the overall climate of labor relations and avoids the financial costs and win/lose outcome of arbitration. With a success rate of over 80%, grievance mediation has resulted in substantial cost and time savings for both management and labor as well as more stable and peaceful relationships.

Interest-Based Collective Bargaining

The Bureau's offers training and facilitation services using IBN techniques and procedures. We provide a half-day overview/exploratory session designed to assist policy makers and all bargaining committee members in making their decision whether this method of bargaining is an option that both parties want to engage in. If the answer is yes, the Bureau conducts a full-day of training and skill building to prepare for interest-based bargaining. Following such training the Bureau offers facilitation of initial collective bargaining sessions with the intent that the parties eventually carry the process out without the Bureau of Mediation Services. The Bureau's policy on the process can be accessed by viewing this document: Interest-Based Collective Bargaining Policy (PDF document).

Mediation Forms to Print

Notice of Desire to Negotiate (PDF)
Notice of Desire to Negotiate (Word Document)
For Grievance Mediation Requests - Use Petition for Mediation Services Public or Private Sector
Petition for Mediation Services (Public Sector - PDF)
Petition for Mediation Services (Public Sector - Word Document)

Petition for Mediation Services (Private Sector - PDF)
Petition for Mediation Services (Private Sector - Word Document)

Petition for Interest-Based Collective Bargaining (Public Sector - PDF)
Petition for Interest-Based Collective Bargaining (Public Sector - Word Document)

On Line Mediation Forms


Notice of Desire to Negotiate
Petition for Mediation Services

Please refer questions or comments regarding mediation to:

Janet Johnson - 651-649-5426