Bargaining Update: Getting more info as team heads to mediation

Posted Feb. 1, 2024 by

What's Mediation?

Most of you have heard by now that the OCSEA and Management State Bargaining Teams are headed to “mediation” when they come back to the bargaining table on February 12.Currently, mediation is scheduled for seven days and is always the next step in the bargaining process.

Mediation involves bringing in a neutral “mediator”––a respected expert in labor relations––who tries to help settle disputes by resolving misunderstandings, setting goals, helping reach agreements and compromises, and lending independent perspective to the two sides. In this round of bargaining, the sides agreed to select Jack Buettner, an experienced arbitrator and someone knowledgeable about the current State contract.

Sometimes, a mediator can only go so far, either because the sides refuse to bargain and compromise any further, or because time runs out. That’s when a fact finder would come into play.

The general rules that guide public employee negotiations are established by Ohio law. The law allows the union and management to submit disputed issues to a fact finder after negotiations and mediation have failed and an “impasse” is formally declared.