Experiences of mediation; industrial and workplace negotiations

Australian Mediation Perspectives

Paul Howes at the Press Club 5 February 2014 via ABC News Paul Howes at the Press Club 5 February 2014 via ABC News

With the Abbott Coalition Government and Australian Workers’ Union leader Paul Howes using the Australian media to respond to the Fair Work Commission’s Modern Awards Review, industrial and workplace negotiation techniques are once again in the press.

In January this year the Victorian branch of the Australian Education Union (AEU) and the state government settled a Federal Court case through court ordered mediation.  The settlement was reported as a “secret” deal” by the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) in an article that criticised the AEU for refusing to release the text of the settlement. A union official told the reporter that the terms of the agreement were “not for general distribution” (Source: ICFI)

“Secret Deal” sounds far more sinister than “a confidential settlement agreement”. Confidentiality is essential to building trust in a mediation process, and…

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