That’s not mediation!

A US Mediator presides over an Impasse Hearing in Florida, but is it #mediation?

Australian Mediation Perspectives

“Mediator appears to side with teachers union in contract impasse”

This recent headline from a Florida newspaper caught my eye and got me thinking – “Why is the mediator taking sides? S/he should withdraw from the process and have a neutral mediator appointed immediately!”

The “mediator” is Scott Milinski, a member of the US National Mediation Board; however, he was not mediating the dispute between the United Teachers of Monroe union (UTM) and the Monroe County School District (MCSD). Rather, he was presiding over a public “impasse hearing”.

“An impasse occurs when after engaging in good faith negotiation, mediation, factfinding with a mediator and post fact-finding negotiations, the parties are unable to reach an agreement. Various laws and contractual agreements govern impasse procedures to be followed in negotiations, such as labor-management talks.” Source

Mr Milinski was engaged in a fact-finding role and, as Milinski told the parties “Nothing I say…

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