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Mediation of discrimination complaints at the USPS: Purpose drives practice

The authors describe the reasons that the Postal Service has adopted transformative mediation, implemented through its REDRESS program, for the resolution of discrimination disputes. They describe the steps taken to design and implement the program, and the criteria used to measure its success.

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New perspectives on old problems: Elapsed time in grievance arbitration

An examination of the trend in elapsed time from the filing of a grievance to the issuance of the arbitrator’s award, from the 1940’s to the 1980’s.

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Jack Northrup, through his personal involvement, was able to satisfactorily resolve most employee problems in the company’s early years. In 1946, although non-union, the company adopted a formal grievance procedure with arbitration as its final step. The author describes the dispute resolution process that was adopted and remained unchanged to the date of this article. …

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The author describes factors for the “clogging” of the arbitration process and that threaten the “final and binding quality” of decisions. These factors include “passing the buck” to the arbitrator; “fair representation” concerns; the tendency for “legalistic” proceedings; and the increasing involvement of external law. Suggested new approaches include pre-hearing disclosure of facts and offers …

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A broad view of the parties’ system of self-government that addresses substantive and procedural issues, from the scope of the duty to bargain to arbitration. The author opines that arbitrators play an integral role in fostering the collective bargaining relationship and the acceptability of the results of the grievance procedure.

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