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NLRB Partners with Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service to Promote Productive Collective Bargaining and Facilitate Card Check Agreements

National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo announced a new initiative to promote collective bargaining through a partnership with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS).  In a memo issued to all field offices, the NLRB’s Division of Operations Management advised Regions on new procedures that will encourage unions and employers to utilize FMCS services, including mediation, training, and card counts to show majority support. 

Specifically, the memo instructs Regions to advise parties that FMCS provides services at no cost at the time of certification, for first contract bargaining, and if charges are filed alleging bad faith bargaining. These services include: (1) skills development training for collective-bargaining negotiation, committee effectiveness and conflict resolution; (2) education on contract administration; (3) and mediation, if parties need additional assistance and support with contract negotiations.

Additionally, the FMCS is now also offering to assist parties in conducting card counts where an employer has entered into a verbal or written agreement with a union to voluntarily recognize the union upon a showing of majority support in an agreed upon bargaining unit.

The memo also advises Regions to consider seeking remedies that involve FMCS services, such as the engagement of a mediator from the FMCS to help facilitate good-faith bargaining between parties (as stated in GC 21-06) or FMCS training on collaborative bargaining.   

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