Due to a lack of funding, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) mediators are prohibited from attending mediation session until the government shutdown ends and funding is available, Jackson Lewis has learned. According to the FMCS’s Contingency Plan for Agency Operations in the Absence of Appropriations, FMCS will continue to provide collective bargaining mediation services to parties in certain critical industries, including the defense, health care, and power generation industries, where the Director of the FMCS determines that mediation services are essential activities necessary to protect life or property, and where such threat to life or property can reasonably be said to be near at hand and demanding of immediate response, to avoid or minimize the disruptive effects of strikes and/or lockouts. The Director will make a determination of the need for such mediation services on a case-by-case basis.
According to the Plan, the scope of cases the Director will consider will be limited to those (1) involving either an expired collective bargaining agreement or a collective bargaining agreement scheduled to expire within 21 days or less of any lapse in funding; and (2) where, in the Director’s professional judgment as a mediator, a work stoppage or lockout is likely without the assistance of a mediator; and (3) arising in a hospital care setting, in or directly impacting the defense industry, in the power generation industry, or in such other critical industry where the Director determines that a work stoppage will have a comparable effect.
Jackson Lewis will provide updates as they become available.