What is Mediation?
Employee mediation is a confidential, informal, voluntary process facilitated by a neutral party (a mediator) to help resolve a conflict. The mediator aims to establish an open and respectful conversation where employees are empowered to seek solutions that are mutually acceptable and actionable. A mediator facilitates the conversation and does not take sides, suggest solutions, determine culpability, or issue disciplinary measures.
When is Mediation Used?
Employees can use mediation as a way to resolve interpersonal conflicts which have a negative effect on the college or on their work unit. Mediation may not be appropriate in every situation; however, mediation can be a powerful tool for workplace conflicts when the issues are causing employee turnover, a general lack of respect among employees, low employee morale, or a decrease in productivity. Employees can request mediation when both conflicting parties have agreed to the process, in order to resume working in a sustainable, safe, and healthy environment.
The Office of the Ombudsperson supports employees to explore various informal resolution options, including facilitated conversations. A facilitated conversation is an informal, confidential process which can be used to resolve conflict at an early stage. Contact the Omnbudsperson through Calendly to schedule a confidential meeting.
Employees who voluntarily agree to resolve their conflict through the mediation process can contact the Employee Relations Officer (ERO), who will ensure that mediation is appropriate for their individual situation.
- The ERO is the intermediary to coordinate with available mediators and the conflicting employees to schedule the meeting.
- An employee can request a different mediator if there is a conflict of interest or other appropriate reason.
- The mediation process and content is confidential between the mediator and parties. The information discussed may not be used for any other purpose.
Mediation Within the College’s Grievance Process
If an employee files a grievance, they may use mediation as a step to resolving the grievance. If the employee requests mediation, the ERO will temporarily halt the grievance process until mediation is completed. The ERO will resume the grievance process if the parties do not reach a resolution through mediation.
Who are the Mediators at Austin Community College?
Employees who serve as mediators have been trained in dispute resolution. All mediators abide by a Code of Ethics that maintains their impartiality, neutrality, and confidentiality.
If you are interested in being a mediator, contact the Employee Relations Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org.