FLRA's Mainstreaming Collaborative Dispute Resolution Initiative a Semifinalist in the 1999 Innovations in American Government Awards Competition



April 26, 1999 · PR 106-99
Contact: Patty Reilly

FLRA's Mainstreaming Collaborative Dispute Resolution Initiative a Semifinalist in the 1999 Innovations in American Government Awards Competition

The Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) announced today that it is one of 99 semifinalists in the nationwide Innovations in American Government awards competition. This prestigious annual award, sponsored by the Ford Foundation, is administered by Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government in partnership with the Council for Excellence in Government. As a semifinalist, the FLRA joins a select group of just 23 other Federal agencies from across the country, drawn from a pool of more than 1,600 Federal, state, local, and tribal government applicants.

The FLRA's innovation - Mainstreaming Collaborative Dispute Resolution (or MDR) - encourages and assists disputing parties to find their own solution to the problems that sparked their legal claims. MDR mainstreams what is popularly called "alternative dispute resolution" (ADR), and emphasizes interest-based problem solving as the ADR process best suited to achieving constructive labor relations. Parties with cases before the FLRA are helped at each step of case processing to resolve their own disputes, and avoid the delays and costs connected with traditional adjudication. The program empowers labor and management to be architects of meaningful solutions to their conflicts, and strengthen their relationship. It frees adjudication resources to focus on cases that require issuance of a decision.

Commenting on the FLRA's achievement, Chair Phyllis N. Segal noted, "The FLRA has transformed the concept of ADR from an 'alternative - off to the side', into principles widely incorporated in our case processing, adjudication, training, and the recent overhaul of regulations governing three of our four major litigation areas. We are gratified that the FLRA's program has been recognized in this national competition as an 'original and effective' initiative."

The twenty-five finalists to be chosen next month will be eligible for an award of $20,000, with top winners receiving $100,000.

The FLRA is an independent agency that administers the labor-management relations program for 1.9 million non-Postal Service Federal employees worldwide, approximately 1.1 million of whom are exclusively represented in 2,200 bargaining units. It is charged with providing leadership in establishing policies and guidance related to Federal sector labor-management relations, and with resolving disputes under and ensuring compliance with Title VII of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978. Its three primary component parts, the Authority, the Office of the General Counsel, and the Federal Service Impasses Panel, have actively worked together to foster and promote Mainstream Collaborative Dispute Resolution.

For more information on the Innovations in Government Award, contact Patty Reilly at the FLRA at (202)-482-6500 or visit the Innovations home page at www.innovations.harvard.edu.

Visit the FLRA Web Site at: http://www.flra.gov/