The Shared Neutrals Program uses Alternative Dispute Resolution under the Federal Executive Board of Minnesota’s Interagency Voluntary Mediation Process. The Shared Neutrals Program is coordinated by a Federal Inter-Agency Council comprised of mediators, Labor-Management representatives and other Federal supporting members.
Mediation is a process in which an impartial third party that has no authority to decide the issue or impose a resolution assists the parties in exploring a mutually-satisfactory resolution of the issues in dispute. At all times the decision to settle or impasse the dispute is solely within the hands of the parties. The mediator does not decide the dispute and has no authority to force either party to resolve the dispute. The role of the mediator is to help the parties understand each other’s positions, interests and perspectives and assist the parties in deciding whether the dispute can be resolved. The mediator also encourages mutual respect between the parties and takes the steps necessary to prevent any abuse of the mediation process. The impartial mediators for this pilot program are trained and experienced in alternative dispute resolution. Under the program, the parties pay no fees to participate in the mediation conference.