How does mediation fit into the disciplinary process?
The Office of State Personnel has implemented mediation as means for trying to reach dispute resolution before advancing to the grievance process. Mediation is designed to assist two or more disputants reach common ground with the goal being that the grievance process will become unnecessary. Mediation is an informal process in which a neutral third party assists the opposing parties. The decision to mediate is completely voluntary. Mediation gives the parties the opportunity to discuss the issues raised in the charge, clear up misunderstandings, determine the underlying interests or concerns, find areas of agreement and, ultimately, to incorporate those areas of agreements into resolutions. A mediator does not resolve the charge or impose a decision on the parties. Instead, the mediator helps the parties to agree on a mutually acceptable resolution.