About the Dispute Prevention and Relationship Development Program

This program is a service that the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) provides to unions and employers under federal jurisdiction.

The aim of this program is to help prevent and better manage labour disputes and day-to-day workplace conflict. It also helps develop and maintain collaborative working relations.

The overall goals of this program are to aid the parties:


This program offers the following services:

Grievance mediation

Grievance mediation aims to resolve grievances during the term of the agreement as an alternative to arbitration or waiting until collective bargaining.

This service offers parties an informal, low-cost alternative to grievance arbitration, which can be an adversarial and expensive process. It provides parties an opportunity to address grievances and their underlying issues under the guidance of an experienced and neutral FMCS mediator.

Facilitation of workplace issues, joint initiatives, and direct negotiations

FMCS mediators act as a neutral facilitator to help parties address workplace issues and engage in joint initiatives with greater ease and success. Examples include:

  • the facilitation of discussions to resolve a workplace conflict
  • joint committee meetings, and
  • direct bargaining negotiations

Training workshops

Joint training workshops

FMCS offers joint training to unions and employers who wish to:

  • foster collaborative labour relations, and
  • develop their collective bargaining skills

Training topics include, but are not limited to the following:

  • negotiations and collective bargaining
  • communications and conflict resolution
  • joint problem solving
  • committee effectiveness
  • grievance handling
  • embracing change

We customize most workshops to meet your particular needs and objectives. We do customization further to a diagnostic of the relationship conducted by FMCS mediators.

Consult the joint training workshops page for the full training descriptions, learning objectives, and how to apply.

Regional public workshops

If joint customized workshops are not practical in your workplace, we also offer regional public workshops.

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