Ports of Auckland has today welcomed agreement from MUNZ to make an urgent application for facilitation in order to settle the eight month dispute.
In order to get constructive progress POAL yesterday proposed that the parties now use the Employment Relations Authority’s facilitation process, as agreed in the Employment Court two weeks ago.
In mediation today, the parties have agreed to make an application to the Employment Relations Authority early next week for an urgent start to the facilitation process.
The company is hopeful that facilitation will assist by providing the parties with clear recommendations, made by a neutral but experienced third party.
The company said that over 8 months of bargaining it hadn’t seen a willingness from MUNZ to negotiate a modern flexible agreement.
Whilst there is a real deadlock that needs to be broken, facilitation does at least provide some chance that this will occur
What is mediation?
Mediation is essentially a meeting, convened by Department of Labour mediators. When used in bargaining, mediation is public. The mediators assist, but they don’t have any power to force the parties to a conclusion. Mediation is relatively informal.
What is facilitation?
Facilitation is a more formal process, convened by the Employment Relations Authority. The Authority Member listens to both parties, and can then make non binding recommendations about what the terms of the collective should be, or what the parties should do to reach agreement.
Both parties must consider the Authority’s recommendation but (in this context) they don’t have to accept it.
The facilitation process is private, although the Authority’s recommendations can be made public if the Authority wishes.