We revisit two previous mediations in this week’s news blog.
The ongoing strike in Oakland California by SEIU Local 1021 workers (who provide staff for city libraries and emergency call services) has finally seen movement from the city in a dispute over pay increases for the union workers, which will mean 3000 workers returning to their jobs from the picket line this week.
The union’s chief negotiator Rob Szykowny announced “The city did make some movement today. They adopted a new tone which we appreciate. In light of that we are going to send people back to work.”
Sabrina Landreth, City Administrator described the sides as having managed to have a “healthy dialogue” and had attained some areas of agreement. Bargaining had been ongoing since May and an impasse declared by the city in negotiations on 5/12/17 had led to all workers to walking out
The mediation was conducted by David Weinberg.
Meanwhile back this side of the pond the ongoing dispute over the sale, use and transfer of Coventry City’s and Wasps’ Ricoh Arena has been ordered back to mediation. You may recall the Dean of Coventry cathedral previously assisted in mediation in this matter as did British Olympic great David Moorcroft which involves the city council as well as the two football clubs and the owners (and former owners) of the stadium.
The Court of Appeal has now instructed the parties back to mediation.
LJ Irwin spoke of the risks to all sides in terms of reputation “There is a long standing relationship between the parties, there needs to be working relationships in the future, it seems to me desirable that all parties go into mediation seeking to resolve all of those disputes relating to those relationships.
“That would include any future civil proceedings. It would be futile to enter meditation without considering that.
“By the end of the mediation process, if it is successful, all parties should be able to walk away with all issues resolved.
“This is a case crying out for an honest attempt at mediation.”
The claim involves allegations of undervaluation (by a mere £29 million) when the City sold the stadium in 2014. The Sky Blues are no longer seeking damages from Waps but did not rule out a future claim in damages according to Rhodri Thompson QC for the club.
As with many cases which benefit from mediation Judge Irwin identified that “Once the battle dust has settled, it must be obvious that there are not just financial and legal consequences here but reputational consequences too. All the way around.”
James Goudie QC for the city council accepted that “There is no issue with mediation. We see it as desirable that it should proceed as rapidly as possible and the identity of the mediator is confirmed so matters can be embarked on.
“Of course we all want to see a thriving CCFC, the Sky Blues are part of the community. We also want to see a thriving Wasps and Ricoh Arena, but not on the basis of that being supported by state aid.”
Mr Thompson added “My client’s position is that they are keen to participate, as they did in 2014. They will have a mandate to participate. Our priority is that the council and Wasps should have mandates to participate. If Coventry is to have a thriving football club there needs to be alternative stadium, like in Brighton, or an arrangement with Wasps, like in Swansea.”
The court has requested both parties provide the names of three mediators to choose from and if they cannot be agreed LJ Flaux said the court would decide for them.
If you have a dispute in need of mediation, whether it's an employment issue or the sale at an under value of a property, a fight with a neighbour, family issues, commercial disputes or inheritance arguments contact Northwest Mediation on 07931318347 or via email at
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