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  • Writer's pictureEd Johnson

How long has this been going on?

How long does mediation last? It’s an FAQ, at Northwest Mediation we try to resolve most issues in the course of a half day meeting or a day, but sometimes the time needed can be several weeks, or months where details are not readily to hand and rely on third parties (like pension companies) to produce figures.

In St Paul, Minnesota, the mediation between teachers’ union (St. Paul Federation of Educators) and district officials for the school board have been going at it for six days.

The union spokesperson Megan Boldt said “District leaders don’t understand the urgency of these needs. Educators do — we see them every day in our schools,”

The district officials have said they understand the need for the support staff but (as is so often the case) the money simply isn’t there.

Superintendent Joe Gothard said “I believe our students need more social/emotional support, but any additional resources — above the millions of dollars SPPS currently invests in these positions — have to be targeted where the need is greatest”

If no agreement can be reached through the talks then strike action is due to begin on Tuesday (assuming schools are still open mid-Covd-19 outbreak). A report on the SPPS website says that tentative agreement has been reached but that school strikes are still occurring while details are finalised.

In the claim arising out of tragic case of Sarah Circle Bear who died four years ago while an inmate at Brown County Jail is due to go to mediation this week in Sioux Falls. Parties include the county sheriffs Mark Milbrandt (Brown County) and Jay Tasa (Roberts County).

In claim terms two years is a short period and we can only hope that the mediation brings a speedy conclusion to the matter and gives the parties some closure.

When reporting is required after mediation (which is not an infrequent request in employment or business mediations) this can add to the time involved in reporting back, though it should not prevent the parties reaching an agreement.

In Regina however Unifor 594 and Federated Co-op are waiting for the report which is expected to give recommendations about how the refinery dispute can move forward to resolution.

Don Morgan Minister of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety said “We expect the parties to get back to the table, to roll up their sleeves, do some work on the thing, look at the other positions that are being put forward and see if they can find a way to get a resolution"

The mediators will already be looking what those resolutions might be as well as within the report helping both sides to understand the other’s position.

The report however will be made public, which seems an odd move in a mediation but if that was the agreed process then no doubt it will allow the public including the wider families affected by the dispute to comment.

From the article it seems that matters are close to conclusion.

The urgency of time is often a driving factor in the decision to mediate and with the world markets in crisis it’s unsurprising that the oil price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia is being directed (or at least encouraged in the direction of) mediation.

On this occasion it’s Mexico who have offered to mediate, Mexico's Finance Minister Arturo Herrera quoted his country’s previous successes at resolving crude oil price wars. Although that dispute as 22 years ago Mexico remains part of OPEC so has both the interest and knowledge to work with the two disputing parties and try and bring further stability to the markets caused by the effects of Covid-19.

Speaking of Covid-19 it’s hard not to point out that a lot of work we do as mediators is done online, on the phone and remotely. There’s still a lot of person to person work and sometimes the seeing the whites of the parties’ eyes is necessary to get to the truth behind the dispute.

As in this article from America if any of our clients want to work remotely with us that’s not a problem, with Skype freely available emails an almost constant form of communication we should not see too much of an impact in dealing with mediation.

If the government orders a limit on movement this will have an inevitable impact on the speed of our service delivery, we cannot meet you if we cannot travel but at the moment we are all well and should be able to continue attending all planned meetings.

As we’ve said before save time, money and stress by choosing to mediate early and resolve your issues effectively, quickly, and with less stress and costs than going to your solicitor.

You have an interest in the outcome the sooner you get round the mediation table the quicker you can move forward and avoid the grilling a cross examination in court would put you through.

By having a deep and meaningful discussions with parties the mediator elicits what the true “red-lines” are and where there is the potential for compromise.

It is with this structured period of reflection that the parties are then able to reach an accord.

The flexible nature of mediation and the possible outcomes make it an ideal way to resolve disputes in an ever changing world and the open nature of discussions in mediation whilst remaining confidential allows all sides to engage fully in the process and understand the needs of all involved allowing parties to reach a conclusion which both sides can live with and move on.

There are so many situations which could have been resolved by early intervention of mediation it continues to surprise me the lengths the public (and some lawyers) will go to avoid referral.

Whether you need a mediator to help out with a construction matter in the Northwest, or council’s plans in Cheshire, a civil mediator in London, a commercial mediator in Manchester, a dispute resolution for your family in Liverpool, a neighbourhood mediation in Stockport, then our mediators at Northwest Mediation can help.

Mediation is cheaper, quicker and less stressful than running any case to court, it can help with any dispute 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, civil mediation or inheritance, wills and probate arguments contact Northwest Mediation on 07931318347 or via email at

neighbour mediation; commercial dispute resolution; civil mediation; commercial dispute; corporate dispute; commercial mediator; family mediation; inheritance wills probate mediation; property mediator; civil mediator; civil litigation; fast track mediation; injury mediation

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