Q: Could PM Bissessar & the union leaders have used any ADR processes at their July 26 meeting?
A: It is always difficult to have the parties in conflict be responsible for the process of conducting their interactions. With so much riding on the success of that meeting, either facilitation or mediation could have been utilized to enhance the chances of a successful outcome.
Facilitators have the skills to get a group focused on a common problem and a common process. They also protect group members, ensure everyone participates and they can use their neutral position to build trust between the parties.
Alternatively, the meeting could have been treated as a mediation. A certified mediator would have been able to assist the parties to define the issues, uncover interests, generate and assess options, and negotiate solutions.