Govt. evaluating how to continue with mediators


PHILIPSBURG–With none of the three appointed labour mediators currently functioning, authorities are evaluating whether to continue with a pool of mediators or return to the existing system of having one mediator.

Minister of Health, Labour and Social Affairs VSA Emil Lee said on Wednesday that due to a combination of resignations and sick leave, none of the three mediators are currently functioning.
Trade union representatives had expressed concern recently about the functioning of the office of the labour mediator and had urged the Minister to address the matter.
Lee said during the Council of Ministers press briefing that about a year ago authorities had started with pool of three mediators, a change from the previous system where there was one mediator handling labour disputes.
“We are now in the process of evaluating whether we will stay with the pool of mediators or whether we will return to a single mediator structure,” Lee said. “We are in discussion with our social partners … and we all agree that it’s critical that we have a robust structure in place, given the economic situation for the next couple of years and given the difficulties that we are going to have in the labour market. We all agree that having a robust mediation service is critical for the country moving forward.”

Source: The Daily Herald