Interest Sections

Collective Bargaining Network

The Collective Bargaining Section is a constituent organization of the Labor and Employment Relations Association (LERA). The Section shall provide a forum for the exchange of ideas about collective bargaining and for the professional education of practitioners and researchers in collective bargaining. The goal of the Section is to advance and disseminate knowledge about collective bargaining, and to improve its processes.

For more information please contact Lynne Mingarelli at [email protected]

Dispute Resolution

The Section shall provide a forum for the exchange of ideas about dispute resolution and for the professional education of practitioners and researchers in dispute resolution. Our goal is to advance dispute resolution principles, the role of the neutral, and facilitation, mediation and arbitration as vital links in the system of labor and employment relations and to foster knowledge-sharing designed to enhance understanding of the value and role of third-party process.

For more information please contact:

Richard D. Fincher, 480-991-9479
Janet Gillman, 503-378-2097

LERA Dispute Resolution Leadership for 2018-19
Practice leader in labor arbitration, including Pyett employment cases
Richard D. Fincher
Mediator and Arbitrator
Workplace Resolutions LLC, Phoenix, Arizona
[email protected]
Practice leader in labor mediation of grievances and collecting bargaining
Janet Gillman
State Conciliator
Oregon Employment Relations Board, Salem, Oregon
[email protected]

Annual Meeting Notes June 14, 2018

Regarding purpose, you expressed a number of interests for the section, including:
  • Mentoring
  • Sharing best practices for arbitration and mediation
  • Practice informed by scholarship, strengthening the academic-practitioner connection
We brainstormed a number of actions the section might pursue, including:
  • Organize ½ day pre-conference program or propose one or two conference sessions, focus on arbitration linking practice and research (2019 Cleveland)
  • Maintain current practice-leader structure – need to fill vacancies and think more about how to tap practice leader expertise
  • Use listserv to communicate with the section -- share ideas, best practices, papers – perhaps a quarterly newsletter? Need to establish listserv guidelines, work with Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld
  • Survey section to learn more about membership – who belongs, what are the interests, who’s willing to help out?
A number of you volunteered to help with developing a proposal for a preconference program for Cleveland, or perhaps one or two conference sessions.  We talked about the importance of connecting with the Ohio chapters to find out if there’s interest in an arbitration focused program and to solicit their help in getting turnout.  We will be organizing a conference call or zoom meeting with those of you who volunteered with this in the coming weeks.
Dick Fincher and I will serve as section co-chairs for 2018-19.  If you have ideas for the section, please feel free to share them with me and Dick.  Additionally, Christine Newhall and I will be working on a brief survey for section members to provide another avenue for feedback.  I hope to have that survey out in the next month.
Thanks for your participation.
Call Notes July 22, 2014

Labor and Employment Relations Association
Dispute Resolution Section
Practice Leaders’ Conference Call, July 22, 2014
Alex Colvin, Cornell ILR: Employment Arbitration
Dick Fincher, Cornell ILR: Labor Arbitration
Janet Gillman, Oregon Employment Relations Board: Labor Mediation
Mark Gough, Ph.D. student, Cornell ILR: Graduate Student Engagement
Christine Newhall, American Arbitration Association: Conflict Management Systems
Nancy Peace, formerly Massachusetts Education Partnership: Interest-Based Negotiations

At Dick’s suggestion, the agenda focused on three areas: the spring 2015 LERA Conference in Pittsburgh; mid-year activities and events; and the LERA/DR website.

Nancy indicated that she was not willing to propose a session given her prior experience in having her last 3 accepted sessions all scheduled for Sunday, when most attendees had returned home.

Janet proposed a session on the interest-based work that state agencies such as hers are doing. In addition to her own agency in Oregon, she mentioned New York, and Washington. Nancy agreed to partner with Janet on this proposal.

Christine is considering proposing a session on OCM, but is not sure if it should be sponsored by AAA or the DR Section. Either way, the section will lend its support the proposal.

A discussion employment and labor arbitration led to the idea of proposing two sessions on this theme. One would be based on research that Alex and Mark are currently doing and the other an experiential session with presentations by companies who use both. There was strong support for the section continuing to focus on research and practice. Mark and Christine will work on proposals.

There was no energy with regard to developing a labor arbitrator training session or a session that considered the pros and cons of a Code of ethics and practice for employment arbitrators.

It was agreed that we would seek to submit proposals as soon as the proposal form appears on the LERA website.

Nancy will organize the section meeting for Pittsburgh and also a dinner meeting for those on this call and any potential future practice area leaders. Dick noted that if the section is to continue to thrive, we must not only give value to our members, but insure ongoing and effective transitions in leadership.

Mid-Year Events/Activities
Dick mentioned encouraging local chapters to invite section members as speakers. Otherwise, this topic was covered under the other two focus areas.

It was agreed that we should seek to enhance the DR section’s area on the new LERA website. Each person on the call agreed to identify 3 notable articles or books in their respective practice areas, or write a summary of what is happening in their respective practice areas. The selections will be sent to Emily Smith at the LERA office. Nancy will send a note to Eric and Emily to make them aware that this effort is in the works.

All practice leaders agreed to have their e-mail addresses added to the website contact information, but not phone numbers.

Other Topics
Dick noted that we do not have a practice leader for International ADR, yet a number of foreign students attend the LERA annual conferences. This is a subject we might discuss further on our next call or at the section meeting in Pittsburgh.

The next Practice Leaders conference call will be scheduled for September. Christine agreed to take the lead in scheduling it and setting it up. Appreciation is owned Christine for setting up the July call also.

Once these notes are approved by those on the call, Nancy will send them to Eric and Emily for posting on section website. She will also look for the letter that we composed after the Portland section meeting. She was under the impression that it had already been forwarded to LERA, but since it has not been posted, we are not sure.

Annual Meeting Notes
LERA Dispute Resolution Section
LERA Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon
May 30, 2014
For emailing to all LERA Dispute Resolution Section Members, and posting on LERA website

Dick Fincher welcomed those in attendance and introduced Co-Chair Nancy Peace. Christine Newhall, Senior Vice President of the American Arbitration Association is also a Co-Chair but was not able to join us. Dick briefly described the past history of the section and its goals.

The first part of the meeting was devoted to an update on various practice areas of interest to the section’s membership, while the second part was the annual business meeting.

The following topics were discussed:

Interest-based negotiations
Nancy Peace described the project that she has been leading for the past two years, the Massachusetts Education Partnership (MEP), which is devoted to improving student achievement through labor-management collaboration and fostering collaborative cultures in school districts, schools and classrooms. She noted that the MEP website describes the partnership more fully and contains resources that should prove useful to those interested in the practice area. The website is IBN is a growing practice area for LERA members.

Labor Arbitration: Pyett v. Penn Plaza LLC
Dick focused on the impact of the USSC Pyett case on labor arbitration, noting that when it was issued, most in the arbitration community thought it would have no impact. Dick noted that this is proving not to be true and that he, if fact, has a Pyett labor case. He then discussed the Supreme Court commentary, remedies, and ongoing questions. The Berkeley law journal has already published an article on post-Pyett litigation.

ICMS (Internal Conflict Management Systems)
In the absence of Christine to discuss employment systems, Dick discussed recent development in using a systems model to reduce the volume of grievances waiting for labor arbitration. The recent NAA meeting in Chicago included a workshop on best practices in reducing grievances.

Employment arbitration
Alex agreed to become a LERA practice leader in DR and discussed the research he is currently conducting in this field.

Labor mediation
Janet Gillman of the Oregon ERB agreed to become a LERA practice leader in DR. The ERB members discussed the current need for trained IBN facilitators, as they are often too busy for such continuous work.

2014 Annual Business Meeting
At the start of the business part of the meeting, Nancy asked the group whether there was interest in having the section continue in LERA, as opposed to merge with another section or be disbanded. There was general agreement to maintain the section.

Shared Leadership Model-We discussed the idea of having a shared leadership model, in which designated members took responsibility for reaching out to, and mentoring others in the practice area and developing conference session proposals.
The following section members agreed to be practice leaders for 2014-2015:

  1. Alexander Colvin , Employment Arbitration
  2. Dick Fincher, Labor Arbitration
  3. Janet Gillman, Labor Mediation
  4. Nancy Peace, IBN processes
  5. Christine Newhall, employment ICMS

The vision is that each practice leader will be involved in a workshop in 2015, or will contribute to the LERA journal during the year. They also agree to accept inquiries from other LERA members on their area of expertise.

Agreed ideas for the future:

  • PhD students: Mark Gough, a Ph. D. candidate at Cornell’s ILR School, agreed to be the affiliate section leader for doctoral students. Mark noted that he could work on outreach to other students to become active in the section
  • Dine around in 2015:    Those in attendance thought it a good idea. Nancy Peace offered to organize for next year in partnership with someone from Pittsburgh. It was noted that LERA has many graduate students with limited budgets so that a moderately priced place should be selected
  • Local site visits: Steelworkers’ office in Pittsburgh might be a possibility; need someone to look into this.
  • More proactive engagement of academics
  • Possibility of organizing a dispute resolution pre-conference half-day program for Pittsburgh
  • We will again send out an email to members listing the DR workshops in 2015.

The possibility of partnering with the LERA Labor Law Section was discussed, but no conclusion was reached. Dick will reach out to them.

Dick Fincher, Labor Arbitration
Nancy Peace, IBN processes
Christine Newhall, employment ICMS
Alexander Colvin, Employment Arbitration
Janet Gillman, Labor Mediation
Mark Gough, Ph. D. candidate

Work and Human Resources Network

‘The Work and Human Resources Network (WHR) is a constituent organization of the Labor and Employment Relations Association that offers a forum for the exchange of ideas about work, human resources, and employment relations; and for the professional education of practitioners and researchers in these areas. The WHR Network emphasizes workplace-based research and its implications for policy, labor, and management. Workplace-based research is typically field research, grounded research that takes into account the workplace context. The Network is inherently multi-disciplinary and welcomes research from a broad set of disciplines, industries, and countries.

Our goal is to advance the principles of fair and equitable treatment for workers, including the right to collective representation, and to advance the idea that workers are a key source of value creation. We seek to explore systems and approaches that support the attainment of worker goals, their ability to create value for the organizations in which they work, and their ability to share in that value.

Alex Colvin, Cornell University
Virginia Doellgast, London School of Economics

International Interest Section

The International Interest Section of LERA is a group of LERA members whose interest lies in the field of international and comparative employment relations. The Section exists to promote dialogue, research, and evaluation of international institutions and processes in employment relations and to encourage the comparative analysis of employment relations systems and types.


Labor and Employment Law

The Labor and Employment Law Interest Section of the LERA is a group of people from many different disciplinary backgrounds. The section's focus is on the law as it affects labor and employment and as the law is affected by social and other forces.

This group is in need of new leadership. If you are interested, please contact [email protected].

Labor Markets and Economics

The Labor Markets and Economics Section is a constituent organization of the Labor and Employment Relations Association (LERA). The Section shall provide a forum for the exchange of ideas about interest area and for the professional education of practitioners and researchers in that interest area.
For more information contact Dale Belman, Susan Helper or Stephen Woodbury.

Labor Studies and Union Research

The Labor Studies and Union Research Interest Section of the LERA is a group of LERA members from various disciplinary backgrounds whose interest and focus is the study of labor unions, collective bargaining, and related issues. Our intent is to provide a forum for dialogue, networking, learning, and encouragement for academic, practitioner and student members to participate in our professional community.

For more information please contact Robert Bruno, University of Illinois or Thea Michailides, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades.

Globalization, Investment, and Trade Section

The Globalization, Investment, and Trade Section of LERA consists of members from various disciplinary backgrounds, economics, law, history, sociology, etc., whose focus is on trade, international economics and labor, as well as other issues concerning globalization. Our goal is to provide a forum for discussion, education, communication and research for the academic, practitioner, and student members.

For more information please contact David Bensman or Owen Herrnstadt