Mediation Services

Mediation Services

Mediation Services seeks to promote positive labour and management relations throughout Alberta.

Mediation Services helps labour and management resolve disputes in collective bargaining negotiations. Legislation requires mediation before parties can legally strike or lock out.

Who is Mediation Services for?

Unions and employers that have a collective bargaining relationship, as well as representatives, researchers and other Labour Relations Practitioners, can access the dispute resolution services provided by Mediation Services.

What does Mediation Services do?


Either side in a collective bargaining process can request a mediator.  The request is reviewed to ensure the criteria are met for the appointment of a mediator.

A mediator is then appointed from the Designated Mediator Roster, usually within three business days.

Once an appointment is made, the mediator arranges meetings with the parties to deal with the issues in dispute. The mediator works with the parties to help them reach a collective agreement. If agreement cannot be reached, the parties may proceed to further actions permitted under the Labour Relations Code.

The first two days of the mediator’s services and expenses are provided at no cost to the parties. For the third and subsequent days, fees and expenses of the mediator are shared equally by the parties.

Grievance Arbitration

Grievance arbitration is used when employees and employers disagree over the interpretation of a provision in a collective agreement, or if there is an allegation by one party that the other has violated the terms of the agreement. In this process, an impartial arbitrator renders a decision that is binding on both parties.

When parties involved in a grievance cannot agree on a chairperson or a single arbitrator, or when they fail to appoint a nominee, Mediation Services appoints arbitrators from a selected Grievance Arbitration Roster. Costs associated with the grievance arbitration process are shared equally by the parties.

To apply for the appointment of an arbitrator or a nominee, complete the Arbitrator Application Form and submit it, along with the grievance letter to or by mail to the address on the form.

Modified: 2016-08-24
PID: 172

Contact Mediation Services

310‑0000 followed by 780‑427‑8301 (toll free) 780‑427‑8301 in Edmonton

Who do I contact about...

  • Hours of work
  • Overtime
  • Maternity and parental leave
  • Termination
  • General holidays and general holiday pay

See Employment Standards for more information.

Visit the Alberta Labour Relations Board for more information about:

  • Certification and revocation of bargaining rights
  • Strikes and lockouts
  • Picketing
  • Prohibited practices
  • Duty of fair representation