Members of the Panel of Mediators are available to assist the parties in resolving grievances. Despite their good faith, parties can, and often do, disagree over the meaning and intent of collective bargaining agreement provisions they have negotiated. The resulting disputes are resolved through the contractual grievance procedure, which usually culminates in final, binding arbitration.
In 2001, the Legislature amended Maine's laws (26 M.R.S.A. § 965(2)(F)) to permit members of the Panel to assist parties in resolving grievance disputes, if the parties had so agreed. The availability of grievance mediation service could substantially shorten the time required to resolve grievances and save the parties the cost of arbitration as well. In addition, parties tend to be more satisfied with results they have negotiated themselves than with those imposed by a third party.