5.4 External Mediation
External Mediation will apply in the following circumstances:
• If a local disagreement remains unresolved after Stage 3 of the IR Framework there will be 7 days for national intervention, after which it will automatically be referred immediately for external mediation.
• Where the national parties fail to reach agreement on a point of principle relating to existing agreements that has been referred to them, it will be referred for external mediation after a period not exceeding one month from it being initially tabled by either party.
• Where there is a national disagreement relating to a matter that is not covered by existing collective agreements, it will be similarly referred if an agreed way forward is not found within one month.
• Where unballoted industrial action continues beyond 48 hours.
The External Mediator will be appointed from a jointly agreed panel managed by ACAS and will have no other connection with Royal Mail or the CWU. The mediator will be provided with all relevant papers and evidence, together with clear statements from each party on the issue that is in dispute and on which a recommendation is sought. Both Royal Mail and CWU will provide a representative to work with the Mediator to assist in understanding the issue in dispute, the background and the implications of any decision before it is made.
In considering the dispute and making recommendations, the External Mediator will take account of any regulatory and legal requirements, the terms and spirit of the Agenda for Growth, Stability and Long Term Success Agreement, other relevant national agreements, the needs of customers, the universal service obligation, and the need for appropriate efficiency supported by a climate of sustainable trust and collaborative decision making.
The External Mediator will produce recommendations within two weeks of having received all relevant papers and having met the representatives of each party. Although the recommendations from the mediator are nonbinding the expectation is that both parties will use the mediator’s recommendations to resolve their differences.