Virtual Dispute Resolution: Practical guidance on using technology in grievance procedures, arbitrations, and mediations

While videoconferencing technology has been widely available for years, many workplace parties didn’t seriously consider it as an option until COVID-19 physical distancing measures forced the issue. As employers, unions, and adjudicators raced to adopt virtual negotiation and dispute resolution processes in order to keep the “machinery” of labour relations running smoothly, they’ve learned that there are important distinctions between remote and in-person proceedings.

In this interactive full-day workshop, an arbitrator and experienced advocates will provide guidance on how to effectively conduct virtual hearings, mediations, and negotiations.

Participants will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to:

understand the benefits and drawbacks of using videoconferencing technology for grievance meetings, negotiations, and hearings;
address concerns about assessing credibility remotely;
recognize potential privacy concerns and mitigate potential issues;
identify situations that would not be suitable for a virtual proceeding;
anticipate and address preliminary matters to promote a smooth and more efficient virtual hearing;
share information, file documents, and effectively present evidence;
organize and make use of virtual caucus meetings; and
adjust negotiation techniques to compensate for the lack of visual cues such as body language.