A new survey has found that nearly eight in ten of South West employers think it is important to have expert independent negotiators in dispute resolution talks to help resolve strike action.
The YouGov poll asked respondents in the South West whether they thought it was important to have expert independent negotiators in talks. Just 6% thought it was not important and 15% did not know.
Acas offers a free independent mediation service called collective conciliation that can help employers and trade unions resolve their disputes.
Acas Director of Dispute resolution Kate Nowicki said:
“Our survey shows that employers in the South West overwhelmingly recognise the value of independent experts in negotiations to help resolve strike action.
“Finding common ground in a dispute takes time and skill and Acas has an experienced team able to bring cool heads and a fresh perspective to negotiations.
“We are ready to help, and our free and collective conciliation service is available to parties in dispute in the South West to find a way forward.”
Acas has seen a 20% rise in demand for its collective conciliation service compared to the same period last year. This help has included confidential background support to the parties involved in strike action.
Acas can only hold formal mediation talks when all the parties in dispute agree that the time is right to use its service. Using an independent impartial Acas conciliator in a long running dispute can help bring a calm, fresh pair of eyes to identify common ground between the sides in dispute and find a way forward, which can help break a deadlock.
Acas collective conciliators are independent and impartial. This means they do not take sides or impose solutions. They’re there to help both parties find a solution that everyone agrees to.
The majority of Acas’s collective conciliation work takes place before formal talks. It is a period of ‘pre-talk support’. This can include sharing information informally between parties, educating them on different options about talks, exploring those options and discussing the support needed for the negotiators.
Acas handles over 500 collective disputes every year. For more information, please see: https://www.acas.org.uk/collective-conciliation