Joel Schaffer has been a mediator with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) for more than 21years. In addition to being responsible for the mediation of labor disputes in the private, public and federal sectors, he offers seminars to the North American labor -management community on such topics as steward training, negotiating skills, grievance handling, Appreciative Inquiry, mediation, conflict resolution, interest based (mutual gain) bargaining, contract administration, organizational development and arbitration preparation.
He has designed and delivered mediation, conflict resolution and collective bargaining trainings in Lesotho, Swaziland, Thailand, Vietnam, Hungary, and Croatia. In recognition of this work, and his contributions to the settlement of the 2002 West Coast Port negotiations, Mr. Schaffer was awarded his agency’s highest honor, The Director’s Award.
Mr. Schaffer has provided mediation services to a wide range of employers and their respective labor unions: the San Francisco Opera, Ballet and Symphony, the New York City Ballet, the Washington, D.C. Ballet as well as the Association of General Contractors, Waste Management Services, Sheet Metal Contractors of North America, St. Mary’s College and Kaiser Permanente. In addition, he has facilitated many large group meetings on a wide variety of topics.
Before joining the FMCS, Mr. Schaffer was a field representative for Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Locals 790 and 1000. He received his B.A. in sociology, with honors, from the University of California, Santa Cruz and holds a lifetime teaching credential with the California Community College System. He has received advanced mediation training from both Harvard University and the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University Law School.