What is currently happening at FMCS? Who is in charge? Good questions, here is the news.
Rich Giacolone the 19 Director of FMCS retired on January 2nd after leading the Agency for 3 years. His vacancy will remain until the next Director is confirmed by the Senate (See news on the situation below).
Currently Gary Hattal is in charge, his title is Deputy Director with the duties of the Director. Gary has 26 years of experience with FMCS and was Director Giacolone’s Deputy Director during his entire term.
Keep looking for more news as things develop, the government just avoided a shutdown but that means the Agency will be funded on a CR until a budget is passed, stay tuned!
We do have developing news impacting FMCS: Javier Ramirez was announced by the Biden Administration as the FMCS nominee on June 9th, 2021. He was voted favorably out of the Senate HELP Committee on August 3rd and was placed on the Senate Executive Calendar, No. 300. He now awaits a vote in the full Senate.
Here is the White House Announcement:
Javier Ramirez, Nominee for Director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service
Javier Ramirez began his FMCS career as a Commissioner in 2005 and is currently the Executive Manager of the Division of Agency Initiatives. This office bears responsibility for the Office of Conflict Management & Prevention, Office of Strategy & Development, the Center for Conflict Resolution and Education, the FMCS Institute for Conflict Management, and the DC and Northern Virginia (HQ) Commissioners.
Javier mediated disputes in all sectors of the economy (except air and rail) in professions such as the performing arts, public safety, professors, hospitality, hospitals, manufacturing, and packing houses. Javier facilitated and mediated multi-party disputes in manufacturing, construction, and education. He was on the facilitation team for several regulatory negotiations, including the Department of Energy (DOE) negotiations that resulted in the largest energy-saving rule in DOE history. Javier also trained and successfully facilitated parties in various collaborative bargaining models. Notably, Javier collaborated with colleagues to create the FMCS Affinity Bargaining model. He represented the agency in international tri-partite training efforts in Bangladesh and trained all New Zealand labor mediators on collaborative bargaining. Javier has been the recipient of multiple FMCS performance awards in recognition of his work, including the Director’s Award.
Additionally, Javier is regularly asked to present at national and regional conferences on conflict management topics. He guest lectured on labor relations and dispute management at the University of Illinois, University of Colorado Boulder, National Defense University, Cornell, and other universities.
Prior to FMCS, Javier spent over fourteen years in labor relations, negotiating contracts and resolving disputes in areas such as immigration, contract administration, communication, staffing, and politics at the federal, state, and local level. His efforts have been featured in Rolling Stone, Chicago Tribune Magazine, and Chicago Lawyer Magazine; cited in the New York Times Best Seller Fast Food Nation; and recognized by the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.
Javier enjoys the performing arts or exploring the great outdoors with his wife and two adult children.
This is great news for FMCS, and if his nomination is confirmed by the Senate (as I expect it to be), he will be the second consecutive FMCS commissioner to be nominated and confirmed.