Who We Are

The Shared Neutrals Program is a cooperative arrangement between diverse federal, state, local and tribal agencies in the Pacific Northwest region. Each member agency makes a reciprocal agreement to submit requests for mediation and facilitation services and to share resources cooperatively. 

Mission

The Shared Neutrals Program is designed to serve three objectives. The first objective is to provide agencies with low cost and flexible access to sophisticated conflict management services. The second objective is to provide individuals in conflict with accessible, timely, and confidential neutral services. The third objective is to support a diverse cadre of trained and experienced neutrals (mediators, facilitators and trainers) who mentor folks from other agencies on a collateral duty basis.  

Flexibility is a core value for this Program. Individual agencies have a great deal of choice in how they access and use this Program. The benefits an agency derives from the program are intended to roughly approximate its contributions. 

A Brief History

The Oregon Federal Executive Board (OFEB) sponsors the Shared Neutrals Program to facilitate the use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) among federal, state local and tribal governing agencies. Participating agencies may use the Program’s cadre of neutrals free of charge and with minimal documentation requirements. 

The Oregon Federal Executive Board adopted the Shared Neutrals Program 1996, following the model of similar programs.  Oregon Shared Neutrals enjoys a reciprocal agreement with the Intergovernmental ADR Consortium sponsored by the Seattle Federal Executive Board. Agencies with offices in both regions may use either Program, depending on the availability of neutrals.

Over 40 agencies currently participate, along with over 30 mediators and facilitators.  Since 1997, participating neutrals have mediated over 1000 cases around the Pacific Northwest, saving the participating agencies well over $18 million dollars (cost savings calculated at $78k per EEO case and $18k per non-EEO case by 2015 OPM estimates). 

Got conflict?  

Looking for someone to listen and help to identify options?  Mediation offers a confidential, voluntary way to better understand what is going on, identify more options for moving forward and get help in evaluating options.  Please contact the Program Chair for more information.  

Interested in joining?  

Participating agencies gain access to a roster of experienced, skilled neutrals free of charge (travel expenses paid by requesting agency).  This consortium offers participating agencies great flexibility in how the Program is used for ADR services.  Core values are self-determination, confidentiality, non-retaliation, and contribution commensurate with benefits.  Please contact the Program Chair to learn more.

Interested in serving as a Neutral?

Agency staff (and volunteers) who serve as mediators and facilitators gain access to powerful professional development and continuing education opportunities with a respected group of talented neutrals.  Applicants must be certified through a 40 hour basic mediation training program, commit to 15 hours of annual continuing education, adhere to standards of practice and complete a training orientation with a mentor.  The Program Guide describes the application process.  Please contact the Program Chair to apply.

Governing Subcommittee

The governing Subcommittee usually convenes on the first Tuesday of each month via conference call or meeting to discuss program evaluation, outreach, training and recruitment.  Subcommittee members are recruited from participating agencies according to bylaws detailed in the Program Guide.  Please contact the Program Chair to get involved.

CONTACT

Chair: Kimberly Koch-Hult

Location: 620 SW Main Street, Suite 330, Portland, OR97205

Phone:  503-326-2070

Email:  sharedneutrals@oregonfeb.us


Participating Agencies

Federal                                              

Army Corps of Engineers                                        Bonneville Power Administration                            Bureau of Land Management

National Energy Technology Laboratory               Environmental Protection Agency                           Indian Health Service

Internal Revenue Service, Seattle                           Oregon Military Department                                   Small Business Administration

U.S. Attorney, Oregon                                              USDA, Agricultural Statistics Service                       USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service

USDA, Forest Service                                                VA Medical Center, Portland & Vancouver            VA Regional Office, Portland

State, Local and Tribal

Centennial School District                                       City of Beaverton                                                       City of Gresham

City of Milwaukie                                                      City of Portland                                                          City of Wilsonville

Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission       Dept. of Corrections HR, Washington                     Dept. of Social Health Services/Washington

Evergreen School District                                        Oregon Health & Science University                       Portland Community College

State of Oregon Executive branch agencies and the Oregon Judicial Department

Funding Organizations

USDA, Forest Service                                             

Oregon Federal Executive Board

Forms and Resource Documents (PDF)

SN Program Guide

Shared Neutral Program Guide (updated 8-13)

 

Forms for Mediation

Primary Mediator Sign-off (updated 07-16)                              Case Intake Form                                                  CMS Opening Statement

Agreement to Mediate, Federal                                                 Agreement to Mediate, Oregon                           Agreement to Mediate, Washington

Resolution Agreement (updated 3-10)                                     Mediator Debriefing Form                                    Mediation Feedback Form (updated 7-16)

 

Success Stories

2017 Oregon FEB Annual Report

 

Forms for Agency Liaisons

Shared Neutrals Case Referral Intake Form 2016                           Shared Neutrals Brochure (updated 10-12) 

Shared Neutrals Membership Agreement Form 2016                   Expense Reimbursement Form 1164

 

Mediator Resources

OMA's Core Standards of Mediation Practice                                  Mediator Application                                      Mediator Contract

Mediator Training Activity Log                                                            Mentor Profile                                                 Mentoring Guide

 

Forms for Facilitation

Primary Facilitator Checklist (updated 4-13)                                     Case Intake Form                                            Consent to Facilitation (updated 1-12)

CMS Opening Statement *                                                                 Facilitator Debrief

* Used with permission from Community Mediation Services, City of Vancouver/Clark County