Labour relations – Mediation services

Process for solving labour and management disputes in collective bargaining negotiations.


Mediation Services helps labour and management resolve disputes in collective bargaining negotiations. Legislation requires mediation before parties can legally strike or lock out.

Unions and employers that have a collective bargaining relationship, as well as representatives, researchers and other Labour Relations Practitioners, can access the dispute resolution services provided by Mediation Services.

Mediation process

Either side in a collective bargaining process can request a mediator. The request is reviewed to ensure the criteria are met for the appointment of a mediator.

Step 1. Apply for a mediation

Any time after serving notice to bargain, either or both parties to the collective agreement may apply for the appointment of a mediator by completing and submitting this form to the Director of Mediation Services.

Step 2. Appoint a mediator

Once the application is approved, a mediator is appointed from the Designated Mediator Roster.

Step 3. Mediation begins

Once an appointment is made, the mediator arranges meetings with the parties to deal with the issues in dispute.

The mediator works with the parties to help them reach a collective agreement.

If agreement cannot be reached, the parties may proceed to further actions permitted under the Labour Relations Code.

Mediation fees


Under Section 64, 65 or 97 of the Labour Relations Code,
Section 7 of the Police Officers Collective Bargaining Act or
Section 28 of the Public Service Employee Relations Act.

First 2 days of mediationComplimentary (excludes referrals for parties not under this legislation).
Daily rate, third and subsequent days of mediation$300 (plus GST) per hour, to a maximum of $3,600 (plus GST) per day. There shall be a 4 hour minimum per day. Fees are to be shared equally by both parties.
ExpensesBeginning on the third day of mediation, travel, accommodation and expenses, as per Government of Alberta Travel, meal and hospitality expenses policy, are shared equally by both parties.

Designated Mediator Roster

Approved list of mediators for appointment by Mediation Services.

  • Mr. Mark Asbell (North)

    Asbell Dispute Resolutions Inc.
    PO Box 92551
    Sherwood Park, Alberta  T8A 3X4

    Phone: 780-906-2234
    Email: [email protected]

    Mark Asbell, K.C. is an Arbitrator, Mediator and Adjudicator. With 17 years of experience as Chair of the Alberta Labour Relations Board and experience as a consensually appointed arbitrator and mediator, Mark is a nationally recognized leader in labour law and labour dispute adjudication. He is a prolific writer generating over 700 decisions during his career with the Alberta Labour Relations Board, including decisions tested and affirmed at both the Alberta Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada.

    Over his adjudicative career, Mark has developed a reputation as a courteous, efficient adjudicator with superior hearing management skills who is able to quickly hone the essence of the dispute while providing a forum where the parties feel heard and respected.

    While adjudication may be the necessary end-point, Mark’s true passion is facilitating party-driven settlement, and trust and respect for ongoing relationships. As Chair of the Alberta Labour Relations Board, Mark developed and implemented the first-of-its-kind settlement conferences and processes by utilizing various alternative dispute resolution models responsive to the circumstances of the dispute followed, where necessary, by adjudication. Through the use of these alternative dispute resolution initiatives, the Alberta Labour Relations Board’s settlement rate improved from an average of 35% annually to as high as 80% per annum. This model has since been adopted by several adjudicative boards across Canada and has been studied and discussed at national and international academic conferences. Mark personally assisted in mediating or helping resolve over 200 disputes under these processes.

    Admitted to the Law Society of Alberta in 1985, Mark practiced labour & employment, contract, personal injury, and First Nation’s law with the Edmonton based boutique law firm of Ackroyd, Piasta, Roth & Day. As an adjudicator, Mark has served as a consensually appointed arbitrator, Chair (1999-2016) and Vice-Chair (1991-1996) with the Alberta Labour Relations Board, Alternate Chair with the Public Service Employee Relations Board (1993-1995), and an arbitrator for the Canadian Centre for Sport and Law (1997-2000). Mark was appointed by the Law Society of Alberta as an Adjudicator for Conduct Hearings in February 2016. Mark’s varied experience both practicing law and adjudicating includes addressing issues within broad based disputes in the public, education, health, construction, transportation, retail, and manufacturing sectors as well as individual matters involving First Nations’ interests under the Canada Labour Code, complaints against lawyers, and doping allegations and disciplinary actions involving amateur and Olympic athletes.

    In addition to being a regular speaker and presenter at universities, colleges, conferences, seminars, and workshops, Mark is an active community volunteer, having served or continuing to serve on many local, provincial, and national charity and athletic boards. In addition to coaching youth hockey and basketball, he holds or has held the highest certification levels as a nationally certified referee and coach in Lacrosse. He continues to coach Junior Lacrosse and serves on the Board of Directors for the Sherwood Park Titans Major Lacrosse Association. In recognition of his contributions to the community, Mark was awarded the Paul Harris Fellowship Medal in 2004, the Queen’s Jubilee Medal in 2005, and appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2008.

  • Ms. Paulette DeKelver (North)

    DeKelver Dispute Resolution

    Phone: 780-970-3471
    Email: [email protected]

    Paulette has been dealing with people in conflict for twenty years as a lawyer. Mediation and conflict resolution are extensions of this practice.

    Prior to her role as a mediator, Paulette’s successful legal career was in civil litigation where she gained expertise in medical malpractice, disability, and personal injury, before turning her focus to labour and employment matters including collective bargaining and labour relations, compensation and benefits, discipline and dismissal, disability, human rights, and privacy issues.

    Paulette has appeared before administrative tribunals in Alberta and the NWT, has extensive experience before arbitration panels, has been counsel at all three levels of court in Alberta, and gained extensive trial experience before the Court of King’s Bench of Alberta.

    As a mediator, Paulette serves employees, unions, and management side representatives to address and mediate a wide range of workplace conflicts including collective bargaining. Other mediated issues include harassment, return to work, corporate restructuring, and diversity, along with issues tied to complex medical and parental leave.

    In addition to her mediation practice, Paulette teaches Labour Relations and Negotiations at NAIT, as well as courses in Mediation, ADR, and conflict resolution.

    Paulette is a member of the Law Society of Alberta and the Law Society of the Northwest Territories. She is an active leader and volunteer with recent projects including Conflict Resolution Day, Canadian Bar Association ADR (North) Section, and Alberta Collaborative Resolution Association (founding member).

    Paulette is a regular coach and mentor in programs with the University of Alberta, Law Society of Alberta, ADR Learning Institute, and Canadian Bar Association. 

    Paulette is a frequent speaker and podcast guest to various audiences such as Lancaster House Labour Arbitration and Policy Conference, Canadian Bar Association, Alberta Civil Trial Lawyers Association, Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education, Legal Education Society of Alberta, and Access2Justice Podcast.

  • Ms. Deborah Howes (North)

    High Clouds Incorporated
    34 Street Business Centre
    3438 78 Avenue
    Edmonton, Alberta  T6B 2X9

    Phone: 780-466-8250
    Email: [email protected]

    Deborah has a Bachelor of Arts and an LL.B. from the University of Alberta and a Certificate in Conflict Management from the Alberta Arbitration and Mediation Society. She is a Chartered Mediator. Deborah has over 30 years’ experience in labour relations and conflict resolution. Deborah was a former Vice-Chair with the Alberta Labour Relations Board. She is a retired arbitrator and adult educator. Deborah is a member of the ADR Institute of Canada.

  • Mr. Michael J. Hughes (North)

    Hughes Labour Relations

    Phone: 780-953-9841
    Email: [email protected]

    Mr. Hughes is a seasoned professional with considerable and varied experience in labour relations. He earned a Bachelor of Laws degree at the University of Alberta and a Masters in Law from the University of Toronto. He has practiced labour and employment law with two of western Canada’s leading firms, representing and advising large, sophisticated employer clients. That experience was rounded out by advocacy on behalf of employees in a role as representative/counsel for a large Alberta union.

    Mr. Hughes approaches labour relations with the unique and balanced perspective acquired by working with both management and union clients in the private and public sectors. He has experience in each of the various fundamental activities that make up labour relations, including advocacy in labour arbitration – and at the Alberta Labour Relations Board – acting as lead negotiator in collective bargaining and also managing labour relations teams in the public sector health context.

    Mr. Hughes has complemented his conflict resolution/labour relations skillset by obtaining the Qualified Arbitrator designation through the Alternative Dispute Resolution Institute of Alberta, and he is currently on Alberta Mediation Services’ Grievance Arbitration and Mediation rosters.

    Mr. Hughes has enjoyed giving back to his hometown by volunteering for the Edmonton Community Legal Centre. He also frequently seeks out live music and is proud to sit on the board of directors for the Edmonton Folk Music Festival.

  • Mr. Alan Konkin (North)

    Konkin and Associates Inc.
    Contact information and calendar

    Mr. Konkin’s business career has provided him with experience in all facets of Human Resources and Negotiations, Arbitrations, Mediations, Strategic Planning, Administration, Public Relations, Finance, Budgeting and Investing. Mr. Konkin set up his consulting company, Konkin and Associates Inc. to specialize in providing solutions for Labor Relations and Human Resources issues. He has extensive experience in the prevention and resolution of labour disputes and has been the lead negotiator at a number of bargaining tables. Mr. Konkin’s participation also includes grievance mediation, harassment investigation, and a broad range of experience as a mediator, negotiator and as a labour relations practitioner in a number of industries. Mr. Konkin has served on numerous pension plan and health and wellness boards as a Member or Director, as a Trustee on Joint Labor Management Health and Wellness and Pension plans, and as a Trustee on a Union Pension and Health and Wellness plan. Mr. Konkin was also a Board member of the Alberta Arbitration Mediation Society (2001-2003) and served as a Board Member on the Alberta Labour Relations Board (2011-2015) resolving conflict situations and administering and interpreting labour relations legislation.

  • Mr. Bruce Moffatt (North)

    BM Consulting
    Phone: 780-717-0611
    Email: [email protected]

    Bruce Moffatt is a seasoned labour relations professional with thirty years’ experience as a union leader and management Human Resource/Labour Relations specialist. Bruce has led more than 100 different negotiations during his career. He has successfully led negotiations with the industrial, pipeline, road-building and specialty construction sectors, construction material supply, municipalities, education, healthcare, senior’s lodges, manufacturing, transportation, mining, oil sands, repair shops, equipment dealers and food processing. Bruce was the Chair of a Health and Welfare and Pension Trust and sat on the Board of the Alberta Construction Safety Association. Bruce has been a member of the Labour Relations Board for the last eight years. He was also board member and Vice-Chair of the Canadian Board of the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans which is dedicated to improving the governance of Trusts and education of Trustees. Bruce has dedicated his career to working with others to find creative solutions to complex problems and worked with an interest-based negotiation focus whenever possible.

  • Ms. Mia Norrie (North)

    Norrie & Co. Professional Services Inc.
    Contact information and calendar

    Ms. Norrie is a human resources and labour relations consultant with over 20 years’ experience based in Edmonton, Alberta. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and an L.L.B from the University of Alberta. Ms. Norrie has had the unique opportunity to work for both management and unions during her career. She has worked in executive roles as the Senior Director of Corporate Services at ATCO Gas and as the Executive Director, Human Resources Division at the Edmonton Police Service. Ms. Norrie was also a Business Agent and General Counsel for a large public sector union. Since 1997 Ms. Norrie has had her own consultancy, Norrie & Co. which has provided her the opportunity to expand her work as a consultant in the area of labour relations, mediation, investigations and training.

  • Mr. Klaus G. Opatril (North)

    K.G. Opatril Mediation Services
    Contact information and calendar

    Mr. Opatril has over 30 years of labour relations experience and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Calgary and a Master of Education from the University of Oregon. His career has most recently involved employment as the Coordinator of Teacher Welfare for the Alberta Teachers’ Association. His responsibilities included the negotiation and administration of collective agreements for teachers in Alberta public, separate and charter schools. He has designed and given workshops and talks on the subject of distributive and integrative bargaining, the grievance process and other labour relations topics. Mr. Opatril served as a Board Member of the Alberta Labour Relations Board from 2002 to 2005. He is currently an independent mediator operating the company KG Opatril Mediation Services and specializes in collective bargaining mediation and grievance mediation.

  • Mr. Michael Dyer (South)

    Contact information and calendar

    An experienced employment and labour relations expert, Mr. Dyer’s work history spans both the private and public sectors for nearly 40 years in local, national and international organizations. He has been employed as an employment law specialist, negotiator, labour relations specialist and senior executive. His university education was from U of C, U of A and UBC (Economics).

    He was a board member of the Alberta Labour Relations Board (12 years), a member and past Chair of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce Human Resources Committee (10 years), a member of the Conference Board of Canada Council of Human Resources Executives (9 years), board member and past President of the Canadian Industrial Relations Association, Southern Alberta Chapter (5 years) and the past President and board member of the Alberta Congress Board (6 years). He has served and been a board member of a number of not-for-profit organizations such as the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter Foundation, Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter, Discovery House, Children’s Cottage, Children’s Legal Education Resource Centre, Westwood Community Association and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Calgary. He has also been a member of the editorial board of a workplace issues magazine, a pension committee member for an employer and he has served as a trustee on a union Supplementary Health and Welfare Trust Fund.

    He takes pride in health and safety, training and development and workplace awards that were given to his organizations through his leadership. He has delivered presentations on topics such as: Recruiting and Retaining the Best, Good Employees and Nasty Bosses, State of Labour Relations in the Public Sector, Challenges in Designing Pension and Benefit Plans, Creating Human Resource Best Practices and taught a post-secondary level labour relations course.

  • Mr. Greg Francis (South)

    Greg Francis Dispute Resolution Services
    1525 21 Street NW
    Calgary, Alberta  T2N 2M3

    Phone: 403-829-1444
    Email: [email protected]

    Greg Francis was called to the NWT and Alberta bars in 1991. During his career as a lawyer, Greg worked as a Crown Prosecutor, a defence lawyer, and a Justice of the Peace in the Provincial Court of Alberta. His labour and employment law experience includes work for both a trade union and a large public sector employer, as well as serving as Equity Ombudsperson for the Law Society of Alberta. Greg was also an arbitrator of collective agreement disputes in Alberta from 2004-2012. After serving as General Counsel and Superintendent of Human Resources for the Calgary Board of Education from 2012-2018, Greg returned to providing arbitration services. He is a co-instructor of Labour Law at the Faculty of Law, University of Calgary.

    Having represented and worked directly for both Management and a Trade Union, Greg understands well the needs and interests that drive disputes in a unionized workplace. In addition to serving as an arbitrator, Greg provides grievance mediation and case management services to parties seeking assistance with grievance resolution in advance of arbitration.

    Greg is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Old Trout Puppet Workshop and the Alberta Teachers’ Retirement Fund. He was appointed King’s Counsel in 2016.

  • Ms. Donna Neumann (South)

    Windowpane Management Inc.
    600, 1414 8th Street SW
    Calgary, Alberta  T2R 1J6

    Phone: 403-262-2660
    Email: [email protected]

    Ms. Neumann has over 25 years’ experience providing the full range of employment and labour relations expertise in senior corporate roles in health care and telecommunications, as well as through her own business, Windowpane Management Inc. She has worked with over 250 organizations across industries and multiple private sector and public service unions.    

    In recent years, Ms. Neumann has focused on third party neutral work, conducting workplace assessments that requires extensive knowledge of organizational design and behaviour in both union and non-union settings. As well, she is routinely invited to conduct complex investigations into allegations of inappropriate workplace behaviour, again, in both union and non-union settings.

    She served several terms on the Alberta Labour Relations Board and was one of the board members requested by the chair to handle informal dispute resolution for the parties from time-to-time. She is also a long-time member of the Canadian Industrial Relations Association.

    She has been a board member for the YWCA, the Alzheimer’s Society of Alberta and Northwest Territories, and the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada.

  • Mr. Rick Wilson (South)

    FindYes Dispute Resolution Services
    31 Woodhaven Road SW
    Calgary, Alberta  T2W 5P9

    Phone: 403-874-8963
    Email: [email protected]

    Rick holds an MBA from Queen’s University. He spent over 30 years at Canadian Pacific in a number of labour relations and operations roles. Rick was the Assistant Vice-President of Industrial Relations at Canadian Pacific Railway from 2006 until 2013, and has a broad range of business and labour relations experience across Canada and the U.S. He has been the Chief Negotiator at numerous tables, and has extensive bargaining, mediation, grievance and arbitration experience.


Connect with Mediation Services:

Phone: 780-427-8301
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email: [email protected]