The parties to a negotiation may be released to a 30-day Cooling Off Period if they are so far apart in their positions that the National Mediation Board (NMB) doesn’t believe there will be any further progress in the negotiations. If no agreement is reached by the end of the 30-day period, the parties are then released to “Self-Help”. The end of the 30-Day Cooling Off Period is commonly referred to as the “Strike Deadline”.
Mediated sessions may continue during the 30-day Cooling Off Period. These meetings are often referred to as “Super-Mediation” and are usually attended by one of the Board Members of the National Mediation Board (NMB). Generally, the meetings are called at or near the end of the 30-day countdown to Self-Help. The Self-Help deadline can provide a new incentive for the parties to reach an agreement. Both parties feel the pressure of Self-Help because without an agreement at the deadline, we would then be free to strike and management would have the right lock us out or impose work rules.