The process

If negotiations progress normally, the SCMO is kept out of the picture but must at all times be kept informed of the progress. At any time after the issue of a schedule, the parties may however request mediation from the Officer, request his assistance or refer the dispute to him in the event of breakdown in negotiations, or if either of them considers there is little hope of success being achieved through further attempts to reach a settlement. The Officer then takes over and directs the negotiations. He may also at any time take over the direction of negotiations if he considers this to be of advantage and is obliged to do so if a strike or a lockout has been notified.