CORE PLUS (Workplace ADR) in the BLM
The BLM and the Department of the Interior are committed to fostering a productive, efficient, and equitable working environment by encouraging effective resolution of workplace conflicts or disputes at the earliest opportunity and at the lowest possible organizational level. The CORE PLUS program, as set out in Interior’s Departmental Manual (DM), is equally available to all employees (non-supervisory, supervisory, managerial, and senior executives).1 Available assistance in the CORE PLUS program includes consultation, individual conflict coaching or leadership coaching, communication and conflict management training, facilitation, collaborative problem-solving, team-building, and mediation services. The full text of the Departmental Manual Chapter, 370 DM 770, on CORE PLUS can be found here. Bureau policy is to fully implement the DOI Manual Chapter in the BLM.
The Departmental Manual chapter sets out responsibilities for, among others, heads of Bureaus and Offices, managers/supervisors, and employees. Employees’ responsibilities include raising issues and concerns as early as possible, and attempting to resolve those issues or concerns with other employees or supervisors prior to using a third party neutral. Responsibilities of managers and supervisors include maintaining open and consistent communication on workforce issues and concerns with employees, and actively seeking resolution at the earliest opportunity. A management representative is required to participate in ADR when requested by a party, except when it is decided, in consultation with the DOI’s Office of Collaborative Action and Dispute Resolution (CADR), that ADR is not appropriate. Additionally, a manager or supervisor may refer employees to the CORE PLUS program to assist in the handling of workplace issues or concerns.
All Bureau employees should be familiar with the rights and responsibilities laid out in the DM, and should be aware that some matters have specific administrative processes and time frames that an employee must follow in filing a formal complaint. These matters include but are not limited to Civil Rights, sexual orientation discrimination claims, administrative grievances, whistleblower complaints, and prohibited personnel practices. Entering into the CORE PLUS program does not automatically provide any extension of time frames in which to use the formal processes.
A certified Neutral from the CORE PLUS Roster can be found by contacting a Human Resources or Civil Rights officer, the Department of the Interior’s Office of Collaborative Action and Dispute Resolution (CADR), or the BLM's National CORE PLUS Coordinator, Michael Martin, in the Washington Office Directorate of Human Capital Management.
1Bargaining unit employees may need specific authorization in the collective bargaining agreement, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), or other written agreement between the union and local management.