Once notice has been given under section 179A.14, the employer or the exclusive representative may petition the commissioner for mediation services.
A petition by an employer shall be signed by the employer or an authorized officer or agent. A petition by an exclusive representative shall be signed by its authorized officer. All petitions shall be served on the commissioner in writing. The petition shall state briefly the nature of the disagreement of the parties. Upon receipt of a petition and upon concluding that mediation would be useful, the commissioner shall fix a time and place for a conference with the parties to negotiate the issues not agreed upon, and shall then take the most expedient steps to bring about a settlement, including assisting in negotiating and drafting an agreement.
If the commissioner determines that mediation would be useful in resolving a dispute, the commissioner may mediate the dispute even if neither party has filed a petition for mediation. In these cases, the commissioner shall proceed as if a petition had been filed.
The commissioner shall not furnish mediation services to any employee or employee representative who is not certified as an exclusive representative.
All parties shall respond to the summons of the commissioner for conferences and shall continue in conference until excused by the commissioner.