The continuing saga of the San Antonio Police Officers Association lawsuit has lead to a court ordered mediation. The lawsuit is currently on appeal with the Fourth Court of Appeals here in San Antonio. The City filed a motion seeking that the parties be ordered to mediation. See San Antonio Express News report. Mediation will not work unless both sides are ready to discuss settlement. So, court-ordered mediation rarely works. It may be that the Fourth Court of Appeals, for whatever reason, believes the union is ready to talk. Up to now, the union has obstinately insisted that the City drop its lawsuit before it consents to talks.

Sometimes, in a hearing, one or both of the parties will say something verbally they would not say in writing indicating they are ready to discuss settlement. Unless that sort of verbal signal occurred, the court ordered mediation will likely lead to nowhere. The San Antonio Police Officers Association has been so public in its opposition to any talks so long as the lawsuit is pending that they really cannot back down, now.

There are many ways to negotiate. But, one of the hardest ways to negotiate is to draw a line in the sand. Ultimatums rarely work.