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Penny was appointed as Director of Conciliation and Arbitration at the Labour Relations Agency in Belfast in December 2001. The LRA is Northern Ireland’s equivalent to ACAS in Great Britain. Her role in the Labour Relations Agency is almost equivalent to that of a Federal mediator in FMCS except that the Agency also provides dispute resolution services for individual rights disputes as well as individual interest disputes in addition to collective disputes between employers and trade unions. Penny manages a staff of 19 mediation professionals delivering dispute resolution services for all individual and collective employment disputes in Northern Ireland that are referred to the Agency.
She was elected to the TUC General Council and the TUC Executive; was National President of the Association of University Teachers; a member of the AUT National Executive for a number of years and was a Workers’ Delegate to the ILO Congress in Geneva for three years. She has extensive experience in dispute resolution in the workplace and has undertaken mediation skills training in the UK and the USA. In the United States she has undertaken mediation training at Pepperdine University and Cornell University.
Penny has a BA Degree, MLS and an MPhil.
Whilst at Harvard she will study the potential for an Ombudsman role in the resolution of workplace disputes in Northern Ireland as part of an alternative dispute resolution approach in the private and public sectors. She is working with Dr Elaine Bernard who is the Executive Director of the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School.
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