An Arbitrator and Mediator for the Modern Workplace
Trusted across labor and management
Michael Loconto is a Boston-based arbitrator and mediator providing neutral, independent dispute resolution services for the modern workplace.
Arbitrator Loconto has trained with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services Institute and has apprenticed under two members of the National Academy of Arbitrators. He has experience in K-12 and higher education, skilled and manual trades, construction (including project labor agreements and jurisdictional disputes), public safety, dining services, athletics, public sector, beverages, financial services and technology workers. Specific issues include: discipline and discharge; drug testing; contract interpretation; pay and wage differentials; benefits; disability; discrimination and harassment; FMLA; FLSA; USERRA; Title IX; and, related state and federal laws.
Arbitrator Loconto has two decades of experience as a thought leader and convener in the fields of labor relations and employment law, previously serving as an in-house counsel to a small college and a labor and employment relations leader for a large university and a major metropolitan city. He has worked with union representatives and neutrals to co-lead the Higher Education Industry Council for the Labor and Employee Relations Association and the District Capacity Project of the Massachusetts Education Partnership, and has led or presented on a number of labor-management issues before LERA and the National Centers for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education and the Professions. Arbitrator Loconto has taught legal writing and research to first-year law students at his alma mater, Northeastern University School of Law, and has lectured on school law for undergraduate education students and legislative drafting for Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education. He currently teaches courses on contracts and bargaining for union and management representatives at The Labor Guild School of Labor-Management Relations in Boston.
Arbitrator Loconto is available on the East Coast and in the Midwest via the FMCS Roster of Arbitrators and at the state and local level through the Los Angeles County (CA) Employee Relations Commission, Kansas Department of Labor, Maine Labor Relations Board, New Hampshire Public Employees Labor Relations Board, New Jersey's Board of Mediation and Public Employment Relations Commission, and Pennsylvania's Bureau of Mediation and Labor Relations Board. He is also available for direct appointment by the parties or through a number of other public and private panels as a neutral, independent arbitrator, mediator, facilitator, fact finder or hearing officer in labor and employment-related and commercial disputes. Arbitrator Loconto also offers card check services for union organizing, election and certification processes and joint training on interest-based bargaining ("IBB") principles and techniques.
We maintain satellite offices in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Lancaster, Pennsylvania and Minneapolis, Minnesota. Please contact us at mtl [at] locontoadr [dot] com to request a CV and fee / cancellation schedule.
ARBITRATOR AND MEDIATOR EXPERIENCE
Labor and Employment Arbitrator/Mediator - July 2021 – Present
Certifications and Training: Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Institute, Becoming a Labor Arbitrator and Federal Sector Arbitration courses.
Apprenticeship: Experience with two distinguished members of the National Academy of Arbitrators.
Volunteering and Professional Memberships: Labor and Employment Relations Association - Executive Board of Boston chapter and member of the national organization and the Central Pennsylvania, Greater Rhode Island, Maine, New Jersey and Virginia chapters; former co-chair, Higher Education Industry Council. Former co-chair, Boston Bar Association Traditional Labor Law subcommittee. Member, Catholic Labor Network and The Labor Guild.
Recent Publications: Board of Editors - Will Aitchison, David Gaba & Jonathan Downes, Interest Arbitration (Miller, Vannoy and Scott 3d ed., LRIS Books, forthcoming 2022).
Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (labor arbitrator - Regions 3, 6, 7 and 8, serving Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, District of Columbia, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. Includes federal sector practice and international assignments. Virtual/remote hearings also available throughout FMCS jurisdictions.)
Los Angeles County (CA) Employee Relations Commission (labor arbitrator)
State of Kansas Department of Labor (mediator and fact finder)
State of Maine Labor Relations Board (labor arbitrator)
State of New Hampshire Public Employees Labor Relations Board (labor arbitrator, mediator and fact finder)
State of New Jersey Board of Mediation (labor arbitrator)
State of New Jersey Public Employment Relations Commission (labor arbitrator, mediator and interest arbitrator)
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Bureau of Mediation (labor arbitrator)
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (interest arbitrator and fact finder)
Other private rosters and direct panel appointments in labor, employment and commercial disputes (upon request).
PROFESSIONAL LEGAL EXPERIENCE
Fenway Law LLC, Boston, MA - December 2020 – Present
A limited solo practice focusing on commercial contract drafting and review, with expertise in data privacy. Please note that Fenway Law does not provide advocacy on behalf of employers or employees in labor and employment matters.
Curry College, Milton, MA - February 2016 – November 2020
General Counsel (previous title held: College Counsel)
Led multiple successful collective bargaining negotiations with faculty (AAUP) and facilities staff (Area Trades Council), and advised on employment-related matters (discipline, discharge, policy and benefits). Co-led development of Title IX policy and process. Arbitration work included discipline and discharge, policy implementation and shift differentials.
Harvard University, Office of Labor & Employee Relations, Cambridge, MA - August 2006 – January 2016
Deputy Director for Policy and Compliance and Youth Protection Officer
(previous title held: Associate Director of Labor & Employee Relations)
Negotiated Project Labor Agreements with construction trades unions, a campus police union CBA, and multiple issues with a 4,500-member clerical-technical union. Mediation and arbitration work included discipline and discharge, overtime, uniforms, shift differentials and policy implementation.
Led employment-related policy development and compliance efforts on whistleblowing, independent contractors, FLSA compliance, leave requirements for illnesses, new parents and domestic violence victims, nursing mother accommodations, social media use and transgender rights. Oversaw campus-wide youth program safety standards and assisted on implementation of Title IX regulations.
City of Boston, Office of Labor Relations, Boston, MA - November 2002 – August 2006
Labor Relations Counsel
Negotiated collective bargaining agreements, policy implementation and interim issues with more than a dozen large civilian, policy and fire employee labor unions. Counseled department heads on management issues and reduced sick leave abuse in a large department. Arbitration work included discipline and discharge; overtime and police details; shift differentials; pay incentives; and work assignments.
TEACHING, RESEARCH AND SPEAKING EXPERIENCE
School of Labor Management Relations, The Labor Guild of the Archdiocese of Boston - 2022
Spring semester course on "Drafting Contracts to Reduce Grievances" for union and management representatives. Fall semester course on "Interest-Based Bargaining."
Northeastern University School of Law, Boston, MA - 2008 - 2010
Legal writing and research program for first-year law students.
Various Professional Organizations
Labor and Employment Relations Association (LERA): Executive Board member, Boston chapter. Member of the National organization and the New Jersey, Central Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Maine and Virginia chapters. Co-Chair, Higher Education Industry Council (2008-2013). Annual Conference speaking includes: Chair, Best Papers Discussion on Organized Voice (2022); Chair, Best Papers Discussion on Wages (2021); Labor-Management Collaboration in K-12 Education (joint presentation with the Boston Teachers Union, 2016); Higher Education Labor & Employment Law (2013); Public Sector Labor Law Issues in Higher Education (2012); and, Negotiation, Collective Bargaining, and Workplace Dispute Resolution (2011).
National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in the Higher Education Professions (NCSCBHEP): Annual Conference speaking includes Collective Bargaining and Shared Governance (moderating AAUP Annual Survey discussion - 2022); Labor and Education in the Biden Administration (Moderator, 2021); Legal Update (Moderator, 2019); Multi-Employer Negotiations in Higher Education (Moderator, 2016); Comparing Public- and Private-Sector Bargaining (2015); Adjunct/Part-Time Faculty Unions & Graduate Student Organizing (2013); and Impact of Electronic Media on Negotiations, Protected Activity, and Privacy in the Modern Workplace (2011, 2012 & 2014).
National Association of College & University Attorneys: Committee on Legal Education (2018 - 2020).
Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (MCLE): The Legislative & Drafting Processes (2018 - 2019).
Rennie Center: Co-Led The District Capacity Project with the Boston Teachers Union, an initiative of the Massachusetts Education Partnership (MEP) between the American Federation of Teachers-Massachusetts, Massachusetts Teachers Association, Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents, and Massachusetts Association of School Committees with support from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and faculty at MIT, Northeastern and UMass Boston (2014 - 2017).
Boston Bar Association: Co-Chair, Traditional Labor Law subcommittee (2010 - 2011).
College & University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR): Conference speaking: Economics at the Bargaining Table (2013) and Regulating Social Media in the Workplace (2011).
RELEVANT COMMUNITY SERVICE
Boston School Committee - 2014 - 2020
Member and Chairperson: Appointed by Mayor Martin J. Walsh (current U.S. Labor Secretary); liaison to Boston Teachers Union.
City of Boston - 2017
Facilitator: Dialogues to Action on Race series.
Northeastern University School of Law, Boston, MA
Juris Doctor (2002)
The Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science, Minor in Economics (1999)
Commonwealth of Massachusetts (2002); U.S. District Court, Massachusetts (2003); U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit (2003).