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 Service Institute and has apprenticed under two members of the National Academy of Arbitrators on labor, employment and pension fund matters. 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 in the fields of labor relations and employment law and in commercial matters, 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 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 and arbitration in athletics for college 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, and is President of the Executive Board for LERA's Boston chapter.
Ready to Serve the Parties
Arbitrator Loconto is available for in-person or remote hearings, nationally and internationally on the FMCS Roster of Arbitrators and at the state and local level in Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Washington state. He is a member of the Roster of Arbitrators with the U.S. Surface Transportation Board, hearing rail carrier disputes, and provides lemon law arbitration services through the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and contract dispute resolution for the City of New York. 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 meeting facilitation services and related training, 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 the District of Columbia, Central Missouri, Eastern Pennsylvania, Minnesota and South Florida. Please contact me at email@example.com to request a full CV and fee / cancellation schedule.
Thank you to the Oregon Employment Relations Board for featuring me in the Spring 2023 Arbitrator Newsletter.
Check out a collection of conference videos on my YouTube page, including the recent LERA Boston Chapter webinar on "Access and Opportunity in Labor Relations." Separately available is the University of Miami Sport Industry Conference 2023 panel on the National Women's Soccer League.
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: Mentored by two distinguished members of the National Academy of Arbitrators; trained in labor, employment and MPPAA/Taft-Hartley trust fund pension matters. Member, NAA New England region salon.
Volunteering and Professional Memberships: Labor and Employment Relations Association - President of the Boston chapter's Executive Board and member of the national organization and the California (Northern and Southern), Chicago, Connecticut, DC, Greater Rhode Island, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, NYC, Oregon, Central and SW Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Virginia and Virtual chapters; former co-chair, Higher Education Industry Council. Society of Federal Labor & Employee Relations Professionals (SFLERP) member. 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, 2022). Arbitration, Unions and Catholic Social Teaching, Catholic Labor Network blog (published Jan. 3, 2023).
Permanent Arbitration Panels: APWU and USPS (Expedited Panel - Connecticut); Port Authority of New York/New Jersey Employment Relations Panel.
Federal, State and Local Agency Roster Appointments:
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.)
California Public Employment Relations Board (labor arbitrator and fact finder - includes MMBA, EERA and HEERA)
California State Mediation and Conciliation Service (labor arbitrator)
Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board (mediator/arbitrator roster - K-12 disputes)
Iowa Public Employment Relations Board (Qualified Arbitrator roster)
Los Angeles County (CA) Employee Relations Commission (labor arbitrator)
Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Protection (Lemon Law Arbitration Program)
Minnesota Bureau of Mediation Services (labor arbitrator)
Montana Board of Personnel Appeals (labor arbitrator and mediator)
Nebraska Commission of Industrial Relations (Resolution Officer)
Nevada Government Employees-Management Relations Board (labor arbitrator, mediator and fact finder)
New Hampshire Public Employees Labor Relations Board (labor arbitrator)
New Jersey Board of Mediation (labor arbitrator)
New Jersey Public Employment Relations Commission (labor arbitrator, mediator and interest arbitrator)
New York City Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (Contract Dispute Resolution Board)
Oregon Employment Relations Board (labor arbitrator)
Pennsylvania Bureau of Mediation (labor arbitrator)
Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (interest arbitrator and fact finder)
Phoenix (AZ) Employment Relations Board (fact finder and mediator)
Surface Transportation Board (arbitrator in rail carrier disputes)
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania (early neutral evaluator)
U.S. Virgin Islands Public Employees Relations Board (labor arbitrator and mediator)
Washington State Public Employment Relations Commission (labor arbitrator)
Resume on file for arbitrator and mediator services through the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, Kansas Department of Labor, and Maine Labor Relations Board.
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 building and construction trades unions, a campus police union CBA, and multiple issues with a 4,500-member clerical-technical union. "Med-arb" 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 to present
Instructor: Annual Spring semester courses on "Drafting Contracts to Reduce Grievances" and Fall semester courses on "Interest-Based Bargaining" for labor and management representatives. Courses meet online and with past students participating from Massachusetts, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Virginia and beyond.
Northeastern University School of Law, Boston, MA - 2008 - 2010
Adjunct Lecturer: Legal writing and research program for first-year law students.
Recent and Upcoming Speaking Engagements
University of Miami Sport Industry Conference: moderating panel discussion with union and league officials on the organization of the National Women's Soccer League Players Association (2023). Related: guest lectured on arbitration in athletics during a "Legal Aspects of Sport" course in UM's sports administration program (2022).
Catholic Labor Network Conference: presented on alternative dispute resolution processes for the workplace (2023).
Northeastern University School of Law, Annual Labor & Employment Program: moderated alumni panel on current issues in labor law with labor and management advocates and NLRB Board Member David Prouty (2022).
MASC/MASS Annual Joint Conference: moderated panel on current issues in teacher contract negotiations featuring AFT, MTA and district representatives (2022).
Relevant Professional Organization Memberships and Prior Speaking Engagements
Labor and Employment Relations Association (LERA): Executive Board President, Boston chapter. Member of the National organization and the Central Pennsylvania, Connecticut, DC, Rhode Island, Maryland, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Virginia and Virtual chapters. Co-Chair, Higher Education Industry Council (2008-2013). Annual Conference speaking includes: Building an Arbitrator's Practice, and Chair of Discussion on Collective Action (2023); 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: Discrimination in Religious Institutions (2023); Collective Bargaining and Shared Governance (Moderator, 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 for Education Research and Policy: 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 on collective bargaining (2013) and social media (2011).
RELEVANT COMMUNITY SERVICE
Boston School Committee - 2014 - 2020
Member and Chairperson: Appointed by Mayor Martin J. Walsh (recent U.S. Labor Secretary); liaison to 12 collective bargaining units, including the Boston Teachers Union (AFT Local 66).
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).
Michael Loconto Arbitrator Mediator Fact Finder Grievance Arbitration Interest Arbitration Labor Arbitration Mediation Fact Finding Conciliation Hearing Officer Resolution Officer Early Neutral Evaluator Attorney Labor Employment Boston Massachusetts Lancaster Pennsylvania Minneapolis Minnesota Pembroke Pines Miami Fort Lauderdale Florida 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 United States Virgin Islands Alabama Mississippi Missouri Illinois Kansas Nebraska Iowa Wisconsin Minnesota North Dakota South Dakota Kansas Nebraska Iowa Colorado Montana Washington Oregon California Nevada Phoenix Arizona Los Angeles County Public Government Employee Employees Employment Management Relations Commission Board Labor Relations Board Board of Personnel Appeals Commission of Industrial Relations Bureau of Mediation Services Board of Mediation Department of Labor and Employment Civil Service Interest Based Bargaining Training Facilitation Facilitator National Mediation Board American Arbitration Association aaamediation Forum ADR United ADR New Era ADR Labor Relations Connection card check union organizing ballot count Labor and Employment Relations Association Labor Guild instructor