March 4, 2010
M E M O R A N D U M
TO: Chapter Presidents
RE: Labor-Management National Council Meeting
The National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations, which was created to fulfill President Obama’s pledge to work closely with labor and management leaders, held its first meeting on February 26 at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
The Council, which is co-chaired by OPM Director John Berry and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Deputy Director of Management Jeffrey Zients, is a Presidential advisory body composed of senior government officials, and representatives from federal employee organizations and federal management groups. It was established by Executive Order 13522, entitled, “Creating Labor-Management Forums to Improve Delivery of Government Services.”
During the meeting, we discussed the functions and operating procedures of the Council, as well as the guiding principles for labor and management under the Executive Order and metrics for success. The results of those discussions are attached.
A key issue for me in the discussions was that the concept of predecisional input be viewed from the perspective of employees. I stressed that the concept should be very broad to ensure that employees and their representatives are in conversations before decisions are made. As you know, too often, standard operating procedures in most agencies are just the opposite. I made the point that NTEU wants to be in the conversation from the beginning, not at the end when the decision is already made and handed to us. And the EO makes clear that should not happen.
Agency plans are due to OPM on March 9. To date, I have only received drafts from only a few agencies. OPM is expecting to receive 200 plans. The Council will finalize those plans by May 8. The next meeting of the Council will be April 7. At that time, the Council will consider proposals for B1 bargaining pilots.
The Council, created in 2009 by Executive Order, is tasked with advising the President on matters involving labor-management relations in the executive branch. In addition to Berry and Zients, representatives from federal employee organizations and federal management groups, the Council includes the Chair of the Federal Labor Relations Authority, Carol Pope, who was designated as an ex-officio member. In addition, the President designated to the Council the following individuals: W. Scott Gould, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs; Seth Harris, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Labor; Jane Holl Lute, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security; William J. Lynn, III, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Defense; and Neal Wolin, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Treasury.
In announcing Council appointments, President Obama said, “I am grateful that these distinguished men and women have offered their wise counsel to help foster successful labor-management relations within the executive branch. I look forward to continuing this important dialogue with them for years to come.”
I am also pleased to announce that this week NTEU and the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) signed an agreement creating a Partnership Council. This is NTEU’s first agreement with an agency following President Obama’s Executive Order establishing labor-management collaboration in the federal sector.
This is a major step forward for NCUA employees, giving them an important avenue for predecisional involvement in matters impacting their jobs and their workplace. I joined NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz for a signing event and media briefing at NCUA Headquarters to mark the occasion.
Colleen M. Kelley