Impasses Panel to Hold First Town Hall Meeting

By on June 21, 2012 in Current Events with 4 Comments

The Federal Service Impasses Panel (FSIP) is pleased to announce that it will hold its first Town Hall meeting in Oakland, California on Thursday, August 16, 2012.  The meeting will include a panel discussion with FSIP Chairman Mary Jacksteit, and Panel Members Barbara Franklin, Edward Hartfield, Marty Malin, and Donald Wasserman, and Executive Director Joseph Schimansky designed to assist the Federal labor-management relations community in understanding the Panel’s role in resolving impasses arising under the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (Statute). 

Dialogue between the Panel Members and the audience will be encouraged.  The Town Hall meeting will be held on August 16, 2012, from 10 a.m. to noon p.t. at the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building, Conference Room H, 5th Floor North Tower, 1301 Clay Street, Oakland, California.

RSVP by August 3, 2012, to FSIP Office Manager Norma Pullen at:  (202) 218-7754 or npullen@flra.gov.

The FLRA administers the labor-management relations program for 2.1 million non-Postal Federal employees worldwide, approximately 1.2 million of whom are represented in 2,200 bargaining units.  It is charged with providing leadership in establishing policies and guidance related to Federal sector labor management relations and with resolving disputes under, and ensuring compliance with, the Statute. 

Agency practitioners should make every effort to attend this meeting.  The Panel has historically sought to maintain a neutral attitude in disputes.  Recently, it decided a case involving an Agency effort to curtail use of AWS and CWS (2012 FSIP 036 3/28/12).  As anyone in the business knows, cutting back AWS or CWS has been an uphill battle in the past. This case lays out some criteria for making an Agency case.  You may want to ask whether that or similar reasoning is likely to carry the day in future impasses.

I, for one, would like to know about the Panel’s willingness to accept witness statements, documents and other evidence with an initial submission or response to a union submission and the value it perceives of accompanying briefs laying out a case.

I believe the Panel will strongly encourage parties to only bring it only actually impassed issues when substantial efforts have been made to resolve them as opposed to issues brought for internal political reasons by either party.  The Panel once clearly sought to discourage parties from coming to it at all by raising the price of playing.  You might ask if that should enter into its current thinking. 

Also, ask about the Panel’s settlement successes or maybe failures.  We see published decisions but not the deals that close cases.  There is no reason these shouldn’t be public information as they are entirely reached with appropriated funds or at least by government efforts.

As always, I am solely responsible for any opinion appearing above.

© 2016 Bob Gilson. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from Bob Gilson.

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About the Author

Bob Gilson is a consultant with a specialty in working with and training Federal agencies to resolve employee problems at all levels. A retired agency labor and employee relations director, Bob has authored or co-authored a number of books dealing with Federal issues and also conducts training seminars.

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