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As negotiated agreements expire and bargaining appears likely, it is vital for an Agency to take stock of the old contract and assess where it wants negotiations to go. You can be sure the union will come to the table with an agenda; the author asks whether Agency representatives have an agenda of their own and attempts to lay out a framework for development of management’s agenda.
AFGE has scheduled a number of meetings at resorts and a national conference with discounted Disney tickets in Orlando Florida in September. How many attendees will be on official time and government paid travel and per diem is anyone’s guess. The author suggests that for every day a union representative spends at this conference, up to three might not have to be furloughed. Does this affect your pay?
FLRA is not deciding any cases as they are missing two members. If the former Chair is reconfirmed, we can expect more union proposals to be offered and ordered negotiable as “appropriate arrangements” for violating a management statutory right. The Author recently covered this topic at the Society of Federal Labor and Employee Relations Professionals’ annual conference. This article offers the meat of that presentation and suggestions for dealing with FLRA on this issue.
FLRA is offering parties an opportunity to provide input to both its prospective Guide to Negotiability and negotiability training materials. The author suggests that Agencies review these materials and provide input as training dollars are scarce and field activities and offices may rely on the information provided. Act quickly, the offer expires May 7, 2013.
The Merit Systems Protection Board appears to have thrown a seminal decision, Curtis Douglas vs. Veterans Administration, into doubt in second guessing a deciding official who had considered the “Douglas Factors”. The Author explains how this decision undermines confidence in MSPB’s decisions.
Have you ever listened to someone give a presentation or state a particular view and leave out a critical piece of information? The Author suggests that perhaps FLRA’s General Counsel’s bias was showing in a recent presentation on Furloughs and Agencies need to take it with a big block of salt.
In a reversal of 30 years of precedent and, arguably the view of the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, the MSPB has changed its case law on an Agency’s obligations in removing employees when the employee refuses a directed reassignment. The author points out that this Board appears on a mission to limit agency discretion despite history and precedent.
The NY Post published a piece recently quoting a Federal union official to the effect that there would be payback for any problems caused by sequestration. The Author suggests the Post get a grip on its reporting and that Federal unions might just want to read up on the law and some ancient history.
Robert (Bob) J. Gilson has expertise in Federal sector labor and employee relations. He began his Federal career with the U.S. Civil Service Commission (later OPM).
Bob held managerial, advocacy and advisor positions with OPM, Navy, Army, Treasury and the National Transportation Safety Board. He served as chief negotiator on numerous labor agreements in the U.S. and abroad. He represented his agencies before the FLRA, FSIP, MSPB, EEOC and arbitrators. The recipient of numerous awards, Bob was also principally responsible for working cases involving adverse actions for conduct and performance at all levels including Senior Executives. Bob retired from Federal service is currently a senior associate with RGS Inc. RGS is the successor to GRA Inc. whose work is familiar to many of you.
He has trained literally thousands of Federal negotiators, practitioners, supervisors and managers for over 40 years. He has been a Fedsmith author for more than 8 years. Bob is a frequently invited speaker at national conferences on labor and employee relations. Projects included advising and training managers on bargaining and over the last few years serving as chief negotiator for several Agencies. Bob is currently working on a major project to develop bargaining preparation tools, basic and advanced training, and Agency negotiation strategies. If you need to get in touch, you can always reach Bob through FedSmith.com.
Bob is the author or co-author of eight books for Federal managers.