The author says there are at least four issues in the current labor relations system which need correcting to make government work more efficiently and effectively. He outlines each issue as he sees them and what his suggestions are for fixing them.
Which federal agencies are the least recommended by the federal employees who work for them? A new report provides the answer.
An issue between an agency and a union dating back at least 6 years has resulted in the Department of Commerce possibly having the most expensive disposable cups and eating utensils in the country.
FLRA keeps interpreting laws other than its own with impunity and without benefit of any expertise in those laws. It often gets its own law wrong in the opinion of the DC Circuit. The author asks how this agency, once characterized in a D.C. Circuit Court Decision as a “minor three-member commission with quite restricted expertise”, can defend an ideologically driven agenda and be considered a neutral adjudicator of disputes in the face of its record in court.
On June 3, the D.C. Circuit again reversed the FLRA for interpreting a law other than its own. The case, involving the negotiability of union proposals limiting Agency Inspector General investigations to procedures bargained with a union, demonstrated the Court’s continuing refusal to defer to an FLRA interpretation of a law other than the one it administers. The author suggests practitioners read the complete decision but addresses the highlights in his article.
The newest Member of the Federal Labor Relations Authority is Patrick Pizzella. Here are his observations regarding his time at this agency since he began his term there in November.
In a January 3, 2014 decision, the Federal Circuit stated: “As explained in this opinion, by adopting two inconsistent interpretations of the same statutory language, the Authority has acted arbitrarily and capriciously”. This deals the FLRA, only back in operation since mid-December, a stinging rebuke on arguably its most extensive political tool, the determination as to what is or isn’t an “appropriate arrangement.”
The Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs held hearings on the pending confirmations of all three FLRA nominees on September 25. The author suggests that Federal LR practitioners watch the session which is about 1 ½ hours in length to get an appreciation of how the process works and how almost no discussion of substance took place.
The Obama White House announced the nomination of Patrick Pizzella as an FLRA Member. The author asks if this will smooth the way for the confirmation of Carol Waller Pope whose nomination has been in limbo for almost a year.