This article on a current labor relations topic was submitted by a reader who is a labor relations official for a federal agency.
With everything that’s going on in the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense, maybe this question is just piling on, but it’s one worth asking.
Does the Union have a “statutory” right to ratification?
Current case law indicates that the union has a statutory right to ratification. Thus, when the union exercises this “right”, union representatives are not authorized to reach final and binding agreements, and any agreements are only tentative until ratified. Yet, it is a violation of the Statute if management does not provide a duly authorized representative to bargain with the union. It seems the Authority has a somewhat one-sided view of the "duly authorized" bargaining representatives and agreement execution provisions of the Statute.
In SSA v. AFGE Council 220, 46 FLRA No. 135; the Authority concluded that the union has a statutory right to seek ratification even in the absence of a bilateral agreement as long as; (1) the employer has notice of the ratification requirement, and (2) there is no waiver by the union.
In SSA the FLRA stated:
The FLRA also stated: