National Labor-Management Relations Council Meeting July 7, 2010

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By on July 14, 2010 in Current Events with 0 Comments

The following are the minutes of
the July 7th National Labor-Management Relations Council Meeting
taken by an Agency attendee. I
pass them along for your information.


Minutes of the previous meeting
were adopted.

Suggestion Program

OMB announced that the President
would announce a suggestion contest on Thursday where government workers would
be able to submit ideas to make their agency work better. Last year, the contest brought in
38,000 suggestions. As occurred
last year, the person submitting the winning suggestion would get to meet the
President in the Oval Office. 

Implementation Plan

Two of the three remaining
implementation plans have been approved.  The only plan not yet approved is Social Security
Administration. (At the last
meeting, it appeared the issue keeping the plan from being approved was a
question of whether SSA would have a national council that included only AFGE
(which has exclusive recognition at the national level) or all its unions.

AFGE noted that implementation of
the Executive Order has been uneven. Some agencies have not yet done anything. What can we do to push implementation? OPM stated the Council members should
let OPM/OMB know and they can make a one-on-one push. 

Permissive ((b)(1)) Bargaining

The (b)(1) working group briefed
that they had modified the slides presented at the last Council meeting. 

The working group added a bullet,
“Encourage use of a variety of approaches to help negotiating teams reach
agreement, for example, ADR and other additional mediation services including
FMCS.” They included in their
charts addressing the various (b)(1) pilots that the “Portfolio may include a
term agreement covering all or part of (b)(1)”. For assessing the pilots, the group added “Include both
common and specialized measures.” For timelines, they included “Provide one or more interim progress
reports.” They also deleted the
10th slide which contained recommendations for inclusion in the letter to the

FLRA/FMCS Training

There have been 302 individuals
trained so far. New training dates
in July-September have been added. For Army, the FLRA/FMCS have scheduled training in Aberdeen, Rock Island
and Redstone Arsenal. FLRA said they also offer agency/union
specific training, that is, training for only union or only management
participants. Finally, they asked
for any feedback attendees may have regarding their joint training. 


The working group briefed that
they are still a work in progress. Metrics, they noted, are critical elements of the labor-management
council. Metrics measure the overall
success of the parties. These
metrics should help clarify to the public the benefit of the individual

The group is looking at current
agency metrics to see what could be applied to the labor-management council

The metrics must not only make
sense to us, but the public must see they are getting more bang for their tax
buck and it will be more difficult to terminate the E.O. with visible

OPM noted that the most important
metrics are those dealing with services, quality, amount, speed, etc. In other words, the most significant
metrics are those addressing the performance of our mission. We have to show that this effort
benefits the public.  

AFGE sought more specific
direction. It noted that when it
taught a session on the E.O., students’ eyes glazed over until they said
“metrics”. AFGE had thought they
should set metrics after establishment of the council, but now see metrics are
needed quickly so folks know what they are being measured on. 

OMB said that a strawman can be
developed by September 20th, but noted that it does not want to be overly
prescriptive since each agency is different. 

AFL-CIO noted that there is no
need to wait for the Council metrics. Each agency can look at their agency plan to see what should be


OPM stated that after the August
break, it would like to turn discussions more towards substantive issues. The first discussion could be about
telework. Maybe create a group
that surveys and gets information about the issue to be discussed out to the
Council members. OPM is soliciting
topics. There are a panoply of
substantive issues that the Council could address and then issue guidance

Some suggestions by the Council
included veterans hiring, return on training, have training earn college

Next Meeting

The next meeting is September 20,

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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.