OPM Launches New Collective Bargaining Database

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By on January 10, 2020 in Agency News with 0 Comments
Close up of a blue button on a computer keyboard labeled 'search' with a magnifying glass sitting on top of it

The Office of Personnel Management announced this week that it has launched a new database of collective bargaining agreements (CBA), allowing the contract agreements to be searched by the general public.

The database was established in accordance with a directive from President Trump’s Executive Order on Developing Efficient, Effective, and Cost Reducing Approaches to Federal Sector Collective Bargaining (EO 13836).

As part of that EO, agencies were given new reporting requirements in which they were directed to do the following:

  • Send to OPM each term CBA currently in effect and its expiration date within 30 days.
  • Submit new term CBAs and their expiration dates to the OPM Director within 30 days of each CBA’s effective date.
  • All documents are to be submitted in optical character recognition text-readable format.
  • Agencies are also directed to submit a Collective Bargaining Agreement Submission Form to OPM.
  • Agencies are also required to complete and attach a Section 508 Conformance Attestation Form attesting to the completion of the conformance standards of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
  • New arbitration awards are to be sent to OPM within 10 business days after receiving an arbitration decision but these do not require Section 508 conformance.

Agencies will now be able to submit their CBAs and arbitration awards directly to OPM. Agency labor relations staff or other appropriate personnel may register for an account and submit their reports through the CBA database’s Labor Relations Document Submission Portal.

Public users to the CBA database will be able to sort and filter CBA entries by agency, union, or expiration date and run reports. In addition, public users will be able to search the contents of CBAs in the database using key terms and phrases.

OPM said that the new database is about enhancing transparency.

“This is database is about transparency in government,” said OPM Director Dale Cabaniss. “OPM is committed to implementing President Trump’s workforce reforms so the American people can have a more effective and efficient government.”

Some union officials have been skeptical, however, saying the move is just another attack on federal employee unions.

“This is nothing more than an attempt to take the worst in bad faith bargaining public so other bad actors within federal management can copy it. In other words, this is meant to weaken labor and management relations, not strengthen it,” Steve Lenkart, executive director of the National Federation of Federal Employees, said in a statement to Bloomberg Law.

The new database is available on OPM’s website. Agency officials may access the database from the same page via a registered login to submit their CBA documents for inclusion in the database.

© 2020 Ian Smith. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from Ian Smith.

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Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce.

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