Recently, the author submitted this White Paper to congressional representatives to help them understand the state of the Federal labor relations program. The author believes Federal labor relations stifles initiative and impedes needed change in Agencies. Read this White Paper and decide for yourself whether or not the points it seeks to make are valid.
Since Federal unions were permitted bargaining under law, most negotiable issues are already in existing union contracts. The author suggests these unions have joined with the Obama administration in an effort to co-manage agencies and encourage the FLRA to “expand” the meaning of the statute. They appear to be succeeding.
Federal Agencies are facing major cutbacks in an effort to resolve debt and other problems. Federal sector unions are almost entirely funded in day-to-day operations by appropriated funds. The author asks whether some thought has been given to asking unions to voluntarily dig into their untouched dues collection funds to help out in these tough times.
The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals told the FLRA it deserved deference in the interpretation of the federal labor law but exceeded its authority when it interpreted a law the Air Force was charged to administer.
The author suggests ten considerations for Agencies following the DC Circuitâ€™s landmark decision defining the “Covered By” doctrine as foreclosing bargaining topics disposed of when the collective bargaining agreement between the parties was negotiated. Whether agency leadership knows enough to take advantage of the decision and whether its politicos will intervene to favor the union is an unanswered question.
Cheeks must still sting at FLRA after a hard slapping by the DC Circuit finding “the Authority endorsed an incoherent arbitral award and embraced an unreasonably narrow view of what the Master Agreement ‘covers.’ “
“NTEU Contrarians” have a website to express their concerns about the lack of democracy in the union and its direction.
In a follow up on the Federal sectorâ€™s largest unionâ€™s demands in a nation-wide agreement, the author highlights the kinds of proposals AFGE is making to Agencies. As readers will see, Federal unions can and often do get the money they use for organizing and for political activity by getting Agencies to pay all of their other bills.
The author goes over election results at TSA and suggests much less of an overwhelming interest in union representation by most employees than claimed by the involved unions.
The author says an AFGE official time proposal fails to address accountability or tracking of the time.