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.
The author asks if the TSA broke management’s obligation to remain neutral while a union vote is pending.
The Office of Personnel Management and Office of Management and Budget (on dual letterhead, the first the Author has seen) issued guidance to Agency Heads on the operation of labor management Forums and on the administrations expectations concerning the Pre-decisional role of Federal unions in Agency decision making. The Author raises a number of questions including whether this memorandum invites ethics problems for Agencies. You decide.
In what the author calls perhaps the wackiest decision in the history of Federal labor relations, the Federal Labor Relations Authority decides to allow the election of a union to represent the Transportation Security Administrationâ€™s Transportation Security Officers with no collective bargaining permitted. Also crazily, the unions involved, AFGE and NTEU, applaud the decision. Another case of political bone throwing in DC? You decide.
The author requested and received FLRAâ€™s training materials used to train participants in pilot programs in which parties will bargain agency permissive topics. These pilots dramatically expand union bargaining rights. It’s unclear what authorizes union representatives’ official time for this training or authorizes FLRA to train the representatives of a non-governmental entity for free. You decide.
However the political winds blow, negotiators representing a Federal Agency have the responsibility to advance the Agencyâ€™s interests at the bargaining table. The author offers some thoughts for those in Agencies opting into the B(1) Pilot or drawn into such optional bargaining by political leadership.
The Author takes a look at the Report to the National Council on Labor Management Relations on bargaining B(1) issues. These are matters that until now Agencies had to negotiate only at their election. According to the report, it appears the politicals are getting ready to write a success story in advance of the negotiations. You decide.
The implementation plans for the President’s vision of Federal labor management relations are rolling in. Most tout their continuing commitment to getting along but exceedingly rare are commitments to bargain “permissive” topics. The biggest surprise is the submission by the Office of Personnel Management.
The author asks which Agencies will agree to bargaining permissive subjects if a pilot program results from an impending executive order. He suggests who might play and why as well as some risks involved to those who choose to play or are roped into doing so.
If your agency is going forward with a change and intends to notify its union(s) of that intent, you will probably end up bargaining with the union. Since leverage is everything in negotiations, here are suggestions to increase your leverage or at least lessen the other guy’s.