FLRA’s Christmas Present to a Union?

Groucho Marx said “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies.” In a recent arbitration appeal, the FLRA reversed itself over an issue involving an agreement made by political direction with the union in the waning days of the Clinton Administration. The current Chairman, a member when the original case was decided did not dissent then but now gives the union not only a second bite of the apple but, arguably, the whole bushel. Is it a holiday gift? You decide.

FLRA Says Airport Screeners Can Have A Union But No Collective Bargaining

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 Administration’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.

FLRA’s B(1) Pilot Training Course Materials: Is Permissive Bargaining Now Mandatory?

The author requested and received FLRA’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.

FLRA Changing Rules on the Legality of Arbitration Awards in Recent Decisions

The author suggests agency advocates pay attention to a recent line of FLRA cases involving appeals of arbitration awards. The Authority has clearly decided to widely expand an arbitrator’s authority while severely limiting an agency’s ability to appeal an award. The FLRA has apparently decided to bypass the Congress and update the 1978 labor relations law against the agencies’ interests.