Patrick Pizzella has been named as the Acting Chairman of the FLRA.
The author discusses a recent case involving the FLRA which he says is the latest in a series that has done great damage to the labor relations program.
The author says there are at least four issues in the current labor relations system which need correcting to make government work more efficiently and effectively. He outlines each issue as he sees them and what his suggestions are for fixing them.
An issue between an agency and a union dating back at least 6 years has resulted in the Department of Commerce possibly having the most expensive disposable cups and eating utensils in the country.
This FLRA appears ideologically mandated to excuse virtually any union bad behavior. As a result of the FLRA’s failure to hold unions accountable for it, the misbehavior happens frequently
In a case involving computer security at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), FLRA finds that the Agency’s duty to bargain over curtailing employee access to private email accounts on their work computers trumps the Agency’s statutory obligation to protect the security of information under its control. The Minority Member, in his dissent, said that unlike the majority members, he could not interpret the federal labor statute to, in essence, require an Agency to compromise its computer security to bargain over a minor working condition issue.
FLRA often gets its own law wrong in the opinion of the DC Circuit.
On June 3, the D.C. Circuit again reversed the FLRA for interpreting a law other than its own. The case, involving the negotiability of union proposals limiting Agency Inspector General investigations to procedures bargained with a union, demonstrated the Court’s continuing refusal to defer to an FLRA interpretation of a law other than the one it administers. The author suggests practitioners read the complete decision but addresses the highlights in his article.