Since the creation of Executive Order 13522, AFGE, alongside the National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations (of which National President John Gage is a member) has been working diligently to help implement the new Labor Management Partnership Forums. The forums are meant as a way of officially involving union representation in negotiations between workers and management to reach a fair compromise that works for all, more efficiently delivering government services.
While most agency management on the higher level has been cooperative with the implementation process, some involved have been dragging their feet. It is management along the front lines who has been somewhat reluctant when it comes to playing their part in the process. If this is the case, it most certainly hinders the immense benefits the Labor Management Partnership Forums could have. Various agencies have given their take on the forums, with some having confidence in management, while others express dissatisfaction.
Executive Order (EO) 13522 was signed by President Obama in December of 2009, with the purpose of “establishing a cooperative and productive form of labor-management relations throughout the executive branch.” In the EO, the President established the National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations. Its duty is to advise the President on all matters of Labor-Management Relations, and to actively support the construction of agency labor-management forums, address issues within an agency’s forum, provide training to enhance labor-management relations, and develop methods to better government services. To promote collaborative productivity, the National Council compiled union representatives into several workgroups. Each workgroup is to give a report to the National Council that reflects the progression of the forums. Labor and management representatives agreed to meet once a month to discuss all reports at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) in Washington, D.C. [more] 7-27-2010
Federal Bureau of Prisons Labor-Management Forum
Bryan Lowry, President Council 33
On June 24, 2010, the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) Council 33 reached a partnership-agreement (regarding the forum) with the BOP Agency. Objectives of the forum were given to form a productive partnership between the agency and the council, and restructure the once fractured relationship. BOP Council 33 is the first council in the U.S. Justice Department to establish a collaborative and unique forum with agency officials, aimed to promote satisfactory labor relations to improve the effectiveness of the Federal Bureau of Prisons.