More good news for federal workers and our union!
President Biden has appointed Charlotte Dye as Acting General Counsel of the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA), paving the way for the FLRA to address the backlog of disputes and prosecute agencies that violated their own policies and labor laws.
Dye previously served as the FLRA Deputy General Counsel and the Regional Director in the Dallas Region before the region was shut down.
Why this appointment is important
The FLRA is a tiny agency tasked with resolving labor-management issues across the federal government. These issues range from unfair labor practices (ULP) to arbitration appeals to union elections. Federal employee unions go to the FLRA to challenge agencies’ unfair practices or failures to follow their own policies, among other things.
In order for the FLRA to prosecute agencies that violated labor laws or their own policies, it needs a General Counsel, the position of which had been left vacant the entire duration of the Trump administration. It was no secret the Trump administration had been using the traditionally independent FLRA as a tool to undermine federal workers’ workplace rights and unions. Not appointing the General Counsel was a way to undermine workers’ rights and voice at work.
Our union, for example, won a ULP case in which the Education Department was found to have unilaterally and illegally imposed an anti-worker contract. The Education Department refused to comply with the FLRA ruling, using the FLRA’s lack of a General Counsel as an excuse to get away with their union-busting activities. Employees had been wronged and left in limbo.
The same thing happened at the Environmental Protection Agency. Without a General Counsel, the FLRA cannot enforce its own findings.
Approximately 500 cases alleging violation of the law can now move forward and be prosecuted. AFGE applauds the Biden administration for filling this important position.
“This appointment is critical to addressing the current backlog of nearly 450 labor-management disputes,” said AFGE President Everett Kelley. “For more than three years, the FLRA has not been able to issue complaints due to the vacant general counsel position. This has left disputes between workers and management unresolved and allowed the unfair actions to continue.”
“We are hopeful that Charlotte Dye will rule fairly, and we will begin seeing resolutions to issues important to AFGE members and federal workers across the country – including AFGE unfair labor practices against the Department of Education and Environmental Protection Agency for unlawful implementation of contracts and bargaining in bad faith,” he added.