The Master Labor Agreement is the overarching union-management agreement applicable for all bargaining unit employees. Both unions are consolidated under AFGE Council 214, Headquarters Air Force Materiel Command.
"Eglin is indeed unique in Council 214 for having two separate local unions covered by one Master Labor Agreement, on one base," said Scott Blanch, AFGE Council 214 president. "Having one local supplement for the two locals is something management was interested in and union leadership recognized as a legitimate interest."
According to General Eidsaune, the local supplement agreement is a win-win for AAC and all of Team Eglin.
"Eglin sets the example for the rest of command in terms of how the unions and management work together for efficiency, fairness and leveling the playing field for all," the general said. "I look forward to putting this agreement in play."
Mr. Smith, said that each local used to operate under separate contracts which had variations in provisions and language. At times, these differences caused confusion as to which employee was impacted by the documents. Now management and labor has a single local supplement agreement to follow, publish and reference.
"Formerly, to determine the appropriate document management, the employee must first know which bargaining unit (local union) they belonged to and then use the applicable contract to determine the necessary action," he said. "At times certain conditions in one workplace may apply to one employee and not the other."
According to Tiffany Music, AAC Labor Relations Officer, now the one local supplement agreement that's applicable to all bargaining unit employees provides ease of reference for management, unions, and bargaining unit employees as to what labor provisions apply to common workforce issues and topics.
"It was truly a partnership approach to develop this product," Ms. Music said.
Both Mr. Smith and Mr. Tasse agree that bargaining unit employees are the real beneficiaries of the local supplement agreement."
"We can now provide a single document to bargaining unit employees and managers without first determining the employees bargaining unit status," Mr. Smith said. "Although there are still two separate union entities representing the Eglin complex non-supervisory federal employee workforce, we both are now using the same contract to operate under, making things a little easier for all."
Ms. Music said "it was the committed approach by all involved to come to the table with open minds, a focus on interests rather than positions, and a serious attempt to find common ground among all Parties to reach a single LSA."
The union presidents agree.
"Traditional labor/management contract negotiations may take months, if not years, but we were able to streamline our process through interest-base bargaining to develop a combined agreement in a matter of weeks," Mr. Smith said. "This is an unprecedented accomplishment having a positive impact on the mission and the workforce."
"We accomplished the tasking of one LSA for both unions in record time, and these accomplishments needed to be touted," Mr. Tasse said. "Both union presidents met and facilitated an expeditious turn-around of management's proposals and collectively we were able to agree on one LSA for both locals."
The bottom line, according to Mr. Blanch, is that leaders from all three parties came up with one agreement that works for everybody and enhances Eglin's mission support capabilities by eliminating repetitive bargaining over the same issues.
"Congratulations to all involved for great work," he said.
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