Is Your Agency Active In The Management Forum?

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.

July 7, 2010, several workgroups reported on their recent activities and the logistics of functional projects. Workgroup #1 reported their Implementation Plan Evaluation. Representatives of the workgroup included John Gage, president of the American Federation of Government Employees; W. Scott Gould, deputy secretary of Veterans Affairs; David Holway, president of National Association of Government Employees; and Jane Holl Lute, deputy secretary of Department of Homeland Security. Collectively, the group has provided feedback and guidance to three agencies whose plans were determined to need additional work, and has conducted a review of two agency plans based on additional information received. The EO requires agency heads to submit a plan to the National Council on how they will implement the Order. An agency’s Implementation Plan is reviewed based on standardized questions such as, “does the plan state that all unions with national consultation rights were consulted in the establishment of the plan? Does the plan identify a process to develop a limited number of mission-linked or process-improving performance goals? And, does the plan identify how the department or agency will work with the unions to develop metrics to monitor improvements?”  After evaluating several agencies, the workgroup discerned 48 departments or agency plans to have met the requirements of EO 13522. Recently approved agencies include the Armed Forces Retirement Home and the Federal Election Commission. Social Security Administration’s implementation plan did not meet the requirements, making them the only agency to be disproved of certification.  

Workgroup #3 reported their recent actions on the topic of 7106 (b)(1) Bargaining Pilots. Prior to the July 7 meeting, participants of the workgroup met to develop general guidelines and recommendations for establishing pilot projects on bargaining matters covered by 5 USC 7106 (b)(1). The meeting’s discussion intoned the details of which agencies will participate in the pilot program, the criteria of the pilot program, how and who will be trained for the program, the metrics of the program, how the pilots will succeed through the program, and more factors that will ensure the completion of the program. To date, participation in the program is expected from the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense, Department of Labor, Department of Treasury, Department of Veterans Affairs, and Office of Personnel management. The workgroup asserts joint training as a requirement for everyone who will be negotiating on (b)(1) subject. Training for all pilot participants is provided to managers and supervisors and union representatives of the forums by the Federal Labor Relations Authority.

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