FLRA Reinstates Its Own Labour-Management Forum, “Pre-Decisional Involvement”

Democratic administrations generally push agencies to set up labor-management forums while Republican administrations discourage them. Image: Pressmaster/Shutterstock.com

In another sign of the leadership change at the FLRA now that Democrats hold the majority of its board seats, the agency has reestablished a union-management forum with the union representing its own employees, including committing again to involve the union in decisions on certain policies outside the framework of bargaining.

This “will benefit the FLRA and its employees, and is consistent with both the FLRA’s statutory role as the leader in labor relations in the federal sector” as well as the administration’s key executive order. Biden in the federal workplace, according to an announcement.

Labor-management forums and “pre-decisional participation” (PDI) have had their ups and downs in the federal government. Democratic administrations, beginning with the Clinton White House, have ordered or urged agencies to implement them, and intervening Republican administrations have strongly discouraged them.

The Biden administration has not explicitly ordered agencies to reinstate them, though it has reminded agencies that they can use them — DHS, for example, has begun to reinstate some at the department and component level. – and the administration’s task force on organizing and empowering workers earlier this year. recommended their formal reinstatement.

Even when they are in effect, questions have been asked about exactly what topics would be covered, exactly what these policies require management to do, and how to measure results.

As the FLRA put it, PDI “represents activities where employees, through their union (their sole elected representative), have the opportunity to help shape workplace decisions that affect their work. before an agency decides how it will respond.It does not expand the matters mandatorily negotiable under the Federal Service Labor Relations Act (the Act).

“It does, however, suggest that management should be willing to discuss all issues, whether or not they are considered management rights, where possible. The IDP does not waive the statutory right of management to make decisions under section 7106 of the Act, nor the right of a labor organization to engage in pre-implementation negotiations to the extent required. by law,” he said.

The FLRA added that it offers training to agencies and unions on creating union-management forums, available at flra.gov/cadro.

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Federal Employee Handbook 2022

Melvin B. Baillie