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SCHATZ, CUMMINGS, YOUNG INTRODUCE BILL TO ESTABLISH NATIONAL COUNCIL ON FEDERAL LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS

Jan 25, 2018
Press Release

SCHATZ, CUMMINGS, YOUNG INTRODUCE BILL TO ESTABLISH NATIONAL COUNCIL ON FEDERAL LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS

 

Bipartisan Bill Reinstitutes Decades-Old Panels Used for Dialogues Between Federal Workers and Federal Agency Management

 

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) and U.S. Representative Elijah E. Cummings, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, (D-Md.) and U.S. Representative Don Young (R-Alaska) introduced the Federal Labor-Management Partnerships Act, a bill that would reinstate formal advisory panels that promote dialogue and foster partnerships between labor and federal agency management. Established nearly 25 years ago, the panels were disbanded by President Donald Trump in September 2017.

“This bill is about supporting federal workers and promoting dialogue between federal management and the people who work to protect and serve our country,” Senator Schatz said. “These advisory panels have helped the federal government create good policy for its workers for years, and our philosophy is, if it’s not broken, don’t disband it.”

“President Trump’s order disbanding labor-management panels was short-sighted and ill-advised,” Representative Cummings said. “Ensuring that front-line workers and management personnel engage in constructive dialogue is vital to a well-managed federal workplace. That is what this bill would do.”

“By bringing these Councils back, we’ll ensure that the hardworking men and women in Alaska and the rest of America will have a voice as federal agencies develop and implement rules,” Representative Young said. “When it comes to the administrative policies and regulations that impact the backbone of our workforce, an open dialogue to discuss changes is essential.” 


The panels were disbanded last year, when President Trump signed Executive Order 13812. The Federal Labor-Management Partnership Act would reinstitute these panels, which allow agencies and employees to discuss challenges, review organizational initiatives, and solve workplace issues. Formal advisory panels in the executive branch have helped the Department of Commerce institute and optimize telework policies, the Treasury Department retrain employees of the Financial Management Service, resulting in better performance, and the Patent and Trademark Office reduce patent-application backlogs and processing time, with greater worker satisfaction.  

The Act would establish in law a National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations to advise the President on labor-management relations in the executive branch. Co-chaired by the Director of the Office of Personnel Management and the Deputy Director for Management at the Office of Management and Budget, the Council would be required to have key stakeholders, including members from federal-employee unions, meet quarterly. The head of each agency would also be required to create labor-management partnerships, which would allow employees and employee representatives to have pre-decisional involvement in workplace matters, to the extent practicable.

The Federal Labor-Management Partnerships Act is endorsed by the American Federation of Government Employees, the National Treasury Employees Union, the National Federation of Federal Employees, the International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers, the Federal Managers Association, and the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association. 

115th Congress