Posts tagged Federal Labor Relations Authority
NIH researchers say agency seeks to block unionization effort
August 7, 2023 // The agency is arguing that postdocs and graduate students aren’t employees, according to union organizers Early-career researchers who work in labs operated by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) have hit a roadblock on their way to unionizing. In June, a group of postdocs, graduate students, and postbaccalaureate researchers asked the agency that oversees the certification of unions by federal employees, the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA), for permission to hold an election to determine whether early-career researchers at NIH are in favor of forming a union. But on Monday, the organizers say, they were told that NIH had submitted paperwork to FLRA arguing that many of the union’s potential members are not employees and don’t have standing to form a union. Union representatives also declined to send Science the entirety of the document NIH submitted to FLRA. But they did share one excerpt, which argued that most of the potential union’s 4800 likely members cannot be considered employees. “The Agency is of the view that individuals in all categories appointed under the CRTA [Cancer Research Training Award] and IRTA [Intramural Research Training Award] authorities, i.e., all categories other than Clinical Fellows, Research Fellows, and Senior Research Fellows, are not employees under the Statute,” the document states, according to the union.
VA, AFGE reach ‘historic’ settlement to reinstate, compensate thousands of wrongfully fired feds
August 4, 2023 // The department said it expects the total cost of the settlement agreement with AFGE to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars. The exact amount, though, could take years to determine, depending on how many former employees ultimately choose to return to their VA jobs. The settlement comes years after AFGE, which represents more than 291,000 VA employees, filed a grievance against the department in 2018. The union said the agency’s implementation of the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act, which aimed to speed up the firing process for poor-performing VA employees, violated their collective bargaining agreement.
Federal Worker Unions Lose Only 1 Percent of Complaints Filed Against Them by Government Workers: Study
July 14, 2023 // An analysis by Americans for Fair Treatment (AFFT) of Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) data found less than one percent of the more than 1,200 government worker complaints filed between December 2015 and December 2022 resulted in any kind of adverse action against civil service employee unions. The vast majority of the annual average of 193 complaints filed during the seven-year period involved the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), the largest of the multiple labor groups representing portions of the 2.1 million federal civil service workforce.
COMMENTARY: Biden vs. workers’ right to vote out unions
June 28, 2023 // Despite the recent outrageous FLRA ruling, the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation attorneys who have been providing free legal assistance to Blue Ridge Parkway employees seeking a vote to decertify AFGE bosses, currently led by petitioner Lauren Labrie, are optimistic a vote will happen soon anyway. But regardless of the outcome, this battle exposes the depth of the Biden administration’s contempt for employees’ right to make a free choice about whether or not they want a union.
Union and Alaska Army Posts Resolve Differences Over Official Time and Illegal Contract, But Other Fights Remain
May 22, 2023 // Management at three U.S. Army installations in Alaska this month agreed to unwind the unilateral imposition of Trump-era caps on official time as well as an entirely new contract for a pair of union locals representing civilian workers at the forts. But labor leaders bemoaned continued resistance to implementing President Biden’s executive orders rescinding Trump-era labor policies and mandating federal agencies establish a collaborative relationship with their unions.
Federal labor board records show challenge of union accountability
April 4, 2023 // Individuals filed an average of 173 charges each year against their unions. 1,211 charges were filed by individuals over the seven-year period audited. Two unions—the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) and National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU)—accounted for the overwhelming majority of charges filed by individuals. Of the 1,211 charges, 935 were filed against AFGE, and 108 were filed against NTEU. Fewer than 1% of individuals’ charges resulted in an enforcement action. Of the 1,211 cases brought by individuals, just 9 resulted in an FLRA complaint against the union. Of the 9 in which a complaint was issued, 8 involved AFGE and just 1 involved NTEU. Fewer than 1% of individuals’ charges resulted in a settlement of some kind. Of the 1,211 cases brought by individuals, just 12 resulted in a private or bilateral settlement. Of the 12 that resulted in a settlement, 7 involved AFGE and 0 involved NTEU. Over 52% of individuals’ charges were dismissed. Of the 1,211 cases brought by individuals, 636 were dismissed in full; another 2 were dismissed in part. Of the 638 total dismissals, 501 involved AFGE, and 56 involved NTEU. Over 45% of individuals’ charges were withdrawn by the individual at some point prior to a determination. Of the 1,211 cases brought by individuals, 552 were marked as withdrawn. Of the 552 withdrawn cases, 416 involved AFGE, and 51 involved NTEU.