UDWC Daily Update
This Week's Schedule (Meet and Confer to Run April 18th to May 19th)
Tuesday to Thursday, 9-4
Today's Developments -- From the Coalition
1) Management denies UDWC suggestions aimed at addressing congressional concerns.
Recommendations laid out by Senators Susan Collins (R, ME), Edward Kennedy (D, MA) Daniel Akaka (D, HI) and Carl Levin (D, MI) at last week's Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) hearing (16-April-2005) were wholly rebuffed by management.
Bipartisan congressional concerns such as DoD/OPM's failure to draft an NSPS that is consistent with congressional authorization were unilaterally rejected by management.
UDWC negotiator, and AFGE General Counsel, Mark Roth was among several coalition negotiators attempting to give management ample opportunity to correct several of the inconsistencies cited by congressional lawmakers during last week's hearing.
Despite the best efforts of the UDWC to use the first session of meet & confer to build on the fruitful recommendations laid out by members of the SASC, coalition efforts were ultimately rejected.
2) UDWC Continues to Reach-Out to Management on Memorializing Agreements.
The UDWC, in a potentially successful attempt to build on management/labor discussions last week, is cautiously optimistic with respect to a tentative arrangement reached today on memorializing agreements.
Confusion over management's inability to be the final approver of any agreements remains a possible sticking point. If an agreement is reached in the Meet & Confer, there still remain internal bureaucracy hurdles on the management side in order to gain final approval.
However, the UDWC and management came to an apparent agreement that stipulates the following: Mary Lacey will notify UDWC employee representatives, after tentative agreements are reached through meet & confer, within a reasonable time frame, as to whether or not the Secretary of Defense, the OPM Director and/or any other final approvers from management's side, approve or disapprove of aforementioned agreements.
UDWC representative will be provided an opportunity to amend, alter, or otherwise attempt to reach agreement with final decision-makers on management's side (i.e., Secretary of Defense, OPM Director).
To protect against any confusion with respect to the aforementioned agreement, Sec. Abell has agreed to a UDWC request to draft a tentative agreement on the process of memorializing tentative agreements between the two sides. The proposal should be drafted and ready by tomorrow's meeting for review and possible approval by the UDWC.
Said UDWC negotiator Dan Schember, "we are here in an effort to meet and confer in good faith, and are anxious to come to an agreement on a process for memorializing agreements."
Did You Know?
That George Nesterczuk, who was hired on February 14, 2004 as OPM's Senior Advisor to the Director on NSPS, is a noted critic on the subject of Civil Service reform?
During Nesterczuk's tenure at one of Washington's top conservative think tanks, The Heritage Foundation, he published a number of reports calling for the dismantling of the Federal Civil Service. Among them are, A Successful Start for the Department of Homeland Security Requires Management Flexibility, in which he recommends, among many other things, that DHS, "should consider establishing a streamlined dispute resolution system, providing for internal agency appeals and reviews and ending with the Secretary as final arbiter." As coincidence would have it, that is a recommendation with respect to appeals processes that is also included in the NSPS proposal. That paper, which was authored by Nesterczuk on July 19, 2002, can be found in its entirety at:http://www.heritage.org/Research/HomelandDefense/BG1572.cfm
Nesterczuk also wrote about Civil Service reform long before the tragedy of September 11th. Unlike DHS, in which Nesterczuk and others argued for the rejection of Civil Service employee protections as well as the near eliminating of unions in the department, he wrote that, "unions are, at best, responsible to their members. At worst, they represent the permanent government acting on its own self-interest rather than on the desires of the electorate". Again writing for The Heritage Foundation, this work by authored Nesterczuk on January 10, 2001 was titled Taking Charge of Federal Personnel and can be accessed at:http://www.heritage.org/Research/GovernmentReform/BG1404.cfm
Quote to Remember
"My letter raised some concerns that the regulations give the Secretary of Defense unreveiwable discretion to issue issuances that are non-bargainable….this is inconsistent with the letter and intent of the law," Sen. Susan Collins (R, ME) during the April 16th SASC hearing on NSPS, referring to an unanswered letter she sent to Navy Secretary Gordon England. This was one of several issues raised by Sen. Collins in the letter, of which she is still awaiting a response.
Note: The UDWC will attempt to provide member unions with a daily update throughout the 30-day Meet & Confer process. For more information on the 36-member coalition, you can visit their webpage at www.uniteddodworkerscoalition.org.
Thirty-six labor organizations forming this coalition represent 750,000 civilian employees of the Department of Defense. GO >
Matthew S. Biggs