In the hypothetical situation posed by the questioner, the agency has been negotiating a new term CBA with the union since 2018. The parties went to the Federal Service Impasses Panel to break an impasse over the ground rules and negotiated term provisions. They received a Decision & Order imposing provisions on the term provisions last August. The CBA subsequently failed ratification and, per the parties’ ground rules, the agency engaged in continued negotiations.
The parties reached impasse again in December 2020. They are now at the point where either party may request FSIP assistance once again on the renegotiated provisions at impasse.
The union posits that the EO requires the parties to “throw out all provisions negotiated” over the last 2½ years and start the whole process over. The agency takes a more narrow view.
Practically speaking, it’s probably not in the best interest of the taxpayer to “throw out all provisions negotiated” in the past few years and start over. The parties should carefully review and possibly revise those provisions, because the EO does indicate that’s a requirement.
It would make sense for the union and management to do an honest assessment of whether those provisions negotiated pursuant to the Trump Executive Orders are hindering union representation of bargaining unit members and whether any particular changes to those provisions would harm performance of the agency’s mission.
As far as union use of space is concerned, the rescinding of EO 13837 does indicate that agencies cannot charge unions for use of agency space. It will be up to the parties to negotiate an appropriate use of space, as was probably done at your agency before EO 13837 existed.
This is a pretty dynamic time in federal labor relations. Get the latest and most in-depth guidance on all things LR by joining us for FLRA Law Week May 10-14. Ann Boehm, who defended the FLRA before the U.S. Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court in the Weingarten case, and Joe Schimansky, former Executive Director of FSIP, will give you a solid foundation in LR and bring you up to speed on where the current law stands.
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