By Ann Boehm, December 7, 2021
I hope you and Mrs. Claus had a good year, despite the continued pandemic. I guess you’re happy to have your own elf labor and reindeer transportation, since the supply chain appears to be a problem now.
I think I should be on the good list this year. I have decided that I won’t mention the pony this year, even though a pony would be really neat. And since I’m not asking for a pony, I hope you will help me with some other things I really want for Christmas. Here they are.
1. A revised Federal EEO process.
Yes, Santa, I know that the pony would probably be easier than this, even with the sleigh limitations. But this one would really help EEO complainants and Federal agencies.
2. Senate-confirmed MSPB Board members.
Santa, please stop laughing. This one is serious. No quorum at the MSPB since January 2017 is getting a little silly. The three nominees are through committee and just waiting for confirmation. Can you help?
3. Senate-confirmed FLRA members and General Counsel.
There are three FLRA members, but two are on expired terms. It would be bad for the FLRA to go the way of the MSPB and not have a quorum. And the Acting General Counsel can only serve for so long. Not having a General Counsel means no ULP processing, and that’s a bad thing. Two FLRA nominees and the General Counsel nominee are through committee and waiting for confirmation. Please help with these nominations, too.
4. Acknowledgment from this Administration that pro-Union doesn’t mean pro-bad employee.
The Biden Administration is really pushing agencies to encourage union membership and work with bargaining unit employees. That’s a nice theory, but too often unions take the side of the toxic, draining employees at the expense of the effective, hard-working employees. Santa, it would be great if you could help everyone understand that bad employees are bad employees, regardless of their bargaining unit status.
5. Progressive discipline (reprimand, suspension removal) even for non-vaccine disciplinary cases.
Santa, we here at FELTG have taught about progressive discipline for a very long time. Sometimes agencies don’t always believe us when we tell how it works, and then bad employees stay employed for far too long. The vaccine mandate has highlighted how progressive discipline works. I would like to ask you to make sure agencies (and this Administration) understand that progressive discipline is appropriate to use for all misconduct cases (unless misconduct is bad enough to remove an employee in the first instance—and yep, that can be appropriate).
6. More in-person training.
It’s been amazing to be able to train agencies virtually during this bizarrely long pandemic crisis. But I do miss the in-person interaction. I’m fully vaccinated and willing to travel. If any agencies want in-person training, I’m ready to roll.
7. A pony.
OK. I said I wouldn’t ask, but I have to keep trying. Stay safe, Santa. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Ann