This site is written by practitioners and for practitioners, particularly union leaders. While FLRA has produced thousands of decisions and the federal courts hundreds of more, too many of those decisions do not give practitioners useable advice or guidelines. In fact, too many of those decisions are clearly hair-splitting, overly complicated exercises in legal gymnastics that salve the ego of the drafters, but do little practical good.
For example, the FLRA and its Administrative Law Judges have had to issue about 100 “particularized need” decisions in the last 20 years because it is such an unclear and complicated rule. Federal courts have had to write nearly a dozen of their own decisions trying to rescue a clearly unusable precedent. Imagine how difficult practitioners find it trying to apply a rule that even the FLRA and courts cannot seem to agree upon.
The same could be said about the 12 criteria that practitioners are supposed to apply to identify whether a meeting is a formal discussion, the litigation-breeding notion of “covered-by,” and the negotiability rules. The statute often is administered more as a full employment program for attorneys than a set of rules for employees and managers trying to do their jobs.
FEDSMILL is on the side of practitioners and will use its visibility to challenge the FLRA, courts and other regulators to issue decisions that actually help practitioners rather than simply boost the liabilities.