DO YOU USE FEDSMILL THESE 5 WAY?
While we welcome those of you who just read our postings, we hope that most of you are squeezing everything out of Fedsmill.com that you can to build a strong labor-management process. Here are just five ways you could use our blog no matter which side of the bargaining table you sit on.
- To keep yourself up to date on the latest case law developments coming out of FLRA, MSPB, FSIP and EEOC, among others? Unless you are willing to pay hundreds of dollars for one of the private services that do this, Fedsmill.com is your best bet. If you are a union leader you should have all your stewards sign up as well. Ditto for those who sit on the agency side of the table.
- To pass on certain Fedsmill.com stories to all union members. The more members know about their rights and see how other employees like them have succeeded enforcing their rights, the more they will understand the value of a union—and join. American retailers succeed not just by building big, attractive stores, but by flooding consumers with advertising that puts them face-to-face with a product they personally need. In contrast, too many unions waste their advertising money and reader’s patience with stories and pictures about the union’s leaders and remote, almost unachievable, far-down-the-road goals. As soon as Macys and Walmart start filling advertising circulars with stories and pictures about what their CEO’s did last week and focusing the consumer on the corporation’s strategic goals rather than the availability of deep-discounted dishes we will rethink our judgment about how “wasteful” some unions have been. For example, do you think your average member know they can get religious comp leave to attend church conventions? Union leaders should feel free to shameless copy and post some of our stories on their own web sites or including a link to one each week in an e-mail sent out to all unit members.
- (LR Specialists should consider passing on to line managers those stories that address issues they face throughout the year, e.g., FMLA issues, disability dilemmas, USERRA questions, etc.)
- To keep track of what might need to change. While it likely is a bit “preachy” of us, there are a number of things that leaders on both sides of the LR community should consider doing differently. A big chunk of the FLRA and MSPB case law is still so overformal and pretentious that it is almost impossible for practitioners to apply it with confidence—and that costs the government millions. We are not shy about writing about those things, e.g., on attorney fees, possible back pay abuses, etc. Nor are we comfortable letting abuses pile up until the anti-federal employee members of Congress have a ready-made folder of horror stories to whip up public sentiment for a cut in federal employee benefits.
- To research an issue, particularly when you need information that might not be on an agency web site. For example, we try to post copies of the latest master collective bargaining agreements from key bargaining units to help readers see what is going on elsewhere. For example, we just posted the latest NATCA-FAA contract. You can find these by clicking on the menu button titled, “Compare Contracts.” Similarly, if you are about to get involved in a grievance, perhaps dealing with merit promotions, check out our “Topics” block on the right side of our home page for an index to related postings.
- To learn about what the more creative folks in the federal LMR community are doing, whether it is novel training tools, web sites, executive board practices, membership recruiting, etc.
If there are other things we can do, just send us an e-mail.