PARENT ATTENDANCE AT SCHOOL IEP COVERED BY FMLA

While OPM is not bound to follow what the Department of Labor says about how to administer the FMLA, it almost always does.  So, now that DOL has said private sector employees can use FMLA to attend these school meetings for their kids, federal employees should feel free to request FMLA leave for the events too.  Check this out for a more detailed posting on the change.

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THE FUTURE OF OFFICIAL TIME UNDER TRUMP

The Administration and its finger puppets at FSIP are making it nearly impossible for unions to continue agreeing to bank time systems to represent employees.  Ironically, they are also requiring agency executives to put their own necks and awards on the line even if they want to agree to a reasonable bank of time they know with certainty is necessary if it is more than an hour per year per unit employee. Consequently, as a big believer in Newton’s law that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, it is virtually certain that unions will adjust their official time tactics to mute, if not mock, Trump’s orders. Here is one path they might take. Continue reading

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IMPOSING EXTRA REQUIREMENTS TO APPROVE FMLA LEAVE LIKELY ILLEGAL

A federal judge just shined a spotlight on a problem employees can encounter when they ask for FMLA leave as opposed to other kinds of leave.  The judge said the agency was wrong to add extra notice or similar requirements for a FMLA request that do not apply to a request for annual or sick leave. The decision is not binding on federal agencies, but it should cause unions to question if their members’ agencies require onerous extra notices to get FMLA approved. Check out this law firm’s post about the case.

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IS BANK TIME ONLY PERMISSIVELY NEGOTIABLE WITH UNIONS?

Union and agency negotiators started creating banks of time for union reps to use because it made a lot of sense for both sides.  Management, for example, no longer had to make countless decisions on what was a reasonable amount of time for each incident the union rep worked on.  Instead of approving a specific amount of time for the rep to draft an information request and another decision to attend a formal meeting and a third decision to interview a potential grievant and a fourth decision to review a notice of proposed change from the agency, management could let the rep manage his/her time against a hard cap. Another advantage was that it permitted unions to have one or two people handle all the union business rather than spreading the workload across maybe a dozen stewards—and thereby forcing a dozen managers into the official time tracking business. Bank time leaves managers the freedom to manage rather than to be glorified official time clerks. But the White House may have screwed that up with its anti-union executive orders putting a ridiculous cap on how much time union reps can have.
Continue reading

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YES, AMERICA IS RIGGED AGAINST WORKERS

“The United States is the only advanced industrial nation that doesn’t have national laws guaranteeing paid maternity leave. It is also the only advanced economy that doesn’t guarantee workers any vacation, paid or unpaid, and the only highly developed country (other than South Korea) that doesn’t guarantee paid sick days. In contrast, the European Union’s 28 nations guarantee workers at least four weeks’ paid vacation. Among the three dozen industrial countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United States has the lowest minimum wage as a percentage of the median wage — just 34 percent of the typical wage, compared with 62 percent in France and 54 percent in Britain.”  The NY Times just published a fine piece on this issue from which we have taken the above excerpt.  We recommend it strongly so readers can see what damage hating unions has done to the country.

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SPECIAL COUNSEL RECOMMENDS KELLYANNE CONWAY’S REMOVAL FOR HATCH VIOLATIONS

Don’t expect to see President Trump’s top political operative leaving the White House any time soon with her head hung low, personal belongings in a box, and a pink slip dangling from her purse. The President has decided it is OK for his staff to violate laws that get in his way, even though he expects the Special Counsel to prosecute to the fullest any fed who dares to put a big toe over the Hatch Act line. Union reps should keep this case in mind when called on to defend a member’s error and talk about selective prosecution.  Check out the Special Counsel’s press release about Ms. Conway.

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ARE UNION SURPLUS FUNDS TEMPTING AGENCY TARGETS?

You bet they are! We are not talking about a couple of million set aside for rainy days, but when unions sock away surplus wealth measured with eight digits to the left of the decimal point, then people take notice. In fact, a tiny LR think tank operation in a rather large federal agency has taken a passionate interest in these rarely talked about union surpluses. More specifically, it is kicking out ideas for how to use the money if union leaders do not take steps soon to channel the cash to internally improve their unions.  Here is a little of what unions can expect to see soon, especially if Trump’s anti-employee executive orders are upheld by the courts. Continue reading

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AFGE’S STROKE OF LITIGATION GENIUS

FLRA Member Jim Abbott wanders around town declaring that he is a “strict constructionist” or someone to applies the law as it is written without much, if any, consideration of tradition, common sense, legislative history, etc. Well, AFGE might be about to shove that phony-baloney legal philosophy down his throat.  The union just filed a lawsuit claiming that the recent FSIP decision largely destroying the union’s ability to operate in the Social Security Administration is illegal because it does not apply the law as it is clearly written. Continue reading

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U.S. COURT CONFIRMS THAT ABBOTT & KIKO MANIPULATE EVIDENCE

Dubester tried to warn the two tooting Trumpettes, Kiko & Abbott, when they first made their decision that they were using fake facts to overturn a union ULP win. But, of course, they did not listen because playing fast and loose with the truth is how Kiko, Abbott and their kind operate our current government. The case was simple.  The union won an arbitration case in 2010 that called for the agency to modify its payroll system.  The Agency said it would and made some efforts to comply, but in 2015 announced to the union that it could not comply.  At that point, the union filed a ULP seeking to enforce the original decision.  Abbott and Kiko overturned the ALJ’s decision finding a ULP by proclaiming that the deadline for filing the ULP began running when the original arbitration award was issued in 2010.  In other words, the union should have been able to see five years into the future to determine that the agency would not comply. That made the 2015 ULP untimely and the entire case was flushed down the toilet on which Kiko and Abbott have been enthroned by our President. Continue reading

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WHO HAS THE PHYSICALLY TOUGHER JOB?  BORDER PATROL OR ICE?

As If DHS did not have enough problems on its hands, it is spending time creating stupid ones. Back in 2017 ICE rejected an application from a Border Patrol Agent on the grounds that the ICE job was a more physically demanding one than the Border Patrol Agent could not do safely. ICE ruled that the Border Patrol Agent’s disability (Aortic Valve Replacement), made him medically unfit to chase the same immigrants ICE does. Continue reading

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