Jim Abbott came out hot in a new FLRA decision condemning the foul, racist-tinged language used day in and day out by our President. Shedding his unofficial title as the Administration’s most notorious moral hypocrite, The Jimbo let fly with both fists stating unequivocally that “There is no place for boorish, insulting, and demeaning language…” in the federal government. Specifically targeting several of Trump’s favorite words such as “fat,” “retard” and “loser,” Abbott let it be known that he would suspend the President for 14 days for such behavior. Jim would do that without even considering “you know whose” predisposition to engage in “assault and battery” of women, nor is he willing to accept the defense that this kind of language is “within the scope” of a president’s duties to the people he represents. He then dumped yet another big bucket of shade on the president saying leaders “should be able to comport themselves appropriately” when operating as government officials. Oops, wait a minute; we misspoke.  We must have been dreaming.  Jim wrote all his outrage only applies to a union president, not the President of the United States.  Jim did not blame Trump’s constant verbal abuse of others for the fact that this kind of robust exchange might occur today between federal employees; rather he blamed the two dozen or so people who served on the FLRA before him for allowing this to happen. He also blamed… Continue reading

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The media carried a story today about how an AFGE rep from the TSA went to see a Georgia Congressman about issues important to his members and the Congressman’s constituents.  As the AFGE rep was waiting to be seen he noticed an open book displayed in the Congressman’s waiting room that was opened to a page referring to African-Americans in the most vile and racist way. Continue reading

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That’s a tough question to answer when you know so many totally honest and honorable mediators, but the hard lesson we learned was that there are some who will. So, negotiators, especially union negotiators, need to keep that in mind when dealing with them and protect themselves. Here is an only slightly hypothetical set facts that showed us how easy lying can come to a mediator. Continue reading

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About 20 years ago FLRA ruled that the statutory cap on how much overtime compensation a Customs and Border Protection Officer may receive did not bar paying the employee more than that cap amount pursuant to an arbitration or grievance settlement. But the U.S. Court of Federal Claims just ruled to the contrary in a case two Customs and Border Protection (Border Patrol) Canine Officers hired private lawyers to pursue outside the collective bargaining process. This is terrible news for CBP officers.  See Michael C. Bailey, et al. v. U.S., for the January 2019 decision. Continue reading

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Back in 1999, the Clinton Administration’s FLRA held that when an agreement expires containing a 7106(b)(1) permissively bargained provision, “A party’s right to terminate unilaterally a permissive bargaining subject is not contingent on first satisfying a bargaining obligation as to the substance, impact or implementation of the change.” (DOJ, FCI and AFGE, 55 FLRA 201 (1999))  For example, suppose a term agreement contains the requirement that, “For safety purposes, no employee will be required to remain in the office working overtime alone after hours.” This FLRA decision holds that the day the agreement expires the agency can notify the union that despite on-going negotiations over a new term agreement, and even the union’s proposal to continue the provision, the agency is immediately terminating the policy and will henceforth require employees to remain in the office alone after hours. AND THERE IS NOT A THING THE UNION CAN DO ABOUT IT! Why?  Because those three Clinton FLRA appointees concluded that “attaching bargaining obligations to termination of permissive bargaining provisions may discourage parties from engaging in bargaining on permissive subjects.” POPPYCOCK, we say, and here is why this decision should be overturned. Continue reading

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We love it when a union decides to take on an unusual issue as AFGE did in its recent win in Dept. of Army, NC and AFGE, Local 1770. The federal sector’s 800 pound gorilla of a union stood up for a member who thought she was being cheated out of a retention incentive payment for the last six years and convinced an arbitrator to award her six years of retroactive incentive pay.  That should amount to more than a year’s pay.  WOW!  But as wonderful as this victory is, readers should not miss the reason why Abbott & Kiko were unable to screw over the employee by overturning the award as is their practice.  Continue reading

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Jimbo Abbott’s anti-union bias is hardly headline news at this point.  He is desperate to get a better job from his political sponsors even if it means leaving a trail of biased decisional chaos behind him. A lot of baseball umpires can figure out what kind of ball a pitcher is going to throw before they throw it thanks to a tell or pattern they pick up. But now imagine that the ump informs the opposing batter before each pitch what it will be. The ump would deserve to be tossed out of the profession for such bias—if not “touched” by a stray fast ball. Well, that is what Abbott did recently. The official case that came before the Authority called for it to simply decide whether an arbitrator’s award of attorney fees was legal.  That is the only issue the agency filed exceptions over, and the three members agreed it was not legal. But that was not good enough for the unprincipled Abbott. Stopping there apparently offended his sense of anti-union contempt.  So, he decided to write a “Concurring Comment” to tell the agency that even though it did not object to another part of the award, he would rule it illegal if the agency had.  Put another way, he advised the agency to inform the union that even though it did not file timely exceptions over the issue, it was now going to refuse to comply with that portion of the arbitrator’s award as well because Jim Abbott, the so-called neutral, had sent it a very strong signal that they will hit a home run if they do. If you are thinking that Jimbo took action to destabilize a local labor relationship where there was no dispute, you would be correct. That is apparently what his political sponsors want him to do. See Dept. of Navy, CA and FPO, 70 FLRA 978 (2018)

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Barely a week goes by in Washington without a news story about how the political activists who put Kiko and Abbott on the FLRA are working to crush the rights and dignity of the LGBTQ community.  Most recently, Senator Mike Lee of Utah got headlines for tormenting  the proposed member of the EEOC. The Senator was trying to extract a promise that she will turn her back on the LGBTQ community just like so many of the leaders of that political cult are doing. The cult leaders are trying to reduce “those people” to mere targets to be hit as often as possible.  We can only imagine what Kiko and Abbott do to the poor grievant headed their way with an arbitrator’s back pay award declaring that the supervisor failed to act in a fair, equitable, and non-discriminatory manner in evaluating an employee (and distributing  performance bonuses) based on the employee being transgender. That will be their chance to show their cult that they have as much contempt for those LGBTQ people as anyone else and their support for their President’s effort to make America fabulous again. Once they have taken care of the LBGTQ undesirables, this cult can turn its attention to the next group of people they do not approve of. Maybe Kiko will have some time then to get a leadership post of the cult’s Committee to Grab Whatever We Want ‘Cause They Really Like It.

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EEOC just gave union reps a gift that can go on giving for a long time. It explained how to greatly boost the chances of winning grievances for union members passed over for promotion.  Let’s begin with some facts from the case to set the scene.  Gary met with his union steward to complain that Helen and Cedric were selected over him for promotion.  He pointed out that he has ten years’ experience in the job while Helen has one and Cedric two.  Moreover, he has often been asked to train past selectees for the vacant position. Finally, he noted that he was one of five BQ candidates interviewed, which suggests he must have had a pretty high score on the crediting plan.  The union steward told Gary that he would file a grievance alleging violations of the collective bargaining agreement provision requiring the agency to give all BQ candidates “uniform consideration,” and to ensure that all promotions are accomplished in a “systematic, fair and equitable manner.” THAT WOULD BE A BIG MISTAKE IF THAT IS ALL SHE DOES!
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It sure looks that way to an agency negotiator faced with the following union proposal:

SF-1188 dues revocation notices for employees who have had dues allotments in effect for more than one (1) year will be submitted to the payroll office only during pay period fourteen (14) each year. Revocations will become effective during pay period nineteen (19)

Under this proposal an employee must remain a member even if s/he disagrees with the policies, positions, or tactics of the union. For example, suppose an employee joined the union during pay period 15 of 2012, (let’s assume that was August 1, 2012). Then in pay period 16 of 2019, (let’s assume that is August 1, 2019), the union elects a new group of officers locally and/or nationally with whom the member severely disagrees. Maybe it is because of their support for affirmative action, or telework, or abortion, or some bill it is trying to get through Congress, or even a candidate for elected office.  The union proposal above would require her to remain with the union and pay dues until pay period 19 of 2020, (let’s assume that is October 15 2020). A new Supreme Court decision strongly suggest that is unconstitutional.  Continue reading

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