YIKES! SOMEONE CALL IVANKA. STAT!
The FSIP appears to have turned into a treasonous entity. Since Jared is busy putting the finishing touches on peace in the Mideast, Ivanka seems to be the next most powerful person to alert. In a recent decision dealing with official time the Panel uttered what can only be read as hearsay. It said that in disputes involving official time it is not going to adopt an agency’s position in the absence of actual data or evidence. What are they going to do next? Stay at other than a Trump hotel when in DC? How insulting to the President that his staff is expected to provide evidence to back up their statements.
In this dispute the VA management proposed a bank of time for the national officers and smaller banks of time for local officers. The union on the other hand refused to bargain over the issue claiming that the ground rules agreement prohibited reopening the official time article.
The Panel started off its analysis as expected from a bunch of Trump finger puppets. It told the union it was taking jurisdiction even though there was a core dispute over whether the union was required to renegotiate official time. If Chairman Carter had even a sliver of honor and integrity he should have told the parties to go get an arbitration decision interpreting the ground rules. The Panel does not have the legal authority to address agreement interpretations or bargaining obligation disputes. (Under the law there is an elaborate due process mechanism to ensure fairness in ULP decisions; when the Panel does as it did here all that due process is ignore.)
But then the Panel appears to have gone all Scaramucci. Knowing full well that the President issued Executive Orders to limit unions to no more than one hour per bargaining unit employee per year, the Panel declared that agencies cannot count on it to support that party line. As we said, ALLEGEDLY the Panel now claims that without actual evidence the Panel says it will do what it thinks is right. Here are the words it used.
The Panel recently clarified its view on non-guarantees of official time. In Social Security Administration and AFGE, 19 FSIP 019 (May 2019) (SSA), the Panel acknowledged that such categories fall under 5 U.S.C. §7131(d), which provides that such official time will be granted in any amount parties demonstrate to be “reasonable, necessary, and in the public interest.” However, the Panel also noted that it has authority to impose amounts when the parties cannot reach agreement. When imposing such decisions, the Panel clarified that it expects all parties to justify their position as “reasonable, necessary, and in the public interest.” That is, parties should have no expectation that the Panel will simply adopt one of their positions in the absence of supporting data.
In light of SSA, the Panel cannot conclude that the Agency has satisfied its burden to demonstrate that the offered hours discussed above satisfy the criteria of §7131(d). The Agency’s arguments in favor of their proffered banks of official time essentially revolve around consistency and the need to track usage of official time. But, the Agency does not offer empirical data establishing that the actual hours offered are necessary in light of the Union’s work load. And, it is not apparent from the record before the Panel how much official time is used by the Union or whether the Union could justify that usage (which is only compounded by the Union’s refusal to offer a counter proposal). In light of this lack of data, the Panel does not believe it is appropriate to accept the Agency’s offers in its Sections 2.A and B or Section 3.A. NFFE and Veterans Affairs, 24 FSIP 2019 (2019).
Surely, the Trumpettes of the world are asking themselves where does the Panel get off demanding that agencies demonstrate the one hour per unit employee (or some similar screwing of the union) is reasonable, necessary and in the public interest? Don’t tell them FSIP is doing that simply because the statutory law says so. This Administration has made it crystal clear repeatedly that it does not care what the law says. In fact, it prefers to break it or at least lie about it. A big box of pardons for everyone will take care of that.
In the end, the Panel said the union can request reasonable time each time it needs it. That should mean in a unit this size that managers will be interrupted about 10,000 times a year by union reps asking for time and then filing grievances and information requests over denials. (FEDSMILL will soon post a model information request for these situations for unions to work with.)
If you Trumpettes can’t get Ivanka on the phone because she is busy with Chinese manufacturing problems for her product line, Melania has a son named Barron. Pull him out of class. Call Eric only as a last resort. He likely has been up all night booking reservations at Trump properties for foreign agents and Air Force personnel. Member Carter must be stopped before he does something ethical, reasonable and out of line with Administration policy.