IS YOUR AGENCY IG OUTMANEUVERING YOUR UNION?
Late in the last century, AFGE started to launch EEOC class action claims against agencies on behalf of minority groups who were denied promotions and other benefits. Then in the early years of this century unions were winning millions in grievance-arbitration proceedings showing that award and merit pay systems discriminated against women and minorities. We started FEDSMILL.com in 2011, in part, to drive home the point that if unions wanted to increase their effectiveness in the near future they had to very aggressively advocate civil rights issues like these rather than leave them to the EEOC process and private lawyers. Well, from where we sit union activity in that direction has been less than exciting and now it looks as if the agency Inspector Generals are going to pull the rug out from any potential efforts unions might want to undertake. For example, the Federal Manager’s Daily Report just circulated a story entitled, “SEC Lacks Data to Evaluate Evenness of Discipline, IG Says.” It outlines how it is ordering the agency managers to collect and act on the data needed to assess discrimination. It is a good guide for what data unions should be demanding at the bargaining table that the agency collect and make available to it. Civil rights data collection, as well as data action, should be a union-led effort. Leave it to the agency and that is another reason employees do not need the union.