Let’s just consider this a hypothetical. Suppose, one federal union allows it legal staff to keep any attorney fees they collect that exceed the attorney’s annual salary from the union. For example, if the attorney’s annual salary from the union is $100,000.00 and she earns $400,000.00 in attorney fees that year, she must send the union a check for $100,000.00. That allows her to keep the $300,000.00 difference on top of her original salary of $100,000.00. It sounds like a reasonable approach for the union given that its members get to share in the windfall. But also suppose that public records show that this union’s leadership never bothers to collect the refunds from its legal staff? Has the union president violated his/her fiduciary obligation to be fiscally responsible? Has the attorney unjustly enriched himself in light of her contractual obligation to refund the money? We do not know, but we can say that if a union fails to collect monies justly owed it agencies should not be reluctant to put that on the record in any negotiations or impasse hearings where the union seeks agency subsidies in the form of travel and per diem payments, official time, office space, etc.  Feel free to share your thoughts on this question.

About AdminUN

FEDSMILL staff has over 40 years of federal sector labor relations experience on the union as well as management side of the table and even some time as a neutral.
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