That Sound You Hear is Eric Arthur Blair* Spinning in His Grave

The head of the Federal Labor Relations Authority, the agency charged with making sure that the US Government abides by its labor agreements, has decertified it’s own union:

The chairwoman of an agency tasked with resolving disputes between federal employee unions and management at federal agencies recently decided to cease recognition of the organization’s own labor group.

Federal Labor Relations Authority Chairwoman Colleen Duffy Kiko announced the decision in a letter to the Union of Authority Employees last December, the day after the union’s collective bargaining agreement had expired. She argued that because the 1978 Civil Service Reform Act exempted the FLRA from rules requiring agencies to recognize labor unions in the federal government, the agency has been breaking the law by working with the union.


The decision goes against a 1980 legal opinion from the Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel that stated that although there lacks any legislative record explaining the decision to exempt the FLRA from the statute, the legislative text likely is meant to prevent conflicts of interest, wherein FLRA employees could be investigating disputes between their union and the agency. The opinion cited the late Rep. Morris Udall, D-Ariz., one of the architects of the law.


Indeed, Union of Authority Employees acting President Fernando Colón said that for four decades, his labor organization has had a successful relationship with FLRA management, despite several restrictions unique in the federal sector. Unlike most bargaining units, the union cannot appeal arbitration decisions to an administrative body—the FLRA can simply choose whether or not to enforce a grievance award.


Colón said he fears the move will further erode public trust in the agency tasked with adjudicating labor-management disputes in the federal government. President Trump has neglected to appoint a general counsel to the agency, all but blocking new complaints from reaching the board. And in a lawsuit filed last week, the National Education Association, a union representing teachers and other education employees at Defense Department schools, accused the FLRA of systemic bias, noting that members frequently overturned decisions in favor of unions, but upheld every single decision that favored management.

This whole “Fox in the Hen House” bullsh%$ that the Trump administration is really getting old.

*George Orwell.

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