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BWW News Desk
February 11, 2019

The Union of Authority Employees (UAE) today released a statement of disappointment in the Federal Labor Relations Authority’s (FLRA) recent decision to end a nearly 40-year bargaining relationship with the employees’ union.

“UAE members have expressed their frustration with FLRA Chairman Colleen Duffy Kiko’s (R) decision to no longer communicate with, or even recognize, its own employees’ union as communicated to them in an agency-wide email just hours before employees were also notified of a government shutdown—the longest in U.S. history,” said acting UAE President Fernando Colón.

“The UAE and its members strongly support the fundamental mission of the FLRA, which serves most federal agencies including the Departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs, and Homeland Security, to protect collective-bargaining rights for the nation’s 2.1 million non-postal federal employees,” said Colón

“Our essential mission is to protect collective-bargaining rights for government employees. That’s what Congress created us to do. It’s ironic—to say the least—that we work every day to protect the right of collective bargaining, and now we’re being told that we no longer have that right ourselves,” said Colón.

“When Congress established the FLRA, it found that ‘labor organizations and collective bargaining in the civil service are in the public interest’ and ‘contribute[] to the effective conduct of public business. This is based on both the congressional finding that collective bargaining is in the public interest, as well as Congress’ establishment of a comprehensive labor-relations system for federal employees. As the agency charged with overseeing that labor relations system, the FLRA will accomplish its mission most effectively if it models the collective-bargaining values and principles it encourages federal agencies to follow, and bargains collectively with its own employees. Acting to the contrary raises serious questions about the commitment to the FLRA’s mission,” said Ernest DuBester, current FLRA Member and former FLRA Chairman, who supports employees’ right to bargain collectively with the FLRA through the UAE and previously authorized such bargaining during his tenure as FLRA Chairman.

“Chairman Kiko’s announcement marks an unprecedented policy shift from prior FLRA administrations on their employees’ right to bargain collectively with the agency. Since the FLRA’s founding forty years ago, all administrations, Republican and Democrat, have recognized and bargained with the UAE. In recent years, the Union has successfully negotiated with management over a wide range of workplace issues, including employee performance standards, work schedules, and reimbursement policies,” said Colón.

The UAE welcomes a robust discussion about our right to unionize, for further comment please reach out to [email protected]

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