FAIR REPRESENTATION, DUTY OF .
The union's duty to represent the interests of all unit employees without regard to union membership. However, in NTEU v. FLRA, 800 F.2d 1165 (D.C. Cir. 1986), the court held that the union's duty of fair representation is limited to matters as to which the union is the exclusive representative. (In that case, the union, which provided the services of an attorney to members in Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) proceedings, told an employee facing removal that the union wouldn't provide him with attorney services because he wasn't a member of the union.) The court dismissed the ULP because the right to appeal to MSPB does not arise out of the collective bargaining agreement and the employee was free to designate non-union representatives. Also see
FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY (FLRA, AUTHORITY). The independent agency responsible for administering the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (FSLMRS). As such, it decides, among other things, representation issues (e.g., the bargaining unit status of certain employees), unfair labor practices (violations of any of the provisions of the FSLMRS), negotiability disputes (i.e., scope of bargaining issues), exceptions to arbitration awards, as well as resolves disputes over consultation rights regarding agency-wide and Governmentwide regulations.
The Authority's General Counsel investigates unfair labor practice (ULP) charges and decides whether to issue and prosecute ULP complaints, and the Authority's Federal Service Impasses Panel resolves bargaining impasses. See
For more information on FLRA, see its webpage at http://www.flra.gov/.
FEDERAL MEDIATION AND CONCILIATION SERVICE (FMCS). An independent agency that provides mediators to assist the parties in negotiations. Although the bulk of its work is in the private sector, it also provides its services to the Federal sector--see
For more information on FMCS, see http://www.fmcs.gov/.
FEDERAL SERVICE IMPASSES PANEL (FSIP or Panel).
Entity within FLRA that resolves bargaining impasses, chiefly by ordering the parties to adopt certain contractual provisions relating to the conditions of employment of unit employees. It was created as a strike-substitute (strikes are prohibited in the Federal sector--see 7 FLRA No. 10, where the Authority decertified the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) because it had engaged in a strike) or other economic tests of strength that frequently determine bargaining outcomes in the private sector. The Panel uses many procedures for resolving impasses, including factfinding, med-arb, final-offer interest arbitration, either by the Panel, individual members of the Panel, the Panel's staff, or by ordering the parties to refer their impasse to an agreed-upon private arbitrator who is to provide interest-arbitration services. Under section
For more information on FSIP, see http://www.flra.gov/fsip/panel.html.
FEDERAL SERVICE LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS STATUTE (FSLMRS).
FINAL-OFFER INTEREST ARBITRATION. A technique for resolving bargaining impasses in which the arbitrator is forced to choose among the final positions of the parties--rather than order adoption of some intermediate position (i.e., "split the difference"). It can apply to individual items or "packages" of items. The theory is that each party, expecting that the interest arbitrator will pick the most reasonable of the two final offers, will have an incentive to move closer to the position of the other party in order to increase the odds that the arbitrator will select its final offer as the more reasonable of the two. This in turn narrows the gap between the parties: if the gap is narrow enough it can be bridged by the parties themselves (by, e.g., splitting the difference).
This limited right of free speech applies to agency representatives (see