In a letter addressed to President Biden, the Federal Workers Alliance is urging the President to “send immediately to the Senate a nomination for FLRA Member to accompany the nomination of Ernest W. DeBester as FLRA Chairman.”
See the full text of the letter below, or download the pdf.
FWA POTUS Letter re FLRA FSIP w attachment PR
Dear President Biden:
We, the undersigned, write as members of the Federal Workers Alliance (FWA), an alliance of more than 30 national unions that collectively represent more than 300,000 federal workers across the country, to request that the Biden-Harris Administration take urgent action to restore order and functionality to the Federal Labor Relations Board (FLRA). It is our request that the Biden Harris Administration send immediately to the Senate a nomination for FLRA Member to accompany the nomination of Ernest W. DuBester as FLRA Chairman.
In passing the Civil Service Reform Act, Congress made the specific finding that “labor organizations and collective bargaining in the civil service are in the public interest.” In that vein, the Federal Labor Relations Authority is tasked with “carrying out the purpose of [Federal Service Labor Management Relations Statute.]” While Kiko and Abbott remain on the FLRA, the Authority continues to act in a manner that undermines the law promoting collective bargaining. Their judgment on FLRA cases continues to produce decisions that are inherently biased against labor and the collective bargaining process. Their decisions are clearly aimed at diminishing the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute meant to protect the proper balance of workplace labor rights.
The failure of Abbot and Kiko to adhere to sound legal reasoning has become even more apparent as cases have been reviewed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. A good example is the case National Treasury Employees Union v. FLRA, where the Court found that the FLRA’s finding that NTEU’s proposal was not negotiable did not constitute “reasoned decision-making.” This was a unanimous decision that included a panel existing of two republican appointed judges, including a Trump nominee. Telework discussions and negotiations will be vitally important as the government seeks to reopen safely in the midst of the Delta variant of COVID-19. The current makeup of the FLRA will be a detriment to that process.
Furthermore, U.S. Representative Gerald E. Connolly, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Operations, directed a stern letter of reprimand to then-Chairman Kiko, criticizing three “radical policy decisions” that “discarded decades of labor-management relations precedent and violated their own rules to achieve the goal of limiting collective bargaining” for nearly 1.2 million federal employees. See Attachment, November 30, 2020 Letter.
If the goal is to protect collective bargaining rights to federal employees, and to promote the collective bargaining process, the lack of respect that Kiko and Abbot have shown for precedent and the rule of law makes them wholly unqualified to serve on the FLRA. The manufactured legal reasoning cited in decisions by Kiko and Abbott have resulted in thousands of employees being stripped of legitimate workplace rights and union protections. These decisions have severely restricted employees’ free exercise of rights guaranteed by the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute — even on the most fundamental of things — such as bargaining over working conditions.
The current majority provided by Kiko and Abbott have vacated decades of workable precedent. It will take years, if not decades, to rebuild these frameworks, and some of the damage may be permanent. In 2021 alone, poor decisions and concurrences have done considerable harm, such as radically expanding the applicability of 7116(d) bar on grievances. Any delay in changing the current makeup of the FLRA indulges the risk of further damage.
On a separate but related note, we appreciate the Biden-Harris Administration’s decision to remove all members of the Federal Service Impasse Panel (FSIP) upon taking office in January. We believe it is time to appoint new members. Given that the appointments to FSIP do not require Senate confirmation, it is our hope that the Administration can move quickly to staff those positions with qualified, experienced personnel to begin again its important work to resolve impasses during collective bargaining. A growing FSIP backlog halts progress on critical workplace issues and leaves both employees and agencies in limbo as they await adjudication, potentially for years on end. This delay will likely negatively impact the ability of unions to eradicate the harmful effects of the executive orders issued by the Trump Administration.
In the interest of the welcomed and admirable commitment of the Biden-Harris Administration to bring respect and dignity into the workplace, we urge you to nominate new members to the FLRA and FSIP as quickly as possible. Doing so will provide relief from a disturbing precedent installed by the previous administration to diminish the systematic protections that administer fairness and effectiveness within the federal workforce.
The Federal Workers Alliance, of which the Metal Trades Department is a member, sent a letter to Representatives Maloney and Connoly in support of the bipartisan ALJ Competitive Service Restoration Act. This much-needed legislation is in response to former President Trump’s 2018 Executive Order 13843, that removed federal Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) from the competitive service to the excepted service. EO 13843, which remains in effect today, also removed the non-partisan and sound ALJ hiring and vetting process from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and handed it over to political appointees at agencies throughout the federal government to pick and choose who can serve as ALJs. This has created a hiring process that is ripe for political patronage and should be reversed, which is exactly what the ALJ Competitive Service Restoration Act achieves.
The Metal Trades stands firmly with the FWA in its efforts to pass the ALJ Competitive Service Restoration Act.
71st Convention – Virtual
Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO
October 13, 2021
To: All Affiliated International Unions
Local and District Metal Trades Councils
Pursuant to Article III, Section 2, of the Constitution of the Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO, you are hereby notified that the 71st Convention of the Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO, will be held virtually beginning at 9 a.m. EST Wednesday, October 13, 2021 and will continue in session from day to day until the business of the convention has been completed.
We call your attention to the applicable provisions of Article III of the Department’s Constitution:
Section 1. The Convention shall be the supreme governing body of the Department and its powers while in Convention session shall be legislative, executive, and judicial.
Section 2. Regular Conventions of this Department shall be held every five years with the election of officers of the Department taking place every regular convention. Special Conventions may be called by the President should a majority of the affiliated National or International Organizations so request.
Section 3. The time and place for holding regular or special Conventions shall be designated by the Executive Council. The President shall give at least ninety (90) days’ notice of a regular Convention and at least thirty (30) days’ notice of a Special Convention.
Section 4. The basis of representation at the Convention shall be based upon working metal trades members in affiliated councils: From National or International Organizations of less than 2,000 members, 4 delegates; 2,000 or more, 5 delegates; 3,000 or more, 6 delegates; 4,000 or more, 8 delegates; 5,000 or more, 10 delegates, and so on, who shall be entitled to one vote for each 100 members or majority fraction thereof, and one delegate from each local, state and District Metal Trades Council, who shall be entitled to one vote.
Section 5. Delegates to the Convention shall be properly selected at least thirty (30) days previous to a regular Convention in accordance with the Constitution and By-Laws of the affiliated National or International Unions and local and district Metal Trades Councils. The names of such delegates shall be forwarded to the President of the Department after their selection.
Section 6. No organization that has seceded, or been expelled or suspended by this Department, the American Federation of Labor and Congress
of Industrial Organizations or by a National or International Organization connected therewith shall, while under such penalty, be allowed representation or recognition in this organization, or in any local Metal Trades Council under penalty of suspension of the body violating this section.
Section 7. No organization shall be entitled to representation unless such organization is in good standing in the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, or this Department, or shall have applied for and received a certificate of affiliation with this Department; and no person shall be recognized as a delegate whose National or International Organization is not affiliated with this Department.
Section 8. Delegates shall not be entitled to a seat in the Conventions of this Department unless the tax of their organizations has been paid in full thirty (30) days preceding the Convention.
Section 9. The following committees at Convention shall be appointed by the President:
1. Rules, Credentials and Audit
2. Reports of Officers
7. Maritime Affairs
8. Health and Safety
And such additional committees as may be deemed advisable by the President.
Section 10. The President shall direct the chief executive officers of three (3) National or International Unions, at least ten (10) days previous to the holding of the regular Convention, to appoint one delegate each from their respective delegations-elect, who shall compose the Auditing Committee, and also the Committee on Credentials. This Committee shall meet at such place and such time as the President of the Department may determine is necessary for the proper performance of its duty; and it shall audit the accounts of the Department for the preceding sixty (60) months, and report upon credentials immediately upon the opening of the Convention. And each member of the committee shall receive the sum of seventy-five dollars ($75) for his services.
Section 11. Resolutions of any character, or propositions for changes in this Constitution cannot be introduced in the Convention after the first day’s session, except by unanimous consent. Resolutions can only be introduced by a regularly accredited delegate from an affiliated National or International Organization, or from a regular chartered Metal Trades Council.
Section 12. The Convention shall have power to order an executive session at any time.
Section 13. None, other than delegates, shall be permitted to address the Convention or read papers therein, except by a two-thirds vote of the Convention; except the authorized invited Convention speakers.
Section 14. The Rules and Order of Business governing the preceding Convention shall be in force from the opening of any Convention of this Department until new rules have been adopted.
Section 15. A quorum for the transaction of business shall consist of not less than, a majority of the delegates attending a Convention
Section 16. No grievance shall be considered, by any Convention that has been decided by a previous Convention, except upon the recommendation of the Executive Council, nor shall any grievance be considered where the parties thereto have not previously held a conference and attempted to adjust the same themselves.
Section 17. Questions may be decided by a division or show of hands; but if a call of the roll is demanded, each delegate shall cast the vote as provided for in Article III, section 4 of the Constitution. When the full number of delegates from any affiliated organization is not present, the number of votes to which such organization is entitled may be cast by its delegate.
Please return a formal letter or email with the name(s) of your delegate(s) elect addressed to the Metal Trades Department Operations Director, Lisa Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org by no later than COB, Monday, September 13, 2021.
The Resolutions Committee
The Resolutions Committee shall meet one day before the convening of the Convention for the consideration of resolutions on matters referred to that committee.
The delegates to the convention, or introducers of resolutions, may appear before this committee at any time during the day that the Resolution Committee may be meeting prior to the opening of the convention, or during the period in which the Resolutions Committee may be in session during the time of the Convention.
It would facilitate the appointment of the Resolutions Committee, if you would provide this office with the names and addresses of your delegates as soon as possible so that we can select the members of the Resolutions Committee and notify the individuals of the time and place of meetings.
You must register for the Convention using the online registration form, which can be found on our website at https://na.eventscloud.com/622149 or by visiting the Metal Trades Department website at metaltrades.org and following the links. Due to the virtual nature of the Convention, the Department has waived the registration fee this year. Upon registering, information, and instructions regarding how to access the Convention virtually will be emailed to attendees.
If you have any questions or need any additional assistance, please contact MTD Operations Director, Lisa Johnson at (202) 508-3705.
MTD Moves 71st Convention Online
Virtual Conference to Be Held Oct. 13
Registration is now open for delegates and guests for the 71st Convention of the Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO. The Convention will be held on October 13, 2021, virtually.
The department is working with an outside vendor to plan and execute the Convention, which was forced to move to an online platform due to uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 restrictions.
The MTD Executive Council voted unanimously to hold the Convention virtually. While it appears the country is beginning to open up, the planning time needed to put together an event of this scope, the international travel restrictions for our Canadian delegates, and the uncertainty surrounding state and local restrictions come October, the Executive Council made the difficult decision to hold the Convention online.
“While ideally, we would like to hold the Convention in person, we just felt that it was in the best interest of our members and guests that we adapt our meeting to an online platform,” explained President Hart. “We look forward to returning to an in-person Conference in 2022.”
Details and registration information for the Convention can be found here.