|Posted by Regina on November 20, 2011 at 11:45 PM||comments (0)|
By SAM HANANEL, Associated Press
Friday, November 18, 2011
(11-18) 16:26 PST WASHINGTON (AP) --
The National Labor Relations Board is rushing to approve new rules before the end of the year that would make it easier for unions to organize new members.
The board announced Friday that it plans to hold a public vote on Nov. 30. Its Democratic majority is expected to approve a plan that could dramatically shorten the time frame for union elections.
The rules would be more limited than the sweeping plan proposed earlier this summer, a move designed to let the board approve them more quickly.
Business groups have denounced the plan, saying the new rules would allow so-called "ambush elections" that don't give company managers enough time to counter organizing drives.
The latest move prompted the board's lone Republican member to rebuke his colleagues in a letter to House lawmakers, saying the board's Democratic members are ignoring established procedures in their haste to approve the rules.
Unions are hoping the new rules will help them make inroads at businesses like Target and Wal-Mart, which have successfully resisted union organizing for years.
The NLRB has issued a number of pro-union decisions over the past year, making it a target for Republicans who say the agency is leaning too much in favor of organized labor at the expense of business interests.
The board says it wants to move quickly to vote on the rules because it will not have enough members to approve them next year. The five-member board is now down to three members — two Democrats and one Republican. The term of Democratic member Craig Becker expires at the end of the year, and the remaining two members could not legally issue decisions or make rules.
"They are looking to scale this down in order to get to a vote before the board loses its quorum," said NLRB spokeswoman Nancy Cleeland.
Congressional Republicans have blocked President Barack Obama from filling vacant posts on the board, and lawmakers have used procedural tactics to prevent Obama from bypassing the Senate to make recess appointments.
Earlier this summer, the board proposed sweeping rule changes that would streamline a union election process that currently has workers vote within 45-60 days after a union gathers enough signatures to file a petition. Businesses often use that time to give workers the company's side of the story, sometimes discouraging workers from voting for the union.
The rule changes would cut the time frame by days or even weeks by deferring litigation, simplifying procedures and setting shorter deadlines for hearings and filings.
It is not clear how the board plans to scale down the plan. A statement from the board said NLRB Chairman Mark Pearce would propose a final rule "limited to several provisions designed to reduce unnecessary litigation."
The board's Republican member, Brian Hayes, sent an angry letter to House lawmakers on Friday condemning the latest move. He said the board wasn't giving him enough time to review the latest rules and write a dissent. He also said it violates the board's previous practice of not overruling existing law unless three members voted to do so.
"This process, or more accurately, lack of process, is so diametrically at odds with traditional decisional processes of the board that it quite frankly defies description," Hayes wrote in a letter to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
Pearce, the board's chairman, issued a statement saying he was "extremely disappointed with the actions of member Hayes today in publicly airing internal deliberative conversations of the board and in irresponsibly mischaracterizing those conversations and the actions of his board colleagues."
The House plans to vote soon on a Republican-backed measure that would override any new rules on union elections. The bill would delay any vote on unionization until at least 35 days after employees file a petition seeking to unionize. While the bill is likely to pass the House, it is not expected to get a vote in the Democratic-majority Senate.
|Posted by Regina on June 6, 2011 at 11:27 PM||comments (0)|
IMPORTANT: This information should not be downloaded using government equipment, read during duty time or sent to others using government equipment, because it suggests action to be taken in support of and/or against legislation. Do not list your government email or government address in filling out this message, and do not use a government provided phone for this action.
Vice President Biden has been tapped to negotiate a deal on the debt crisis with Congress. Unfortunately, Vice President Biden and his group of House and Senate negotiators appear to agree that you should pay more for your pension – as much as 6% more each pay period. That increase – which is really a 6% pay cut each pay period – would be part of the “deal” to raise the debt ceiling.
That’s a “Raw Deal” and no federal employee should stand for it!
Informed sources have directly told AFGE that the lawmakers negotiating a deal on raising the debt limit have agreed on $1 trillion in budget cuts. Increasing what you pay for your pension is one of the agreed to cuts. We also expect more severe cuts to agency budgets as well as Social Security and Medicare.
Every AFGE member, coworker, friend and family member needs to let Vice President Biden know – as soon as you get this email – that cutting pensions, and cutting vital programs is not the way to address the economic and fiscal challenges this country faces.
Sign the petition that will be delivered to Vice President Biden by clicking on the link below. Tell Vice President Biden that federal employees didn’t create the deficit and we should not be the cure.
Click the link below
|Posted by Regina on May 5, 2011 at 7:11 PM||comments (0)|
OPM launches online recruitment tool for hiring managers
By Emily Long email@example.com May 4, 2011
Agency managers now have access to a Web tool that will ease their involvement in the hiring process, a top official said Wednesday.
During a speech at a federal recruitment strategy conference in Washington, Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry announced the launch of USAJobsRecruit, an online community for agencies to showcase best practices, share marketing and outreach strategies, and post hiring events. The one-stop shop gives hiring managers and human resources personnel access to recruiting guidance and communication tools, such as discussion forums, chats and blogs, he said.
USAJobsRecruit is designed to further manager involvement in the hiring process, Angela Bailey, deputy associate director of recruitment and diversity at OPM, said in an interview with Government Executive. The website includes a tool, developed in partnership with the Education Department, that allows hiring managers and HR staff to search for schools that offer specific degrees or academic specialties. The school sorter will allow agencies to better target their recruiting, she said.
Berry also encouraged agencies to take advantage of student hiring through the new Pathways Program. Presidential Management Fellows in particular offer a qualified pool of candidates for federal jobs, he said.
"If you like them, and they fit with the chemistry of your organization, hire them," he said. "They can start the next day. I can't make it any easier than that."
Additional investment in college partnerships is a cost-effective recruitment strategy, Michael Kane, chief human capital officer at the Energy Department, told conference attendees during an earlier presentation. Former interns can spread the word about their experience, as well as create a pathway to professors willing to recommend high performers for jobs, he said.
"They're there every day," said Kane. "They know the mission. Who better to persuade people that we are what we say we are than those students?"
To encourage new hires, agencies should stress the benefits available to employees, such as a family-friendly environment, flexibility of health insurance options, work-life programs and opportunities to work across many disciplines, Kane said. They also should focus on performance and communicating with employees. "It's how you manage your own skill, it's how you learn, it's how you progress," he said.
Mentoring is another way to encourage new employees and improve collaboration and innovation, Berry said. OPM this spring launched a pilot program to match managers with younger workers. The agency currently has 30 mentor-mentee pairs and used a speed-dating format to introduce them.
"One of the things we will do well through this mentorship is build bridges of communication," he said. "I think it will help us in a lot of ways."
|Posted by Regina on April 30, 2011 at 7:35 PM||comments (0)|
There are some important bills we need to keep a close eye on.
Contact your Representative
Senator Contact Information: https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml
KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON
H.R. 1175 - Oleoresin Capsicum Spray Pilot Program Act of 2011. This would establish a pilot program for the Bureau to test the use of O.C. Spray.
H.R. 630 - This bill would waive the annuity buyback requirement under the Federal Employees Retirement Service with respect to certain law enforcement officers involuntarily called or retained on active duty, and for other purposes.
S.644 - Public - Private Employee Retirement Parity Act - This bill ends defined benefits pension portion for new hires starting in 2013. The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) and Social Security Retirement Benefits will not be affected by this bill.
H.R. 235 - To Reduce Unsustainable Spending - This bill extends the federal pay freeze for another year through fiscal year 2013. This means your pay would remain at fiscal year 2010 levels through September 30, 2013. It also cuts federal work force by 10% no later than October 1, 2020.
H.R. 408 / S.178 - Spending Reduction Act of 2011 - This bill cuts federal work force by 15% and freezes federal pay through fiscal year 2015. It also freezes non-discretionary spending at 2008 levels through fiscal year 2021.
H.R. 122 - This bill would take away official time for union representation.
H.R. 270 - This bill would subject federal civilian employees for a mandatory period of unpaid leave for two weeks during the 2012 fiscal year. This is the furlough bill.
For more information about these bills and more visit the Thomas Library of Congress page.