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FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY · WASHINGTON, DC ·
July 1, 1999 · PR 112-99
Contact: Patty Reilly
FLRA RELEASES 20TH ANNIVERSARY RETROSPECTIVE
The Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) announced today the release
of its 20th Anniversary Retrospective, "FLRA
20 Years 1979-1999." The publication is part of a series of commemorative
events undertaken by the FLRA in its anniversary year. Other events include
two recently completed national training conferences attended by nearly
The 20th Anniversary Retrospective presents an overview of the FLRA's
development since its creation by Title VII of the Civil Service Reform
Act of 1978. The publication traces the FLRA's evolution over the years
from emphasizing statutory enforcement through litigation, to developing
and expanding initiatives promoting the practice of constructive labor
relations through interest-based resolution of disputes. Significant case
law, case trends, and statutory amendments are also described.
The Retrospective highlights three recent accomplishments:
Since 1995, the FLRA has rewritten its regulations governing representation
petitions, negotiability appeals, unfair labor practice (ULP) charges and
litigation, and bargaining impasse resolution. The revised regulations
incorporate central principles of interest-based problem solving, now a
cornerstone of FLRA practice. They also are designed to ease procedural
burdens on parties, be "user-friendly", and refine the legal and factual
issues in dispute.
An emphasis on strengthening the quality of adjudication has lead to increasing
deference from appellate courts. The percentage of Authority decisions
favorably reviewed by federal courts has significantly increased: from
52% of decisions issued during the FLRA's first 16 years and reviewed on
the merits, to over 84% of decisions issued in 1995-1998 and reviewed on
the merits. Most recently, the two Authority decisions reviewed this term
by the United States Supreme Court were both affirmed, contrasting with
affirmance of only one of the five Authority decisions reviewed by the
Supreme Court in prior years. In all seven cases appealed to the Supreme
Court since the FLRA's creation, Federal agencies challenged the Authority's
construction of the Federal labor statute as too expansive.
The FLRA has been recognized as innovative and effective. The FLRA recently
received a Hammer Award for its revised ULP litigation process. Earlier
this year, the FLRA was named as one of 98 semi-finalists (from a pool
of 1,600 candidates) in the Innovations in American Government Awards Program,
for its initiative to "mainstream" collaboration and alternative dispute
resolution throughout the FLRA's programs.
The Preface to the 20th Anniversary Retrospective, signed by the FLRA's
presidentially-appointed leadership, describes the training conferences
and this publication as "important building blocks for a vibrant collective
bargaining program for the future." It continues: "The goal is to promote
stable, constructive labor relations that contribute to a more effective
government, thereby achieving Congress' purpose when it recognized that
labor organizations and collective bargaining in the civil service are
in the public interest."
The 20th Anniversary Retrospective is available on the FLRA's web site
at www.flra.gov or by request to the Authority. For further information,
please contact Patty Reilly at (202)-482-6500.
The FLRA is an independent agency that administers the labor-management
relations program for 1.9 million non-Postal Service Federal employees
worldwide, approximately 1.1 million of whom are exclusively represented
in 2,200 bargaining units. It is charged with providing leadership in establishing
policies and guidance related to Federal sector labor-management relations
and with resolving disputes under and ensuring compliance with the Statute.