The Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) announced today that it is inviting interested persons to file amicus briefs in an unfair labor practice proceeding pending before the Authority. The case, Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C. and U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA and National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 1309, WA-CA-30451, requires the Authority to determine whether and under what circumstances agencies are obligated to engage in union-initiated midterm bargaining.
Procedurally, the case is before the Authority on remand from the United States Supreme Court, NFFE and FLRA v. Department of Interior, 119 S. Ct. 1003 (1999), and, in turn, from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, U.S. Department of Interior v. FLRA and NFFE, Nos. 96-2855 and 97-1135 (4th Cir., April 23, 1999).
In its remand decision, the Supreme Court determined that the Authority should "make the workplace-related empirical judgments" that will balance "the policy-related considerations" concerning the merits and drawbacks of union-initiated midterm bargaining. 119 S.Ct. at 1009. Accordingly, interested persons are asked to identify the policy-related considerations and empirical data that the Authority should balance in deciding this issue.
Attached to this press release is a copy of the Federal Register Notice (63 F.R. 33079-33081) setting out the litigation background, limitations on briefs, and the specific question on which amicus views are being sought. Written comments should be directed to Peter Constantine, Director, FLRA Case Control Office, 607 14th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20424, and must be received by 5:00 p.m., July 19, 1999.
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.
For further information on submitting an amicus brief contact Mr. Constantine at (202)-482-6540.