The Office of the General Counsel (OGC) of the Federal Labor Relations Authority published in the Federal Register on November 30, 1998 (Adobe Acrobat PDF File), a final rule containing revisions to subpart A of Part 2423 of the FLRAs unfair labor practice (ULP) regulations (63 FR 65638-65645). The revised regulations, which concern the prevention, resolution, and investigation of ULP disputes, go into effect on January 1, 1999. The purpose of the revisions is to facilitate dispute resolution and to simplify, clarify, and improve the processing of ULP charges. In addition to establishing new requirements concerning the investigation of ULP charges, the new regulations support the FLRAs agency-wide collaboration and alternative dispute resolution initiative to assist labor and management parties in developing dispute resolution services in ULP, representation, negotiability, impasses, and arbitration cases.
The OGC, through each of its seven Regional Offices and Headquarters Office, convened meetings seeking input regarding the proposed rules. In addition, numerous individuals submitted written comments during the comment period. We received valuable input on the proposed regulations from our customers--both practitioners and policy-makers alike-- and believe that the final regulations will serve the parties well for years to come, remarked General Counsel Joe Swerdzewski. And our customer service will continue into June of 1999 when the OGC will issue a ULP Casehandling Manual which will incorporate the changes to the regulations in subpart A as well as provide guidance to OGC agents and the public on OGC investigatory policies and procedures, philosophy, options, techniques and strategies.
The FLRA is an independent agency that administers the labor-management relations program for 1.9 million federal employees worldwide, 1.1 million of whom are exclusively represented in more than 2,200 bargaining units. The OGC is the independent investigative and prosecutorial component of the FLRA which, among other responsibilities, facilitates dispute resolution and processes ULP charges through the Regional Offices. The General Counsel periodically issues guidance to the FLRAs Regional Directors on investigating, resolving, and prosecuting ULP allegations as well as on promoting productive labor-management relationships in the Federal sector. The General Counsel directs the FLRAs seven Regional Offices located in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.