The Federal Labor Relations Authority has entered a memo of understanding with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service designed to resolve disputes over whether proposals are negotiable without going through the formal FLRA process for such disputes.
Under the agreement, the FLRA may refer a negotiability appeal first to the FMCS, either on the FLRA’s own initiative or based upon a request from the parties, and the FLRA will defer further processing for the meantime. If the parties settle their entire dispute, the FLRA will dismiss the appeal; if they do not, the FLRA will resume processing what remains under dispute.
Under the agreement, the FMCS meanwhile will develop a unique cadre of mediators, who will receive specialized training from the Authority, to assist the parties in the resolution of negotiability appeals through mediation.
The FMCS recently entered a similar agreement with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regarding federal employee complaints there.