Federal Manager's Daily Report

fedweek.com: eeoc house pushback limits on bargaining Proposed rules would bar the use of official time for representing employees in discrimination complaints and other EEO-type cases.

In the latest of a series of letters from Capitol Hill Democrats objecting to Trump administration labor-management policies, 85 House members have asked the EEOC to drop its proposed rules that would bar the use of official time for representing employees in discrimination complaints and other EEO-type cases.

The rules would reverse a long-standing practice of allowing official time for that purpose, which in practice typically involves a steward or other union official. “The proposed rule, because it would deny the official time requirement for union representatives, would also deny the experience and expertise that union representatives offer to discrimination complainants,” says the letter.

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“The loss of their experience and expertise will negatively affect the equal employment opportunity process, which will become less efficient and effective as a result,” it adds, echoing arguments that federal unions have made.

Meanwhile, more than 100 House Democrats have written to HHS urging it to return to the bargaining table with the NTEU union, following a recent arbitrator’s ruling that the department had improperly declared talks at an impasse prematurely.

That is one of a number of similar complaints by unions against a number of agencies, several of which also have yielded initial rulings in the unions’ favor. However, those cases have not advanced to decisions by the FLRA because of its general counsel position has been vacant for more than two years.

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2020 Federal Employees Handbook