FLRA EXPEDITES RESOLVING DISPUTES
FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY · WASHINGTON, DC · 20424
November 1, 1999 · PR 115-99
Contact: Patty Reilly
FLRA EXPEDITES RESOLVING DISPUTES
The Chair of the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA), Phyllis N. Segal, reporting on Fiscal Year 1999 accomplishments, announced today that the Agency has successfully achieved improvements identified as needed by its customers in a 1998 Customer Survey. (See Press Release 117-98).
The Survey's respondents voiced concern about the length of time before disputes filed with the FLRA are resolved, while generally according high marks to FLRA's case processing and other services. In FY 1999, all components of the FLRA set ambitious goals, and met the challenge of more quickly delivering high quality decisions and program services to resolve labor-management disputes.
The three-Member Authority significantly reduced the number of cases awaiting merits decisions for more than one year. During Fiscal Year 1999, this inventory was cut by more than half - to only 12 percent of the total caseload. In addition to issuing decisions in the longest-pending cases, the Authority reduced the period of time for all parties awaiting decisions. The median age of all pending cases fell below 100 days - a one-third reduction from the start of the year. Finally, the more expedited issuance of decisions contributed to substantially reducing the number of cases before the Authority to its lowest level in the Agency's history.
Commenting on the Authority's success in meeting ambitious case issuance goals, Chair Segal said: "We are pleased to have reduced the age of our case inventory, and are committed to making even greater improvements. Our ambitious goal for Fiscal Year 2000 is to have no more than 10% of the cases awaiting merits decisions by the Authority pending over 9 months. Equally important is that our concerted emphasis on expediting decisions has not caused us to retreat from our commitment to issuing high quality decisions. As one measure of success in delivering on this commitment, the Authority's analysis was upheld by the Federal courts in every Authority decision reviewed on the merits last year."
Other components of the FLRA were similarly successfully in improving timeliness while adhering to high quality standards:
- The Office of the General Counsel significantly reduced the percentage of overage cases in its inventory. For example, the percentage of unfair labor practice cases pending initial dispositive action over 90 days fell from 25 percent of the caseload to only 16 percent at the end of Fiscal Year 1999. Similarly, the percentage of representation cases pending without issuance of a notice of hearing over 90 days was reduced from 41 percent of the caseload to16 percent.
- The Authority's Office of Administrative Law Judges' services enabled parties to resolve their disputes more quickly. The number of expensive last minute "courthouse steps" settlements (reached after spending time and resources preparing for, and traveling to, the hearing) has been dramatically reduced. In Fiscal Year 1999, these more costly late settlements were just 1.9 percent of all settlements, down from a high of 15 percent in 1996.
- The Federal Service Impasses Panel also achieved faster resolution of bargaining impasses. During Fiscal Year 1999, the median age of impasse cases where labor and management reached a voluntary settlement following the Panel's procedural determination fell from 101 to 91 days.
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 Federa