A Message About the FLRA

 

Welcome to the FLRA’s website!  Our government is facing unprecedented challenges, and stable labor-management relations are needed more than ever. We know that the road ahead is challenging, and that we at the FLRA will need the cooperation and commitment of others in fulfilling our mission to provide leadership in Federal sector labor-management relations.
 
Although we are in the FLRA’s 34th year, we are opening a new chapter in the book of Federal sector labor-management relations and the FLRA. This is what we call a “new season” at the FLRA, and the theme for the FLRA’s future is: 
 
Revitalization, Reinvention, and Re-engagement. 
Revitalization:
“Revitalize” means “to give new life or vigor.”   In the recent past, the FLRA’s performance, along with employee morale, had suffered.  This, in turn, has affected our customers, in terms of both timely case processing and training efforts, outreach, and offers of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services to assist parties in their labor-management relationships.  Today, we are “breathing new life” into these efforts:
 

Over the last four years, the FLRA has risen to the challenge presented to all Federal agencies by President Obama’s Administration: engaging in rigorous, metrics-based evaluation of its mission performance, management, and policies. Emphasizing mission accomplishment and performance improvement through transparency, employee engagement, and collaboration, FY 2012 was another year of real results for the FLRA, with all components meeting their strategic objectives and performance indicators, accomplishing key agency-wide mission milestones, and sustaining the dramatic and unprecedented increases in employee satisfaction and morale that were reported in FY 2010 and FY 2011. In addition, the agency continued to improve its efficiency by engaging in new and innovative ways to conduct business, using technology to maximize resources, increase flexibility, reduce costs, and enhance the delivery of agency case processing, training, and dispute resolution services.

Delivering on the commitment FLRA leadership made to the labor-management community, employees, and the President in FY 2009, the Authority component satisfied its Corrective Action Plan, meeting all significant performance indicators and ensuring the timely resolution of disputes. In this connection, the Authority reduced its pending case inventory by close to 90 percent; eliminated overage case inventory by 100 percent; and the average age of its cases is now approximately 50 days – reduced from well over 250 days. For yet another year, the Office of the General Counsel (OGC) component sustained its dramatic productivity increases, resolving 20 percent more cases than it did in FY 2009. In addition, the Federal Service Impasses Panel component – which continues to experience increased case filings, including an increase of over 15 percent in FY 2012 – is still showing improved performance outcomes and dramatic case settlement success. In this regard, the FSIP exceeded all of its performance goals in FY 2012 – with one exceeded by more than 15 percent.

Particularly noteworthy, are the tremendous efficiencies gained through the FLRA’s use of collaboration techniques and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) to minimize and resolve labor-management disputes. In FY 2012, the OGC resolved close to 100 percent of the cases in which parties agreed to engage in ADR to collaboratively resolve their dispute. The FLRA’s Collaboration and Alternative Dispute Resolution Office also brought about real results, expeditiously resolving well over 90 percent of pending cases with no further need for litigation, getting the parties back to conducting the business of government. And consistent with its leadership role in labor-management relations, the FLRA delivered hundreds of training, outreach, and facilitation sessions in FY 2012 to thousands of practitioners. The agency’s work in this regard, has been critical to the implementation and ongoing success of parties’ efforts pursuant to President Obama’s Executive Order 13522, Creating Labor-Management Forums to Improve Delivery of Government Services.

 

 
Reinvention: 
We use the word “reinvent,” not “restore”-- and that is purposeful -- because we are not talking simply about bringing the FLRA back to what it used to be.  Restoring some old processes in many respects are the easy things to do.  The hard part is to look forward and determine how the needs of the labor-management community have changed and what the FLRA needs to do differently to enable us to work smarter and be more effective today and in the future.  A lot has changed:  some of the experienced practitioners have retired; some relationships have soured; and technology innovations have changed the landscape in the workplace.  We are working together with others in the labor-management community to reinvent an FLRA that is flexible and strategically poised to address the needs of this changing environment.  When we speak to practitioners, we are asking them to examine their own labor-management relationships. Consistent with President Obama’s Executive Order on “Creating Labor-Management Forums to Improve Delivery of Government Services,” the FLRA is also committed to providing training and services to assist parties in developing effective labor-management forums.
 
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