On April 11, 2001, upon arrival at work, many employees found in their chairs
an anonymous flier entitled LEARN THE TRUTH DECIDE FOR
YOURSELF!!. It contained many misleading statements and some
false statements and invited employees to sign a forthcoming petition calling
for an election to decide whether union representation should be
AFGE Local 2113 encourages every employee to learn the real truth before
signing any petition which has the potential to leave employees without Union
protection of employee rights. Through its right to negotiate with
management on issues concerning working conditions and policies, the union
is able to provide representation which is not available to individuals.
Individuals have no such right to negotiation with management.
If you believe that Union representation is better than no representation,
then you should not sign the petition.
A vote for no representation would mandate that there would be no Union
representation here for a minimum of one year. That means that Management
would be free to implement any changes they choose during that time as long
as they are not illegal. Employees would have no rights to negotiate
with management on anything. Any negotiation which might then ensue would
occur only at the pleasure of Management.
Reestablishment of a union would then require another petition and election,
recognition by the Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service,
and would up to three years. Before signing a petition to disband the union,
employees should counsider whether they really want to be without representation
when Washington is discussing a new round of base closings. Do you really
want to be without representation when "In a March 9 memo, OMB Deputy Director
O'Keefe directed agencies to complete A-76 competitions or directly outsource
an estimated 42,500 jobs by October 2002."
Please read the information below for the real truth. In contrast to the
anonymous flier, we are available to provide you further information and
explanation of the issues at hand. If you need further information on a
subject and can't find it on
our website, please do not hesitate to ask any officer or steward.
The flier falsely alleges that "If you don't pay, you have no say."
Bargaining unit members are solicited for their viewpoints regardless of their
membership in Local 2113. Every bargaining-unit member's opinion has equal
weight regardless of union membership. Local 2113 has conducted
surveys in recent years concerning
employee morale, the use of TQL as a critical performance element,
the use of RDOs, and cafeteria improvements, and we intend to
conduct more surveys in the future. We are still collecting responses for
one which is ongoing now. Our success depends
upon the amount of time and energy provided by our members or
Local officers in developing and distributing surveys. We hope our
website, once it is up and running smoothly, will provide us with
the means to collect more data from surveys. The mailing list we
just created will provide us with another method.
If you are not receiving our e-mailings, please bring this to the attention
of any union officer.
The flier alleges that "all employees are subject to the union's
opinions."When a group of employees approves union representation,
then that union does become the exclusive agent for collective
bargaining on behalf of those employees.
However, with no union, there is no mechanism for representation.
Management is under no obligation to negotiate with individuals. The writers
of the flier ask "Do you want to be allowed to think,
decide, and speak for yourself?"
All employees are fully free to think and speak for themselves, with or
without a union. However, only Unions
have a legal right to negotiate workplace decisions with Management.
This right to negotiate decisions will not transfer to
Employees are entitled to their own opinion, whether it agrees with
the Union's opinion or not. Local 2113's opinion is based upon the
greater good of the bargaining-unit employees as a group -- not upon
individual benefits to a few. No special benefits are accorded
to Union through negotiations with Management. The Federal Service Labor Management
Relations Statute (FSLRS, 5 USC 71) states in section 7114,(a)(1) that
"an exclusive representative is responsible for representing the interests
of all employees in the unit it represents without discrimination
and without regard to labor organization membership." The
president of Local 2113 declined the offer of a reserved parking space
last year (2000) because of our position that parking should be open on
a first come, first served basis, and union assignment of reserved parking
would be a benefit not accorded to our bargaining-unit employees.
The flier falsely alleges that employees "get to work harder because
union officers use official time for union purposes rather than helping
on projects that benefit the Fleet." Local 2113 does not have any
full-time officials. Local 2113 officers and stewards are tasked just
like other employees with project work, but also are able to perform
representational duties on official time. Time charged for union work is
not charged to projects. Our officers also donate a considerable amount
of their personal time and annual leave in order to properly represent
the bargaining unit.
It would be an unfair labor practice for Management
to discriminate against an employee in work assignements based on union
membership. If this is happening, then we encourage the affected employees
to bring this to the attention of any Local officer
The flier alleges that your "opportunity to get higher pay based on the
quality of your work was prevented by the union."
Employees are not prevented from receiving higher pay or bonuses based upon
the quality of their work. The process for receiving higher pay is called
"Merit Promotion" and the negotiated Awards article of the LMA describes the
types of awards available to our employees. Since the distributors of the
flier have not identified themselves, we cannot be certain as to what they
were referring to on this matter. The issue of pay banding comes to mind though. Pay banding is described as a system
which allows accelerated pay advancement (or stagnation) based on
supervisors' evaluation of employee performance. While this may
good on the surface, several problems remain with pay banding and have been
demonstrated at other sites where pay banding has been in use for many years.
Please see our page on pay banding for an explanation of why Local 2113 opposed it. Pay banding was also rejected by
Management when it was considered in 1996.
The flier falsely alleges that "management is not allowed to let you know
when changes being considered that effect [sic] working conditions."
Management is not barred from telling you about potential changes in working
conditions. Management is required to provide the union with an opportunity
to negotiate changes in working conditions.
The quote by Local 2113's President refers to negotiating changes.
Refusal to nogiate with a union on such changes constitutes an unfair labor
practice. If there is no union, then there is no obligation to negotiate.
The process Management is required to follow concerning notification of
proposed changes to working conditions is called a "Formal Discussion."
The FSLMRS section 7114 (a)(2) states "an exclusive representative of an
appropriate unit in an agency shall be given the opportunity to be
represented at - (A) any formal discussion between one or more
representatives of the agency and one or more employees in the unit or
their representatives concerning any grievance or any personnel policy
or practices or other condition of employment...." For more information
on formal discussions, see the
appropiate page from FLRA on the Stewards' page.
The flier alleges that "Your chain of command spends an inordinate amount
of time deailing with dozens of frivolous grievances filed by the union."
No grievance is frivolous if it is based on a complaint that Management is
breaking the rules that have been negotiated so carefully between the
parties. Employees have a right to file a grievance for any breach of
this agreement (see Labor Management Agreement).
Union will investigate a matter thoroughly prior to helping an
employee file a grievance. Employees are also free to file their own
grievances without the Union's assistance. Management is required to
share their responses to any grievances filed by employees with the Union
so it can determine whether or not any settlement would adversely affect
the bargaining unit. If nothing grievable ever happened, then we would
be spending no time on grievances.
We cannot guess which grievances are considered frivolous and invite
those who allege that frivolous grievances were filed to provide details.
(Which grievances were frivolous?)
The flier falsely alleges that the union filed a grievance against a
NAVAIR Admmiral. The Union has never filed a grievance against a
any Admiral. We request further details as to how anyone came under
the impression that the Union had filed a grievance against an Admiral.
The flier falsely alleges that the union filed a
grievance against the Commanding Officer
for allowing a randomly-chosen employee to use his reserved parking place while
he was out of town. Local 2113 did not file a grievance against the
Commanding Officer over lending his parking spot to a randomly chosen employee.
The Union wrote a letter asking to negotiate over this apparent change
to the parking policy contained in the LMA.
Rather then negotiate with the Union, the Commanding Officer decided
to withdraw the change. The union's position on parking is consistent
with guidance from OPM and contained in both DOD and Navy instructions.
Please see our page on parking for more about our position on parking,
No grievance was ever filed on this matter. We can only wonder
where anyone might have gotten this idea.
The flier alleges that the "union president files grievances regarding
changes over which the Command has no control...." While it is true that
changes are imposed upon us over which the Command has no control, the Command
often does have leeway as to how those changes are implemented, and the union
does have the right and obligation to negotiate over such implementations.
The Union filed an unfair labor charge over the change to a mandatory use of
the Travel Charge Card because that issue had already been negotiated in the
LMA to be a voluntary use. We felt that the FLRSA allowed the LMA
to take precedence over a change in regulations while the LMA was in
effect. We were wrong based on a technicality within another article in our
agreement. At least with the Union present, we are allowed to challenge
the changes when they are not beneficial to our employees. As individuals,
employees have no right to challenge any changes to working conditions.
Employees gain that right only by electing to have an exclusive
The Union still believes that implementation of NMCI could have been made
smoothly with fair and equitable treatment of employees if the Union was
allowed to negotiate that implementation. Management has discretion to make
many changes associated with the NMCI. Training, who gets what type of
computer system, which employees are designated mobile employees, and timing of
upgrades are all examples of such discretionary issues.