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Release No: 135-04
February 27, 2004

DoD, OPM and Unions Conclude Preliminary Meetings

The Defense Department, the Office of PersonnelManagement (OPM) and labor unions have just concluded two days of important discussions about concepts for a new labor relations system for DoD under the National Security Personnel System (NSPS). The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service also facilitated the meetings.

In April, a formal proposal will be provided to the unions that will begin the congressionally mandated 90-day collaboration process.

NSPS forges a new collective bargaining system between DoD and federal unions by creating a modern and dynamic model for labor negotiations. The concepts call for bargaining at the national level but do not eliminate local bargaining units. The current collective bargaining model -- fragmented among nearly 1,400 local units and focused on procedural detail -- diverts national security resources and focus.

Congress has given labor and management the opportunity to forge what the law calls a "collaborative issue-based approach to labor management relations."

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