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."