FY 2000 Strategic Plan Goal #2
FLRA Strategic Plan Goal 2
To effectively use and promote alternative methods of dispute resolution and avoidance to reduce the costs of conflict in the Federal labor-management relations community.
Summary: In order to accomplish FLRA Strategic Plan Goal 2, FLRA established six performance goals within its FY 2000 Annual Performance Plan. FLRA met all six of the performance goals.
The FY 2000 performance goals were implemented through the FLRA Collaboration and Alternative Dispute Resolution (CADR) Program, which was established to promote alternative dispute resolution (ADR) efforts by integrating ADR into all FLRA case processes. The CADR Program provides overall coordination and support for the FLRA labor-management cooperation and ADR efforts. The program assists agencies and unions in improving their relationships, preventing disputes before they become cases and crafting ways to informally resolve disputes in pending cases. This includes interest-based conflict resolution and intervention services in pending unfair labor practice cases, representation cases, negotiability appeals, and impasse bargaining disputes. The CADR Program also provides facilitation, training and education services to help labor and management develop collaborative relationships. The CADR Office provides support and guidance for all types of ADR efforts and coordinates cross-component activities.
CADR program services are provided by all of the FLRA components -- the Office of the General Counsel (OGC) through the seven Regional Offices and OGC National Office; the Authority through Member Offices, the Office of the Administrative Law Judges (OALJ), and the CADR Office; and the Federal Service Impasses Panel (FSIP or Panel).
During FY 2000, all FLRA components made considerable progress to further Strategic Plan Goal 2. FLRA conducted over 300 ADR training, facilitation and education sessions to over 12,000 participants to enable the parties to constructively manage their own workplace disputes. Over 1400 case-related intervention services were provided to successfully resolve pending unfair labor practice, representation, negotiability, and bargaining impasse disputes. The OALJ settlement program continued to be an effective way for the parties to successfully settle their issues -- 149 cases were settled in FY 2000. An ADR Tool Kit was developed to assist OGC staff in delivering ADR services. In addition, an ADR data base was created to collect information on ADR services and ultimately measure our performance.
The following describes the specific accomplishments related to each of these six performance goals.
Performance Goal: Provide training, facilitation, and intervention services to resolve pending disputes and provide the parties with tools to constructively manage their workplace disputes. Actual Performance: Met the Goal -- as described below in the Performance Analysis
Performance Analysis: This goal was met. The goal was developed by all FLRA components, as part of the agency Collaboration and Alternative Dispute Resolution (CADR) Program, and implemented by the OGC, Panel, Authority and CADR Office.
This performance goal served a two-fold purpose in providing CADR services: 1) to resolve pending disputes; and 2) to provide parties with tools to constructively manage their workplace disputes. The services provided by the FLRA components included training on statutory issues, interest-based bargaining, partnership, alternative dispute resolution and relationship building. Additionally, assistance was given in pending unfair labor practice, representation and negotiability disputes and bargaining impasses.
During FY 2000, FLRA, primarily through the 117 employees in the OGC and its Regional Offices, conducted over 300 training, facilitation and relationship building sessions for over 12,000 participants, and conducted over 1400 case-related interventions. The largest number of ADR services are provided in our regional offices where approximately 6,000 ULP and representation cases are filed each year. During FY 2000, OGC conducted 264 training, facilitation and relationship building sessions for nearly 10,000 participants, and 1,142 case-related intervention sessions. The CADR Office held 20 facilitation and training sessions for more than 800 participants. In addition, as noted below, the CADR Office staff offered ADR services in all negotiability cases filed with the Authority and 20 cases were withdrawn as a result. Also, as noted below, the OALJ successfully settled 149 pending cases.
The Panel conducted 15 training sessions with 550 participants and provided face-to-face assistance in 45 cases in FY 2000, including initial investigations. Supplemented by telephone mediation (10 instances), its efforts resulted in complete settlements in 64 of the 177 cases it closed during the fiscal year. In one example of a difficult, but successful, intervention, a the Panel resolved a dispute concerning numerous issues which arose during negotiations over an employer's proposed nationwide implementation of an automated time and attendance system. A two-day informal conference was conducted which ultimately resulted in a complete settlement of the parties' impasse. In addition to helping the parties avoid further costly litigation in other forums, such interventions serve to educate the parties in how to develop constructive labor-management relationships.
In FY 2000, the Authority provided significant training and outreach to the labor-relations community. The Authority held 16 training sessions, with over 1,000 participants, focusing on the Statute and Authority regulations and procedures. Sessions ranged from programs for local labor organizations and agency field offices to presentations at national conferences. The Authority also provided 131 copies of a negotiability training video.
FLRA performance goals for FY 2001 and FY 2002 will continue to focus on providing training, facilitation and intervention services to resolve pending disputes, and to provide the parties with tools to constructively manage their workplace disputes. Also, in response to the recognized needs of its customers, in FY 2001 the Authority will further expand its leadership role in providing outreach and training to the labor-relations community. It has set a strategic planning performance goal of implementing a training initiative to increase parties' understanding of the Statute and Authority regulations and procedures with a goal of conducting at least 30 training sessions.
Performance Goal: Offer, and encourage parties to use, collaboration and alternative dispute resolution services in every negotiability case pending before the Authority, consistent with regulations effective in FY 1999. Actual Performance: Met the Goal -- as described below in the Performance Analysis
Performance Analysis: This goal was met as ADR services were offered to the parties in every negotiability case pending before the Authority. The goal was developed by the Authority component and implemented by the Collaboration and Alternative Dispute Resolution Office (CADR Office).
The FLRA CADR Office offered ADR services in every negotiability case filed with the Authority in FY 2000. In 27 of the 65 negotiability cases filed with the Authority in FY 2000, the parties agreed to utilize the CADR Office services. Of these 27 cases, 20 (or 74%) were subsequently withdrawn due to CADR Office assistance -- a significant increase from the FY 1999 rate of 56%.
Wherever possible, the Authority encouraged parties to resolve their disputes by means other than litigation. For example, in post-petition conferences with Authority staff in pending negotiability appeals, parties were regularly advised of the availability of agency ADR services. In FY 2000, the Authority implemented a procedure to have CADR Office staff present during post-petition conferences to facilitate the parties' understanding and use of ADR services.
This performance goal will continue in FY 2001 and FY 2002 in order to encourage the use of collaborative and alternative dispute resolution services in every negotiability case before the Authority. FLRA will monitor the percentage of time that parties accept the services offered, and the reasons why parties accept and/or decline the services and settle cases.
Performance Goal: Offer, and encourage parties to use, collaboration and alternative dispute resolution services in every ULP appeal pending before the OALJ. Actual Performance: Met the Goal -- as described below in the Performance Analysis.
Performance Analysis: This goal was met as ADR services were offered in every unfair labor practice case pending before the Office of Administrative Law Judges (OALJ). The goal was developed and implemented by the OALJ.
During FY 1998, new ULP regulations for litigation (post-complaint activities) were implemented which formalized the Settlement Judge Program and established the Pre-hearing Conference Program. In every case received by the OALJ, parties are advised that the OALJ Settlement Program is available to them. During FY 2000, the parties accepted these services in 183 of the 414 cases filed; and the parties successfully settled their issues in 149 (or 81%) of these cases.
Both the Settlement Judge Program and the Pre-hearing Conference Program have helped parties narrow and focus issues. As a result of these efforts, parties reach agreement on differences concerning witnesses, exhibits and facts, and often achieve full settlement. These programs have clearly helped parties reach settlement earlier in the process than they had previously. In FY 2000, only five cases were settled at hearing as compared to 29 in FY 1997 and 59 in FY 1996. Resolving cases earlier saves time and money for all parties involved.
This performance goal will continue in FY 2001 and FY 2002 in order to encourage the use of collaborative and alternative dispute resolution services in every unfair labor practice appeal pending before the OALJ. FLRA will monitor the percentage of time parties accept the services offered, and the reasons why parties accept and/or decline the services and settle cases.
Performance Goal: Provide alternative dispute resolution services, consistent with new ULP proceedings regulations issued in FY 1999. Actual Performance: Met the Goal -- as described below in Performance Analysis.
Performance Analysis: This goal was met. The goal was developed and implemented by Office of the General Counsel (OGC).
The OGC provided ADR services in 1,172 unfair labor practice cases and 31 representation cases. Major ADR initiatives during FY 2000 included: at Charleston Air Force Base in South Carolina, OGC representatives helped the 437th Airlift Wing, the 315th Airlift Wing, and American Federation of Government Employees Local 1869 develop a labor relations strategic plan. As a result of the adoption and implementation of the plan and an accompanying action plan, these parties were recently recognized as an honorable mention award winner in the 2000 John N. Sturdivant National Partnership Awards. Among other positive results flowing from the strategic planning process, the award cited the fact that collaborative efforts improving base productivity now abound, and that an example of the progress being achieved is a 40% increase in productive time in fabrication flight operations. As another example, the OGC was successful at establishing a pre-charge ADR process at Warner Robins Air Force Base, GA. In previous years, Warner Robins averaged more than 200 unfair labor practice charges a year. Since the development of this ADR process, in the five months from June to October 2000, no unfair labor practice charges have been filed at Warner Robins AFB. This new process has greatly improved the approach used by both the union and management to resolve unfair labor practice disputes.
Performance Goal: Develop FLRA staff to successfully deliver collaboration and alternative dispute resolution services. Actual Performance: Met the Goal -- as described below in the Performance Analysis.
Performance Analysis: This goal was met. The goal was developed and implemented primarily by the OGC with assistance from the CADR Office.
The OGC sent six employees to the Harvard Law School Course on Negotiation and trained another 35 employees in Labor Relations Strategic Planning at a four-day training conference. Each Regional Office Dispute Resolution Specialist continued to regularly coach/mentor other Regional Office staff members in ADR techniques and best practices. The OGC also reviewed the use of its Dispute Resolution Specialists and made changes to make their positions more effective in FY 2001.
In conjunction with the implementation of the new regulations, OGC also developed an ADR Tool Kit for use by the Regional Offices. The Tool Kit is a resource document that provides information, options and suggestions to assist OGC employees in delivering ADR programs. During FY 2000, staff from the OGC Headquarters and Regional Offices, and the CADR Office, reviewed and supplemented this Tool Kit.
The CADR Office, the Authority and the OGC partnered to offer six employees the opportunity to work on detail in the CADR Office. These staff members participated in all aspects of the work done by CADR staff. In addition to the staff on detail, CADR Office staff mentored 12 Authority employees by having them assist during interventions in negotiability appeals.
Performance Goal: Evaluate and determine the effectiveness of the alternative dispute resolution services that are provided. Actual Performance: Met the Goal -- as described below in Performance Analysis.
Performance Analysis: This goal was met. The goal was developed and implemented by OGC, the CADR Office, the Authority and the Information Resource Management (IRM) staff.
During FY 2000, FLRA developed an electronic case tracking system which collects information on ADR services, and customer evaluations to assist in measuring actual performance. In addition, a new evaluation form was developed and is now being used by OGC and the CADR Office.
The CADR Office conducted a review of their services by: analyzing a compilation of the surveys received from external parties; talking to external parties about their experiences with CADR; and participating in an evaluation conducted by the Authority of their revised Negotiability Regulations, which included questions on the role of the CADR Office in case processing. Changes will be made in FY 2001, where appropriate, to improve services.
The OGC conducted a major review of its ADR services which included: identifying the extent of Regional Office professional staff participation; summarizing participants' assessments of OGC ADR services; and making recommendations regarding the OGC ADR program which will be implemented in FY 2001.