File 3: Opinion of Member Cabaniss
[ v56 p151 ]
Member Cabaniss concurring:
There is one point I wish to make in addition to the majority decision. The stated purpose of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute is "to prescribe certain rights and obligations of the employees of the Federal Government and to establish procedures which are designed to meet the special requirements and needs of the Government." 5 U.S.C. § 7101(b) (emphasis added). The decision to hold a vote to change affiliation is one made by local union members. Other than the four criteria established in Montrose, the process of calling for, scheduling, and holding a meeting to vote on amending affiliation is beyond the purview of outside parties and is, at its core, an employee issue. Accordingly, the Montrose procedure is consistent with the Statute in protecting the rights of employees. As LIUNA accurately notes, national unions are likely to impose an emergency trusteeship on a local union seeking to hold a vote to change affiliation so that disaffiliation can be stopped. [n1]
I appreciate a labor organization's interest in continuing to represent a bargaining unit of employees it has organized and served, and I recognize a labor organization's desire to enforce its Constitution. However, as noted above, the appropriate avenue for a labor organization to pursue enforcement of its Constitution is with the Assistant Secretary of Labor, and not in these proceedings.
Footnote # 1 for 56 FLRA No. 18 - Opinion of Member Cabaniss
NFFE states that "[had it] been notified in accordance with its National Constitution that a meeting to discuss and vote to amend its certification was going to take place, [Local 1636] would have been placed in [t]rusteeship earlier." NFFE's Brief at 5.