71 FLRA No. 86
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
DECISION ON REQUEST FOR GENERAL STATEMENT
OF POLICY OR GUIDANCE
December 13, 2019
Before the Authority: Colleen Duffy Kiko, Chairman, and
Ernest DuBester and James T. Abbott, Members
- Statement of the Case
Pursuant to § 2427.2 of the Authority’s Regulations, the Petitioner requests that the Authority issue a general statement of policy or guidance regarding the Federal Service Impasses Panel’s (the Panel’s) mandatory authority to respond to a request for assistance following parties’ use of alternative dispute resolution procedures in conjunction with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service and other attempts to resolve an impasse. Specifically, the Petitioner asks us to issue guidance on the analysis used by the Panel to determine whether an impasse exists.
The Petitioner explains that its request was prompted by what it described as “dilatory tactics” employed by “some unions” that “needless[ly] delay” the resolution of impasses that have been submitted to the Panel. To address these concerns, the Petitioner asks the Authority to resolve three questions:
- What are the responsibilities of the Panel to ensure that a union does not use a ratification procedure to prevent agencies from exercising their statutory rights to impasse procedures?
- Can the Authority clarify when impasse is reached in the context of a failed ratification vote?
- Is an article that [the Panel] imposes subject to union ratification – even if the ground rules require a ratification vote on the entire agreement?
Upon careful consideration of the Petitioner’s request, we find that it is not appropriate for resolution through the issuance of a general ruling. These questions would most appropriately be addressed in the context of the facts and circumstances presented by parties involved in an actual dispute. Accordingly, we deny the request.
We deny the Petitioner’s request.
 5 C.F.R. § 2427.2.
 Petitioner’s Request (Request) at 1.
 Id. at 5.
 Id. at 1, 5.
 Id. at 2.
 5 C.F.R. § 2427.5.
 E.g., Gen. Counsel, 51 FLRA 409, 412 (1995) (citing Order Denying Request for Gen. Ruling, 14 FLRA 757, 758 (1984); Order Denying Request for a Gen. Ruling, 9 FLRA 823, 824 (1982)).
 Chairman Kiko notes that while the parties may understandably experience frustration throughout the collective-bargaining experience, the Federal Service Labor‑Management Relations Statute provides avenues of redress, such as grievances, unfair‑labor-practice charges, and the like. Parties may take advantage of these avenues as appropriate.