9/13/11: This month, NTEU filed with the Federal Labor Relations Authority a second unfair labor practice claim against the SEC in connection with its continuing bad faith negotiations on the Collective Bargaining Agreement. In this claim, the Union asserts that the SEC has refused to respond at all to certain routine information requests submitted by the Union under Federal labor statutes and that the SEC continues to negotiate in bad faith.
Earlier this summer, following established information request procedures, NTEU requested information from the SEC in connection with certain of the CBA articles that are subject to negotiation. It is, in fact, commonplace in Federal sector collective bargaining negotiations for a union to request such information from the agency with which it is bargaining, to allow it to respond to arguments and factual assertions that are raised by the agency during bargaining.
In response to NTEU's routine request for information, the SEC submitted a response in which it refused to answer a single one of the nineteen individual requests, purportedly on the grounds that the Union does not need the information. In fact, though, the Union provided detailed reasons for why it requires the information in connection with the ongoing CBA negotiations -- to assess and respond to specific factual assertions and arguments raised by the SEC during the bargaining sessions.
As a Federal law enforcement agency, the SEC has a duty to to deal with its bargaining obligations in good faith and in compliance with the law. Imagine how the SEC would respond if one of the entities that it regulates simply flatly refused to respond to information requests from the agency.
In fact, it is very uncommon for NTEU, which negotiates on behalf of over 150,000 Federal employees, to face this level of obstruction during the negotiating process. For that reason, the Union filed a second unfair labor practice charge against the agency.
"This is the second unfair labor practice claim that NTEU has been required to file in connection with the CBA negotiations this summer," stated Chapter 293 President Greg Gilman today. "Unfortunately, under Chairman Schapiro there has been a substantial and negative shift in how senior management has chosen to deal with its employees' representatives. I participated in our CBA negotiations under Chairman Cox, and although we often had disagreements, we were never required to file a ULP because, under Chairman Cox, senior SEC management responsible for dealing with the negotiations seemed to have a far greater sensitivity to following the various federal laws, rules and regulations that governed the process."