The Federal Labor-Management Relations Program

T-GGD-92-8: Published: Nov 19, 1991. Publicly Released: Nov 19, 1991.

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GAO discussed the Federal Labor-Management Relations Program. GAO noted that: (1) federal labor-management relations experts and day-to-day participants believe that the program is characterized by excessive litigation, adversarial relationships between agency management and unions, and too much focus on matters of minimal importance to employees; (2) three-fourths of the experts surveyed stated that some of the processes used to resolve disputes between management and employees were too slow, lengthy and complex, and susceptible to delaying and stalling tactics; (3) more than two-thirds of the experts thought that the negotiability appeal process was a major obstacle to effective bargaining; (4) over three-fourths of union officials and third-party and other neutral officials believed that labor relations was a low priority for federal agencies and was not well integrated into agency operations, but agency officials maintained that the impact of operational decisions on labor relations was almost always taken into account; and (5) most federal labor-management cooperative efforts have been at the local level with a minimum of headquarters involvement.

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