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Highlights

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Tennessee Valley Authority's (TVA) labor-management relations, focusing on: (1) the basis for TVA exemption from federal labor relations laws that apply to most other federal agencies; and (2) alternatives for improving TVA labor-management relations.

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Recommendations

Matter for Congressional Consideration

Matter Status Comments
After receiving the TVA progress report, Congress may wish to determine if the cooperative approach is workable. If the approach is found to be unworkable, Congress should consider providing TVA management and employees with bargaining rights, obligations, and protections similar to those applicable to most other organizations, including standards of conduct.
Closed - Not Implemented
TVA and unions have resolved all issues. No congressional action is needed.

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Tennessee Valley Authority 1. The Chairman of the TVA Board of Directors should take the initiative in working to reinstate a voluntary, cooperative approach to collective bargaining among all the parties concerned. Following this approach, TVA and the labor organizations should attempt to reach agreement on a framework for collective bargaining that is considered fair to all the parties and that includes administrative procedures and mechanisms to be available to all the parties for resolving negotiation deadlocks.
Closed - Implemented
TVA has negotiated a new framework for collective bargaining that is satisfactory to management, the unions, and the congressional requesters.
Tennessee Valley Authority 2. The Chairman of the TVA Board of Directors should take the initiative in working to reinstate a voluntary, cooperative approach to collective bargaining among all the parties concerned. Following this approach, TVA and the labor organizations should work with the Department of Labor (DOL) to develop better criteria and procedures for resolving wage disputes in a timely manner that are referred to DOL under the TVA act.
Closed - Implemented
TVA used DOL to resolve the issues which should eliminate referrals of wage disputes to DOL.
Tennessee Valley Authority 3. TVA and the parties should determine whether an independent party, such as DOL or the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS), can assist in making this approach successful and, if so, arrange for this outside assistance.
Closed - Implemented
TVA used DOL and FMCS to assist in successful Win-Win negotiations.
Tennessee Valley Authority 4. Within 6 months from the date of this report, the parties should assess their progress and TVA should report to Congress on the progress made in addressing concerns about: (1) uneven bargaining positions; and (2) unlimited avenues for resolving disputes. TVA should include the views of both the Salary Policy and Employee Panel and the Tennessee Valley Trades and Labor Council in its report.
Closed - Implemented
TVA and Labor organizations have negotiations underway. As recommended, TVA sent its report to Congress on March 25, 1992, and a final report in May 1992. The reports included Panel and Council views.

Full Report