Wednesday, July 22, 2009

(DC Labor)

When it comes to labor-management partnerships, DC Mayor Adrian Fenty who has effectively disbanded the citys Labor-Management Partnership Council - could learn a few things from his friend in the White House. The Rural Development Partnership Council at USDA, which had virtually vanished under President Bush, is back and has been very effective in improving management/employee relations, reports AFSCME Local 3870 President Debra Arnold. Weve had to file no grievances in the past 18 months, Arnold tells Union City, and dozens of employee issues have been resolved informally. The Council includes three union members, three top management members, and holds quarterly meetings. We discuss current issues, accomplishments, and our vision of where we want to go, says Arnold. Now were expanding the Council to include more management from the different divisions. In the meantime, federal workers are anticipating an Executive Order from President Obama that would mandate that partnership councils be established throughout the federal government. USDA Rural Development is the rural counterpart of HUD (Housing and Urban Development) Arnold says; the agency provides business and housing loans and grants in rural areas.


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