Labor-Management Relations (LMR)

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About LMR

Department of Energy (DOE) Labor Management Relations (LMR), provides direction and oversight of the Department's labor-management relations programs and appraises the effectiveness of DOE labor-management relations throughout the Department. LMR provides guidance and advice to Labor Relations Officers (LROs), managers, and others and provides the statutory function of Agency Head Review (AHR) on collective bargaining, mid-term and term agreements, and provides advice and guidance on third party actions. LMR provides clarification of laws, government-wide regulations, case law, and DOE policy. In addition, LMR develops and facilitates labor relations training, serves as technical advisors to the Secretary’s Department wide Labor-Management Forum (LMF) and more. DOE LMR goes back to some unique beginnings in which Department of Interior (DoI) bargaining units were transferred into DOE as part of the stand-up of the Department of Energy. These power industry units had unique grandfathered rights (termed 704 rights) based on section 9(b) of the Prevailing Rate Systems Act of 1972 in which Congress "preserved the rights of parties to collective bargaining agreements in effect on August 19, 1972, to negotiate 'with respect to the various items of subject matter of negotiations on which' those contracts were based," meaning these 704 grandfathered rights were preserved as of August 19, 1972, and can continue to be negotiated in spite 5 USC. 71, the Federal Service Labor-Management Statute.

DOE currently has 15 locally recognized units, 3 of which are grandfathered 704 units, and no national bargaining units.

It is LMR's goal to facilitate a collaborative working environment by promoting labor-management cooperation by working with local LROs and labor organizations to meet Agency challenges and develop joint solutions that will enhance workplace safety, productivity, and employee quality of life to better accomplish the Department’s mission and improve the delivery of services to the DOE and the public.

 

DOE BARGAINING UNITS

Bonneville Power Administration

Headquarters

Idaho

National Energy Technology Laboratory

Oak Ridge

Richland

Southwestern Power Administration

Western Area Power Administration

 

What is the difference between a Weingarten meeting and formal discussion and what are my requirements?

A Weingarten examination is an examination of an employee in connection with an investigation where the employee reasonably believes the examination may result in disciplinary action. A formal discussion is a discussion management has with bargaining unit employees when the topic covers grievances, personnel policies, practices, or other general conditions of employment. In formal discussions, management must invite the Union and give them a chance to attend, whereas with Weingarten meetings management must notify the employee of his/her right to union representation.
 

Should I give the union representative official time for attending a union sponsored training?

Review local collective bargaining agreements and discuss with your Labor Relations Officer. However generally, if the training agenda has been reviewed and deemed appropriate, management may grant the Union representative official time to attend the training. While official time request procedures are captured in various collective bargaining agreements, the Department’s ATAAPS time and attendance system has four primary official time categories to elect from in order to ensure proper reporting of official time. Any time spent doing union work in a paid status is official time.
 

What is a past practice and can I ever change it?

A past practice is an unwritten rule or way of doing things that is clear and consistent, longstanding, known and accepted by both parties and conforms to law, contract and regulation. You can change past practices, but only after providing notice to the union and negotiating out of it.