Labor and Employee Relations - Operations

LER is responsible for Agency Head Review (AHR) of negotiated labor-management agreements throughout the Department to ensure consistency in the Department’s approach to collective bargaining. LER approves all proposed national security exclusions under the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (Statute), implements the Department’s responsibilities with labor organizations that have national consultation rights and any related obligations, represents the Secretary of Defense when meeting with labor organizations with national consultation rights at the DoD roundtable, and oversees any changes to nationwide or agency level exclusive bargaining units.

Agency Head Review

Agency Head Review (AHR) is the statutory requirement that all negotiated agreements (term agreements, MOU/MOA’s and rollover agreements) be reviewed for legal sufficiency by the head of the agency (or his/her designee, which is DCPAS LER) in accordance with title 5 of the United States Code (U.S.C.), § 7114(c)(1). The AHR must be accomplished within 30 days from the date the agreement is executed in accordance with title 5 U.S.C., § 7114(c)(2). Likewise, agreements that contain “automatic renewal” or “rollover” clauses are also subject to AHR at the close of any “open window” provision in the agreement if the parties elect not to renegotiate any provision in the agreement. If not approved or disapproved within that time, the agreement goes into effect the 31st day after execution (to the extent it is consistent with law and Government-wide regulation) in accordance with title 5 U.S.C., § 7114(c)(3).

Submit your agreement for Agency Head Review immediately following execution of the agreement to: LERD Labor Relations.

When submitting your agreement for Agency Head Review, please include the following:
  1. The agreement in MS Word (preferred format) or Adobe PDF.
  2. An Adobe PDF of the completed signature page with date of execution and all signatures required to finalize the agreement.
  3. Agency point of contact information, including mailing address, email address and phone numbers.
  4. Union's point of contact and OFFICIAL mailing address.
  5. Bargaining Unit Certification

Representation and Unfair Labor Practice Cases

DCPAS provides technical assistance and guidance on matters arising under Chapter 71 of Title 5, U.S.C. The Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) has exclusive jurisdiction over resolving issues relating to the representation of Federal employees. This includes granting exclusive recognition to labor organizations and clarifying questions relating to representation that arise under Sections 7111 or 7112 of Chapter 71 of Title 5, U.S.C. DoD Components will coordinate with DCPAS and the appropriate DoD Component HQ on FLRA representation proceedings and exceptions to unfair labor practice cases. Representation issues include among other issues: appropriateness of bargaining units, the impact of reorganizations on existing bargaining units, consolidation petitions and issues involving the eligibility of employees who perform security work that direction affects national security, and applications for review of FLRA Regional Office decisions and orders.

DoD Components seeking to exclude individual employees from a bargaining unit based on intelligence, counterintelligence, investigative, or national security work pursuant to Section 7112(b)(6) of Chapter 71 of Title 5, U.S.C., are required to seek approval from DCPAS before filing a petition.

DCPAS must be provided with a copy of an exception to an ALJ’s decision in an UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICE case. A DoD Component may consult with DCPAS before filing an exception to an ALJ decision or an opposition to a union-filed exception.

DoD Roundtable

The DoD Labor-Management Roundtable-established in accordance with Chapter 71 of title 5 United Stats Code and meets on an as needed basis to afford labor and management an opportunity to engage in the exchange of ideas and concerns. The Roundtable is facilitated by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service; sponsored by Civilian Personnel Policy and the Defense Civilian Personnel Advisory Service; and Chaired by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense. Management Roundtable attendees include leadership from Manpower and Reserve Affairs, Human Resource managers and functional leaders from the military services and components, as well as their labor relations staff.

National Consultation Rights

The Statute (Chapter 71 of title 5 United States Code) provides for National Consultation Rights and grants these rights to labor organizations which represent 3,500 (5 CFR § 2426.11) Bargaining Unit Employees within an Agency or Department. The Defense Civilian Personnel Advisory Service, Labor and Employee Relations Line of Business manages the process and recognizes the following twelve (12) Labor Unions as having National Consultation Rights.

  • Association of Civilian Technicians (ACT)
  • American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE)
  • Federal Education Association (FEA)
  • International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW)
  • International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF)
  • International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE)
  • Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA)
  • Metal Trades Department (MTD)
  • National Association of Government Employees (NAGE)
  • National Association of Independent Labor (NAIL)
  • National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE)
  • Seafarers International Union SIUNA

Resolving questions of the representation of DoD employees by labor organizations through the representation process

The foundation of an effective labor relations program is directly related to the accurate establishment of the representation relationship between DoD Components, DoD employees, and the labor organizations selected by the employees to represent them. The LER provides vital assistance to management in navigating the particularly complex issues involved in representation matters.

The FLRA possesses the sole statutory authority to determine the appropriateness of a unit employees to be represented, or the eligibility of employees in that unit. LER serves as a critical resource and advisor to DoD leaders throughout change situations within any component, across components, or whenever the scope or character of an existing unit of employees changes, when questions of representation arise. This is equally true whenever a labor organization seeks to represent employees that would constitute an inappropriate unit (for example, a proposed unit that would cross two or more DoD Component lines, encompass different personnel systems, or consist of employees that cannot be represented by law, etc.).

DoD Components, as detailed more fully in Volume 711, DoDI 1400.25, will coordinate with LER during the course of FLRA representation proceedings. Typically, FLRA representation proceedings are triggered by such management-directed actions such as reorganizations, consolidations, and realignments.

It is critically important for DoD Components to coordinate with LER any time matters of national security are affected. This typically arises when employees are involved in work related to intelligence, counterintelligence, investigative work, or national security work as described in the Statute.

Finally, LER will assist DoD Components in seeking review of a decision and order in representation cases that result in a significant or DoD-wide impact, the creation of an inappropriate unit, or affects national security.

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