YubaNet.com
Wednesday, April 16 2014

            We Deliver News to the Sierra
News Fire News spacer Latest News spacer Regional News spacer California News spacer USA News spacer World News spacer Op-Ed spacer Enviro News spacer Sci Tech News spacer Life spacer Odd News spacer Cartoons spacer
Features The Calendar features features Weather features Sierra NightSky features features features Road Conditions features Home spacer
US
 

Labor Troubles at U.S. Labor Department

Union Charges Unfair Practices in Whistleblower Reorganization Lockout


       

By: Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER)

WASHINGTON, D.C. Oct. 26, 2010 - Plans to fix the embattled whistleblower program within the Occupational Safety & Health Administration hit another snag as the union representing the affected employees has filed unfair labor practice charges over being frozen out of deliberations, according to documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). The latest problems stem from completion of a long-awaited "top to bottom" review of the program charged with enforcing whistleblower provisions of 20 statutes covering more than 200 million workers.

On Friday, October 22, 2010, Danielle Gibbs, American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 12 Vice President for OSHA, representing employees within the Office of the Whistleblower Protection Program (OWPP), notified agency managers that her union is filing charges of unfair labor practice and violation of the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement because affected employees had not been consulted about pending reorganization changes.

"It is surprising that an Obama-run Labor Department is having so much trouble relating to its own unions," commented PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, noting AFGE's early and strong support for the 2008 Obama campaign. "It appears that everyone and his brother have been consulted about what to do with OSHA's whistleblower program except the people who are actually doing the work."

The top to bottom review was offered as OSHA's principal response to scathing back-to-back reports by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Labor Office of Inspector General. This new review, distributed in draft, finds "significant deficiencies and challenges facing OSHA's whistleblower protection program" and "systemic problems" requiring "widespread reforms." It makes a dizzying array of 81 recommendations without assigning priorities or spelling out an implementation strategy.

"This mishmash of a review reinforces the need to take this program completely away from OSHA," stated Ruch, whose organization is urging creation of a separate whistleblower program with dedicated funds and leadership. "This review is still in draft so that OSHA managers can water down even this thin gruel."

Significantly, the review does not even analyze the proposal which the Labor Department has forwarded to the White House Office of Management & Review for inclusion in the FY 2012 budget. That proposal would move whistleblower programs for 19 environmental, consumer protection and other subjects to another arm of Labor but leave the biggest and most troubled whistleblower program, that for the Occupational Safety & Health Act itself, inside OSHA. PEER has attacked this plan as making a bad situation worse.

"The Labor Department needs to let its own employees and the public in on possible solutions to decades of mismanagement of the nation's largest whistleblower program," concluded Ruch, whose organization is also suing OSHA in federal court to force release of an internal survey of OWPP staff and other documents provided to GAO. "As it stands now, thousands of workers who report dangerous conditions, corporate rip-offs or other problems are being left out in the cold by the very agency that is supposed to protect them from reprisal."

Read the AFGE notice of the unfair labor charges:
http://www.peer.org/docs/osha/10_26_10_Union_whistleblower_reorg_grievance.pdf

View the "top to bottom" review of OSHA whistleblower program:
http://www.peer.org/docs/osha/10_26_10_OSHA_whistleblower_Top-to-Bottom_review.pdf

See the plan to split the OSHA whistleblower program:
http://www.peer.org/news/news_id.php?row_id=1413

 

Help us bring you more news. Be a real reader: Support YubaNet

By submitting a comment you consent to our rules. You must use your real first and last name, not a nickname or alias. A comment here is just like a letter to the editor or a post on Facebook. Thank you.

Comments powered by Disqus

 

Latest Headlines

US

Report: Voluntary Corporate Political Spending Disclosure Does Not Work

Offshore Tax Havens Cost Average Taxpayer $1,259 a Year, Small Businesses $3,923

Federal Court Declares OH Ban on Recognizing Marriages of Same-Sex Couples Unconstitutional

Dozens of Monkeys Died at Charleston Laboratory; Whistleblower Provided Proof and Grisly Photographs

Frazier Glenn Miller, Longtime Anti-Semite, Arrested in Kansas Jewish Community Center Murders

Report Shows E-Cigarette Marketing Campaigns Lighting Up Among Young Users

Scientists, Farmers and Educators Ask the President and Secretaries of Agriculture and the Interior to Jump Start Recovery of Monarch Butterflies

DC's Sewage Green Scam will Keep Potomac Watershed Filthy

Epidemic That Has Killed Millions of Bats Across Eastern U.S. Has Now Reached Wisconsin, Michigan


More

 
 
 

NEWS . Fire News . Latest . Regional . California . USA . World . Op-Ed . Enviro . Sci/Tech . Life . Odd News . Cartoons
FEATURES . The Calendar .Weather . Sierra NightSky . Horoscope . Road Conditions
YubaNet.com . Advertising. About Us . Support YubaNet . Contact Us . Terms of Use . Privacy

YubaNet.com © 1999-2014
Nevada City, California (530) 478-9600