Thursday, June 30, 2011

TOP STORY > >Base leaders sign civilian labor agreement

By 2nd Lt. Mallory Glass
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The Labor Management Partnership Council met June 16, 2011, to sign a partnership agreement between base leadership and the American Federation of Government Employees Local 2055 Little Rock Air Force Base, which stems from the implementation of Executive Order 13522.

The base representative Col. Ken Walters, 19th Mission Support Group deputy commander, and the union representative Clarence Walters, AFGE president Local 2066 Little Rock AFB, signed the agreement.

The Labor Management Partnership Council is an open forum for base leadership and the AFGE Local 2066 to discuss labor and management issues.

“The AFGE is comprised of 78 members and more than 500 bargaining employees,” said Mr. Walters. Civilian employees are an important workforce on the base and the job of the AFGE is to make sure they are well-represented, he said.

The council works to maintain a positive work environment by identifying problems and developing solutions to better serve all employees and the mission of Little Rock AFB, said Lisa Bemrich, 19th Force Support Squadron civilian personnel officer.

According to the partnership agreement between Little Rock AFB and American Federation of Government Employees, the document’s purpose is to “create labor management forums to improve delivery of government service …achieve common goals and establish an atmosphere of mutual respect, openness, trust, and reciprocal cooperation.”

The partnership agreement reinforces the positive relationship between labor and management and the fulfillment of an executive order. Executive Order 13522, Creating Labor-Management Forums to Improve Delivery of Government Services, states “the purpose of this order is to establish a cooperative and productive form of labor-management relations throughout the executive branch.”

“Management and union exist together on Little Rock AFB,” said Heather Baxter, 19th FSS human resources specialist. Even before the executive order there was an excellent relationship between the Little Rock AFB civilian workforce and base leadership … this is just putting it in writing, she added.

The signed pact assures civilian employees that their needs will continue to be recognized.

“The agreement says that there is a signed contract between the AFGE and wing leadership that will ensure civilian employees are heard and represented,” said Danny Mills, AFGE local 2066 vice president.

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