On September 15, 2010, the Department of Commerce Labor-Management Forum met in Room 1414, Herbert Hoover Building, Washington, DC. The meeting started at 1:30 p.m. and concluded at 3:30 p.m. See attached for a list of attendees.
The members adopted the minutes for the June 16, 2010.
The members heard a presentation by Bill Fleming, OHRM, on the 2010 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS). Congress mandated the Survey; the same set of questions have been used since 2002; and the questions are grouped into eight topical areas. The Department of Commerce conducted an analysis of the results of the 2010 FEVS and identified five areas needing attention in order to increase employee engagement:
• Child Care Programs – DOC
• Elder Care Programs – DOC
• Cooperation among Coworkers – BIS, NTIA, NTIS
• Handling Poor Performers – BIS, NTIA, NTIS
• Promotion of Diversity in the Workplace – BIS, NTIA, OIG
Dan Sobien, Labor Co-Chair, stated he believed the Forum Charter indicates agreement by the members of the Forum for establishing councils below the level of recognition. Labor and management were unable to reach consensus about Section 3 of the Charter on this matter.
The members heard a presentation by a staff member from the Office of General Counsel on Electronic Document Management System (EDMS). This system is the norm in private laws firms; it permits better review of the documents’ database. Marguerite Matera (OGC/NWSEO) indicated that there are issues and concerns relating to conditions of employment and EDMS. There was no notification to NWSEO about the possible changes.
Ms. Matera believed the concept/system is appropriate for discussion with pre-decisional involvement of unions at the Forum level. NWSEO did not have an opportunity to nominate its own people to discuss the development and building of the system. The people who OGC management met with were not NWSEO’s choices.
The Travel subgroup has updated the travel guidelines and is waiting for GSA to provide the Department with best metrics to evaluate changes.
The Labor Co-Chair believes the use of audiovisual equipment needs to be viewed from the perspective of users and customers, with a need to deliver properly to end users.
The Metrics Working Group is still waiting for information on the Scorecard. The Management Co-Chair will share the information with the Working Group.
• FEVS Survey:
• Request made to labor members to help staff the Department-wide survey teams;
• Determine how the Metrics Working Group can use the data;
• The Metrics Working Group could report to the Forum on building baseline data and ways to increase ratings.
• The Metrics Working Group should address the response rate by
o Assembling two teams to deal with Department-wide problems (Elder Care and Child Care);
o Task Metrics Working Group with evaluating the data in accordance with Executive Order 13522; and
o Ask Communications Working Group to develop a strategy to increase the employee response rate.
• Look for trend analysis for all items
• The Innovation Working group could mine the data for any other possible projects.
• The next agenda is to include a discussion of the facilities, telework, IT, and Green building.
• A member recommended that the USPTO Telework Manager attend the December Forum meeting to discuss PTO’s telework program.
• A member requested they receive the documents sooner to give members more time to review them.
• The Innovations Working Group has a B1 pilot project on the use of audiovisual equipment ready to submit to the National Council by 12/15.