Labor-management councils hang in the balance in 2012?

Thursday - 1/5/2012, 8:57pm EST

Bill Dougan, president, National Federation of Federal Employees

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By Jack Moore
Federal News Radio
@jmooreWFED

2012 might be the year labor-management partnerships take a leap toward progress — or disappear altogether

In November, President Obama reauthorized the councils through September 2013. The councils are designed to bring together agency leadership, employees and the federal unions.

But some question the councils' effectiveness — and even their entire reason for being. Some lawmakers question the influence of unions on policymaking.

"Federal unions were not created for the purpose of maximizing the efficiency of governance," said former George W. Bush appointee George Nesterczuk at a Senate hearing on the councils last year. "To place them in a position where they can influence public policy for their own benefit is a clear conflict of interest and should not be tolerated."

And the outcome of the Presidential election later this year "could once again spell doom for the partnership effort," the Federal Times posited in a recent article.

Bill Dougan, the president of the National Federation of Federal Employees, told In Depth with Francis Rose the councils are needed now more than ever — especially with many agencies facing a drop-off in funding.

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