The National Labor-Management Partnership Council

The National Labor-Management Partnership Council (Partnership Council) in the United States Environmental Agency (EPA) is an organization composed of both management and union officials dedicated to the accomplishment of the Agency's missions, fostering more productive and cost effective service to the agency's customers, and improving the working conditions, career development, and morale of employees. The Partnership Council is founded on the belief that Agency employees want to be involved in decisions that affect them; that they care about their careers and are dedicated to fulfilling the missions of the agency; that they take pride in their work and contributions to protecting public health and the environment; and that they should share in the success of their efforts.

Council’s Function
The Partnership Council’s goal is that by creating an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect, open sharing of information, and recognizing and utilizing individual ideas and knowledge in innovative ways, EPA's labor unions and management can improve the agency for all employees.

It is the function of the Partnership Council to promote implementation of partnership concepts throughout the agency and to investigate, study, discuss and propose solutions to the EPA Administrator on a wide range of issues affecting EPA employees, and to make specific decisions when delegated authority to do so by the Administrator.

Council’s Structure
The National Labor-Management Partnership Council is comprised of a Council and an Executive Board. The Partnership Council is comprised of one officer from each local/chapter of each EPA union, the Presidents of any National Councils having exclusive recognition in EPA, and a group of senior management officials designated by the Administrator. The Assistant Administrator for Administration and Resources Management is the Administrator's representative on the Partnership Council.

The Partnership Council’s Executive Board conducts the on-going business of, and is authorized to make decisions on behalf of, the Partnership Council. The total number of management members is equivalent to the total number of union representatives.

The Executive Board is comprised of an officer of each union (i.e., American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), Engineers and Scientists of California (ESC), National Association of Government Employees (NAGE), National Association of Independent Labor (NAIL), and the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU)) that represents EPA bargaining-unit employees and five senior-executive level management representatives appointed by the Administrator. At least three of the management representatives are at the Senior Management level, one of which is from the Office of Research and Development. The management representatives include members from Headquarters, Field Offices, Laboratories and Regional Offices.

Council Meetings
The Partnership Council meets at least annually to develop the priorities for the coming year or at the call of the co-chairs to review such issues as may be brought forth by the Executive Board. The Partnership Council and Executive Board are jointly chaired by the Administrator's representative and a union representative appointed by the unions. The Co-Chairs of the Partnership Council are also members of the Executive Board and Co-Chairs thereof.

Recent Meeting
The executive Board of the National Partnership Council (NPC) met on Tuesday 2/1/2016. Administrator Gina McCarthy was originally scheduled to attend the meeting, but due to Flint, Michigan travel to deal with the drinking water crisis there, the Deputy Administrator Stan Meiburg attended in her place. The meeting was attended by the two Co-Chairs of the NPC, Karl Brooks, acting AA for OARM and Amer Al-Mudallal, Executive VP of NTEU 280 as well as representatives from EPA’s five labor unions, AFGE, NTEU, NAGE, NAIL, ESC and the appointed executive officials on management side.

NTEU and the other unions raised issues of concern during the meeting on a number of topics. Of those topics, NTEU has concerns about the new Bullying/Anti-harassment Policy, the definition of Telework Commuting Area, adherence to principles of scientific integrity, the state of partnership between labor and management, and the new green spark challenge on the employee viewpoint survey. We will continue to raise our concerns at the Next NPC Executive Board meeting, scheduled for April 2016.