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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release October 28, 1999

October 28, 1999


SUBJECT:       Reaffirmation of Executive Order 12871 --
               Labor-Management Partnerships

When I became President, I believed that cooperation between Federal agencies and their unions could help create a Government that works better, costs less, and makes a positive difference in the lives of the American people. That is why I issued Executive Order 12871, Labor-Management Partnerships, and directed agencies to form partnerships with their unions; involve employees and union representatives as full partners in identifying and resolving workplace issues; provide training in consensual methods of dispute resolution; negotiate with unions over the subjects set forth in 5 U.S.C. 7106(b)(1); and evaluate bottom-line results achieved through partnership.

With your hard work and support, we have made great strides over the past 6 years. In many agencies, unions and management are working side by side on the tough challenges facing the Government and its employees. I am very proud of this success, but I am also convinced that we can do even more. I believe the time has come to redouble the Administration's efforts to create genuine labor-management partnerships. Therefore, I am taking new steps to reaffirm my strong commitment to partnership and to renew my call for agencies to work with their unions to achieve the important objectives of the Executive order.

First, I direct agencies to develop a plan with their unions at appropriate levels of recognition for implementing this memorandum and the Executive order. Every effort should be made to develop a plan that helps the agency and its employees deliver the highest quality service to the American people. Whenever possible, workplace issues should be resolved through consensus using interest-based problem-solving techniques. Agencies should aggressively seek training, facilitation, and mediation assistance that can help foster an environment where partnerships can succeed and thrive.

Second, agencies are directed to report to me, through the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), on the progress being made toward achieving the goals of this memorandum and the directives set forth in the Executive order. Reports must be submitted by April 14, 2000, and annually thereafter, and must be prepared with the involvement and input of the unions. Agencies shall describe the nature and extent of their efforts to comply with the Executive order and shall identify specific improvements in customer service, quality, productivity, efficiency, and quality of worklife that have been achieved as a result of partnership. These reports will not only help me assess our progress toward establishing successful partnerships, but will provide best practices that can assist unions and agencies in their efforts to develop effective partnership-building strategies.

Finally, I am directing the Office of Personnel Management to analyze the information contained in these reports and, in coordination with OMB, to advise me on further steps that might be needed to ensure successful implementation of this memorandum and Executive Order 12871.

This memorandum is intended only to improve the internal management of the executive branch and is not intended to and does not create any right to administrative or judicial review, or any other right, substantive or procedural, enforceable by a party against the United States, its agencies or instrumentalities, its officers or employees, or any other person.


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