Labor-Management Partnerships Draw Fire at Senate Hearing

October 12, 2011

Conservatives took aim Tuesday at the Obama administration's federal labor-management partnerships, calling them an unprecedented extension of unions into government business that is sure to drive up costs.

Unions and agency officials disputed those concerns at a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs federal workforce subcommittee hearing. Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry said that preliminary results show the partnerships are saving money at several agencies, often by helping root out inefficient or unnecessary processes.

Berry said the national partnership council has helped put together a proposal to strengthen employees' performance management. And witnesses cited a few ways labor and management have found to cut costs, though some examples predated President Obama's re-establishment of the Clinton-era partnerships. 

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