Information on The New FLRA Dues Revocation Rule, 5 C.F.R. § 2429.19
Jill Folsom -
We want to take this opportunity to provide additional guidance regarding the new FLRA rule on dropping union membership.
Here is what you need to know:
1) The Rule only applies to employees who join on or after August 10, 2020.
The “Dates” section of the rule states that the rule applies to the revocation of dues assignments authorized under 5 U.S.C. § 7115(a) on or after August 10, 2020. See 85 Fed. Reg. at 41169-41179 (July 9, 2020). In the “Summaries of Comments and Responses” section, the rule adds to this language by stating “[a]s explained in the Dates section above, the rule would apply only to dues assignments that are authorized on or after the rule’s effective date.” 85 Fed. Reg. at 41170 (emphasis in the original).
2) For members joining on or after August 10, 2020, no member may drop as a result of this new rule any earlier than August 10, 2021.
The rule states that “after the expiration of a one-year period during which an assignment may not be revoked, an employee may initiate the revocation of a previously authorized assignment at any time that the employee chooses.” The timeline starts for “dues assignments that are authorized on or after the rule’s effective date.” 85 Fed. Reg. at 41169-41170 (emphasis in the original).
3) If you have a contract, this rule doesn’t change anything.
The law is clear that if your contract is in place, the Agency can’t implement a change in governmentwide rules (such as this one) while your contract is still in effect. See 5 U.S.C. § 7116(a)(7) (an agency may not “enforce any rule or regulation … which is in conflict with any applicable collective bargaining agreement if the agreement was in effect before the date the rule or regulation was prescribed.”). “Like all governmentwide regulations, the rule will be subject to the constraints of section 7116(a)(7) of the Statute. Thus, currently effective agreements will not be destabilized if they contain negotiated provisions that conflict with the rule.” 85 Fed. Reg. at 41170.
4) If you are bargaining your contract, the Agency must bargain the procedures and appropriate arrangements regarding the new rule.
We have a legal right to bargain all conditions of employment, including “‘conditions of employment’ … established by rule, regulation, or otherwise, affecting working conditions.” 5 U.S.C. § 7103(a)(14).
5) If you are bargaining your contract, the new rule does not require any changes for employees who joined before August 10, 2020.
The Bottom Line: if you have a contract in place, nothing changes. If you don’t have a contract in place prepare to bargain to allow new members who join on or after August 10, 2020 to be allowed to drop membership at any time after having been a member for one year.
We hope this information is helpful to you as we navigate this rule change.
DISCLAIMER: This is intended for AFGE use only. The guidance offered herein does not address specific case facts nor is it intended to be a substitute for individualized legal advice. Moreover, the guidance offered herein is general in nature and has been prepared solely in order to assist AFGE members in understanding the FLRA rule upon its release