NWSEO President Co-Chairs New DOC National Labor Management Forum
(March 8, 2010) NWSEO President Dan Sobien spent the first week of March in Washington DC as co-chair of the Department of Commerce Labor Management Forum. The Labor Management Forum, which held its first meeting on Tuesday, March 2, is the result of an executive order designed to enhance collaboration between management and federal employees. President Sobien was elected co-chair by all DOC unions. NWSEO Vice President Bill Hopkins and Treasurer Marguerite Matera are also members of the Labor Management Forum.
The intent of President Obama’s order is to have employees and union representatives work as partners with management to identify problems and craft solutions for the benefit of their organization, services and products. It is designed to foster cooperative labor-management relations and include training in dispute resolution. Every cabinet of the US government will create its own Labor Management Forum.
President Sobien represents the Labor side of the Department of Commerce. DOC Chief Financial Officer Scott Quehl also co-chairs the Labor Management Forum, representing Management. In addition to NWSEO, the union team consists of delegates from Patent Office Professional Association (POPA), International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE), National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) and a rotating seat for smaller unions.
Department of Commerce Secretary Gary Locke addressed the delegates at the first meeting, which was designed for introductions and orientations and to discuss the Forum’s charter.