Federal Labor-Management Relations Reforms Under Bush: Enlightened Management or Quest for Control?

Source: James R. Thompson, Review of Public Personnel Administration, Vol. 27, No. 2, June 2007
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The Bush administration is promoting radical change to the labor-management relations status quo in the federal sector. Provisions of the 1978 Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute already leave the federal employee unions in a disadvantageous position vis-à-vis management. The changes by President Bush would tip the balance of power even further in favor of management. Are those changes an attempt to expand presidential control over the bureaucracy, or do they simply represent an alternative, promanagement philosophy of workplace relations? The conclusion here is that Bush has adopted a political management model of governance in which operational considerations are subordinate to control considerations.

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