Press Release 1/14/08 For Information: Charles Paidock, RVP, Chicago, IL
NFFE/GSA National Council (312) 353-0830 charles.paidock@gov
Federal Employees Targeted by Department of Homeland Security
For Challenging Background Investigations
A union officer was disciplined for challenging background investigations of employees in the federal government, regardless of how many years they had been with the government. On January 2, 2008, Charles Paidock, the Great Lakes Regional Vice President for the National Federation of Federal Employees, was ordered to return to his position as a Program Operations Clerk, and would be authorized to engage in union activities only if he stated what he would be doing to his immediate supervisor, and this was approved by him.
Mr. Paidock had requested negotiations with the General Services Administration (GSA) in accordance with the contract in effect, and the Federal Labor Management Relations Statute. The agency, however, refused to meet and discuss this with representatives of employees. Mr. Paidock then filed an Unfair Labor Practice Charge with the Federal Labor Relations Authority, alleging that the agency refused to bargain in good faith on a negotiable matter.
The agency simply stated that records of 720 employees were “missing,” and in compliance with a Department of Homeland Security directive, that investigations would be undertaken. An employee targeted for an investigation, and who “failed,” could be removed from their position in the federal government. The investigations were being conducted by personnel under contract with the federal government, which raised concerns by the union.
A “Letter of Instruction” was issued to Mr. Paidock, a preliminary step is the discipline process, alleging that Mr. Paidock had represented employees outside of the Midwest. Mr. Paidock had been designated as the Chief Negotiator by the Union, given that he has over 25 years of experience in negotiations, and had recently handled other nationwide matters.
Mr. Paidock stated that “we have never claimed that the government cannot determine who works there, however, we can see to it that there is just cause for removing someone, and make other appropriate arrangements for anyone who might be adversely affected by a change in the conditions of employment. The agency just wanted me out of the way so they could do whatever they wanted, to whomever they wanted.”
The Union intends to file another Unfair Labor Practice Charge, regarding the agency’s attempt to determine who it sends to the table to representative employees.