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  With FMCS Training, AFGE and Bureau of Prisons Rebuild Labor-Management Relations, Reach Agreement

Release Date: 6/9/2014

After training from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, the U.S. Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and Council of Prisons Locals (CPL) signed a new contract May 29 at a signing ceremony at BOP headquarters in Washington, DC--the agency's first new master labor-management contract in 16 years. Both sides credited the FMCS training as a key element in helping them reach agreement. 
“The “relationship by objectives” training the FMCS provided was absolutely invaluable in helping both sides get behind the process that led to our contract.  When we started, BOP was a broken agency; labor-management relations were an enormous obstacle to the efficient functioning of the agency.  FMCS and the RBO program helped us work through anger, bad practices, and mistrust and to start to set objectives and work together to realize them.  It has turned things around enormously.  Both sides now believe we can work together on important issues so that BOP will not only be a safer and better place to work, it will also be better able to achieve its  mission.  This never would have happened without the intervention and assistance from the FMCS,” said AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. 
 Bureau of Prisons Director Charles E. Samuels, Jr. said, "This training was very helpful in improving the labor-management relationship at the national level." The BOP Director endorsed the FMCS training for BOP local facilities. 

National CPL President Eric Young stated, “This is a significant milestone for all of us – one that has been a long time in the making.”

Attendees for the signing ceremony included AFGE National President Cox, National Secretary-Treasurer Eugene Hudson, Jr., AFGE General Counsel David Borer and Women’s and Fair Practices NVP Augusta Thomas. The signing ceremony also included local presidents and prison wardens from across the country,  joining by video conference. 

The Bureau of Prisons and the Council of Prisons Locals experience is recounted in this video.  

For more information, visit the Bureau of Prisons' website coverage and the AFGE website coverage.