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Leadership Corner

Forest Service and NFFE negotiate new Master Agreement

Portrait of Chief Vicki Christiansen in uniform.
Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen

I am pleased to announce the completion of a new Master Agreement between the Forest Service and the National Federation of Federal Employees. The MA defines rights for employees, union representatives, and management, and lays out procedures to be followed on matters affecting working conditions. The new agreement is effective as of September 13, 2019, replacing the 2016-2019 MA.

Since 2017, there have been some significant changes to Federal sector collective bargaining law and policy, including four Executive Orders. Taken together, these changes represent the biggest changes in labor relations in the federal sector since the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978.
The NFFE Forest Service Council represents about 20,000 employees, 57% of the workforce, and is the largest bargaining unit in the agency. This new agreement was developed in record time by the union and management negotiating teams, with significant savings to the government compared to previous MA negotiations, which have taken years to complete.

Our employees are our greatest asset in sustaining the health, diversity and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The new MA reflects recent changes in the federal collective bargaining policy, but it continues the Forest Service commitment to maintaining constructive and cooperative relationships with our union colleagues. As management and the union work together to adjust our working relationship under the new MA, we are committed to living our agency core values of service to employees and interdependence between the employees and management of the Forest Service.

The new MA preserves the commitment of…Read More

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