DHS has decided not to appeal to the Supreme Court regarding its ongoing legal dispute with federal government unions over collective bargaining rights at DHS, according to FCW:
Larry Orluskie, a DHS spokesman, said the decision came from the Justice Departmentâ€™s Office of the Solicitor General late Sept. 25. The decision allows the agency to move forward to â€œpursue labor relations flexibilities rather than spending additional time in litigation,â€ Orluskie said.
â€œIf we go to the Supreme Court, we’d go on and on and on,â€ he said. â€œWhat we’re going to do is engage with our other partners, with the components, OPM, sit down with the unions and consider all available options.â€
MaxHR had been tied down in courts because of problems with ensuring collective bargaining rights for employees. The original court decision, in August 2005, blocked labor-relations portions of MaxHR and was eventually reaffirmed by an appeals court in June.
Unions applauded the decision and agreed with DHS on the need to move past the court battles.
â€œDHS has made the right decision â€” for itself, for its employees and for our nation,â€ said Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union. The union led the fight against MaxHR in court. â€œIt is now time for DHS to put this adversarial proceeding behind it and to join with NTEU in focusing solely on the agencyâ€™s critical mission of protecting the American people.â€
I’m glad that DHS is finally dropping this case. The negative mood that this created on human capital issues at DHS over the last three years vastly overwhelmed any performance-related benefits that this plan might have generated. There need to be strong incentives – both carrots and sticks – for high performance at DHS, but it’s been clear for the last two years that this plan was not the right way to pursue this objective.