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Councilmember Phil Mendelson 
Letter to Mayor Adrian Fenty on the Office of Labor Management Programs
August 28, 2008




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Phil Mendelson
Councilmember At-Large
Office (202) 724-8064
Fax (202) 724-8099 

August 28, 2008

The Hon. Adrian M. Fenty
Mayor, District of Columbia
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20004   

RE: Labor Management Partnership Office

Dear Mayor Fenty:

I have received a copy of an e-mail from your administration which states that the Office of Labor Management Partnership (OLMPC) "will not be funded for FY 09 and September 30th will be the last day for Labor-Management Programs." This is a surprise since page A-54 of the FY 09 budget book (Volume 2) lists $802,000 funding for this office. Further, earlier this year your administration converted all of the OLMPC employees from term appointments to permanent positions.

The EOM Chief of Budget Execution was not surprised by the news, informing my office that "union representatives have recently withdrawn from the partnership and refused to engage management on existing partnership projects." That spin does not hold up against the fact that the main Labor Management Partnership Council (which you co-chair) has not met even once since you took office. The annual LMPC awards ceremony — to honor the best agency partnerships — was cancelled last fall. Union leaders have repeatedly expressed their frustration over this deterioration, and Metro Council President Josh Williams told me today that labor continues to want the LMPC program.

It is hard to believe that you would allow — or encourage — the demise of the labor-management partnership process. Established in 1997-98 with the encouragement of the Control Board and the U.S. Department of Labor, the LMPC concept has always been considered cutting edge best practice. under Mayor William's the District had one of the best, if not the best, LMPC programs in the country. The LMPC program improves labor-management relations outside the collective bargaining process, and it improves service delivery within the agencies. The annual awards ceremony was proof of this success.

This government cannot succeed if its leaders are at war with its workers. I am sure that you agree that the working men and women in District government are vital partners as we strive to be a world-class city. Disbanding the OLMPC, and the labor management partnership councils, is incongruent with this goal. Quite simply, alienating those workers on whom we rely is a serious mistake.

I urge you in the strongest terms to reconsider what is being done to the OLMPC and the labor-management partnership councils.

Phil Mendelson

cc: All Councilmembers

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