LABOR ORGANIZATION EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS
This compliance tip provides suggestions to help ensure labor unions can continue to fulfill the requirements required by the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) and the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (CSRA) standards of conduct regulations, administered by the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS). During uncertain times, it is crucial for a labor union to remain operational and continue to perform vital services for its members. Furthermore, in preparing for the unexpected, every effort should be made to comply with regulations.
Here are some tips to consider as you develop strategies to ensure your organization remains operational and able to serve its members. These were developed from discussions with OLMS field staff and managers, along with observed practices utilized by many private and public sector organizations:
Collective Bargaining Information
- File your Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with OLMS so it is always available online to the bargaining unit.
- Be sure key dates in your CBA are listed on your website.
- Update phone/email lists for members and provide regular communication, automated or direct.
- While maintaining best practices to minimize the risk of fraud and embezzlement, assign multiple parties access to financial and other critical software to ensure reports are filed on time and can be provided to members upon request.
- Form an Emergency Preparedness Committee and submit plans to membership for approval.
- Create a plan to ensure the union members’ bill of rights are not infringed or hindered.
- Make necessary amendments to constitution and bylaws, as well as guidance, to allow for alternative methods of officer nominations, membership meetings and board meetings (mail-in, online, etc.).
- Create alternatives for conducting a tally when normal procedures cannot be followed and consider ways to create an alternative method for observing the vote count.
- Make regular updates to the union website and social media platforms.
- Establish remote access to union software containing membership data that ensures the safety and security of this private information.
- Convert accounting and other crucial software to online platforms with remote access.
- Consider using a document management system that allows records to be stored in a cloud-based format. Any systems used should ensure adequate cyber-security.
- Consider using two factor authentication on union accounts – i.e. if an authorized signatory needs to make an electronic payment a code would be texted to the other authorized signatory.
- Ensure that you create adequate backups of documents and systems.
- Conduct membership meetings via video or telephone conference.
- Conduct executive board meetings via video or telephone conference.
We welcome any suggestions as we may update this tip sheet periodically. If you have any questions, please e-mail us at OLMS-Public@dol.gov, call us at (202) 693-0123, or contact your nearest OLMS field office.
Last Updated: 07-06-20