The MRP Labor Management Employee Relations (LMER) Branch provides a full range of LMER services for APHIS, FAS, and AMS. The Branch evaluates management and human resources policies in order to determine their labor relations impact and/or implementing requirement; determines the need for and develops APHIS and AMS policies, practices, and procedures related to the conduct of labor-management relations; develops and maintains relationships with APHIS and AMS unions, partnerships, and associations. Within APHIS, serves as management's primary representative in contract negotiations and in the development of negotiation strategies; adjudicates grievances filed under negotiated procedures, and charges of unfair labor practices; coordinates arbitration and Impasses Panel case handling. Represents APHIS and AMS in third-party labor management related matters; provides labor relations training for managers, supervisors, and union officials; provides general labor relations research services to managers and supervisors; provides mediation and consultative services to resolve disputes; and, maintains liaison with recognized bargaining units and officials of the agencies serviced, the Department, Office of Personnel Management, professional societies, and officials in other Government agencies.
The MRP Labor Management Employee Relations Branch (LMER) is also responsible for providing advice and counsel to supervisors and managers throughout APHIS, FAS, and AMS in identifying the best method(s) to correct misconduct and performance problems. As “Advocates of the Process”, when consulted, LMER Specialists inform all employees of their rights and responsibilities. The members of the Branch work on a wide variety of cases and are responsible for preparing proposal and decision letters and arranging for oral conferences as required. In addition, the Branch assists supervisors and managers in preparing demonstration opportunities and in taking appropriate action, if those plans are not met. Finally, the Branch is responsible for handling administrative grievances, and assists in the handling of any appeals to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) resulting from adverse action decisions.
The mission of the Labor Management and Employee Relations Branch is to provide quality advice and services to internal and external customers in any phase of activity dealing with labor management and/or employee relations issues. Our goal is to enhance our customers’ ability to fulfill their mission and at the same time meet our statutory obligations under the Federal Service Labor Management Relations Statute.
Labor Management Employee Relations support customers by:
Email Labor Management Employee Relations Branch at firstname.lastname@example.org
Branch Chief, Mark James (DC), 202-799-7084, Mark.James@usda.gov
Section 1 Chief, Mary Wurster, 970-494-7420, Mary.J.Wurster@usda.gov
Section 2 Chief, Patrick O’Connor, 202-799-7088, Patrick.Oconnor@usda.gov
Branch Chief, Elwood York (DC), 202-799-7107, Silas.York@usda.gov
Section 3 Chief, Annette Nelson, 202-799-7107, Annette.Nelson@usda.gov
Section 4 Chief, Melissa Sampson, 301-851-2619, Melissa.Sampson@usda.gov