Representatives of NFFE Local 251 Ken Dinsmore and Rebecca Nourse Receive the 2017 Margery Gootnick Labor-Management Cooperation Award
On May 19th, The Society of Federal Labor & Employee Relations Professionals presented the 2017 Margery Gootnick Labor-Management Cooperation Award to NFFE Local 251 President Ken Dinsmore and Rebecca Nourse, a Deputy Regional Forester.
Over the past five years, the pair ensured that both the agency and the union have sustained a high level of cooperative relations through mutual trust and respect. Dinsmore and Nourse have reduced the number of grievances filed by 50% and have productively used interest-based problem-solving techniques to frame their discussions and negotiations.
Unfortunately, Dinsmore and Nourse were unable to accept the award in person at the Society’s 44th Annual Symposium in Arlington, Virginia, due to the travel required from their home state of Alaska. However, NFFE Secretary Treasurer Dave Stamey was honored to be their designee at the luncheon, and announced some remarks on the behalf of Ken Dinsmore.
“President Dinsmore and Local 251 are excited, humbled and honored for this recognition of their accomplishments during the past 5 years. The Local proudly accepts the 2017 Margery Gootnick Labor Management Cooperation Award.
“Although at times we are at opposite of one another, labor and management continue to share common interests such as:
“Both parties recognize that a well-trained and educated management and union officials are in our best interests as this provides a foundation for understanding each other abilities, roles, and limitations.
“The use of the Federal Management Conciliatory Services, training in Interest Based Problem Solving in that Labor and Management learned how to articulate their interests without becoming positional and to maintain a professional relationship without becoming personal.
“Trust and mutual respect. Is a relationship built on it. Make no mistake, this is never easy to do, it takes time and effort. The relationship also requires each side to understand that judicious exercise of its rights under the law negotiated, and a Collective Bargaining Agreement. To this end the Local 251 spends more time avoiding filing grievances than filing grievances.
“The Local and Management continue to make a sincere effort to engage in Pre-Decisional involvement (PDI) to resolve issues at the lowest level possible, in other words we talk before we type.
“In conclusion President Dinsmore wanted to thank Regional Forester Beth Pendleton, retired Deputy Regional Forester Ruth Monahan, and current Deputy Regional Forester Rebecca Nourse for their foresight and willingness to engage and provide the funding for the training I described earlier during a time of tight budgets.
“Again, President Dinsmore thanks to the Society for this awesome recognition, and will strive to live up to this honor in the coming years.”