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PRESS RELEASE

INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF PROFESSIONAL AND TECHNICAL ENGINNERS (IFTPE)

January 23, 2001
Contact: Candace Rhett (301)565-9016
c.rhett@worldnet.att.net

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF IMMIGRATION JUDGES FILES UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICE AGAINST U.S. DEPT. OF JUSTICE

Silver Spring, MD-On December 14, 2000, the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) issued a complaint against the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) for refusing to bargain in good faith with the National Association of Immigration Judges, an affiliate of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, AFL-CIO & CLC. The complaint is set for hearing before an Administrative Law Judge on April 17, 2001.

In 1998, the NAIJ began pressing EOIR to engage in collective bargaining. Negotiations broke down after just one week-long session in early 1999. EOIR filed a unit clarification action with the FLRA asserting that the judges were management employees who were not eligible to bargain. The FLRA dismissed this action as well as a subsequent appeal filed by EOIR finding no basis in their assertion that Immigration judges are management officials.

Since early last year, NAIJ has continually sought a return to the bargaining table. EOIR has rejected NAIJ's requests to schedule face-to-face negotiating sessions. Instead, EOIR chooses to ignore the deepening morale problems created by management's refusal to deal in good faith with the Immigration judges.

EOIR, a component of the United States Department of Justice, employs approximately 220 Immigration judges nationwide.

It is ironic that EOIR, an agency created to administer justice, chooses to deny its Immigration judges their statutory right to organize and bargain collectively. EOIR's Immigration judges are the face of our nation to those who seek asylum in our great country. The working conditions of these judges are among the most demanding of any adjudicative officers. Through negotiations, the NAIJ simply seeks to improve the quality of worklife for Immigration judges, thereby further ensuring that the highest quality judges will be retained and recruited by the Agency.


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