Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government


Arbitration Services; Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request

AGENCY: Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.
ACTION: Notice to Mediation Agencies (Form F-7) Proposed Modifications.
SUMMARY: This notice announces that the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) agency form F-7 is being revised. Following publication of this Notice and any responsive comments, FMCS will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request for review of this Notice to Mediation Agencies (Agency Form F-7) form. The request will seek OMB approval of a modified Form F-7 and new expiration date of approximately October 1, 2012. FMCS is soliciting comments on specific aspects of the collection as described below.
DATES: Comments must be submitted on or before September 3, 2009.
ADDRESSES: Submit written comments by mail to the Office of Arbitration Services, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, 2100 K Street, NW., Washington, DC 20427 or by contacting the person whose name appears under the section headedFOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Comments may be submitted also by fax at (202) 606-3749 or electronic mail (e-mail) All comments must be identified by the appropriate agency form number. No confidential business information (CBI) should be submitted through e-mail. Information submitted as a comment concerning this document may be claimed confidential by marking any part or all of the information as "CBI." Information so marked will not be disclosed but a copy of the comment that does contain CBI must be submitted for inclusion in the public record. FMCS may disclose information not marked confidential publicly without prior notice. All written comments will be available for inspection in Room 704 at the Washington, DC address above from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Vella M. Traynham, Director of Arbitration Services, FMCS, 2100 K Street, NW., Washington, DC 20427. Telephone (202) 606-5111; Fax (202) 606-3749.

Copies of the modified Form F-7 are available from the Office of Arbitration Services by calling, faxing or writing Vella M. Traynham at the address above. Please ask for the form by title and agency form number.

I. Information Collection Requests

FMCS is seeking comments on the following Information Collection Request (ICR).

Title:Notice to Mediation Agencies; Form F-7; OMB No. 3076-0004;

Expiration Date:January 31, 2006.

Type of Request:Reinstatement of a previously approved notice with changes in the substance of the form.

Affected Entities:Parties affected by this information collection are private sector employers and labor unions involved in interstate commerce that file notices for mediation services to the FMCS.

Frequency:Parties complete this form once, which is at the time of an impending expiration of a collective bargaining agreement.

Abstract:Under the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947, 29 U.S.C. 158(d), Congress listed specific notice provisions so that no party to a collective bargaining agreement can terminate or modify that contract, unless the party wishing to terminate or modify the contract sends a written notice to the other party sixty days prior to the expiration date (29 U.S.C. 158(d)(1)), and offers to meet and confer with the other party for the purpose of negotiating a new or modified contract (29 U.S.C. 158(d)(2)). Furthermore, the Act requires that parties notify the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service within thirty days after such notice of the existence of a bargaining dispute (29 U.S.C. 158(d)(3)). The 1974 amendments to the National Labor Relations Act, which extended coverage to nonprofit health care institutions, also created a notification procedure in the health care industry requiring parties to notify each other 90 days in advance of termination and 60 days in advance to FMCS (29 U.S.C. 158(d)). This amendment also requires 30-day notification of bargaining for an initial agreement to the FMCS. To facilitate handling of more than 18,000 such notices a year, FMCS created a specific information collection form. The purpose of this information collection activity is for FMCS to comply with its statutory duty to receive these notices, to facilitate assignment of mediators to assist in labor disputes, and to assist the parties in knowing whether or not proper notice was given. The information from these notices is sent electronically to the appropriate field manager who assigns the cases to a mediator so that the mediator may

contact labor and management quickly, efficiently, and offer dispute resolution services. Either party to a contract may make a request in writing for a copy of the notice filed with FMCS. The F-7 form was created to allow FMCS to gather desired information in a uniform manner. The collection of such information, including the name of the employer or employer association, address and phone number, e-mail address, official contact, bargaining unit and establishment size, location of affected establishment and negotiations, industry, union address, phone number, e-mail address and official contact, contract expiration date or renewal date, whether the notice is filed on behalf of the employer or the union, and whether this is a health care industry notice is critical for reporting and mediation purposes.

Burden Statement:The current annual burden estimate is approximately 18,000 respondents. This one-page form takes about 10 minutes to complete.

II. Request for Comments

FMCS solicits comments to:

(i) Evaluate whether the proposed collecton of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information to be collected will have practical utility.

(ii) Enhance the accuracy of the agency's estimates of the burden of the proposed collection of information.

(iii) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected.

(iv) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including the use of appropriate automated, electronic collection technologies or other forms of information technology.

III. The Official Record

The official record is the paper electronic record maintained at the address at the beginning of this document. FMCS will transfer all electronically received comments into printed-paper form as they are received.

Dated: July 30, 2009. Michael J. Bartlett, Deputy General Counsel.