The Foreign Service Journal, June 2003

in representation elections in State, USAID and USIA in 1972-73; and managed the first two crucial years of negotiations with the managements of the three foreign affairs agencies in 1974-75. On the right, of course, was management. State’s managers were committed to the preser- vation of the status quo. After all, a system that had made them managers was clearly worth preserving. Moreover, these managers wanted to maintain the special status conferred upon the Secretary of State and the Foreign Service Director General by the Rogers Act of 1924. Yet, interestingly, management itself was divided into two broad camps. Many senior officers — Bill Macomber, Nat Davis, and Larry Eagleburger come immediately to mind — were in varying degrees sym- pathetic to AFSA’s “Young Turks” and their objectives. For these “generalists,” love of the Foreign Service and its people trumped all other considerations. The second management group was composed of old- line administrative officers who had been largely sovereign in their areas of expertise. John Thomas in administration and Joe Donelon in budget and fiscal (both individuals remembered with affection and respect) were exemplars of this contin- gent. The idea that a white-col- lar union system would allow middle-grade generalists (the AFSA leadership) to negotiate policies and procedures in their areas of control — and with any disagreements going to inde- pendent adjudicators — was difficult for these folks to grasp. They were in denial for months, if not years, which caused real disruption in the early stages of negotiations after AFSA won exclusive representation. Finally, on the far right (again for lack of a better term) was a group of “dead-enders” — those who could not contemplate and would not participate in an employee-management system that was adversarial. Bill Bradford’s resignation from the AFSA Governing Board when it became clear AFSA would become a union was emblematic of this position. With full respect for those holding this view, it must be said that they were a shrinking minority — even in the early 1970s. A statistically overwhelming 2,241 AFSA members (a quarter of total membership) participat- ed in the 1971 referendum on forming a union, with over 85 percent favoring the proposal. First Battle: E.O. 11491 vs. E.O. 11636 Executive Order 11491, issued in October 1969, was originally intended to set up “white collar” unions in the entire federal government service. However, Secretary of State William Rogers badly wanted the State Department to be exempted from the require- ments of this E.O. and tasked Management Under Secretary Bill Macomber to achieve this. Macomber met with AFSA President Charles Bray and others on the unionization issue in early 1971. A set of “four points” was agreed, as a basis for a separate E.O. for the Foreign Service, and Bray tabled them at an open meeting of AFSA members. Sentiment was strongly against the Four Points. Further meetings with management produced a new paper, the “Seven Points,” also designed to serve F O C U S J U N E 2 0 0 3 / F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L 29 Ambassador Thomas Boyatt, currently AFSA Governing Board treasurer (for a second time), has also served as AFSA president, vice president and retiree representa- tive. An FSO from 1959 until 1985, he served as ambas- sador to Colombia and Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso) and chargé d’affaires in Chile, in addition to postings in Nicosia, Luxembourg and Antofagasta (Chile). In Washington, he served on the staff of the under secretary of the Treasury, as assistant to the assistant secretary for Near Eastern Affairs, and as director of the Office of Cypriot Affairs, among other positions. Since retiring from the Foreign Service, he has been vice president of a large company, president of a small company, and a trustee of Princeton University. Besides working with AFSA, current activities include lecturing, consulting, a commercial directorship, service on several boards connected to the Foreign Service, and “tanning the back of my neck working on the back 40 in Great Falls, Va.” AFGE’s position was driven by the knowledge that it would lose any representation election in which FSOs could participate.