Federal Workers Alliance: Fix the FLRB, FSIP

An umbrella org for federal employee unions is pressing the White House to reconstitute federal labor panels—aiming to make sure that those who work for the government get a fair shake on job conditions and other workplace issues in negotiations. 

The Federal Workers Alliance (FWA) this month issued a letter to President Biden, complaining of anti-labor bias in the decisions of the Federal Labor Relations Board (FLRB). Specifically, the group wants quick action on “restoring order and functionality” to the panel—starting with the removal of one member, James T. Abbot—a holdover from the Trump administration and a member repeatedly spotlighted as anti-union by organized labor. The FWA letter notes Abbot’s term has expired, and moreover his enduring presence facilitates an FLRB that “continues to act in a manner that undermines the law promoting collective bargaining.”

Repeating organized labor’s consensus view of Abbot and the current FLRB, FWA says the panel’s “judgment on FLRA cases continues to produce decisions that are inherently biased against labor and the collective bargaining process,” and that its “decisions are clearly aimed at diminishing the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute meant to protect the proper balance of workplace labor rights.”

To punctuate the point, FWA cited another letter, this one from last year—penned by Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) to the Federal Labor Relations Authority—which eviscerated the board and several of its recent decisions as having “discarded decades of labor-management relations precedent and violated [the panel’s] own rules to achieve the goal of limiting collective bargaining for the almost 1.2 million federal employees represented by federal employee unions.”

FWA, in its letter, also requested the speedy renomination of Ernest W. DuBester as Chairman of the FLRB—and for the White House to “immediately appoint qualified individuals to the Federal Service Impasses Panel (FSIP),” to relieve a growing backlog of stalled action on yet another crucial federal labor entity.

The FWA is composed of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, the National Federation of Federal Employees and many other unions, collectively representing hundreds of thousands of federal employees and others. NFFE recently posted a release highlighting its support for the FWA federal labor panels effort.

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