- Published: October 04, 2021
Today, PASS joined a coalition of 20 unions who represent federal employees asking that the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and the Office of Presidential Personnel act swiftly to approve President Biden’s nominees to the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA).
In a letter sent to Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), chair of the committee, and Ambassador Catherine Russell at the White House, the Federal Workers Alliance requested that the committee “schedule immediately a hearing to advance Ernest W. DuBester’s nomination for FLRA Chairman, Susan T. Grundmann’s nomination for FLRA Member, and Kurt Rumsfeld’s nomination for FLRA General Counsel.”
The FLRA is an independent administrative federal agency created by Title VII of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, also known as the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute, to govern labor relations between the federal government and its employees.
Under the previous administration, the general counsel’s office was vacant from November 2017 until the Biden administration took over and appointed an acting general counsel in March. The more than three-year-vacancy led to a backlog of unfair labor practice cases that still need to be cleared up.
“There has been an effort over the last several years to undermine how collective bargaining works in the federal sector,” said PASS National President David J. Spero. “It’s time to have confirmed members on the FLRA who understand how the Statute should function in order to protect the rights of federal employees.”
The Federal Workers Alliance letter took the same position, referring to the two Trump-era members currently serving on the FLRA: “[their] judgment on FLRA cases continues to produce decisions that are inherently biased against labor and the collective bargaining process. Their decisions are clearly aimed at diminishing the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute meant to protect the proper balance of workplace labor rights.”
PASS and the other unions asked Chairman Peters and Ambassador Russell to move quickly on the nominations. “Doing so will provide relief from a disturbing precedent installed by the previous administration to diminish the systematic protections that administer fairness and effectiveness within the federal workforce.”