The FLRA has asserted its powers over the Federal Service Impasses Panel, a subagency whose decisions are under court challenges that center on the level of the FSIP’s independence.
The FLRA issued a new organizational chart that it says “accurately reflects” that the panel is an entity within the FLRA that “provides assistance” in resolving negotiation impasses.
“Consistent with the panel’s placement within the authority, the statute confers upon the authority broad supervisory powers over the panel and its work,” an announcement says.
“Under the statute, the authority’s supervisory powers include issuing policy statements that are binding on the panel; reviewing panel decisions in negotiability, unfair labor practice, and arbitration proceedings; and staying panel rulings where necessary. Accordingly, the updated authority organizational chart correctly reflects the panel’s role under the authority’s leadership and supervision,” it says.
The FSIP in recent years has issued a number of rulings that unions believe severely undercuts their role in the federal workplace.
In two cases currently before federal district courts, the AFGE union argues that the rulings should be overthrown on grounds that the FSIP operates as an independent entity and that its members therefore should be subject to Senate confirmation rather than direct presidential appointees.
Previously, the administration had moved to bolster its position by delegating from the President to the FLRA the authority to remove FSIP members.