A memo from President Trump authorizes the head of the FLRA to remove members of its subcomponent Federal Service Impasses Panel, a change seen by federal unions as an attempt to overcome a legal objection they have been raising regarding the FSIP.
The FSIP decides on deadlocks in bargaining between agencies and unions, which often involve disputes over whether a proposal is negotiable. Recently it has issued rulings that unions believe undercut their authority in civil service law to negotiate on topics such as alternative work schedules, telework and union-specific matters.
In several pending court cases, unions contend that any decisions by the FSIP should be invalidated because the members were directly appointed by the White House, arguing that the law envisions them being subject to Senate confirmation. They note that members in turn have been subject to removal only by the President, a status more typical of positions in which Senate confirmation is required.
The memo authorizes the FLRA to remove FSIP members based on “whether the decisions are consistent with the requirement of an effective and efficient government,” among other factors that the FLRA “may consider appropriate.”