A coalition of some two dozen federal employee unions has urged President Biden to replace one of the two Republican members of the FLRA with a Democrat and to name members of the Federal Service Impasses Panel, an arm of the FLRA that resolves bargaining deadlocks.
“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,” said the Federal Workers Alliance.
One of the Republican members is serving on an extension of an expired term, while the sole Democrat—Ernest W. DuBester, whom Biden named chairman—has been on the dissenting end of a series of 2-1 decisions in favor of management in recent years. FLRA members are subject to Senate confirmation.
The unions also said they approved of Biden’s decision to remove all the members of the FSIP, each of whom had been appointed by his predecessor. “Given that the appointments to FSIP do not require Senate confirmation, it is our hope that the administration can move quickly to staff those positions with qualified, experienced personnel to begin again its important work to resolve impasses during collective bargaining,” they said.
The letter does not mention that several unions argued in federal court that FSIP decisions during the Trump administration should be held invalid on grounds that the members were improperly appointed because the law requires Senate confirmation for that position.