A coalition of two dozen federal employee unions has urged the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee to “restore order and functionality” at the FLRA by acting on pending nominations for the agency’s governing board.
In contrast to the long-standing vacancies at the MSPB—which the committee recently voted to fill by approving all three nominees for those seats—the FLRA board remains full. However, it continues to have the same 2-1 Republican majority dating from the Trump administration when it issued a series of rulings in favor of management that unions are seeking to overturn.
Some of those decisions “vacated decades of workable precedent. It will take years, if not decades, to rebuild these frameworks, and some of the damage may be permanent . . . Any further delay in changing the current makeup of the FLRA indulges the risk of further damage,” the Federal Workers Alliance said in a letter to the committee.
Among those decisions, it said, is one recently overturned by a federal court that had limited the union role in workplace safety, which “will be vitally important as the government seeks to reopen safely in the midst of the Delta variant of COVID-19.”
The pending nominations would provide another term for the sole Democrat, who is now serving as chairman, and replace with a Democrat one of the Republican members who is serving on holdover status.