A wholesale change lies ahead for the Federal Service Impasses Panel, an arm of the FLRA that decides on bargaining disputes and that during the Trump administration was itself the subject of a dispute.
Federal unions say that the Biden administration has asked for the resignations of all 10 members, who were appointed by the Trump administration; while it is not clear whether all complied—and whether any who didn’t were fired—the FLRA site no longer lists them. Those appointees largely had backgrounds in labor relations from the management side; the Biden administration in contrast would likely favor mostly, or exclusively, persons with backgrounds from the labor side or who are experienced in dispute resolution.
During the Trump administration the panel issued a number of decisions in favor of agencies which had declared impasses after negotiations over proposals in areas such as official time and disciplinary practices reflecting that administration’s policies under executive orders that the Biden administration has since revoked.
Unions filed lawsuits arguing that the panel’s decisions were invalid on grounds that panel members should be subject to Senate confirmation, not appointed directly as they were. The Trump administration responded by delegating more authority over the panel to the FLRA itself.
Several of those lawsuits remain pending and that delegation of authority has not been revoked, leaving questions regarding the steps moving forward.