Senate Holds Hearings on FLRA Nominees: Acting Committee Chair Thumps Bush Administration

Thomas Beck and Carol Pope’s hearings for appointment to the FLRA were held on September 11. Amid some Bush bashing, hints on the Democrats future plans for Federal labor relations were provided by the only Senator present for the hearing.

On September 11, the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs held a public hearing to consider the nominations of Carol W. Pope and Thomas M. Beck to be Members of the Federal Labor Relations Authority.

Senator Akaka (D-Hawaii) was acting Chairman of the committee and the only senator present for the hearing.  He questioned both nominees on how they would deal with the Authority’s backlog and staff.  Akaka, who along with Sen. Clinton introduced legislation in 2007 (S. 2197 -`Federal Labor-Management Partnership Act of 2007′) to encode partnership as the Federal government’s labor relations system, engaged in some Bush bashing, a favored sport among current House and Senate Majority members.  He lashed out at the proposed (now defunct) attempts by the administration to build a new labor relations structure for Homeland Security and Defense.

Here are links to the Senator’s press release on the hearings and to his proposed partnership legislation.

I understand the Senator asked questions about revisions to the statute perhaps hinting that the Democrats have plans to rework Federal labor relations with a legislated version of labor-management partnerships.  We may get to find out if there’s a Democrat elected to the White House in November.

As always, any opinions expressed above are mine and mine alone.

About the Author

Bob Gilson is a consultant with a specialty in working with and training Federal agencies to resolve employee problems at all levels. A retired agency labor and employee relations director, Bob has authored or co-authored a number of books dealing with Federal issues and also conducts training seminars.