FLRA Has a Quorum but Still No General Counsel

FLRA Chairman and member confirmed by the Senate providing a quorum that permits decisions to be issued. The nomination for General Counsel at the FLRA is still pending.

On October 2, the Senate unanimously voted to confirm the appointment of Thomas M. Beck as Chairman of the Federal Labor Relations Authority and Carol Waller Pope as a member. According to an FLRA News Release, Beck, a Virginia Cavalier law school grad was a Partner in Jones Day prior to his confirmation.

Ms. Pope is an insider at the Authority, having been a staff member before her original appointment by outgoing President Clinton at the end of 2000.

The confirmation, this late in President Bush’s term by a democrat dominated Senate, is a bit of a surprise as the hotly contested election is so soon to come and the candidates so starkly different in their labor relations stances.

Ms. Pope has been alone at the FLRA for awhile.  Without a quorum of two of three members, the FLRA cannot issue decisions.  I guess we will all watch with interest whether, and what these members may be able to agree on.

The nomination of B. Chad Bungard to be General Counsel, FLRA’s top unfair labor practice prosecutor is still pending.  Bungard, currently General Counsel of the MSPB, if confirmed as FLRA’s General Counsel would be able to break the logjam of cases that have piled up since the former GC left.  ULP complaints cannot be issued in the absence of a presidentially appointed, Senate confirmed General Counsel.

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.