The newest Member of the Federal Labor Relations Authority is Patrick Pizzella. Here are his observations regarding his time at this agency since he began his term there in November.
Since the FLRA was inoperative for most of 2013, the most significant cases the MPSB and the Federal Courts.
In a January 3, 2014 decision, the Federal Circuit stated: “As explained in this opinion, by adopting two inconsistent interpretations of the same statutory language, the Authority has acted arbitrarily and capriciously”. This deals the FLRA, only back in operation since mid-December, a stinging rebuke on arguably its most extensive political tool, the determination as to what is or isn’t an “appropriate arrangement.”
On October 16 and 30, the Senate confirmed the nominations of the Director of the Office of Personnel Management and three members of the Federal Labor Relations Authority.
The Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs held hearings on the pending confirmations of all three FLRA nominees on September 25. The author suggests that Federal LR practitioners watch the session which is about 1 ½ hours in length to get an appreciation of how the process works and how almost no discussion of substance took place.
The Obama White House announced the nomination of Patrick Pizzella as an FLRA Member. The author asks if this will smooth the way for the confirmation of Carol Waller Pope whose nomination has been in limbo for almost a year.
FLRA is not deciding any cases as they are missing two members. If the former Chair is reconfirmed, we can expect more union proposals to be offered and ordered negotiable as “appropriate arrangements” for violating a management statutory right. The Author recently covered this topic at the Society of Federal Labor and Employee Relations Professionals’ annual conference. This article offers the meat of that presentation and suggestions for dealing with FLRA on this issue.
FLRA is offering parties an opportunity to provide input to both its prospective Guide to Negotiability and negotiability training materials. The author suggests that Agencies review these materials and provide input as training dollars are scarce and field activities and offices may rely on the information provided. Act quickly, the offer expires May 7, 2013.
Have you ever listened to someone give a presentation or state a particular view and leave out a critical piece of information? The Author suggests that perhaps FLRA’s General Counsel’s bias was showing in a recent presentation on Furloughs and Agencies need to take it with a big block of salt.
Why has Carol Waller Pope disappeared from the FLRA web site? The author offers an explanation.