From labor disputes cases to labor and employment publications, for your research, you’ll find solutions on Bloomberg Law®. Protect your clients by developing strategies based on Litigation...
National Labor Relations Board leaders faced a rare agency staff protest Nov. 8, the second such employee action in the current board’s first year.
Career staffers at the NLRB protested and handed out leaflets outside an American Bar Association conference attended by board Chairman John Ring. They say the agency is trying to make more cuts to pay and benefits despite ending the fiscal year with a budget surplus, and that it terminated two long-standing collective bargaining contracts for most of its staff to renegotiate the terms.
The protests are also aimed at Ring and General Counsel Peter Robb’s efforts to reverse the direction of federal labor policy and overhaul the agency, whose mission is to enforce workplace labor law and referee union elections. Senior career officials have said the moves and proposals made by President Donald Trump’s appointees would hobble the NLRB and gut American workers’ ability to file charges alleging unlawful workplace practices against employers.
Workers at federal agencies sign up with their employee unions at a much higher rate than workers in the private sector do. But the picketing and other protest actions often associated with private unions are rare in the federal government. There have been indications of internal strife under other agency heads in the Trump administration. The NLRB staffers’ public criticism of their leaders takes on added significance, however, given the agency’s own role as one of the government’s main enforcers of workplace and union rights.
“Since their appointment, General Counsel Robb and Chairman Ring have engaged in a systematic attack on the employees” and “the agency as a whole,” the staffers said in their leaflets. They pointed to the government’s annual employee surveys for 2018, noting that several measurements of employee confidence in leadership dropped steeply at the NLRB.
The percent of NLRB staffers who expressed dissatisfaction with agency leaders’ "policies and practices” more than doubled in 2018, from 22 percent to 47.4 percent, according to the 2018 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey.
“The NLRB takes employee concerns seriously, and we will look for ways to address this feedback,” Ring told Bloomberg Law in a Nov. 8 email.
The group and Ring are at the ABA’s annual labor and employment law conference in San Francisco.
The protesters are members of the NLRB Professional Association, the union representing workers at the board’s Washington, D.C., headquarters.
“The Agency’s current leadership cast aside years of a peaceful, collaborative relationship with its employees by terminating our contract and, by all accounts, preparing dramatic cuts to employees’ benefits, job protections, and compensation,” NLRBPA President Karen Cook told Bloomberg Law in an email.
The union says the moves are being made despite the agency’s ending the fiscal year with a surplus.
Staffers who’ve spoken with Bloomberg Law on the condition of anonymity said the surplus is likely money left over after the agency offered buyouts to reduce staff. There were fewer workers willing to accept the offers than the agency had expected.
The “upcoming collective bargaining will provide a good opportunity” to address employees’ various concerns, Ring told Bloomberg Law.
Career staffers staged an earlier protest against Robb’s proposed moves.
Robb has said his plans to revamp the agency’s processes are “to bring the Agency in line” with a directive from the Trump administration’s Office of Management and Budget that lays out a broad vision of slimming down the federal government by consolidating, minimizing, and eliminating certain programs and agencies.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)