National President Dougan Pens Letter to Congress Requesting Critical Funding for Federal Labor Relations Authority
Budget cuts, staff reductions, and rising workloads. This may sound familiar to millions of federal employees working at dozens of federal departments and agencies over the past few years. For those at the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) – the agency responsible for overseeing labor relations in the federal sector – this has been the standard for more than a decade.
Between Fiscal Years 2004 and 2009, the FLRA budget had been slashed by $6 million, totaling 20% of their overall funding. This lead to a dramatic 40% reduction in staff, shrinking from 184 to just 114 employees. With the advent of the Obama administration, the budget outlook had improved somewhat, but this initial boost soon faded. Now, with just 123 employees and sequestration cuts taking a particularly sharp toll, the agency is in critical need of funding.
To address the matter, NFFE National President Dougan issued a letter to Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and her Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government counterpart Sen. Tom Udall (D-CO), urging an increase in agency funding. The additional resources would allow the agency to hire key staff and start work on reducing the prolific backlog of cases that has plagued the agency since the Bush years.
“The FLRA may be small, but it is a critical agency for the federal workforce,” Dougan wrote. “It is also essential for maintaining efficient labor-management relations in the federal government… I urge you to fund the FLRA at $24.49 million, the amount requested by the President for FY14.”