Unions Pen Letter to the White House to Urge Removal and Replacement of FLRA Board Member, Appoint FSIP Members

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July 23.2021
Contact Matt Dorsey

Washington, D.C. – On Friday, the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE), joined by fellow labor unions as part of the Federal Workers Alliance (FWA), sent a letter to President Biden requesting urgent action to remove Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) Member James T. Abbot and proceed with the nomination of a replacement to accompany the renomination of Ernest W. DuBester as Chairman. The letter also encourages the Biden-Harris Administration to appoint new members to the Federal Service Impasse Panel (FSIP).

The FWA is demanding the replacement of FLRA Member Abbot, a Trump appointee whose term expired but remains on holdover, on the grounds that “the Authority continues to act in a manner that undermines the law promoting collective bargaining. Their judgment on FLRA cases continues to produce decisions that are inherently biased against labor and the collective bargaining process. Their decisions are clearly aimed at diminishing the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute meant to protect the proper balance of workplace labor rights.”

Included in the FWA’s correspondence to the White House is a letter from Representative Gerald Connolly (D-VA) to former FLRA Chair Colleen Duffy Kiko. The Congressman delivered a stern reprimand to the FLRA in November of 2020 for three radical anti-labor policy decisions last year, which “discarded decades of labor-management relations precedent and violated their own rules to achieve the goal of limiting collective bargaining for the almost 1.2 million federal employees represented by federal employee unions.”

Lastly, the FWA letter urges the President to immediately appoint qualified individuals to the Federal Service Impasse Panel, nominations which do not require Senate confirmation. The FSIP resolves impasses during collective bargaining, but a growing backlog halts progress on critical workplace issues.