President Joe Biden has removed all 10 members of the Federal Service Impasses Panel (FSIP) – the arm of the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) tasked with resolving disputes between unions and federal agencies when they reach an impasse during negotiations.
FSIP has been used by the Trump administration to impose anti-worker, union-busting agency contract proposals on federal workers.
The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), the largest federal government employees union, had called on the Biden administration to remove FSIP members and appoint new ones. And the union is applauding the Biden administration for taking swift action to prevent more damage done to the federal workforce.
“On behalf of the 700,000 government employees we represent, our union extends our heartfelt thanks to President Biden for taking swift action to remove the current panel members and restore basic fairness for federal workers,” said AFGE President Everett Kelley.
“The outgoing panel, appointed by the previous administration and stacked with transparently biased union-busters, was notorious for ignoring the law to gut workplace rights and further an extreme political agenda.”
AFGE also applauded Biden for naming Ernest DuBester as the new chairman of the FLRA.
“President Biden could not have chosen a more qualified person to lead the agency charged with establishing and enforcing labor management law throughout the federal government,” Kelley added.
ANTI-WORKER EXECUTIVE ORDERS
Following Trump’s anti-worker executive orders in 2018 – which restricted the types of issues members can bargain about, hampered the ability of members to get representation at the worksite by sharply reducing hours union representatives can engage in representational work during the course of the normal workday, and gutted due process and merit systems protections – federal agencies abandoned contract negotiations with AFGE in a rush to send the cases to the FSIP stacked with union-busting members.
“The panel repeatedly twisted itself into knots to rule against our union under the Trump administration and proceeded to impose anti-worker provisions at several agencies, including the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Social Security Administration, prompting the union to file lawsuits.
“FSIP is a critical component in the federal negotiating process, and we look forward to President Biden’s future picks issuing just decisions, unencumbered by political interference,” Kelley said.