Trump Administration Plans Major Cuts to Labor Relations Board

The Trump administration is looking to slash the budget of the National Labor Relations Board, according to several employee and outside groups, in addition to a proposed reorganization of the agency.

Proposals from NLRB officials appointed by President Trump would seek to centralize functions currently performed by regional employees in the field and reduce their investigatory authorities as they seek to resolve cases involving workforce representation and unfair labor practices.

The agency is also seeking to dramatically slash its budget and workforce, and has implemented a hiring freeze and other cuts despite uncertainty as to whether Congress will go along with the reductions. The multi-pronged efforts have demoralized employees, their advocates recently told leadership, and justifications of boosting efficiency could belie the true intention of crippling the agency, according to GovExec.

 “Ultimately, whatever case-handling efficiency steps are adopted, they must be consistent with the mission of the [1935 National Labor Relations Act, which established the NLRB],” said the committee of regional directors, according to a letter to NLRB General Counsel Peter Robb obtained by Bloomberg Law. “Adopting measures that result in efficient resolution of cases but contravenes the mission of the act is a hollow accomplishment.”

NLRB has said it would freeze hiring, suspend performance awards and cut other agency resources. The NLRB Professional Association said this would result in the agency being “significantly less effective” in accomplishing its mission and could lead to undermining the will of Congress.

The NLRB Union said overall the proposals would, rather than improving efficiency, make longstanding issues at the agency worse.

“Many regions remain severely understaffed, which has caused many employees to feel overworked,” the union said. “Further, many employees feel under appreciated for their work and dedication to the mission and the agency. Very few of the concepts set forth in the memo seek to address these problems.”



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