Sequestering the NLRB

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Cuts in budget = cut rate service at the NLRB?

Like most other government agencies, the NLRB is being impacted by sequestration.  The overall agency budget has been reduced by 5%.   The office of the General Counsel has released a memo outlining some of the cost cutting measures.

Here are some exercpts from that document that are indicative of what the agency approach will be regarding dealing with issues that come before them in the near fiuture.

Unfair Labor Practice Settlements and Election Agreements

“The Field continues to enjoy remarkable success in securing settlements of merit in unfair labor practice cases and election agreements to resolve pre-election disputes. The salutary effects of ULP settlements in resolving labor disputes and election agreements are obvious and must be pursued. In addition, and of special importance at this time of budget uncertainty, significant savings of Agency staff and budget resources result from high settlement and election agreement rates.  It is also true that settlement early in the processing of a merit unfair labor practice case and the negotiation of an election agreement early in the processing of a merit representation case will result in the greatest saving in resources.  Accordingly, in all Regional Offices, and especially in those offices where performance in those areas is below the national experience, redoubled efforts should be made to improve perfomance.

Trials and Representation Case Hearings

For those trials that will be going forwarsd despite exhaustive settlement efforts, in order to save on tranportation and per diem costs,…agency employees are being asked to:

  1. Use phone or videoconference when possible
  2. reduce travel for investigatory meetings
  3. avoid the assignment of inexperienced counsel for training purposes
  4. use oral arguments at the end of trails in lieu of filing post trial briefs
  5. encouraging administrative law judges to issue bench decisions
  6. encourage the use of stipulations to reduce time on the recor and conserve resources

Attorneys and astute HR people will want to take note of this.

The full memo can be accessed here.

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