The Senate voted last week to confirm Susan Grundmann to the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) with a 50-49 vote, giving Democrats control of the agency in charge of administering the labor-management relations program for more than two million non-postal Federal employees.
President Biden nominated Grundmann to join the three-member FLRA in August 2021. She previously served as the executive director and chief operating officer of the Office of Congressional Workplace Rights. She had also been nominated to serve as the chairman and a member of the Merit Systems Protection Board under the Obama administration.
Unions applauded the Senate for confirming Grundmann, including the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) – the largest union for Federal employees.
“We look forward to this qualified new team restoring fairness at the authority and turning a swift and critical eye to the many cases and unfair practice complaints pending before it,” AFGE National President Everett Kelley said in a statement. “The FLRA has been stymied by vacancies and failed leadership in recent years. We look forward to working with Ms. Grundmann to restore dignity and fairness to this important administrative body and urge the Senate to act swiftly to confirm President Biden’s other nominees.”
The president’s other two FLRA nominations of Ernest DuBester – who President Biden designated as FLRA chairman in January 2021 – as an FLRA member, and Kurt Rumsfeld to be the agency’s general counsel, still remain in limbo.
The two nominations failed to advance from the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in the face of concerns expressed by Republican members over allegations of possible misconduct by the nominees in their current offices. Republicans on the committee have asked the FLRA Inspector General to investigate the two nominees.