NTEU Chapter 296
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  • Senate Committee Considers FLRA Nominees and Approves CBPO Retirement Legislation
    Mar 31, 2022

    SUMMARY:  Today the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee considered President Biden’s nominees for the FLRA and passed legislation to ensure that CBPOs receive the retirement benefits they were promised and earned.

                Today, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) held a business meeting to consider several nominations and legislation supported by NTEU. 

    Specifically, HSGAC once again voted on the nominations of Ernest DuBester, to be Chair and Kurt Rumsfeld to be General Counsel of the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA), which is charged with administering the Labor-Management relations program for 2.1 million non-Postal federal employees.  Both of the nominees are well qualified for these positions and have years of experience.  Mr. DuBester has over 45 years of experience in Labor-Management relations and has served as a Member of the FLRA since August 2009, where he currently serves as Chair.  Mr. Rumsfeld has extensive experience in labor and employment law and currently serves as Chief Counsel to Chairman DuBester.

    You may recall that HSGAC favorably reported the nominees last fall, but the nominations were returned to the White House at the end of 2021 per Senate rules and had to be resubmitted this year.  However, today’s party-line vote resulted in a tie, meaning that the nominations were not favorably reported to the full Senate.  Chairman Peters (D-MI) said that he would work with Senate Majority Leader Schumer (D-NY) to have the nominations discharged from the committee for full Senate consideration.

    Given that two of the three Members on the FLRA, including Mr. DuBester, are serving in a hold-over capacity and the General Counsel position is currently filled by an acting official, it is imperative that these nominees move forward to prevent any lapse or slowdown in operations due to vacancies.  On Monday, Majority Leader Schumer filed cloture on the nomination of Susan Tsui Grundmann to be a Member of the FLRA, who was favorably reported by HSGAC in February.  NTEU also supports Ms. Grundmann’s nomination and will keep you posted on Senate action.

    The committee also considered NTEU-endorsed legislation introduced by Chairman Peters, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer Retirement Technical Corrections Act (S. 3868), which would finally provide relief for the nearly 1,500 Customs and Border Protection

    Officers who were told they were no longer eligible for a proportional annuity and subject to mandatory retirement after 20 years of law enforcement service despite what they were told when hired.  The federal government made a promise to these workers, and this legislation will ensure that the government keeps that promise.  The bipartisan bill passed the committee by voice vote and now awaits consideration by the full Senate.  For more information, click
    here.

    NTEU will continue to urge the Senate to act quickly on these matters.  I will keep you updated on additional developments. 

                                                                                        Anthony M. Reardon

                                                                                        National President


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