NLRB Strategic Plan

I finally got around to reading the National Labor Relations Board’s Strategic Plan for FY2007-FY2012. To spare you the snooze fest, I will give you the highlights. Send me an email if you’ d like a copy.

Semi-interesting highlights:

The Board receives 28,000 cases a year.

24,000 are unfair labor practice (ULP) cases. Of these cases, two-thirds result in a finding of no merit–no probable cause to support the charge. 95% of the cases with merit are settled without formal litigation.

4,000 are representation cases (involving petitions to conduct secret ballot elections).

NLRB workforce: 500 employees in Washington, D.C headquarters and 1,300 located in 32 Regional offices, 3 subregional offices, 16 resident offices and 3 satellite judges offices nationwide. An interesting note: 44% of GS 13-15 supervisors and 78% of Senior Executive Service Members in the Agency will be eligible to retire by the end of this year.

New Performance Measures:

Goal #1: Resolve all questions concerning representation impartially and promptly.
Currently the NLRB resolves 78% of representation cases within 100 days of the filing of the elections petition. The long-term target is 85% by FY2012.

Goal #2: Investigate, prosecute and remedy cases of unfair labor practices by employers or unions, or both, impartially and promptly.
Currently the NLRB resolves 66.7% of ULP charges by withdrawal, dismissal, or closing upon compliance within 120 days of the filing of the charge. The long-term target is 71% by FY 2012.
Of the meritorious (prosecutable) ULP cases on compliance, the NLRB closes 73.6% within 365 days of the filing of the ULP charge. The long-term target is 77% by FY2012.
Program Area of Special Emphasis:
To inform working Americans fully about their rights under the NLR Act, specifically their rights with regard to “concerted protected activity”. This activity, which can be initiated with or without the presence or involvement of a union, is peaceful conduct by or on behalf of two or more employees for “mutual aid or protection.”

The NLRB’s normal method of ‘spreading the gospel’ is through labor lawyers representing both unions and management, labor organizations and business groups including American Bar Associations and State and local bars/chapters of the Labor and Employment Relations Association.

The new initiative is to reach out–even closer– to the employees, and this is where it may begin to affect you and your business. The new NLRB targets: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, direct NLRB agent contacts with schools, community groups, churches, business organizations and others to make the information about the NLRB available to individual workers. Brochures, model speeches and other outreach materials and even advertising a speaker’s bureau to permit individuals and groups to request that an NLRB representative address gatherings to present information about the Agency on the website.

So if you are one of those companies out there afraid to face your fears by not mentioning the “u-word (UNION)”, your friendly government agency is going to do it for you (of course, along with every union out there). If you do not currently have a company philosophy on unions, perhaps in the company handbook or better yet in the company orientation video and better the company recruiting video, I’d suggest you get one going today, face your fears and be proactive. Wouldn’t you rather tell your employees than wait for someone else to tell them?

About the author

Walter Orechwa

Walter is Projections’ CEO and the founder of UnionProof & A Better Leader. As the creator of Union Proof Certification, Walter provides expert advice, highly effective employee communication resources and ongoing learning opportunities for Human Resources and Labor Relations professionals.