Court Throws Out FLRA Policy Statement

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued a favorable, unanimous decision that vacated a Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) decision limiting collective bargaining rights. 

The court’s ruling in favor of NTEU and two other unions restores the longstanding status quo that the FLRA tried to jettison and means that agencies must bargain over any management-initiated change that has more than a minor, “de minimis” impact on a condition of employment.  
The FLRA had attempted to weaken collective bargaining by only requiring bargaining over “clear and meaningful” and substantial changes to conditions of employment.  But the D.C. Circuit, today, held that the FLRA’s decision “to abandon its longstanding precedents and adopt the substantial impact standard was not sufficiently reasoned” and therefore “arbitrary and capricious.” The court thus vacated the FLRA’s “cursory policy statement.” 
NTEU hopes that the FLRA will heed the D.C. Circuit’s admonition, which it has now delivered repeatedly, that it must issue reasoned decisions.