skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Federal funds boost Northeast high-speed EV charging network; the Heat Dome remains the top story over more than half the nation; Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in TX face health disparities; Groups debunk claims of 'skyrocketing' numbers of non-citizen voters.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

U.S. House passes the National Defense Authorization Act, with hard-right amendments. Political scientists say they worry a second Trump presidency could 'break' American democracy, while farmers voice concerns about the Farm Bill.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

Advocates: Increase NLRB Funding During Lame-Duck Congress

play audio
Play

Friday, December 16, 2022   

With a wave of unionization sweeping across America, the agency that oversees labor relations is struggling to keep up.

The National Labor Relations Board is funded by Congress and its budget is unchanged since fiscal year 2014. Over time, inflation has eaten into that figure to the point that now the agency is effectively operating with a 25% lower budget than nine years ago. This is in contrast with the growing caseload the agency is addressing thanks to increasing unionization.

Sara Steffens, secretary-treasurer for the Communications Workers of America, said without additional funding, the agency may have to cut staff.

"The agency is seeing a lot of work responding to election petitions and to employer misbehavior," she said, "and at the same time, they're contemplating the need to potentially do a furlough of their employees."

The NLRB warned Congress in a letter in November that the current funding level is impairing its ability to maintain staff capacity at its headquarters and 48 field offices across the nation.

The work of NLRB includes both union representation cases and investigating unfair labor practices. The number of both types of cases has increased, with the total caseload up 23% over last year, yet over the last decade, the total number of personnel at the NLRB has declined by 30%. The NLRB letter to Congress said the staff reduction and increasing caseload is slowing case processing to the detriment of both employers and employees.

Steffens said workers with claims against employers are dependent on this one agency.

"Really there is only one place, the National Labor Relations Board, that protects workers in these situations," she said. "So, if they are underfunded, it's like tying the government's hand behind its back when it comes to enforcing labor laws."

Union advocates are calling for Congress to appropriate $368 million to fund the NLRB next year.

With union organizing on an upswing, public sentiment about unions is as well, with a Gallup poll this year showing the highest level of approval for unions since 1965. Steffens said she believes the labor organizing will continue.

"This is a wave of organizing that is not stopping," she said. "The rate of winning union elections is up, I want to say it's 71% over the course of the first part of this year."

Disclosure: Communications Workers of America contributes to our fund for reporting on Human Rights/Racial Justice, Livable Wages/Working Families. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
A U.S. Water Alliance report finds maintaining Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act funding in water infrastructure could reduce service disruptions to water-reliant businesses, saving them 46% over 20 years. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

Recent reports are calling on Virginia and the U.S. to invest in water infrastructure. The U.S. Water Alliance's Bridging the Gap report reviews two …


Social Issues

play sound

After a recent flurry of claims that Democrats are allowing immigrants into the country illegally in order to register them to vote in the upcoming U.…

Environment

play sound

Despite the official start of the summer season on Thursday, climate change is exacerbated by extreme weather events in the Keystone State. The …


Social Issues

play sound

As the 2024 presidential elections approach, the nonpartisan Michigan League of Women Voters is intensifying its efforts to combat disinformation …

Environmental groups are working to attract more Latino families to enjoy the great outdoors on public lands such as the Alabama Hills National Scenic Area in southern Inyo County. (Louis Medina)

Environment

play sound

Conservation groups are circulating a petition asking the feds to give "America the Beautiful National Parks and Recreation Lands" passes to new citiz…

Social Issues

play sound

An Ohio program that provides help for foster parents of children with complex behavioral issues is expanding. It offers 24/7 on-call crisis …

Health and Wellness

play sound

Almost half of the Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who live in Texas are skipping routine healthcare because of cost, according to a survey by …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021