President Obama’s proposed fiscal year 2014 budget calls for a 2% increase in spending for the NLRB over the year before. Much of that 2% increase would go to increases in compensation and benefits costs for NLRB employees. The budget projects an additional 40 NLRB employees, for a total of 1,680 employees. The budget documents further show that the Obama Administration anticipates that the Board will receive 21,700 unfair labor practice charges and 2,700 representation case petitions. The budget estimates that the Board will require approximately an additional $6 million annually to conduct field investigations and an additional $2 million annually for hearings to address these charges and petitions.
The budget also calls for a 4% increase in spending for the FMCS. This increased funding would go to pay new hires. The budget documents reflect that it is anticipated that those additional employees will be necessary to handle increased requests for arbitrators and mediators.
Certainly, the proposed NLRB budget numbers demonstrate that the Obama Administration is not backing off of its commitment to organized labor through stepped up enforcement of the NLRA even during this time of increased spending scrutiny. Whether or not these increases remain in the final budget passed by Congress remains to be seen.