NLRB BLEEDS FIELD STAFF: The NLRB has lost 17 percent of its field staff since the start of the Trump administration, according to an analysis that the agency’s union provided Morning Shift. In a letter to Sens. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the National Labor Relations Board Union said that the number of field staff fell from 990 in February 2017 to 820 as of March 1.

According to the union, the reductions began in early 2017 after acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, then director of the Office of Management and Budget, told agencies to cut staff. NLRB general counsel Peter Robb, meanwhile, sought to tighten political appointees' control over the agency by consolidating field offices. Most of the staff reductions have occurred through attrition; last year, the NLRB offered buyouts.

The NLRBU says agency leadership is understating the number of unfair labor practice filings streaming into field offices. In its budget request, the agency told Congress that such filings were down 7-10 percent; actually, the union says, they’re up 2 percent. "Given that publicly available data on the agency website shows an increase in unfair labor practice case filings so far this year over last year," NLRBU President Burt Pearlstone said in a statement to Morning Shift, "one would be hard-pressed to conceive of any legitimate analysis that would yield such a precipitous drop.” Union leaders will press their case this week in meetings with Blunt and Murray’s staffs, as well as the staffs of Appropriations subcommittee chair Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and House Education and Labor Chairman Bobby Scott (D-Va.).