Today is March 1, and the public has yet to see the National Labor Relations Board General Counsel’s report on the Board’s activities for fiscal year 2011. Over the last ten years, the latest the report has been released was February 4th. Fiscal year 2012 began on October 1, 2011 and is nearly at its half-way point. Yet, the NLRB General Counsel has not let us know how the Board performed the year before.
The report contains very useful and insightful information about what the Board has done over the last year from unfair labor practice enforcement to how long it takes to hold a representation election. I posted a chart in February showing the length of time it takes to conduct an election from the time a petition is filed over the last ten years – an average that’s been going down, but you wouldn’t know that from looking at the NLRB agenda. We’re to believe there is urgency to shortening the time frame even more through circumventing employer’s rights and denying workers the opportunity to hear both sides of the discussion over whether to join a union.
In 2010, the last year data is available, the median number of days it took from the time a petition was filed to the actual election was 38 days. The median goal for the Board has been 42 days for quite some time now. For the last three years, 95 percent of union elections were held within 56 days of the petition being filed.
My point in bringing this up is twofold. First, there doesn’t appear to be a problem with union certification elections taking too long. Indeed, the Board has met its median-day goal of 42 days every year for the previous decade and a 91-95 percent completion rate within 56 days over the same period is remarkable. Second, and perhaps more importantly, we haven’t seen the General Counsel’s operations report. The fiscal year is nearly half over, yet we’ve not heard from the Acting General Counsel – why?