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SURVEYS AND INVESTIGATIONS
C. R. ANDERSON, Chief
MARION S. RAMEY, Second Assistant NOTE.—The Surveys and Investigations supervisory staff is supplemented by selected personnel borrowed on a reimbursable basis for varying lengths of time from various agencies to staff up specific studies and investigations. The current average annual fulltime personnel equivalent is approximately 42.
ANN M. STULL
BETTY LOU TAYLOR
GEMMA M. WEIBLINGER
TONI WILLIAMS ANNA L. MANNING
AUSTIN G. SMITH
DEPARTMENTS OF LABOR AND HEALTH, EDUCATION, AND WELFARE AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS FOR FISCAL YEAR 1976
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 30. 1975
NATIONAL MEDIATION BOARD
Mr. PATTEN. We will call the meeting to order.
GENERAL STATEMENT Mr. Ives. Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, I appreciate your invitation to appear before the subcommittee and to discuss with you the National Mediation Board's budget for the fiscal year 1976.
The Railway Labor Act, first established by Congress in 1926, and composed in its present form in 1934, is administered by the National Mediation Board. This statute is designed to provide orderly procedures for the settlement of labor disputes in the railroad and airline industries. Additionally, the National Mediation Board handles questions of representation as they arise in these industries and interprets agreements made in mediation.
The National Railroad Adjustment Board was also established in 1934 under the Railway Labor Act for the purpose of disposing of grievances arising under the terms of collective bargaining agreements in the railroad industry.
The section of the Railway Labor Act which deals with the disposition of what are termed “minor disputes" was amended by the 89th Congress in Public Law 456, approved June 20, 1966, to permit the decentralization, in some measure, of grievance disposition machinery. Under Public Law 456, new grievances and those which have been on the docket before the National Railroad Adjustment Board for a period of at least 12 months may be referred to a local board of adjustment on each individual railroad for expeditious disposition.
Thus, under the Railway Labor Act. Congress has provided for the railroad and airline industries specific machinery and procedures for the adjustment of labor-management disputes, that is, for mediation
and the investigation of questions of representation; for emergency dispute procedures and arbitration; as well as for boards of adjustment and a National Railroad Adjustment Board to handle individual and group grievances arising under agreements between management and the labor organizations concerned.
The total amount requested to administer the Railway Labor Act is $3,105,000, a decrease of $131,000 compared to the amount available for fiscal year 1975.
The budget justification, as submitted, is designed to identify the functions just discussed and the amounts requested for each.
First, mediation, which is concerned with the making and amending of agreements. This activity is the responsibility of the National Mediation Board.
A total of $1,463,000 an increase of $83,000 over the amount available for 1975, is being requested to finance the Board's activities in fiscal year 1976. This increase consists of $61,000 required to meet salary increases provided by Executive Order No. 11811, plus withingrade salary promotions. Ünder Public Law 92–313 each agency reimburses the General Services Administration for the cost of office space and related services. This cost for the National Mediation Board for fiscal year 1976 has been increased by $17,000. The balance of the increase $5,000 is requested to offset increased cost of travel expenses.
The second activity of the Board relates to voluntary arbitration and the investigation of critical disputes through the emergency board procedure. In arbitration proceedings, disputes are voluntarily submitted by labor and management to a neutral party for final and binding decision. The Board hopes it will be able to persuade management and labor to more frequently utilize the arbitration provision of the act to dispose of contract disputes.
Emergency boards are created pursuant to section 10 of the act when the Board notifies the President that a dispute threatens substantially to interrupt interstate commerce to a degree such as to deprive any section of the country of essential transportation. The President may, in these circumstances, in his discretion, create an emergency board to investigate and make recommendations as to the settlement of the dispute involved. The Board is not able to anticipate precisely the total expenditures for these arbitration and emergency board activities, and it is therefore, advisable to have a small reserve available for emergency situations.
For the fiscal year 1976, the Board is requesting a total of $140,000 which is the same amount as was allocated in fiscal year 1975.
The third activity carried on under this appropriation is the adjustment of grievances in the railroad industry. This activity pertains to the operations of the National Railroad Adjustment Board mentioned earlier, which is concerned with the interpretation and application of wage and rule agreements in the railroad industry as well as boards of adjustment established by individual carriers and organizations for the same purpose. In this submission all expenditures relating to the settlement of grievance disputes, that is special boards of adjustment and public law boards expense have been included in this activity.
The budget as proposed by the administration places a limitation on the use of appropriated funds for the federally financed arbitrations associated with grievances filed under section 3 of the Railway Labor Act. This limitation would require the parties to provide to the National Mediation Board 25 percent of the cost of section 3 arbitration services.
For this activity, $1,502,000 is requested, a decrease of $214,000 compared to the amount allocated in fiscal year 1975. The cost of referee salaries and travel expenses reflects a decrease of $230,000. Increases totaling $16,000 are shown in estimated obligations for permanent positions, Executive Order 11811, and within-grade promotions, and accompanying personnel benefits.
In summary, the National Mediation Board is requesting a total of $3,105,000 to finance activities under the Railway Labor Act for the fiscal year 1976. This is a decrease of $131,000 compared to the amount authorized for fiscal year 1975.
Mr. PATTEN. How does the workload of the Board today compare with the workload of a year ago?
Mr. Ives. It has decreased slightly. Page 11 gives a composite case report. Pending at the end of 1973 were 313 cases. At the end of 1974 there are 278 cases.
Mr. Patten. The justifications indicate in 1974 you had about $96,000 not spent which lapsed on June 30.
Mr. Ives. That is correct, sir. That comes out of the $140,000 which is set aside for the emergency board and we do return that amount of money when it is unexpended.
However, we have found over the years it is better to have the money in reserve rather than to have to come to Congress if we have more than anticipated emergencies.
REQUEST FOR DECREASED BUDGET
Mr. Patten. You are requesting a decrease of $131,000 in your 1976 budget. I assume the decrease results from the special appropriation language you are proposing at page 1 of your justification ?
Nr. Ives. That is correct, sir.
Mr. PATTEN. I have a letter on this subject from Chairman Staggers of the Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee.
Why are you proposing this language ?
Mr. Ives. The change in our appropriation language text originated in the Office of Management and Budget.