October 20, 2006 Volume 107 Number 20

Cathy Callahan leaves top job at local NLRB office

Cathy Callahan, the top official at the Portland office of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), is leaving to take a job as head of the Washington State Public Employment Relations Commission.

Callahan, 57, has spent 24 years at the NLRB, and for the last eight years, she’s been officer-in-charge at NLRB Subregion 36, responsible for protecting the labor rights of workers in Oregon and Southwest Washington.

The NLRB is the federal agency that oversees workplace elections that determine whether workers want a union or not. It also investigates “unfair labor practices,” as violations of the National Labor Relations Act are known.

Callahan will take early retirement from the NLRB, leaving Nov. 3, and will begin as executive director of PERC Nov. 6.

In her new job, she will oversee a staff of 40 enforcing 11 state statutes, and resolving disputes between public employers and workers and their unions. She’ll take a cut in pay, but Callahan said the appeal of the job, plus the chance to live to Olympia, were more important factors. Olympia is Callahan’s home town, and though she left in 1967, she’s maintained connections to old friends over the years, and never missed a class reunion.

Her replacement at the NLRB has not yet been named; a nationwide search is under way.

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