By COLIN STAUB
With labor activity on the rise this year, 40 U.S. senators say the National Labor Relations Board needs more funding to keep up.
The lawmakers, including Oregon Democrats Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, on May 10 wrote to the subcommittee tasked with budgeting for the NLRB, asking for a bump in resources for the board.
The NLRB has received $274 million annually for the past nine fiscal years, the senators wrote, and that means that adjusted for inflation, the agency has had its funding cut 25% since 2010. The senators want to increase funding to at least $368 million for the 2023 budget.
The agency has 39% fewer staff members than it did two decades ago, and field staffing has dropped by 50%, lawmakers added.
The funding and staffing cuts have strained the agency during the recent increase in union activity; NLRB union petitions this year are up 57% over 2021, the lawmakers noted.
“With this skyrocketing workload, the NLRB is now responsible for far more workers than a decade ago, yet has been denied the funding to meet these statutory requirements,” the letter reads.
Washington Senator Patty Murray chairs the appropriations subcommittee evaluating NLRB funding.