A Council committee voted this morning to confirm all five nominees to the Public Employees Relations Board, likely ending the Council's feud with Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) over the issue.
Council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3), chair of the Committee on Government Operations and the Environment, said the full Council will likely affirm her committee's vote. The board, which resolves labor disputes, will have a full slate of members once the full Council acts.
"After more than a year without a functioning PERB, I made it a top priority to rapidly move qualified nominees through the process. I am pleased that we now have five nominees that the Council can support and immediately tackle the backlog of cases now awaiting action," said Cheh. "I thank Mayor Fenty for sending us experienced and capable individuals. Once the Council approves these nominees, there will be a full and complete PERB that I expect will fairly adjudicate labor disputes. The nominees are well qualified to serve and have been properly vetted."
The nominees are: Johnine P. Barnes, John P. Isa, Mary Oates Walker, Jennifer E. Chung and Donald Wasserman.
Earlier in the spring, the Council rejected several of Fentys nominees, citing the inexperience of the running buddies and friends he chose to oversee labor and collective bargaining issues.
Then the council approved emergency legislation to allow a single member to handle the work of the five-member board, because, without a quorum, nothing was getting done. Fenty vetoed the legislation.
Now, the dispute seems to be settling down - at least for now.