#1 Trump signs three executive orders taking aim at unions [Federal Employee Unions] by algernonpj 26.05.2018 09:46


Trump signs three executive orders taking aim at unions
by Steven Nelson
May 25, 2018 04:30 PM

President Trump signed three executive orders Friday containing sweeping reforms that weaken protections for federal workers and eliminate perks for the unions that represent them.

Under the new executive orders, estimated to save at least $100 million a year, unions will be charged rent for federal office space and will not be reimbursed for travel expenses or for hours spent appealing worker firings.

Going forward, federal workers must spend 75 percent of their time on government work -- some currently spend none -- and agencies must publicly post union contracts in an online repository.

Trump also ordered the termination of an Obama-era policy that says leniency for one worker sets a precedent protecting others from firing, and shortened review periods preceding discipline for poor-performing employees.

Although the changes make it easier for workers to get fired, White House officials said they expected largely positive response.

"Federal employees are sick and tired of having to carry the dead wood," one official said on an afternoon conference call. "It should not take a year plus appeals to remove someone from the federal workforce."

The orders also provide for the renegotiation of union contracts, officials said.

“These contracts make it harder to fire employees than the law requires,” a White House office said on the call.

An official said the orders will let Trump "come as close as he can to fulfill his vision" for civil service reform without legislation.

"Today the president is fulfilling his promise to promote more efficient government by reforming our civil service rules," said Andrew Bremberg, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council.

The 1978 Civil Service Reform Act requires the government to pay federal workers for time they spend on union work, but White House officials said this essentially allows hundreds of workers to be full-time union employees.

"Over 470 Veterans Affairs employees spend 100 percent of their duty hours working for a labor union instead of serving veterans. This includes 74 full-time nurses," the White House said in a fact sheet.

The American Federation of Government Employees, a union for federal workers that claims 700,000 members, denounced the reforms in an afternoon call with reporters, vowing to rally political opposition and to review the documents for potential litigation.

"We will see him in court, we will see him in the street, we will see him wherever we can be," said AFGE President J. David Cox Sr., who called the reforms "a classic example of this administration's attack and assault on women, attack and assault on minorities."

Cox said the measures "clearly" were "modeled after the VA Accountability Act" that recently became law, allowing for expedited firing of VA workers. He said that the union fears the orders are a step toward making federal workers "at will" employees, allowing for political considerations in hiring and firing decisions.

"Everyone knows President Trump has no respect for the rule of law and this is just the latest case," Cox charged.


Executive Order Developing Efficient, Effective, and Cost-Reducing Approaches to Federal Sector Collective Bargaining

Executive Order Ensuring Transparency, Accountability, and Efficiency in Taxpayer Funded Union Time Use

Executive Order Promoting Accountability and Streamlining Removal Procedures Consistent with Merit System Principles

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