What many federal unions feared since the administration announced plans to develop a new personnel system for the Department of Homeland Security nearly two years ago may now be realized – these new changes may spread across the federal government.
But, the National Treasury Employees Union vows, it won’t do so without a fight.
The criticism concerns the Office of Management and Budget’s announcement that it plans, within the next month, to begin the process of extending new personnel regulations, such as those announced last week by the Department of Homeland Security, across the entire federal government.
NTEU wasted little time before announcing its intent to file a federal court suit challenging the legality of the DHS regulations while seeking to prevent their implementation.
One element of the union’s argument is that the new DHS human resources management rules were supposedly changed in the interest of national security, something that NTEU President Colleen Kelley said should not apply across the entire federal landscape.
“The DHS regulations are an assault on the workplace rights of the men and women charged with guarding our nation’s borders,” Kelley said. “NTEU will strongly oppose any efforts to extend similar regulations throughout the government.”
Kelley said a key aspect of the planned suit is that the regulations far exceed the statutory authority granted the agency by Congress in the Homeland Security Act.
She called the OMB proposal “a huge power grab from the Legislative Branch to the Executive Branch,” and said that NTEU will work to develop bipartisan opposition in Congress to these proposals.