A second federal employee union has sued the Trump administration over the recent Executive Orders that were issued by President Trump.
The lawsuit contends that two of the EOs conflict with existing federal law, specifically the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute. The lawsuit states:
Through the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute, 5 U.S.C. § 7101 et seq.— the comprehensive scheme governing labor relations in the federal sector—Congress gave federal sector labor organizations a significant portfolio of responsibilities designed, among other things, to serve the public interest. Along with these responsibilities, Congress gave labor organizations tools, such as official time, to aid them in carrying out their obligations.
Sections 4(a)(i), (ii), and (v) of Executive Order Ensuring Transparency, Accountability, and Efficiency in Taxpayer Funded Union Time Use undercut Congress’s policy determinations and, if given effect, would impermissibly restrict one of those critical tools, official time, in conflict with 5 U.S.C. § 7131 and the comprehensive collective bargaining regime provided in Chapter 71 of Title 5. Section 4(c) of Executive Order Promoting Accountability and Streamlining Removal Procedures Consistent with Merit System Principles likewise encroaches upon Congress’s authority and, if given effect, would override Congress’s policy decisions concerning federal employees’ opportunities to demonstrate acceptable performance, embodied in 5 U.S.C. § 4302(c). In sum, the executive orders’ core provisions interfere with federal statute and must be struck down as unlawful.
About the Executive Orders
Three EOs issued have potential implications for the federal workforce. The two that NTEU takes issue with in the lawsuit place new restrictions on federal employee unions.
The two orders restrict the use of official time by stipulating that federal employees will not be allowed to spend more that 25 percent of their time on union or other non-agency business. The orders also state that unions will be charged rent for federal office space and will not be reimbursed for travel expenses or for hours spent appealing worker firings. For details, see Restricting Federal Unions and Firing Poor Performers and Controlling Federal Unions’ Use of Official Time.