The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) filed for an injunction to prevent enforcement of one of President Trump’s recently issued executive orders.
The injunction is in regards to Executive Order 13837: Ensuring Transparency, Accountability, and Efficiency in Taxpayer-Funded Union Time Use.
AFGE is seeking the injunction “because the order plainly conflicts with the Congressionally-enacted framework that governs labor-management relations for executive agencies, federal employees, and their labor organizations,” according to the court filing. AFGE also says in the filing that the union will be “irreparably harmed” by the executive order.
NTEU is another federal employee union that also has been pushing back on the executive orders and recently filed an injunction as well.
Both unions also sued the Trump administration over the executive orders (see the links to articles with details at the end of this one). AFGE’s injunction would remain in place pending the outcome of its lawsuit.
The new executive order notes employees are expected to spend at least three-quarters of their time during a fiscal year performing their function as a federal employee and not as a union representative being paid by the federal government.
Tension Between Unions and Trump Administration
The conflict between the federal employee unions and the new administration is not a surprise given the politics at play between the two sides.
Both AFGE and NTEU endorsed Hillary Clinton for president in her 2016 campaign. Had Clinton won, the unions likely would not be facing the kind of pushback they are getting from the current administration. The new administration is clearly not in a rush to do the unions any favors in any event.
FedSmith.com author Ralph Smith recently wrote about the new executive orders:
Presumably, these provisions will have to be negotiated in order for them to take effect. There is likely to be litigation on these and related issues if or when agencies move out to implement the new executive orders. That will not happen quickly.
In all likelihood, unions will delay as long as possible while agencies will push for quicker action. The likely result is that the Federal Service Impasses Panel (FSIP) will be asked to resolve these disagreements as a result of bargaining. As a result of the executive orders, cases may move to the FSIP much quicker than is usually the case.
The unions are certainly pulling out all available delay tactics as Smith surmised would be likely to happen to at least delay the implementation of the new executive orders.