Not to be outdone by House Democrats, a group of Democrat Senators are calling for President Trump to rescind his recently issued executive orders regarding the federal workforce.
45 Senate Democrats sent a letter to Trump expressing their concern for his recently issued executive orders which are directed at federal employees.
“It’s time to stop the attacks on our federal workers,” wrote the Senators. “We need to keep politics out of the civil service, and we urge you to reconsider these executive orders.”
There has been a great deal of pushback against the orders since they were issued late last month. Both AFGE and NTEU have sued the Trump administration over the executive orders as well as seeking injunctions for some of them. The delay tactics were predictable given that the executive orders were not likely to be popular among federal employee unions.
About the Executive Orders
The executive orders could result in changes that will impact federal employee unions, although if they are implemented it is not likely to happen quickly. As FedSmith.com author Ralph Smith noted in a recent article, Restricting Federal Unions and Firing Poor Performers:
As a practical matter, there is fairly routine contract language in federal collective bargaining agreements that delineate the perks received by federal unions. This often includes how much official time can be used and the equipment and space to be provided to unions.
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.
The Trump administration appears to have taken the position that the use of official time by union representatives is not in the public interest and that union business is hindering agencies from accomplishing their mission.
One of the new executive orders notes that federal 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.
Another executive order stipulates that the government should begin charging unions rent for federal office space and and eliminating reimbursement for travel expenses or for hours spent appealing worker firings.
There is likely to continue to be pushback from unions and advocates for the federal workforce as the process plays out going forward.