Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

Largest federal employee union sues Trump over rollback of union protections

Washington Post – Largest federal employee union sues Trump over rollback of union protections – “The American Federation of Government Employees claims that Trump’s executive order violates the First Amendment guarantee of the right to freedom of association and oversteps the president’s constitutional authority.” …On Friday [May 25, 2018  President Trump]…used his ultimate weapon, his power to issue executive orders, with three directives — two targeting labor organizations and another on firing feds faster. The orders were just the latest  steps designed to weaken unions, federal employee compensation and civil service protections. Along with other moves, including imposing a contract on a union local against its will, Trump’s orders potentially could make him one of the more consequential of recent presidents on federal workforce issues.

With that alarming thought in mind, here’s what the executive orders do:

  • Sharply cut “official time,” which Trump wants to redefine as “taxpayer-funded union time.” Official time allows union officials to represent all the members of a bargaining unit, whether they are union members or not, in grievances and matters of broad interest to the workforce.
  • Rebuke collective bargaining agreements, saying union contracts “often make it harder for agencies to reward high performers, hold low-performers accountable, or flexibly respond to operational needs.” A labor relations group of administration officials will develop “government-wide approaches to bargaining issues,” including a reduction in official time. Agency officials are instructed to prepare contract renegotiation recommendations that are “not subject to disclosure” to union representatives.
  • Encourage managers to hasten dismissals of employees, instead of suspending them, while discouraging “progressive discipline,” which allows for increasingly severe corrective measures. Grievance procedures are diluted…”
News release: “The largest union representing federal government workers, the American Federation of Government Employees, sued the Trump administration Wednesday in response to an executive order President Trump issued last o deny workers their legal right to representation at the worksite. “This president seems to think he is above the law, and we are not going to stand by while he tries to shred workers’ rights,” AFGE said. “This is a democracy, not a dictatorship. No president should be able to undo a law he doesn’t like through administrative fiat.” On Friday, May 25, President Trump signed executive orders that chip away at due process and collective bargaining rights for federal employees; a third executive order, which impedes employee representation at the job site, is the focus of the lawsuit. AFGE filed the lawsuit May 30 in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The lawsuit challenges the executive order as violating the right to freedom of association guaranteed by the First Amendment, and as exceeding the president’s authority under the Constitution of the United States. “Congress passed these laws to guarantee workers a collective voice in resolving workplace issues and improving the services they deliver to the public every day – whether it’s caring for veterans, ensuring our air and water are safe, preventing illegal weapons and drugs from crossing our borders, or helping communities recover from hurricanes and other disasters,” AFGE said. “We will not stand by and let this administration willfully violate the Constitution to score political points.”

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.