Federal Employees News Digest

House FY21 funding bill blocks OPM-GSA merger and empowers unions

The House Appropriations Committee's Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee voted to pass its Fiscal Year 2021 appropriations bill that would codify language to block merging the Office of Personnel Management and General Services Administration -- an administration goal that has drawn opposition from congressional Democratic leaders.

“None of the funds made available by this or any other Act may be obligated or expended to reorganize or transfer any function or authority of the Office of Personnel Management to the General Services Administration or to the Office of Management and Budget,” the bill states.

Despite legal prohibitions, the White House has pressed on with its efforts to initiate the reorganization. GSA, in its budget request for the upcoming fiscal year, included budget plans for OPM.

The Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill also seeks to protect federal-sector unions by mandating that such organizations be allowed to access facility space and use official time while conducting union business.

As currently written, the bill would also stop agencies from implementing any collective bargaining agreements that were not “mutually and voluntarily agreed to by all parties” dating back to April 30, 2019.

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