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Unions react to court decision on workforce EOs

The White House scored a procedural win this month in defending several executive orders currently under challenge by federal employee unions and advocates.

The group of presidential orders—issued in the spring of 2018—were designed to limit the time feds would be allotted to improve if found deficient, restrict appeals and cut work hours available on-the-job for union business. The union perspective on them is summarized in a National Treasury Employees Union press release, as being “harmful to federal employees and their collective bargaining rights.”

On July 16, the federal appeals court acted in favor of the president in finding that opponents of the orders filed their appeals with the wrong venue—in federal district court, instead of the National Labor Relations Authority.

Three judges on that appeals court—the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit—found that the unions should have taken their complaints against the executive orders to the Federal Labor Relations Authority in the first place.

Despite the court’s recent move, however, the anti-union executive orders will remain suspended until final adjudication.

Indeed, soon after the ruling, the NTEU announced it will ask the full appeals court to rehear the case.

“This fight is not over,” Tony Reardon, NTEU’s president, said. “Not only will NTEU pursue every legal avenue to block these destructive executive fiats, but we will build on the progress we have made alerting Congress and the public about how the administration continues to attack and disrespect its own workforce.”

“We do not believe the FLRA is equipped to consider our sweeping legal challenge to many different provisions contained in the orders,” Reardon said. “These orders go to the heart of the federal law that clearly states collective bargaining in the federal government is in the public’s interest, and we believe that the federal district courts had the authority to invalidate the provisions of the orders that violate that statute.”

The American Federation of Government Employees also responded.

“Today’s terrible decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia is a tremendous blow to federal employees and their voice in the workplace,” J. David Cox, AFGE’s president, said. “The decision is mistaken about the jurisdictional question, wrong on the law, and jeopardizes the rights of federal employees across the government. We will fight this decision using every legal tool available to us.”


View the July 22 FEND issue for the full article.


Reader comments

Wed, Jul 24, 2019 George Munson

Once again, a bunch of people who assume that ALL federal govt workers in San Jose, Detroit, San Antonio, Denver and Jackson Hole, Wyoming are the same as the FBI, the GAO, aides of politicians and all the other hot shots who work on the Beltway. If we didn't have our union on our base out here in California, dozens of employees would've received unfair treatment from managers, sexual harassment and God knows what else. At least if you work for Google you get paid $150K to put up with the insanity, but when most everyone I know is making $35K-$40K in a high cost of living area, we need representation.

Wed, Jul 24, 2019

In the big outfit in Bethesda, the management bloats intentionally go out of their way to destroy careers of hard working mission focused employees. These bloats abuse telecommuting by using this option rather than taking annual leave. They write each other up for bonuses and travel perks. They even lie about employees who have legitimate reasons for taking sick leave due to surgery and other medical conditions. This illegal activity goes unchecked and is endorsed by senior managers at high levels. Supervisors are an excessive burden on the functionality of a program, reduce the number and the mission and morale issues will improve.

Wed, Jul 24, 2019

We have immense waste in the Federal Gov't to get rid of. So many of my co workers don't pull their weight and are nasty people with rotten attitudes. All they do is complain and complain. I can't imagine what their husbands and wives have to deal with. There are a few of us that know the value of our job in the FBI and we care everyday. I'm just happy as hell that 2 of the biggest complainers are retiring this year. All they do is *** and moan. I just wish the Supervisors had the ability to get rid of them years ago, we need to get rid of people who don't support us yet are happy to collect a paycheck and take off whenever they want to without a single care for their co workers. I hope we have new reforms that help the organization weed out the waste products that make everyday painful.

Tue, Jul 23, 2019

Lots of talk and really no action other than collecting union dues.

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Edward A. Zurndorfer Certified Financial Planner
Mike Causey Columnist
Tom Fox VP for Leadership and Innovation, Partnership for Public Service
Mathew B. Tully Legal Analyst

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