NFFE: Strong statement against administration’s 'dismantling' of civil service protections

A major federal employee union is again raising concerns about the current administration’s tack toward employee relations with civil servants—and the unions that represent them.

The National Federation of Federal Employees contends that—along with other allied organizations—it must push back against a pattern of policies and tactics management is using that are damaging to the interest of federal employees.

“Since the Trump Administration took office, federal employee unions, like NFFE-IAM and good government groups have fought hard to stop the dismantling of laws that promote transparency and accountability in government,” the union said in a press release. “Actions taken or proposed by the Trump Administration follow a similar pattern of attacking the effectiveness of civil service laws, including: Nominating biased, unqualified people for the top jobs at OPM and OMB to water down directives; stacking federal tribunals such as the Federal Labor Relations Authority with prejudiced political flunkies; limiting due process at federal tribunals through policy gimmicks such as unreasonable timelines and attempts to lower evidentiary standards; prohibiting whole departments of employees from accessing tribunals (e.g., as ordered at the Department of Veterans Affairs); limiting meaningful collective bargaining and reasonable employee representation; [and] creating new classifications of employees who are not entitled to full civil service protection laws.”

The union’s president added his own bottom line:

“Civil service protections are often mischaracterized by those who want to corrupt those laws,” NFFE National President Randy Erwin said. “Lying about civil service protection laws makes it easier for political forces to pursue their own agendas against the will and consent of the American people.”

“For instance, ill-intentioned politicians say federal workers ‘enjoy too many individual rights’ on the job,” Erwin continued. “The truth is there are few individual rights, so to speak, in government. There are, however, systematic protections that enforce transparency, fairness and ethical behavior.

“The same people will use terms like ‘less government’ when they really mean fewer checks and balances to more easily strong-arm the career workforce to do their bidding,” Erwin said.   “Sadly, every time one of these politicians makes one of these claims, our country takes one small step away from an open and free democracy.”

Reader comments

Wed, Nov 13, 2019

Last years government shut down was pure sin Sure we got our back pay I wanted to work in worst way But couldn’t What did it accomplish Absolutely nothing But it did cost me big with new state and irs tax’s What a joke I’m on the fence with voting for Trump again Us middle class folks are truely Not represenditive any longer by either party

Tue, Oct 22, 2019

Greg is absolutely correct in his analysis of lousy self-serving management. They are the ones who need elimination so that the workers can carry out their responsibilities and work assignments.

Sun, Oct 20, 2019

Vote out all the toxic incumbents both democrat and republican. Replace them with term limited appointments in which there is no incentive to raise re-election funds at the expense of tax payers and hard working federal employees. There are more slackers in management than rank and file employees and this is very noticeable at the big outfit in Bethesda.

Sun, Oct 20, 2019 Greg Pennsylvania

I am in the General Service employment and in my agency there are no under performers that should be forced out the door. All of us work hard with very little protections. Now it will get even worse. The general public is misguided on the true target of this new directive. The average honest hard working GS worker that is unliked for any number of unfair reasons including being in the way of the personal agenda of management will not be able to report unfair treatment, practices and prejudice or prevent his or her immediate termination for thus unfair reasons. we have seen the bad boss forced out of their position and then out the door. Now that bad boss will be able to flourish in the government. Good luck to finding skilled people to stay under these circumstances and get the job done.

Fri, Oct 18, 2019

At the big outfit in Bethesda, low performing back stabbing, do nothing employees become management. They surely reap the benefits of incompetency.

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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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