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WH presses on with Schedule F, feds push back

The Trump administration’s efforts to reduce or even remove appeals rights for many feds continues, as does a massive effort by fed advocates to prevent further erosions of protections.

At November’s end—even as the General Services Administration has certified Sen. Joe Biden as president-elect, sure to succeed President Trump Jan. 20, 2021—the White House is pressing forward with its “Schedule F” plan to reclassify untold thousands of federal employees to “at will” status. The new status was created by executive order only, and its legality has been called into question by many legal experts.

The most public and dramatic demonstration of the Trump administration’s commitment to Schedule F? The Office of Management and Budget has listed almost all of its employees as being slated for the new classification—about 88 percent, according to a report in Real Clear Politics and echoed in another on GovExec.com.

Meanwhile, however, fed unions and their allies in Congress are pushing back with equal vigor. The National Treasury Employees Union has filed a lawsuit against the move, claiming it is illegal.

“NTEU filed a lawsuit against the order … because it would create a new category of federal employees who are not covered by the basic civil service protections they are entitled to under the law,” the union explained in a recent release.

The American Federation of Government Employees is also pressing hard against the new classification.

“AFGE is asking our members to urge their representatives and senators to cosponsor both bills and to help fight this attack on dedicated public servants,” the union communicated to members in a recent release.

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) last month spearheaded an effort in the House with a bill that would roll back the executive order establishing Schedule F, and outlaw the use of federal money to implement it. More recently, Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) has led a similar effort in the Senate.

“This recent executive order will not only strip protections away from hard-working, dedicated civil servants, but it also recklessly creates chaos and dysfunction during the ongoing pandemic and presidential transition,” Sen. Peters said.

Other major federal employee advocate organizations, such as the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, are urging Congress to stop Schedule F from being implemented.

Reader comments

Thu, Dec 3, 2020

If Schedule F conversions took place for the management minions at the Big Outfit in Bethesda, most would have their bloated positions eliminated because of their gender and aged biased way of managing employees. The morale of hard working folks would dramatically increase and they would only loose the fear of intimidation by clueless abusive idiots.

Thu, Dec 3, 2020

Biden is not going to let Schedule F go forward.

Tue, Dec 1, 2020 Jim

To the "The GSA does not certify presidents-elect ... " Obviously you are right. The writer should have said "affirm"--that's what GSA does. It affirms that someone is a president-elect. They don't make a candidate's win "official", but the GSA is supposed to use judgement and go ahead and release some money for office space rent and some assistance to help the person who very likely will be the official winner, if there's going to be a change. Here it's been nearly inevitable for weeks. Every recount so far shows the president lost every state it's been done in. Every lawsuit and legal action to change those outcomes has been denied for lack of evidence of fraud or other problem. The only shenanigans going on here are in the White House, not at the voting bpooth. So while you are technically right about the certification of the whole election needing to wait a while longer, let's face it: there's going to be a new president. GSA was dragging its heels until very recently. And so Schedule F is going to likely fail because there's no support for it in the incoming administration. That means this story and the many others on media websites saying the same thing are basically correct. There's a real sore loser effect going on here. (He lost by a lot more than he won by, so why not man up and concede instead of saying it was thin margin? It wasn't compared with many other prez elections.)

Tue, Dec 1, 2020 Adam Hughes

As a veteran and V. A. employee, I would say - Cut my pay, not my job. If USA is in debt, we need to get out of it.

Mon, Nov 30, 2020

The GSA does not certify presidents-elect. They make no claim that he is "sure to succeed". They have released funding to pay for a transition. That's not a certification.

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