Friday the administration made clear its animosity toward federal employees and our union. The president signed three executive orders aimed at reducing the role of federal employee unions, as well as the labor and due process rights of individual federal employees, including changes to official time, union offices and the disciplinary process.Through these executive orders, the administration has sent its strongest signal yet that it believes federal employees are dispensable and that your access to union representation should be greatly diminished.
NTEU is thoroughly analyzing each executive order for its adherence to federal law and our contracts. It is important for you to know that an executive order can’t supersede a statutory obligation or the CBA.
In a sign of its disregard for employees and their representatives, the administration conducted a perfunctory “briefing” with NTEU and other unions at 5:15 p.m., on Friday afternoon but did not release the actual orders until nearly 6:30 p.m. In the meantime, it had released an inflammatory fact sheet to the media several hours earlier.
National President Tony Reardon released the following statement to the media Friday afternoon:
The trio of executive orders being released today amount to an assault on federal employees, the nation’s civil service laws and federal unions. Rather than promote efficiency in the federal sector, the administration is demanding federal workers lose their ability to challenge unfair, arbitrary and discriminatory firings and other actions. This would begin the process of dismantling the merit system that governs our civil service.
NTEU will closely review the orders. In the meantime, it is worth remembering that many of these federal employees are on the job over this holiday weekend protecting our borders, ensuring our food supply is safe and welcoming visitors to our national parks.
As our analysis continues and we consider all our options—legal and congressional—be assured that NTEU is still on your side fighting for your rights. Nothing in these executive orders changes that.
I will share more information as it becomes available.