NTEU Won in Court. Now What?

Following the historic legal victory against the president’s three executive orders, the question that arises is what happens now.

agreement balance business commerceNTEU is submitting letters to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Social Security’s Office of Hearings Operations (OHO), two agencies that moved to implement with the invalidated provisions of the executive orders. The letters demand that the agencies rescind their actions and return to the table with a sincere desire to actively negotiate in good faith.

The decision in NTEU’s suit came late Friday night. The federal court struck down nine of the 11 provisions NTEU argued were a violation of existing federal labor-management relations law. The union’s suit alleged that the language in the EOs violated established laws on labor-management relations by strictly limiting the ability of the union to represent employees, weakening due process, and restricting collective bargaining at government agencies. The judge agreed.

Gavel resting“[I]t is clear to this Court that various aspects of the Orders that the Unions seek to challenge in this case violate the statutorily protected duty to bargain,” the judge wrote in her 122-page opinion.

Should HHS and OHO continue to ignore the obligation to bargain in good faith, their actions would violate the injunction the court has imposed prohibiting those nine provisions from going into effect. NTEU has the option to return to the court, should that happen.

NTEU National President Tony Reardon
NTEU National President Tony Reardon

“The judge rightly found that the president is not above the law and cannot, through these blatantly anti-union executive orders, eviscerate employee rights and undermine the collective bargaining process established by Congress,” National President Tony Reardon said. “This ruling is a resounding victory for all who want a fair and effective civil service.”

Read NTEU’s press release on the decision and see media coverage at NTEU’s Media Center.

Author: chapterpresident

I have worked in the FDA since 1990 in a variety of positions. I currently serve as chapter president of NTEU Chapter 254, representing FDA employees in Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah.