The Hill: “A federal judge on Saturday [August 25, 2018] struck down several key provisions in President Trump‘s executive orders that he signed earlier this year that would have made it easier to fire federal workers. In a court ruling, U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson wrote that unions were right in arguing that the provisions included in the orders infringed upon areas that are negotiated between federal employee unions and the government. Jackson, an appointee of former President Obama, wrote that the orders “impair the ability of agency officials to keep an open mind, and to participate fully in give-and-take discussions, during collective bargaining negotiations.” The Trump administration issued the orders in May, saying the rules changes were aimed at saving taxpayers around $100 million per year. The White House pointed to instances of misconduct committed by federal employees as reasoning for the rule change, which encouraged agencies to fire poor-performing employees instead of first suspending them. It also cut the amount of time low-performing workers were given to improve. “Tenured Federal employees have stolen agency property, run personal businesses from work, and been arrested for using drugs during lunch breaks and not been fired,” the White House said in a statement at the time. “To empower our civil servants to best help others, the government must always operate more efficiently and more securely,” Trump added in a statement included in the release.
Sharon Block, a former senior Labor Department official and National Labor Relations Board member under the Obama administration, told The New York Times that Saturday’s ruling was a “stinging rebuke” of the Trump administration…”From the text of the opinion… See Exec. Order No. 13,836, 83 Fed. Reg. 25329 (May 25, 2018); Exec. Order No. 13,837, 83 Fed. Reg. 25335 (May 25, 2018); Exec. Order No. 13,839, 83 Fed. Reg. 25343 (May 25, 2018) (collectively, “the Orders”). Among other things, these Orders seek to regulate both the collective bargaining negotiations that federal agencies enter into with public-sector unions andthe matters that these parties negotiate. The Orders place limits on the activities that federal employees may engage in when acting as labor representatives; guide agencies toward particular negotiating positions during the collective bargaining process; and address the approaches agencies shall follow when disciplining or evaluating employees working within the civil service…”