Washington Post – Largest federal employee union sues Trump over rollback of union protections – “The American Federation of Government Employees claims that Trump’s executive order violates the First Amendment guarantee of the right to freedom of association and oversteps the president’s constitutional authority.” …On Friday [May 25, 2018 President Trump]…used his ultimate weapon, his power to issue executive orders, with three directives — two targeting labor organizations and another on firing feds faster. The orders were just the latest steps designed to weaken unions, federal employee compensation and civil service protections. Along with other moves, including imposing a contract on a union local against its will, Trump’s orders potentially could make him one of the more consequential of recent presidents on federal workforce issues.
With that alarming thought in mind, here’s what the executive orders do:
- Sharply cut “official time,” which Trump wants to redefine as “taxpayer-funded union time.” Official time allows union officials to represent all the members of a bargaining unit, whether they are union members or not, in grievances and matters of broad interest to the workforce.
- Rebuke collective bargaining agreements, saying union contracts “often make it harder for agencies to reward high performers, hold low-performers accountable, or flexibly respond to operational needs.” A labor relations group of administration officials will develop “government-wide approaches to bargaining issues,” including a reduction in official time. Agency officials are instructed to prepare contract renegotiation recommendations that are “not subject to disclosure” to union representatives.
- Encourage managers to hasten dismissals of employees, instead of suspending them, while discouraging “progressive discipline,” which allows for increasingly severe corrective measures. Grievance procedures are diluted…”