Features, Labor News Briefs, Law and Politics, Municipal Government, National

Federal Agencies Rolling Back Trump Orders—But Not All the Way

September 20, 2018

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

WASHINGTON—After an August court ruling invalidating most of President Donald Trump’s executive orders to curtail federal employees’ unions and make it easier to fire workers, some federal agencies are complying—but others, not so much, say the unions involved. District Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on Aug. 24 held that provisions limiting what unions could bargain on and leaders’ “official time” to do union duties during the workday were essentially “eviscerating” employees’ rights. On Aug. 29, the Office of Personnel Management told agencies to “fully comply” with that decision. The Veterans Affairs Department initially balked at restoring official time but has done so, the American Federation of Government Employees told Government Executive. The Internal Revenue Service has withdrawn a proposal to limit official time. But the Department of Health and Human Services is still trying to eliminate contract clauses about things like sick leave and vacations, arguing that they should not be “dictated” by collective bargaining, said National Treasury Employees Union President Tony Reardon. “HHS cast aside any pretense of actually bargaining with NTEU in the hopes that it could simply eviscerate employee and union rights,” he said. “They must sit down with us and bargain a real agreement.” Read more

September 20, 2018

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