NFFE Applauds VA HQ Rescinding Three Trump Era Anti-Labor Executive Orders; NFFE Locals Prevail
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) issued a statement to the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE) fully rescinding policies and actions related to Trump Executive Orders 13836, 13837, and 13839. The three executive orders dated May 25, 2018 were designed to eliminate meaningful due process for federal workers, wreck the federal system of collective bargaining, and make it impossible for federal labor unions to represent their members.
NFFE and several labor unions sued the Trump administration to block the three executive orders in 2018. While the court ruled against the unions for various reasons related to jurisdictional concerns, rescinding the orders was a top priority for federal labor to the Biden-Harris administration. In response, President Biden rescinded the executive orders immediately after taking office. At the request of NFFE, OPM followed with guidance to agencies directing them to “suspend, revise, or rescind” any actions taken as a response to the Trump orders.
In response to the OPM guidance, agencies have or soon will return all collective bargaining agreements and authorities affected by the Trump orders back to their former state before May 25, 2018. For the VA, where union members were hit particularly hard by the Trump executive orders, NFFE received notification that the VA will roll back any CBA changes, restore official time as previously agreed, stop requiring rent for official use office space, allow agency email for employee communication, and allow access and use of standard equipment to fulfill the union’s legally mandated obligations.
“This is a huge victory for NFFE, for VA labor-management relationships, and for returning effectiveness and transparency to the VA workforce,” stated NFFE National President Randy Erwin. “We came together as a union to fight on behalf of NFFE members and the veterans NFFE members care for at the VA. We owe a great debt of gratitude to the Local leaders who kept the union alive and vibrant during the Trump attack. In spite of the Trump orders, many NFFE leaders continued working on VA initiatives and represented NFFE members on their own time and at their own personal expense, often enduring harassment by management. I am very proud of the NFFE Local NFFE leaders that rose to the challenge, and I am very happy to say that because of you, we are finally in a better place.”