President Trump’s Union Busting Executive Orders: What You Need To Know

Last week, President Donald Trump issued three Executive Orders aimed at degrading the rights of federal sector employees. At NFFE-IAM, we understand that the existence of unions in the federal sector is to promote the efficiency of the civil service. When NFFE-IAM members use official time to fight discrimination, we are upholding that principle. When NFFE-IAM members engage in negotiations to improve working conditions, we are upholding that principle.  Organized civil service employees are a check on the worst impulses of the executive branch agencies and these Executive Orders threaten to open the flood gates for abuse on the job.
NFFE-IAM and allied unions are mustering our forces to fight back. Below are some of the major take-aways from the Executive Orders. Please read them and share because the more informed you and your coworkers are, the more prepared we will be for the struggle ahead.

Executive Order #13836: Re-open collective bargaining agreements and then rush negotiations

  • Directs agencies to renegotiate collective bargaining agreements as soon as possible;
  • Sets arbitrary timelines for the negotiation process which, when exceeded, will result in the unilateral imposition of terms by the agencies;
  • Establishes a new bureaucracy called “The Labor Relations Group” that will dictate “one-size-fits-all” proposals to agencies engaged in bargaining; and
  • Encourages agencies to engage in “take-it-or-leave-it” bargaining tactics inconsistent with agencies’ good-faith bargaining obligations.

Executive Order #13837: Hamstring unions’ ability to represent workers

  • Attempts to prevent union stewards from using official time to aid employees in preparing or pursuing grievances;
  • Directs agencies to drastically reduce official time authorizations to 1 hour per bargaining unit employee per year, an attack designed to make it harder for your union to help you; and
  • Cuts off access to agency office space for union officials carrying out their representational duties making it harder to help workers.

Executive Order #13839: Fire first, ask questions never

  • Encourages agencies to abandon fairness concepts such as progressive discipline process;
  • Encourages agencies to tailor different penalties for the same or similar offenses, ignoring established law;
  • Directs the Office of Personnel Management to give performance appraisal more weight than seniority when an agency faces a reduction in force, creating great potential for unfairness; and
  • Instructs agencies to take away our ability to grieve unfair removals from service or to challenge performance appraisals or awards at all.