Threatening Whistleblowers Demonstrates Why Civil Service Protections Prevent Corruption and Tyranny
Since the Trump Administration took office, federal employee unions, like NFFE-IAM and good government groups have fought hard to stop the dismantling of laws that promote transparency and accountability in government. Actions taken or proposed by the Trump Administration follow a similar pattern of attacking the effectiveness of civil service laws, including:
- Nominating biased, unqualified people for the top jobs at OPM and OMB to water down directives,
- Stacking federal tribunals such as the Federal Labor Relations Authority with prejudiced political flunkies,
- Limiting due process at federal tribunals through policy gimmicks such as unreasonable timelines and attempts to lower evidentiary standards,
- Prohibiting whole departments of employees from accessing tribunals (e.g., as ordered at the Department of Veterans Affairs),
- Limiting meaningful collective bargaining and reasonable employee representation, and
- Creating new classifications of employees who are not entitled to full civil service protection laws
“Civil service protections are often mischaracterized by those who want to corrupt those laws,” stated NFFE National President Randy Erwin. “Lying about civil service protection laws makes it easier for political forces to pursue their own agendas against the will and consent of the American people. For instance, ill-intentioned politicians say federal workers ‘enjoy too many individual rights’ on the job.
The truth is there are few individual rights, so to speak, in government. There are, however, systematic protections that enforce transparency, fairness
and ethical behavior.
“The same people will use terms like ‘less government’ when they really mean fewer checks and balances to more easily strong-arm the career workforce to do their bidding. Sadly, every time one of these politicians makes one of these claims, our country takes one small step away from an open and free democracy. This is why we have civil service protections in this country: To stop corruption and tyranny in government when politicians are too weak, or unwilling to defend against it.”