President Trump Brings the Hammer Down On Federal Employee Unions

Happy Memorial Day weekend, federal employee unions.

President Trump signed three executive orders Friday containing sweeping reforms that weaken protections for federal workers and eliminate perks for the unions that represent them.

Under the new executive orders, unions will be charged rent for federal office space and will not be reimbursed for travel expenses or for hours spent appealing worker firings.

All federal workers will be ordered to spend 75 percent of their time on government work, and agencies are ordered to publicly post union contracts in an online repository.

Trump ordered the termination of an Obama-era policy that says leniency for one worker sets a precedent protecting others from firing, and shortened review periods preceding discipline for poor-performing employees.


And talk about exquisite timing as if to prove a point:

The American Federation of Government Employees, a large union for federal workers, was unable to respond to the orders because information on them was embargoed until 4:30 p.m.

But AFGE advertised a conference call as soon as the details were to be public, calling the reforms “anti-worker orders” and part of a “continued assault on public servants.”

The largest industry currently unionized is federal, state, and local government employees. While federal unions are not as pernicious as state and local ones, because wages and benefits are set by Congress not by collective bargaining, they are still dysfunctional. Because they can’t negotiate benefits they are usually allowed to force negotiations on things that affect the work environment. You may not be able to move employees from one work station to another without bargaining. New computer software or even a significant upgrade? More bargaining. Bad performance evaluation? Guaranteed union grievance. Read this story to get an overview of how federal unions drain money and experience from agencies and convert it into lobbying for bigger, flabbier government.

As the order also points out, each agency that has union representation provides a workspace, office equipment and supplies, and IT support to the union. Some federal employees are full-time union representatives though they are paid by the federal government.


“Over 470 Veterans Affairs employees spend 100 percent of their duty hours working for a labor union instead of serving veterans. This includes 74 full-time nurses,” the White House said in a fact sheet.

Federal unions are really little more than Democrat party apparatchiks on the federal dole. Good on President Trump for taking this action.

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