By Elliott Andalman, Esq.
On Friday, May 26, 2018, President Trump issued three executive orders placing new limits on the rights of federal workers. These limits include:
- Limit federal employees to spending no more than 25% of their workday on “official time,” which is paid time to do union business. Congress had approved pay for “official time” over 40 years ago and there was previously no specific limit
- Require federal agencies to negotiate new union contracts in less than a year
- Direct managers to move faster to fire alleged poor performers or employees involved in alleged misconduct. The order limits a last-chance grace period for improved performance to one month. Currently, the grace period can last up to 120 days (4 months)
- End a long tradition of basing layoffs on seniority and allow agencies to take performance into consideration
- Require federal agencies to begin charging unions rent for space in federal buildings which, up until now, have been used for free
The Washington Post reported on May 26, 2018, that although there is a “widespread consensus” on the need for civil service reform, the orders the President issued build on the effort of Republicans in several states, including Indiana and Wisconsin, to weaken public employee unions.
Donald Kettl, a public affairs professor at the University of Texas at Austin, said that “This is a part of a broad strategy to undermine the power and position of federal unions.”
The National Treasury Employees Union put out a statement that “[These orders] would begin the process of dismantling the merit system that governs our civil service.”
Andalman and Flynn’s disability benefits department fights for the rights of federal and other workers. We handle FERS disability retirement applications and appeals, as well as related employment matters including leave, FMLA, and disciplinary disputes. Elliott Andalman and Peter Casciano have over 40 years of experience handling these matters. Contact us at [email protected], [email protected], or 301-563-6685 for a disability benefits consultation in Maryland.
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