NTEU was in the courthouse and in the streets on July 25 fighting back against three executive orders (EO) that dismantle collective bargaining and due process rights for federal employees, while opening the door to patronage and favoritism.
Outside the federal courthouse in Washington, D.C., NTEU members attended a rally to protest the administration's attack on their basic workplace rights, including protections from unfair treatment and the right to bargain collectively. National President Tony Reardon addressed the crowd, as NTEU attorneys were inside the courthouse preparing to make oral arguments in NTEU's lawsuit against the EOs.
"We’re in court today because these executive orders are illegal," President Reardon told the crowd of federal employees from several unions. "They violate the law, plain and simple. But let me tell you what bothers me even more about these orders: They are based on the premise that federal employees are wasteful, untrustworthy and expendable. That is a lie and it is why we have to fight."
Several other union leaders and nearly a dozen members of Congress also spoke at the rally in support of federal employees and their unions.
Inside the courtroom, NTEU argued that portions of the EOs are in direct conflict with federal law and cannot stand. NTEU and other federal unions sued the government challenging certain provisions of the EOs President Trump signed May 25. The judge consolidated the various cases and is expected to issue a decision in late August.
Nationwide, NTEU members made their voices heard yesterday as part of the union's first-ever Tweet Your Elected Officials Day. Hundreds of tweets were sent to lawmakers urging them to oppose the EOs, to support a pay increase for 2019, and to block cuts to earned retirement benefits.
Unions make federal workplaces better for employees and enhance communities that rely on quality public services. NTEU will not stand for any attempt to wipe away federal employee rights and silence our collective voices.
In Historic Victory, Judge Finds Key Provisions of Executive Orders Unlawful
PRESS RELEASE August 25, 2018
Washington, D.C. – The core elements of the president’s anti-employee executive orders were struck down by a federal judge late last night, a historic legal victory for the National Treasury Employees Union and the federal employees who stood to lose their rights and benefits.
“The judge rightly found that the president is not above the law and cannot, through these blatantly anti-union and anti-worker executive orders, eviscerate employee rights and undermine the collective bargaining process established by Congress,” NTEU National President Tony Reardon said. “Today’s ruling is a resounding victory for all who want a fair and effective civil service.”
U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson agreed with NTEU’s arguments that key parts of the May 25 orders issued by President Trump are unlawful and cannot be enforced.
As Judge Jackson explained, “Congress undertook to guarantee federal employees the statutory right to engage in good-faith collective bargaining,” which “safeguards the public interest.”
“[I]t is clear to this Court that various aspects of the Orders that the Unions seek to challenge in this case violate the statutorily protected duty to bargain,” the judge wrote in her 122-page opinion.
NTEU in June filed a lawsuit to block the orders because they violate established laws on labor-management relations by strictly limiting the ability to represent employees, weakening due process, and restricting collective bargaining at government agencies.
NTEU’s lawsuit was combined with similar cases filed by other federal sector unions and the judge heard four hours of arguments on July 25.
“These provisions were flatly inconsistent with the civil service law established by Congress,” Reardon said. “Congress meant for unions and agencies to bargain over how official time and grievance procedures can best be used to help employees and agencies work better together. It was wrong for the President, through unilateral, executive fiat, to ban bargaining over such matters.”
NTEU’s suit had also challenged an additional two provisions. Those provisions involve the concepts of progressive discipline and the consistency of penalties with those imposed on others.
NTEU represents 150,000 employees at 33 federal agencies and departments.