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GSBS  
#1 Posted : Friday, May 25, 2018 10:07:34 PM(UTC)
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WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump on Friday signed a trio of executive orders to overhaul the federal bureaucracy by making it easier to fire federal workers for poor performance and misconduct, requiring that departments and agencies negotiate better union contracts and limiting the amount of time certain federal workers can spend on union business.

Labor unions immediately criticized the moves.

"These executive orders will make it easier for agencies to remove poor performing employees and ensure that taxpayer dollars are more efficiently used," Andrew Bremberg, Trump's chief domestic policy adviser, told reporters at a briefing. Bremberg said the orders fulfill Trump's promise to "promote more efficient government by reforming our civil service rules."

Bremberg said surveys of federal employees show the vast majority do not believe their poor-performing colleagues are adequately handled by their agencies.

The executive orders signed by Trump call for:

—Negotiating smarter contracts with federal employee unions. Agencies are also encouraged to wrap up labor negotiations in less than a year to limit the cost of "drawn-out" bargaining.

—Renegotiating contracts to limit to 25 percent the amount of time federal employees who are authorized to work on behalf of a labor union can spend on union business during work hours. The order cuts back on lobbying or pursuing grievances against an agency on taxpayer-funded union time. Agencies will also be able to collect rent from employees who use federal office space for union business. The administration says these and other changes will save taxpayers at least $100 million annually.

—Streamlining the length of time it takes to terminate a federal worker for poor performance or misconduct. Administration officials said the process currently takes between six months and a year, and can last longer if the dismissal is appealed.

The American Federation of Government Employees immediately criticized the moves as an attempt by Trump to strip federal employees of their right to representation in the workplace. The union said it represents 700,000 workers in the federal government and the District of Columbia.

"This is more than union busting. It's democracy busting," said J. David Cox Sr., the union's national president. "These executive orders are a direct assault on the legal rights and protections that Congress has specifically guaranteed to the 2 million public-sector employees across the country who work for the federal government."

Cox said workers will be deprived of their rights to address a host of workplace issues, ranging from sexual harassment to retaliation against whistleblowers to improving on-the-job health and safety.

He said union representatives have used official time in ways that benefit taxpayers, including exposing management's attempt to cover up an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease that killed and sickened veterans in Pittsburgh and speeding up the processing of benefits to veterans and their survivors.
SD Analyst  
#2 Posted : Saturday, May 26, 2018 5:31:22 PM(UTC)
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It's more than just "easing firing." It's an attempt to end collective bargaining in the Federal sector.

From the Govexec.com article:
President Signs Executive Orders Targeting Unions

"The order stipulates that union officials can spend no more than 25 percent of their work hours on official time. Additionally, it stipulates that official time can no longer be used to lobby Congress or to represent employees who have filed a grievance or are appealing an adverse personnel action, and it orders agencies to charge rent for union use of federal office space and cease covering expenses for official time-related travel."

It also directs all Agencies to renegotiate any Collective Bargaining Agreements within a year to incorporate these changes.
thanks 2 users thanked SD Analyst for this useful post.
GWPDA on 5/26/2018(UTC), GSBS on 5/26/2018(UTC)
DroneBee  
#3 Posted : Thursday, June 21, 2018 9:12:23 AM(UTC)

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All government employees should read:

https://www.whitehouse.g...merit-system-principles/

- no more progression of penalties - "not be required to use progressive discipline"
- no more "like" treatment for penalties - "Conduct that justifies discipline of one employee at one time does not necessarily justify similar discipline of a different employee at a different time"
- no suspension required prior to removal - "Suspension should not be a substitute for removal in circumstances in which removal would be appropriate"
- no more only relative misconduct - "all past misconduct — not only similar past misconduct"
- decisions within 15 days - "agencies should issue decisions on proposed removals taken under chapter 75 of title 5, United States Code, within 15 business days of the end of the employee reply period"
- advanced notice of only 30 days - "limit the written notice of adverse action to the 30 days"
- no more 5 USC 43 for performance issues - "The removal procedures set forth in chapter 75 of title 5, United States Code (Chapter 75 procedures), should be used in appropriate cases to address instances of unacceptable performance" - 5 USC 75 is easier for the agency.
- probationary employee is not really an employee, but still within the hiring phase - "A probationary period should be used as the final step in the hiring process of a new employee"
- no protection of time for RIFs - "agencies should prioritize performance over length of service when determining which employees will be retained following a reduction in force"
- no resignation instead of removal as a settlement - "Agencies shall not agree to erase, remove, alter, or withhold from another agency any information about a civilian employee’s performance or conduct in that employee’s official personnel records, including an employee’s Official Personnel Folder and Employee Performance File, as part of, or as a condition to, resolving a formal or informal complaint by the employee or settling an administrative challenge to an adverse personnel action"

Beware all!!! God Speed.

GWPDA  
#4 Posted : Thursday, June 21, 2018 12:27:18 PM(UTC)
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I'm not a lawyer and I'm not that smart, but even I can spot about eleventy-nine different legal actions arising from this little treasure. Every labor and employment lawyer in the country should get set to sue.
Hawaiiannative  
#5 Posted : Friday, June 22, 2018 7:08:45 AM(UTC)
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All this will do, is make it easier to get rid of the whistleblowers.

The real culprits will continue.

At least, it will end years of dealing with retaliation. The whistleblowers will have their career over much faster.
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DroneBee on 6/22/2018(UTC)
DroneBee  
#6 Posted : Friday, June 22, 2018 9:44:41 AM(UTC)

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Originally Posted by: GWPDA Go to Quoted Post
I'm not a lawyer and I'm not that smart, but even I can spot about eleventy-nine different legal actions arising from this little treasure. Every labor and employment lawyer in the country should get set to sue.


True, but unfortunately for those who will be fired (quickly due to this EO), years will pass before any decisions are made. The MSPB has no quorum still - so cases are backlogged at least 3 years today. The EEOC is horrendous. And now there will be no settlements just to clear the record.

Everyone working for the government that has a boss that hates him/her (for whatever reason - it could even be jealousy - should be praying). God Speed All!

Endless Summer  
#7 Posted : Friday, June 22, 2018 1:51:48 PM(UTC)
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With what I'm seeing at my agency, this is long overdue. It's well past time to thin the herd.

FatHappyCat  
#8 Posted : Saturday, June 23, 2018 3:56:09 AM(UTC)

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Fortunately, Trump's bark is worse than his bite.

These things are like the tide - super friendly one administration, super hawkish the next, then back to square one...
Endless Summer  
#9 Posted : Saturday, June 23, 2018 5:07:21 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: FatHappyCat Go to Quoted Post
Fortunately, Trump's bark is worse than his bite.

These things are like the tide - super friendly one administration, super hawkish the next, then back to square one...


Exactly, things like this have a momentum that means they cannot be changed on a whim. Minor course corrections are about the most that can be done.
DroneBee  
#10 Posted : Sunday, June 24, 2018 6:45:15 PM(UTC)

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Originally Posted by: Endless Summer Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: FatHappyCat Go to Quoted Post
Fortunately, Trump's bark is worse than his bite.

These things are like the tide - super friendly one administration, super hawkish the next, then back to square one...


Exactly, things like this have a momentum that means they cannot be changed on a whim. Minor course corrections are about the most that can be done.


Hmmm.... you are not familiar with Trump's law regarding the VA - this EO is just a follow-on to the VA law. The VA has fired over 900 employees this year alone because of this law.

https://www.va.gov/accountability/

The unions will be eliminated as the government will move to performance-based (NSPS-ish) systems.

God Speed All!
FatHappyCat  
#11 Posted : Sunday, June 24, 2018 8:32:12 PM(UTC)

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I would actually buy into that had 1 - the downsizing of the VA didn't start during the Obama era after decades of mismanagement and 2 - any other government agency followed suit and exercised their discretion.
Endless Summer  
#12 Posted : Monday, June 25, 2018 12:34:29 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: DroneBee Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Endless Summer Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: FatHappyCat Go to Quoted Post
Fortunately, Trump's bark is worse than his bite.

These things are like the tide - super friendly one administration, super hawkish the next, then back to square one...


Exactly, things like this have a momentum that means they cannot be changed on a whim. Minor course corrections are about the most that can be done.


Hmmm.... you are not familiar with Trump's law regarding the VA - this EO is just a follow-on to the VA law. The VA has fired over 900 employees this year alone because of this law.

https://www.va.gov/accountability/

The unions will be eliminated as the government will move to performance-based (NSPS-ish) systems.

God Speed All!


According to Wikipedia, the VA employs 377,805 people. 900 people equals .2%... a minor course correction. And how many of those 900 were "fired" versus normal attrition?

King_Fed  
#13 Posted : Tuesday, June 26, 2018 10:50:01 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Endless Summer Go to Quoted Post


According to Wikipedia, the VA employs 377,805 people. 900 people equals .2%... a minor course correction. And how many of those 900 were "fired" versus normal attrition?



I don't want to get into the mud, but I'll say .2% is nothing unless it is you, your family, or friends...

And to stay on topic: I came from outside gov't after being private sector for a long time... military before that.

I've seen many "problem" people in gov't... couple needed to be fired.

Some needed a new supervisor since their supv was not good. A bad supervisor can torpedo a person -- I have so many stories. I think we have to be careful on who we fire. I've always received awards and other perks for my job performance but with the wrong department (supv/dir/etc.), I'm sure that could change.

What am I saying? We should ensure we are trying to help people before assuming they are the "bad apple" as explained by management/supervisors. Being a supervisor means learning how to manage people who you don't "get along with" or "might not like you", etc. It is not about you, but the mission.

Some gov't supv don't have proper training to build groups/people.

Easier to torpedo the person you don't like vs. growing as a supv. or manager.

Edited by user Tuesday, June 26, 2018 10:53:41 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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SD Analyst on 6/27/2018(UTC)
DroneBee  
#14 Posted : Wednesday, June 27, 2018 11:37:07 AM(UTC)

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Originally Posted by: Endless Summer Go to Quoted Post


According to Wikipedia, the VA employs 377,805 people. 900 people equals .2%... a minor course correction. And how many of those 900 were "fired" versus normal attrition?



The VA charts can be found at
https://va.gov/accountability/

For 2017, there were 1,484 removals, 86 demotions, and 488 long suspensions: https://www.va.gov/accou...Report_2017_050418_1.pdf

Note: "Removals, regular and terminations during probationary trial period."

For 1/2018-4/2018, there were 912 removals, 36 demotions, and 26 long suspensions: https://www.va.gov/accou...lity_Report_060718_1.pdf

Note: "Removals (does not include probationary)."

Yikes!

Edited by user Wednesday, June 27, 2018 11:39:28 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Hawaiiannative  
#15 Posted : Wednesday, June 27, 2018 2:50:30 PM(UTC)
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My opinion on this is that the lowest level employees are going, WG, not supervisors, who are the ones who do retaliation.

I won't go into details, but it is a crock of garbage. It is the same cluster that it has always been. Only now, rah, rah, we FIRED SOMEONE! Wow, now show how many GS-13 and above were fired.
CharlesDMOS  
#16 Posted : Thursday, June 28, 2018 6:20:38 AM(UTC)
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So just because some people might not follow the law, don't have the law at all?

The fact is, there are some horrible people working in the federal government and they need to get lost and off the payroll faster than it took you to read this post.

Some people are at home on administrative leave because of misconduct, corruption, incompetence, etc., enjoying the good life, getting their full salary and benefits, and doing absolutely NOTHING, while you're slogging through the worst traffic in the country to get to work and do your 8, 9 10, or whatever hours each and every day, without so much as a thank you or "good job"...because of some administrative morass or boondoggle stupidity.

Something has to be done and pronto...not nothing, status-quo. Keep your nose clean and do your job and you don't have to be scared about this law.

old fed  
#17 Posted : Tuesday, July 24, 2018 11:32:41 AM(UTC)
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https://www.washingtonpo.../?utm_term=.ee3cbb61067e

this article is from 7/17 but a house panel has approved two bills to speed up disciplinary process and restrict appeal rights.
Savvyldy  
#18 Posted : Thursday, July 26, 2018 10:02:38 AM(UTC)
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Easier to torpedo the person you don't like vs. growing as a supv. or manager.

I like your thinking.....
GWPDA  
#19 Posted : Sunday, August 26, 2018 6:13:03 AM(UTC)
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As of 24 August, the Court has stopped all of these orders from enforcement. "after a federal judge struck down key provisions of a set of executive orders aimed at making it easier to fire employees and weaken their representation.

The ruling, by U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson in Washington, was a setback to the White House’s efforts to rein in federal unions, which have retained significant power over working conditions even as private-sector unions are in decline.

“It’s a big win for us,” said David Borer, general counsel for the American Federation of Government Employees. With 750,000 members, the AFGE was the largest of about a dozen unions to sue the administration to block the new rules affecting 2.1 million civil servants.

The AFGE and the other plaintiffs plan to demand that the administration immediately reverse the new rules, which were issued just before Memorial Day and had begun to take effect in several agencies.

In a 122-page decision, Jackson — nominated to the bench by President Barack Obama in 2013 — took issue with key elements of each order and immediately barred the administration from enacting them.

“They’re going to have to unwind what they’ve already done,” Borer said.

The White House on Saturday referred questions to the Justice Department, which said in a statement that it is reviewing the decision and considering its next steps....
“These executive orders make it easier for agencies to remove poor-performing employees and ensure that taxpayer dollars are more efficiently used,” Bremberg said at the time. The president, he noted, called on Congress during his State of the Union address “to empower every Cabinet secretary with the authority to reward good workers and to remove those that undermine the public trust or fail the American people.”

But Jackson found that the president lacks the authority to impose many of the measures, which she said interfered with the right to good-faith collective bargaining that Congress laid out for civil servants in 1978.

In her decision, the judge wrote: “While . . . the President has the authority to issue executive orders that carry the force of law with respect to federal labor relations, no such orders can operate to eviscerate the right to bargain collectively as envisioned” in the federal labor-management relations statute.

Under the statute, she added, “the collective bargaining process is not a cutthroat death match.”...

The judge’s ruling could create chaos in many federal agencies, where the Trump administration had begun implementing the new rules, expelling union officials from dozens of offices where they had worked for years inside agencies and using the rules to restrict the workplace issues over which the unions could bargain.

The government had not historically charged the unions rent, but with the new rules, agencies began to demand such payments. The unions declined to pay and were in various stages of vacating the offices when the judge issued her order.

Many union representatives had been told to return to their old jobs as the administration began to limit official time — and at least one official has been served with notice of termination for refusing to do so, AFGE officials said.

“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,” Tony Reardon, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, which represents 150,000 federal workers, said in a statement.

The orders had required federal agencies to reduce the time given to poor performers or employees found to be involved in misconduct to show improvement or fight their cases, cutting it from 120 days to 30 days. They also limited a worker’s route to appeal a poor performance evaluation.

Perhaps the most contentious provision was one limiting what union officials could do on behalf of their members while on the clock at their government jobs, which the White House and congressional Republicans have consistently derided as “taxpayer-funded union time.”

House Republicans have introduced numerous bills to eliminate what is called official time, but those efforts have failed to gain traction.

The unions defend official time as valuable time spent safeguarding their members against improper treatment by management.

One of the executive orders had capped official time at 25 percent of an employee’s time on the job.

Jackson, who was vetted as a possible replacement for the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, agreed with most of the unions’ arguments, including that official time is a right protected by Congress.

“Congress undertook to guarantee federal employees the statutory right to engage in good-faith collective bargaining,” she wrote, saying that that right “safeguards the public interest.”

Jackson also struck down rules limiting the kinds of issues on which unions could negotiate in collective bargaining.

She left a few elements of the new rules in place. She upheld a provision giving an agency the ability to use its discretion in firing or disciplining an employee without having to go through a number of graduated, often-drawn-out steps.

The judge also upheld the right of agencies unilaterally to impose contracts if it is clear that the unions have delayed negotiations in bad faith.

A test case of management’s right to impose a contract without completing bargaining came in March, when the Education Department did so after a year of bitter negotiations fell apart.

Management and the union accused each other of refusing to come to the table. The agency announced an “agreement” it said reflected its final offer.

The union contends that it had not negotiated any provisions — and says the imposition of the contract was illegal. The AFGE filed an unfair-labor-practice complaint with the Federal Labor Relations Authority and was recently advised that mediators concluded that the agency had acted in bad faith and in violation of federal law.

But the White House has not nominated a general counsel to the small agency, blocking it from issuing a decision that would allow the violation to be formally charged and processed.

That case is just one of many actions left to be resolved after the judge’s ruling.
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DroneBee on 8/27/2018(UTC)
nightchop  
#20 Posted : Monday, August 27, 2018 11:52:02 AM(UTC)

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I don't see many people celebrating this ruling. The sad reality is that there are no guarantees with this administration. Appeals are tools for revenge when it comes to those who are wrong and hate to lose.
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