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The People's Voice 2018 Vol. 1 is now available

Take a moment to update yourself on issues that affected all federal employees with NTEU Chapter 67's e-magazine/newsletter titled 'The People's Voice'.

[Click to open your copy of 'The People's Voice']


NTEU Files Lawsuit Challenging Executive Orders

Washington, D.C. – Today, the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) filed a lawsuit challenging provisions in two of the three executive orders issued a week ago by President Donald Trump.

“NTEU believes the president exceeded his authority in several provisions of his executive orders,” said NTEU National President Tony Reardon. “The president cannot unilaterally change federal law.”

Specifically, the NTEU suit challenges provisions in two of the three executive orders that conflict with the Civil Service Reform Act (CSRA). 

The executive order relating to the use of official time by labor organization attempts to paint a picture, through rhetoric and misleading characterizations, that such time is not used for furthering the effective operations of a federal agency. In fact, the CSRA expressly provides that a union and an agency should negotiate for official time that is “reasonable, necessary and in the public interest.”

In the federal sector, such time allows employees to fight harassment, discrimination and unsafe working conditions. These are examples of situations that were resolved using official time and illustrate why representation for federal employees is critical:

  • Ensuring that deaf and hard of hearing and visually impaired employees have the equipment they need to perform their jobs as customer service representatives;

  • Securing time of protections for overworked Customs and Border Protection Officers, so that they can get needed rest to properly enforce border security and have time to spend with their families;

  • Negotiating and enforcing fair promotion procedures so that employees can fairly compete for advancement opportunities based on their qualifications, not other non-merit factors, like their relationship to or with someone, ensuring that federal agencies are not engaging in nepotism and that the public can be assured that those selected to implement our federal laws and programs are qualified;

  • Battling race and age discrimination in the federal workplace;

  • Challenging government efforts to intrude on employees’ privacy; and

  • Demanding that the government safeguard the personal information provided to it.

Despite the numerous ways the use of official time safeguards the nation’s federal civil service, the executive order attempts to place arbitrary limits on its use. Such a directive conflicts with Chapter 71 of the CSRA which allows for the negotiation of reasonable amounts of official time as negotiated between an agency and a labor organization.

“Official time ensures frontline employees have a safe place to go to report on the job harassment, discrimination, unfair retaliation and if they seek to disclose waste, fraud and abuse that is occurring internally at agencies,” Reardon said. “It provides a check and balance on agency leadership, allowing frontline workers to have the ability to seek accountability from agencies, and ensuring they operate in a legal, transparent and fair manner on behalf of the public in implementing and administering federal laws and programs.”      

There is a second section in that same executive order that attempts to prohibit an employee on official time from speaking to their members of Congress to share their perspectives and ideas to improve workplace conditions and agency operations for the public.  

“The law specifically gives federal employees the right to share their concerns and workplace perspectives with Congress, and any attempt to ban that flow of information cannot stand,” Reardon said. 

The NTEU suit maintains that such a prohibition is contrary to Chapter 71 of the statute which permits unions to bargain for official time to direct their concerns directly to lawmakers.

In the executive order regarding the removal of federal employees, the president once again exceeded his authority in the provision calling for a performance improvement period of no more than 30 days. Chapter 43 of the CSRA requires a reasonable period for an employee to improve, and the length of that period is tied to the type of job and the nature of the alleged poor performance involved.

“The idea that these executive orders will make the workforce more efficient, cost-effective to taxpayers and improve the morale of federal employees is absurd,” President Reardon said. “Any organization’s success is dependent on a workplace where employees feel valued and respected, and the president’s orders show that in his administration federal workers are neither.”

NTEU’s lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia and asks the court to declare these portions of the orders unlawful and to enjoin the president and his subordinates, including the Director of the Office of Personnel Management, from enforcing them. 

NTEU represents 150,000 employees at 32 federal agencies and departments.



Three Executive Orders Attack Federal Employees and Federal Unions

A Message from NTEU

Three Executive Orders Attack Federal Employees and Federal Unions

Friday the administration made clear its animosity toward federal employees and our union. The president signed three executive orders aimed at reducing the role of federal employee unions, as well as the labor and due process rights of individual federal employees, including changes to official time, union offices and the disciplinary process. 

Through these executive orders, the administration has sent its strongest signal yet that it believes federal employees are dispensable and that your access to union representation should be greatly diminished.

NTEU is thoroughly analyzing each executive order for its adherence to federal law and our contracts. It is important for you to know that an executive order can’t supersede a statutory obligation or collective bargaining agreement. 

In a sign of its disregard for employees and their representatives, the administration conducted a perfunctory "briefing" with NTEU and other unions at 5:15 p.m., on Friday afternoon but did not release the actual orders until nearly 6:30 p.m. In the meantime, it had released an inflammatory fact sheet to the media several hours earlier.

National President Tony Reardon released the following statement to the media Friday afternoon:

The trio of executive orders being released today amount to an assault on federal employees, the nation’s civil service laws and federal unions. Rather than promote efficiency in the federal sector, the administration is demanding federal workers lose their ability to challenge unfair, arbitrary and discriminatory firings and other actions. This would begin the process of dismantling the merit system that governs our civil service.

NTEU will closely review the orders. In the meantime, it is worth remembering that many of these federal employees are on the job over this holiday weekend protecting our borders, ensuring our food supply is safe and welcoming visitors to our national parks.

As our analysis continues and we consider all our options—legal and congressional—be assured that NTEU is still on your side fighting for your rights. Nothing in these executive orders changes that.

More information will be shared as it becomes available.


Everyone is encouraged to register to vote and reach out to their representative in Congress. Let them know what you think about these particular executive orders and the administrations budget proposals for 2018.

Get matched up with your Representative on key issues to federal employees at: NTEU Action Center


FEVS is Coming Your Chance to Share Your Opinions

Message from the National President

                                                                                                               April 10, 2018

In a departure from last year, the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) will be open this year to ALL eligible employees. This is an opportunity I encourage you to take.

The annual survey, which last year was limited to a random number of federal employees, is your chance to directly, frankly and honestly share your thoughts and perspectives on the your workplace. 

FEVS is being rolled out to employees in two waves between May and mid-June. Agencies have a six-week administration period for their employees. The survey is voluntary and anonymous.

Additionally, some employees will be asked to participate in a pilot survey testing out changes to some of the survey items and definitions and adding new topics. The pilot responses will be used to consider changes to the survey moving forward.

By answering the survey, you can weigh in on staffing shortages, lack of resources, compensation, management and leadership issues, and any challenges and frustrations you face in trying to get your job done.

Why should you take the survey when past results don’t often seem to drive change? The short answer is that the results are often read and acted upon by Congress, particularly by legislators serving on oversight committees, and are reported in the press. But there are other considerations:

  • The survey is open to all employees. So, if you and other frontline employees choose not to take it, the results skew toward the managers’ answers.
  • There are occasions when the survey results show something alarming leading to congressional hearings.
  • The annual Best Places to Work in Government rankings are released later this year. These are based on FEVS data and covered closely by the media, which often focuses on low agency rankings.

The data is useful to NTEU, as well. It supports arguments we make in Congress for additional funding, it supports positions we take at the bargaining table, and it provides real data we can use in discussions with management.

The survey is administered by the Office of Personnel Management and takes about 25 minutes to complete. Your supervisor should provide you with duty time to take the survey.

Thank you for taking the time to assess your workplace through FEVS, and thank you for the work you do every day.

Tony Reardon
National President

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