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Tue Jul 16, 2019, 01:33 PM

In win for Trump administration, appeals court stymies union challenge to civil service restrictions

Source: Washington Post

A federal appeals court in Washington Tuesday dealt a blow to labor unions representing federal workers in their battle with the Trump administration over get-tough workplace rules. The decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit reverses a ruling last year that struck down key provisions in three executive orders signed by President Trump that rolled back civil service protections, making it easier to fire employees and weaken their union representation.

The orders, which affect 2.1 million civil servants, are part of a confrontational approach the president has taken toward a federal bureaucracy he calls unaccountable and wasteful. The executive orders were challenged by more than a dozen unions representing federal employees, which called them a violation of the civil service law passed by Congress in 1978 setting out unions’ right to collective bargaining.

The three-judge panel unanimously held Tuesday that the lower court “lacked jurisdiction” to review the matter and that unions must first pursue such claims through an administrative process before seeking review by the appeals court. “We reverse because the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction,” wrote Judge Thomas B. Griffith, who was joined by Judges Sri Srinivasan and A. Raymond Randolph.

The 20-page ruling did not address the underlying issues at the heart of the unions’ challenge. Instead, the judges said the lower court “had no power to address the merits of the executive orders” and that the challenge should have been reviewed first by the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA), a three-member agency charged with adjudicating federal labor disputes.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/in-win-for-trump-administration-appeals-court-stymies-union-challenge-to-civil-service-restrictions/2019/07/16/43a83704-a7e6-11e9-9214-246e594de5d5_story.html

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Reply In win for Trump administration, appeals court stymies union challenge to civil service restrictions (Original post)
BumRushDaShow Jul 16 OP
elleng Jul 16 #1
wysimdnwyg Jul 16 #2
BumRushDaShow Jul 16 #3
marehare Jul 16 #8
BumRushDaShow Jul 16 #12
ripcord Jul 16 #4
marehare Jul 16 #9
ripcord Jul 16 #11
DeminPennswoods Jul 16 #5
marehare Jul 16 #6
DeminPennswoods Jul 16 #7
marehare Jul 16 #10

Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Tue Jul 16, 2019, 01:35 PM

1. 'unions must first pursue such claims through an administrative process before seeking review.'

The 20-page ruling did not address the underlying issues at the heart of the unions’ challenge. Instead, the judges said the lower court “had no power to address the merits of the executive orders” and that the challenge should have been reviewed first by the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA).

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Tue Jul 16, 2019, 01:56 PM

2. That sounds a lot like the "arbitration" bs a lot of companies use

Like credit card companies who require arbitration for customers so as to avoid any possibility of a class-action lawsuit, this seems like the way they screw working people out of any chance at a win against those with money.

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Response to wysimdnwyg (Reply #2)

Tue Jul 16, 2019, 02:03 PM

3. The FLRB has always been an arbiter for fed work issues

But the thing is, I think most (if probably not all) of its caseload has been specific to workplace changes that agencies might attempt to enact for their employhees, NOT something that is "across-the-board" and comes from a higher level - i.e., via an Executive Order. I.e., this is like a catch-22 / loophole situation and I'm not sure how the FLRB would handle it. Am glad I am retired from the fed. government now.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #3)

Tue Jul 16, 2019, 05:31 PM

8. FLRB

 


The Federal Labor Relations Board is used often to deal with either bad managers who don't honor labor's requests for data, or the right for shop stewards to do their job. I had only one threat of a complaint on me for union relations that was withdrawn when they found out that I was not in violation and had complied. Trump and the GOP want to kill the NLRB and I'm against it. This agency protects both labor and mgmt. and makes sure they both comply with their national contracts or agreements.

Basically trump and his regime want to do whatever they want with no restrictions.
Anyone who has been in a union or is in a union should stand up and complain.
As for those that reap union benefits like pay raises, annual and sick leave, work hours rules and then refuses to pay dues better start thinking that if they bankrupt their union by refusing to pay dues, their union might go away and who will negotiate salary raises?? Who will stop an agency or company from just deciding to cut you pay by half?

Without unions, they can fire you anytime for any reason, cut your pay, etc.
I hate scabs who take the benefits and don't want to pay union dues.

We need more unions to protect us from companies like Amazon who killed most grocery stores that used to have unions.

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Response to marehare (Reply #8)

Tue Jul 16, 2019, 05:46 PM

12. I used to be a steward, VP, and then later President of my local years ago

in my federal job (those positions happening when we were under AFGE before they moved to NTEU - and by then I had become a manager so couldn't be a part of the bargaining unit) and I know about the hassle of it - especially during the Raygun years when I was in those positions (this was just a few years after Raygun fired the striking PATCO workers).

It's only gotten worse and I know they have been itching to completely gut the Civil Service Act (they have been chipping away at it as it is with the creation of FERS and the multi-tier retirement stuff).

As for negotiating salaries, pay cuts, etc - that is up to Congress and the President - the unions really have no say outside of rallying members (and others) to vote. About the only thing thing the locals or nationals can do financially is maybe negotiate performance bonuses/awards and commuting subsidies (e.g., subsidizing mass transit passes).

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Response to wysimdnwyg (Reply #2)

Tue Jul 16, 2019, 02:05 PM

4. The problem is the administrative process is in their contract

The union is just going to have to live up to the contract they negotiated.

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Response to ripcord (Reply #4)

Tue Jul 16, 2019, 05:34 PM

9. Ripcord

 

The unions monitor the contract and make sure it's honored. It's the companies and agencies who have to live up to the contract they negotiated. Trump is trying to break all the union contracts by presidential order (executive order) and he can't.

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Response to marehare (Reply #9)

Tue Jul 16, 2019, 05:43 PM

11. The unions negotiate the contract for the members

If this administrative process is in the contract it is because the union didn't have it removed.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Tue Jul 16, 2019, 04:01 PM

5. Hate to say it, but federal unions are pretty much toothless

without the right to strike. Did some work for the union in my agency back in the day. It didn't take me long to understand how management holds 51 cards in the deck and how they successfully divided the bargaining unit employees into "us" (the "good employees" and "them" (union members, generally thought of "incompetent", "lazy", "dumb" or "troublemakers".

I don't really think these EOs will make much of a difference one way or the other, tbh.

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Response to DeminPennswoods (Reply #5)

Tue Jul 16, 2019, 05:19 PM

6. You say federal unions are useless?

 

As a former federal employee and manager at my agency with 44 years service, I disagree that federal unions or assns. are toothless Unions negotiate our pay, our benefits, leave rules and conduct of employees and managers. I was a union rep for years and then I was in management for 22 years. I've seen it from both sides. As a worker I appreciated my union for improving work conditions, pay and as a manager I appreciated a set of rules to guide every manager in labor relations, pay and scheduling. Unions protect workers and management. Trump's plans to destroy our unions and make it easier to fire us, cut our pay, our leave (sick and annual), and at the same time he's attacking our retiree benefits that we worked so many years to gain, will not work. Federal workers can shut down the country is ways old dumpster can't fathom. Airports, transportation, SS payments, mail, customs and BP could all be shut down by us.
He's messing with the wrong people.
Trump by his actions, wants to destroy our country, cut SS and Medicare and give the rich another tax break which will benefit him, his family and all his rich supporters.

Trump is also working on destroying the OPM which handles all federal employees pay, admn, retirement and all the adm. work needed for federal agencies. This is totally insane. Who wants to worry if their pay arrives on time.

If you didn't vote in 2016 or 2018, please get registered and vote in 2020.

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Response to marehare (Reply #6)

Tue Jul 16, 2019, 05:28 PM

7. Maybe your union was better, but ours

wasn't. Congress sets federal pay and benefits. We had a CBA, but it hardly precluded management from doing what they wanted. In fact we worked very hard with our counterparts in HR to develop a new policy on personnel movement. Every member of the committee supported it, but management wouldn't implement it.

FTR, I've been registered for decades and vote in every primary and general election. I am not anti-union. Both parents were union members and I support unions. But at my agency, the federal AFGE was not effective.

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Response to DeminPennswoods (Reply #5)

Tue Jul 16, 2019, 05:40 PM

10. Toothless

 

I don't know where you worked, but I've never as an employee or as a manager, heard my fellow employees or managers speaking like this. Firing is a last result and if there's a problem with an employee, there are many ways to help an employee get back on track. Everything from drugs, booze, etc, the federal gov has ways to help an employee use EAP. I've recommended some of my employees go into rehab and one went twice before he conquered his demons. He remains to this day a valued employee who also is a vet.
PS We never liked to fire anyone because it costs a ton of money to train every employee and it reflects on managers badly if you can't find a solution that helps the employee and the company.

Federal agencies always hire vets first and have many programs to assist them.

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