As we’ve recently discussed, President Trump signed a series of executive orders which seek to ease the process for firing delinquent government workers and institute reforms in how government worker unions operate inside of federal offices. The National Treasury Employees Union has already gone to court to try to stop these reforms and HUD ran into problems when it tried to evict the union from its offices.
Yes, it’s been a rocky start on the reform trail. But now the Democrats in the Senate are getting in on the act, demanding that the reforms be canceled. 45 of them signed on to a letter demanding that the President rescind the orders and put an end to the madness of removing workers who spend their time watching porn on their government computers while being paid on the taxpayer dime. (Government Executive)
A group of 45 Democratic senators on Tuesday demanded President Trump rescind his controversial recent executive orders that seek to make it easier to fire federal workers and severely curb the influence of federal employee unions.
In a letter to Trump, the senators, led by Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., blasted the orders, arguing they “undermine the foundations of our civil service system.”
“The recent executive orders undermine the decades-old rights of federal employees to fair representation in the workplace,” they wrote. “These orders significantly reduce the extent to which federal agencies will negotiate collective bargaining agreements with their workforce. Instead, federal agencies or outside panels will impose workplace policies without good faith negotiation.”
I understand that the Democrats have had trouble settling on a cohesive campaign messaging strategy for the midterms, but is this really the hill they want to die on? Let’s stop and consider precisely what it is that Van Hollen and his colleagues are calling for. Under current rules, even the most egregious violations by federal workers can almost never result in an immediate dismissal. Management is forced to issue letters suggesting how the worker might improve their performance and establish a “review period.” And the employee always has the right to appeal through a process which the department’s management has zero control over. Even in the generally rare cases where someone does get fired, they can frequently have it overturned and be returned to their old positions. And if they are put on leave while the process plays out they almost always receive their full pay and benefits, sometimes for years.
Do you really want to go out before the nation’s voters, most of whom have to work in the real world for companies that fire you on the same day that you massively screw up, and demand those “rights” for these people? Particularly when the voters you are addressing are the ones paying those salaries, that doesn’t sound like the best strategy ever.
And what of the unions? Those are not government organizations. They are private labor groups who represent the workers and collectively bargain for their incredibly generous compensation and retirement packages. (Retirement plans which almost none of those private sector voters get any more.) They’re being allowed to use government office space and resources which are paid for by the taxpayers. And some of those union officials hold what are technically considered “government jobs” with taxpayer-funded salaries while they spend all of their hours on “official time” doing union business. Do you think the public is going to be on your side or the side of the guy who signed the order trying to rein them in?
On second thought, just go ahead and go with that, Democrats. I’m sure it will work out marvelously for you.