In less than one month, Congress has taken many actions that impact federal employees and the public they serve. The House of Representatives, for example, passed the so-called Holman rule to allow any representative to single out a civil servant who disagrees with them politically, and end their career.
There are a few more pieces of legislation that we need to pay attention to. Some proposals are clearly aimed at punishing non-supporters and bringing back a patronage system abolished in the 1880s after President Garfield was assassinated by a disappointed office seeker. The civil service is clearly in danger of being compromised through political interference which will make it a lot more difficult for federal employees to support and keep our communities safe.
Here’s the list of bills AFGE opposes:
- H.R. 559, the Modern Employment Reform and Transformation Act of 2017 (the MERIT Act): Introduced by Rep. Barry Loudermilk of Georgia, this bill would make it easier for politicians to fire federal employees by removing checks and balances and certain workplace due process rights.
- The Promote Accountability and Government Efficiency Act (the PAGE Act): This bill, to be introduced by Rep. Todd Rokita of Indiana, would make federal employees “at will” employees who could be suspended or fired for any reason or no reason. It would also eliminate so-called “official time” so that employees no longer have union representatives at work.
- H.R. 295, the Rebalance for an Effective Defense Uniformed and Civilian Employees Act (the REDUCE Act): The bill, introduced by Rep. Ken Calvert of California, would arbitrarily reduce the number of civilian federal employees at the Defense Department by 15 percent without lowering the workload. This would undoubtedly lead to expensive outsourcing.
- H.R. 27, the Ensuring VA Employees Accountability Act. The bill, introduced by Rep. Ryan Costello of Pennsylvania, would prohibits VA workers from clearing their employee records of past reprimands even if that reprimand was a result of whistleblowing or some form of retaliation.
And the bills we support:
- H.R. 757, the Federal Adjustment of Income Rates Act (the FAIR Act): The bill, introduced by Rep. Gerry Connolly of Virginia, would give federal employees a 3.2 percent raise in 2018.
- S.255, the Federal Adjustment of Income Rates Act : This is the Senate version of the FAIR Act. Introduced by Sen. Brian Schatz, the bill would give federal employees a 3.2 percent raise in 2018.
- S.272, the Strengthening American Transportation Security Act (SATSA): The bill, introduced by Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii, would give TSA officers fundamental workplace rights and protections and put them on the General Schedule pay scale
- H.R. 613, the Lieutenant Osvaldo Albarati Correctional Officer Self-Protection Act: The bill, introduced by Rep. David McKinley of West Virginia, would require the Bureau of Prisons to provide a secure storage area outside the secure perimeter of federal prisons for firearms carried by certain BOP employees.