In another major victory for AFGE members, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) March 5 directed federal agencies to engage with unions and to reopen and renegotiate Trump-era contracts that have anti-worker provisions.
OPM also directed agencies to immediately cease any actions related to Trump’s Schedule F executive order aimed at politicizing the federal workforce.
In his first few days in office, President Joe Biden issued a number of executive orders revoking Trump’s anti-worker executive orders. But agencies were slow in implementing Biden’s EOs, saying they were waiting for guidance from OPM. AFGE urged OPM to issue the guidance.
Acting OPM Director Kathleen McGettigan opened her guidance with a reminder to agencies that the Biden administration supports union organizing and collective bargaining in the federal government.
“On January 22, 2021, President Biden signed Executive Order (EO) 14003 on Protecting the Federal Workforce (attached). Section 1 notes that “Career civil servants are the backbone of the Federal workforce” and that “[i]t is the policy of the United States to protect, empower and rebuild the career Federal workforce.” It further notes that “[i]t is also the policy of the United States to encourage union organizing and collective bargaining,” she said.
AFGE applauds OPM for moving quickly to issue the guidance.
“Today’s action by OPM is an important step toward restoring federal workers’ union rights across the government and enforcing President Biden’s order rolling back the illegal union-busting executive orders issued by the previous president,” said AFGE President Everett Kelley. “While some agencies already have moved to roll back the last administration’s assault on workers’ rights by returning necessary office space to union officials, restoring representational time for union representatives, and revising contracts to remove anti-worker provisions, not all agencies have acted promptly.
“This guidance confirms that all agencies must implement President Biden’s order and OPM’s guidance, and come back to the table to renegotiate contracts that were corrupted by the previous administration’s illegal actions. It’s time to fully restore the rule of law and the rights and protections of federal workers,” he added.
AFGE members have been working hard to reverse the ill effects of Trump’s anti-worker EOs and four years of attacks on the federal workforce. We asked President Biden to revoke Trump’s EOs, and he heard our call.
Federal workers are passionate about our work, and we thank President Biden for supporting us and the work we do serving the American people!