Members of AFGE, the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE), other unions, and allies are taking to the streets June 25 to protest the Trump administration’s threat to furlough or lay off up to 150 Office of Personnel Management (OPM) employees if Congress won’t let it dismantle OPM.
In his continuing quest to undermine our apolitical civil service that keeps our government agencies free from corruption, President Trump has proposed to blow up OPM and move its functions to three different agencies. Trump has already signed an executive order authorizing the transfer of OPM’s background checks to the Department of Defense, which had originally carried out this function but did it so poorly that it had to be transferred to OPM.
It’s also trying to shift OPM’s policy function to Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which is the Executive Office of the President, and everything else to the General Services Administration (GSA). Transferring the human resources policy function to the White House is an obvious move to politicize federal employment. Transferring other functions to GSA would allow the administration to contract out more federal jobs.
Unsurprisingly, his plan faced stiff opposition from our union and members of Congress. Now Trump has threatened to lay off 150 OPM employees if he doesn’t get his way, taking our members’ livelihoods hostage in a ploy to politicize the federal workforce.
Members of Congress condemned the administration for issuing the threat.
“I have come to expect abuse and horrific maltreatment of the federal workforce from the Trump Administration, but I have never seen anything like this,” said Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va. “Threatening to fire or furlough American civil servants unless Congress gives into their demands is beyond the pale. The White House is only resorting to hostage-taking because the administration could not substantiate the need for this plan before Congress last month, but Congress will not be bullied like this. Let me say this very clearly to the President and his team: this is not the way to get what you want.”
Rep. Gerald Connolly, D-Va, said the plan to eliminate OPM is "nothing more than a political gambit to give the White House control of our longstanding merit-based civil service system.”
"After realizing they were not going to prevail on the merits of the proposal, the Trump Administration is taking 150 federal employees hostage unless we consent to a plan that has no rationale," he said.
Get mad! Then get up and protest!
We won’t let the administration get away with a threat to fire employees if it doesn’t get its way.
Join our union brothers and sisters in shining a spotlight on Trump’s attempts to dismantle our civil service. Here are the details of the rally:
Date: June 25, 2019
Time: 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m. ET
Location: San Martin Park
20th & Virginia Ave. NW
We will have several speakers, including AFGE National Vice President for District 14 Eric Bunn, NFFE President Randy Erwin, and members of Congress.
Not an OPM employee?
Here’s why you should be worried even though you don’t work at OPM. Blowing up OPM will affect every federal employee as it would put the following functions in the hands of the anti-worker White House:
- Classification and assessment: OPM is responsible for the government-wide classification policy, ensuring that everyone is treated fairly and that employees get jobs based on merit, not favoritism.
- Hiring: OPM is responsible for the governmentwide competitive hiring policies that protect people with disabilities, veterans, and those with certain medical conditions in the hiring process.
- Diversity: OPM is responsible for the governmentwide diversity and inclusion policies, regulations and programs that ensure we are recruiting and hiring for a diverse workplace that reflects America.
- Executive resources and training: OPM is responsible for ensuring that every agency has merit-based systems, policies, and programs in place to ensure senior executives and professionals are hired based on merit. OPM also makes sure training and development programming is available to help develop and retain a world-class federal workforce.
See you at the rally!