November 30, 2020
Appropriators working on the next funding bill for fiscal year 2020 have been asked to urgently block funding for President Trump’s Schedule F executive order.
The Trump administration has been using the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) to bust unions. This time, it’s using the FLRA to decertify the National Association of Immigration Judges by claiming that the 450 judges at the Department of Justice are management officials, stripping them of their collective bargaining rights.
Read the National Association of Immigration Judges’ letter to its members here.
The decision to decertify the immigration judge union will have devasting implications for AFGE in light of Trump’s executive order creating a new Schedule F category for any current or future federal worker whose job is in any way connected to federal policy.
Ernest DuBester, the lone Democratic member of the FLRA, called his colleagues’ decision to deprive the judges of their right to belong to a union “sophistry.”
“In an act of legal gymnastics, the majority decides it may reconsider our decision in [EOIR 2000]—the very decision in which the authority determined that the IJs were not management officials—because the union did not file an application for review to challenge the RD’s findings regarding the substantial change,” DuBester wrote. “Leaving aside the question of why the union would seek review of a decision denying the agency’s petition, it is entirely unclear how its failure in this regard opens the door to what is essentially a collateral attack on our decision in EOIR.”
AFGE expects more attacks from the FLRA with more agencies seeking to decertify many more bargaining units including those represented by AFGE. Rest assured that we will take steps to protect our members’ union rights and voice at work.
Alma Lee, president of AFGE’s National Veterans Affairs Council, was honored by AFGE’s Women’s and Fair Practices Departments this year with the first-ever Woman of Labor Award.
Kiristyn Miles is AFGE's 2020 scholarship winner.