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Federal union leaders and other government workforce experts are urging Biden to put forth a set of proposals to repair the situation with federal workers after the damage caused by Trump. As a result of the disastrous actions taken by the Trump Administration, many federal agencies are left with less staff, resources, support and funding than before. The government cannot function if it doesn't even have the basic resources to do its job.
There have been recommendations from the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) and a National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) working group with former federal managers on how to repair federal agencies going forward.
“The hostility and disrespect the outgoing administration has shown federal employees these last four years is truly unconscionable,” NTEU President Tony Reardon said Tuesday. “I hope for the sake of our democracy that we don’t ever again see this level of animosity.” (Washington Post, 11/19/20)
RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE NATIONAL TREASURY EMPLOYEES UNION
AND THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATIONS
The National Treasury Employees Union NTEU's recommendations can be found here (PDF).
The National Academy of Public Administration's (NAPA) recommendations are here (PDF).
MAKE THE OPM DIRECTOR A CABINET OFFICER
NAPA includes academics and former government officials. It is led by Jeffrey Neal, their chairman. They issued a proposed executive order (PDF) that would make the Office of Personal Management (OPM) director a Cabinet officer.
During the Trump Administration, the OPM experienced a significant drop in influence during a Trump Administration that imposed federal policies by fiat. NAPA believes that making the director of the OPM a Cabinet officer would help restore the agency's lost influence. Pointing to four OPM leaders in four years, NTEU said the agency’s “persistent change in leadership has left OPM rudderless.”
RESUME LABOR MANAGEMENT FORUMS
NTEU and NAPA have urged Biden to resume the labor management forums that facilitated workplace relations under the Clinton and Obama administrations. NTEU said the formalized collaboration “legitimized the institutional role of unions in achieving agency missions, expanded the scope of collective bargaining, and mandated union involvement in pre-decisional agency operations” — actions the Trump administration vigorously rejected. (Washington Post, 11/19/20)
REVERSE HARMFUL TRUMP EXECUTIVE ORDERS
Both groups have also called on Biden to reverse executive orders upsetting federal workplace norms. Biden said he would overturn 3 May 2018 orders that undermined federal labor organizations and make it easier to fire federal employees. The other two would create a new category of federal employees exempt from civil service workplace protections, making them more vulnerable to political retribution, and prohibit crucial elements of diversity and inclusion training in federal agencies.
INCREASE FUNDING FOR THE IRS
NTEU also wants Biden to support an annual 5 percent increase in staffing at the IRS, which would create 4,000 jobs a year.
NTEU ENDORSED BIDEN
NTEU endorsed Biden during the election. Saying the president elect is exactly who federal workers need in the White House. (Washington Post, 11/19/20)
As a result of those actions, the federal workforce is “in many cases, understaffed, under-resourced and unsupported by agency leaders who are hostile to their mission,” NTEU said. “We see a new administration as an opportunity to collaborate on repairing the missions and restoring the executive branch agencies to the standards that the American people deserve and expect.” (Washington Post, 11/19/20)
The National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) recommendations for Biden PDF
The National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) recommendations PDF
NAPA Proposed Executive Order to Make OPM Director a Cabinet Officer PDF
Biden urged to rebuild the relationship between the government and its workers (The Washington Post, 11-19-20)