On Sept. 25, 2019, the Court of Appeals ruled that the court did not have jurisdiction to rule on the lawsuit filed by AFGE and other federal unions against Trump’s three executive orders that seek to purge unions and federal workers’ constitutional rights.
While the ruling allows the administration to move forward with the EOs, it doesn’t mean federal agencies can implement them without bargaining with the union.
According to the executive orders themselves, agencies must bargain with unions if they conflict with a contract currently in place.
- Section 9(c) of Executive Order 13836 provides “nothing in this order shall abrogate any CBA in effect on the date of this order.”
- Section 9(a) of Executive Order 13837 provides “nothing in this order shall abrogate any collective bargaining agreement in effect on the date of this order.”
- Section 8(b) of Executive Order 13839 provides “Agencies shall consult with employee labor representatives about the implementation of this order. Nothing in this order shall abrogate any collective bargaining agreement in effect on the date of this order.”
Expired Contracts must remain until the changes are negotiated, according to the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA), which adjudicates unfair labor practices and resolves negotiability disputes in the federal workplace.
But even though it would be illegal for the administration to implement the executive orders without first negotiating in cases where they conflict with an existing contract, as we have seen with this administration before, no matter the legalities, agencies may try to implement anyway and force us to challenge them after the fact.
No matter what the administration does, AFGE will continue fighting these executive orders with every tool at our disposal. Just like we have a say in who should represent us in Congress, we deserve to have a say in matters that affect us in the workplace. That’s democracy.