Washington, D.C. – Three high-ranking senators from committees overseeing issues affecting federal employees say the president's May 25 executive orders diminish the lawful rights of the men and women of the U.S. civil service and should be rescinded.
"Like all who hold office in government, federal employees take an oath to serve their fellow citizens and defend the Constitution of the United States, and they deserve our respect and support," the letter states.
It was signed by Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), and is the fourth letter in recent days from lawmakers of both parties asking the president to reverse course.
"The National Treasury Employees Union and the thousands of frontline federal employees in Missouri, Montana, and North Dakota are honored to receive the support of these key senators," NTEU National President Tony Reardon said. "Like so many of their colleagues, they understand clearly the importance of maintaining a professional federal workforce that is based on skill and merit."
McCaskill is ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Tester is the ranking member of the Senate Veteran Affairs Committee. And, Heitkamp is ranking member of the Senate Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management. One-third of all federal employees are veterans, their letter states.
NTEU has sued to block the executive orders because they violate established laws on labor-management relations by strictly limiting the ability to represent employees, weakening due process, and restricting collective bargaining at government agencies. The orders, if implemented, would open the door to patronage and favoritism by giving political appointees unfettered power to discriminate against certain employees.
"We expect the Administration to uphold the merit system principles, to promote good working relations between employees and managers and to respect employees statutory and contractual rights," the senators wrote.
NTEU represents 150,000 employees at 32 federal agencies and departments.