NTEU Will Continue Legal Challenge to Executive Orders

Press Release July 16, 2019

Washington D.C. -- The National Treasury Employees Union disagrees with today’s decision overturning on procedural grounds our successful challenge to the president’s anti-employee executive orders, and will continue the legal fight.

In the meantime, the U.S. District Court’s injunction against major portions of the 2018 executive orders that are harmful to federal employees and their collective bargaining rights will remain in force.

“This fight is not over. Not only will NTEU pursue every legal avenue to block these destructive executive fiats, but we will build on the progress we have made alerting Congress and the public about how the administration continues to attack and disrespect its own workforce,” said NTEU National President Tony Reardon.

The U.S. District Court, last August, ruled in favor of NTEU and other unions that argued that the orders conflicted with existing law and that a president alone cannot rewrite civil service laws.

Three judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled Tuesday that the unions should have taken their complaints about the May 2018 orders to the Federal Labor Relations Authority instead of a federal district court. NTEU will now ask the full appeals court to rehear the case.

“We do not believe the FLRA is equipped to consider our sweeping legal challenge to many different provisions contained in the orders,” Reardon said. “These orders go to the heart of the federal law that clearly states collective bargaining in the federal government is in the public’s interest, and we believe that the federal district courts had the authority to invalidate the provisions of the orders that violate that statute.”

The D.C. Circuit’s decision is stayed pending further proceedings in the court.  Thus, agencies cannot rely on any of the 13 executive order provisions that the lower court invalidated and must bargain in good faith.

“Since the president signed these orders more than a year ago, we have seen multiple attempts by political appointees in various agencies to run roughshod over the rights and benefits of their own workforce, which only provides further evidence that the administration is intent on silencing workers and weakening their rightful union representation,” Reardon said. “NTEU will never stop fighting for the dignity and respect that federal employees deserve.”

NTEU represents 150,000 employees at 33 federal agencies and departments.