NTEU Challenges Administration Plan Targeting Union Dues

Press Release February 18, 2020

Washington D.C. – The Federal Labor Relations Authority, in a 2-1 decision, has overturned 40 years of labor-management law and indulged the administration’s ongoing effort to try and weaken federal employee unions.

The FLRA’s decision, released today, was requested by the Office of Personnel Management and reverses the FLRA’s position, since a 1981 ruling, that employee dues allotments could only be rescinded annually.    

NTEU today informed the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit of our intention to challenge the decision.

“There is only one reason to change one-year dues collection agreements and that is to try and harm unions,” National Treasury Employees Union President Tony Reardon said. “This action reveals in stark terms just how determined the administration is to roll back the rights and benefits of federal employees.”

Federal labor law has long recognized that unions deserve some stability. In reliance on the FLRA’s 1981 ruling, all collective bargaining agreements have a designated period each year when members can stop their dues from being withheld from their paychecks. NTEU asserts that a dues collection agreement of one year is, as the FLRA ruled in 1981, required by the statute governing federal sector labor relations.

“Our members chose to join our union because they believe in empowering federal employees in the workplace, and this FLRA decision does not change that,” Reardon said. “However, NTEU remains committed to upholding federal labor law and that is why we are challenging this decision in court.”

Federal employees when they join NTEU are made aware of the annual dues revocation period and every year some members disenroll at that time, a fair process that has worked well for decades.

“The administration’s concern about the full exercise of employee rights is especially galling because this administration has done nothing but attack federal employees – their pay, their benefits, their due process rights and their dedication to their jobs,” Reardon said. “Unions and our allies in Congress are the only ones blocking the administration from doing further damage to the federal workforce, which is exactly why they are targeting us.”

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