NTEU Opposes Nominee for Office of Personnel Management

Press Release September 15, 2020

UPDATE Sept. 16: This morning, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee delayed action on John Gibbs' nomination.

The National Treasury Employees Union, which represents 150,000 federal workers around the country, today announced its opposition to the nomination of John Gibbs to be director of the Office of Personnel Management.

“Mr. Gibbs lacks the experience in federal personnel management needed to succeed in this position,” NTEU National President Tony Reardon said.

Reardon announced the union’s opposition in a letter to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which is scheduled to consider Gibbs’ nomination Wednesday. In addition to the lack of experience, Reardon cited Gibbs’ history of inflammatory and insensitive remarks about people of different backgrounds and faiths.

“OPM faces numerous challenges and requires a leader that can work collaboratively with employees from all backgrounds and their representatives to meet those challenges and help agencies to attract and retain a talented workforce that reflects the nation it serves. Unfortunately, Mr. Gibbs does not appear to have the background, experience, or temperament to do so,” the letter states.

OPM is responsible for making sure that the government’s human resources policies follow the merit system principles; ensuring that federal employees are recruited and advanced based on their ability and skills; that all receive fair and equitable treatment without regard to political affiliation, race, color, and religion; and that employees are protected from reprisal for disclosing government wrongdoing.

Contrary to the merit systems principles, Gibbs has expressed publicly an interest in newly hired employees being loyal to the president, which is in direct conflict with hiring based on merit and skill, not political affiliation.

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