NTEU Urges ‘Yes’ Vote on Legislation Protecting Federal Workforce

Press Release September 14, 2022

Washington D.C. – The federal workforce would remain nonpartisan and merit-based under legislation endorsed by the National Treasury Employees Union and scheduled for a House vote this week.

The Preventing a Patronage System Act would make sure government employees who were hired in a competitive process based on their skills and qualifications are not replaced with political appointees whose only prerequisite is loyalty to a political ideology.

NTEU National President Tony Reardon on Tuesday wrote every member of the U.S. House encouraging them to vote for the bill, H.R. 302.

“As you know, non-political civil servants swear an oath to the Constitution. They work for the public. They know their agencies and their missions and do their jobs with integrity and professionalism no matter which political party is in power,” Reardon wrote.

The bipartisan legislation, sponsored by Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), would block the reclassification of current federal employees out of the competitive service and into any new excepted service, where their due process rights are limited. It would also limit excepted service schedules to the five currently in use.

The bill is a direct response to former President Trump’s executive order creating Schedule F, which would have replaced thousands of career civil servants with political appointees. NTEU sued to block the order, and President Biden immediately revoked it when he took office in January 2021.

“Subjecting dedicated civil servants to partisan whims would adversely affect agency missions and the fair and impartial delivery of government services Americans rely on,” Reardon wrote.

NTEU represents employees in 34 federal agencies and offices.