Schedule F Threat Broader Than Previously Known

The Republican plot to fire nonpartisan, frontline civil servants across government would cut much deeper into the workforce than previously estimated and jeopardize federal agencies’ ability to serve the public, new documents show.

The original Schedule F executive order signed by President Trump in 2020 purportedly targeted federal employees who work in policy-related positions, but records obtained by NTEU show it went well beyond policy-makers and swept up office managers, human resource specialists, administrative assistants, cybersecurity specialists and many others. Read More

OPM Taking Steps to Protect Employees
In December of 2022, NTEU filed a petition with the Office of Personnel Management asking that it issue regulations ensuring that competitive service employees carry their due process rights with them if transferred into a future Schedule F.

NTEU sent a letter to President Biden seeking his support for the union’s petition, and a coalition of 13 other unions signaled their support for the NTEU petition in a letter to OPM.

In September of 2023, OPM issued draft regulations in line with what NTEU requested, beginning the public comment period.

NTEU’s comments encourage OPM to move quickly to clarify and reinforce the due process rights of employees.

MSPB Taking Steps to Expand Employee Rights
A proposal from the Merit Systems Protection Board would allow employees to file a challenge if they are involuntarily moved from the competitive service to the excepted service, and NTEU filed comments supporting the proposed expansion of appeal rights.

Congress Can Also Help Employees
NTEU endorses the Saving Civil Service Act in the House (HR 1002) and the Senate (S 399), which would limit a future Schedule F by capping the number of employees who could be moved and requiring an employee’s consent.

Further Efforts
NTEU has asked many of the agencies where we represent employees to put prohibited personnel practice protections in place for any possible Schedule F employees. Without them, employees in a potential Schedule F are not covered by the law protecting federal workers from most “prohibited personnel practices” such as political coercion, nepotism, or a supervisor granting someone else an unlawful preference. Agencies should lock in these protections.

Schedule F in the News
Conservative groups draw up plan to dismantle the US government and replace it with Trump’s vision (Associated Press)

The fight to stop a cornerstone of Trump's 'retribution' agenda is underway (NBC News)

The Open Plot to Dismantle the Federal Government (The Atlantic)

Biden Administration Aims to Trump-Proof the Federal Work Force (The New York Times)

Trump plan to gut civil service triggers pushback (Reuters)

Biden administration proposes new rule that would limit Trump purge (Washington Post)

Federal labor coalition urges ‘prompt’ finalization of OPM’s anti-Schedule F proposal (Federal News Network)

Democrats rally behind rule to prevent return of Trump’s Schedule F (Federal Times)

Regulations aimed at derailing a Schedule F revival proposed by OPM (Government Executive)

Union coalition throws support behind OPM’s anti-Schedule F rules (Government Executive)

Federal employees want you to keep your politics out of their work (The Hill)