By Sahid Fawaz
Republicans take note: federal employees aren’t backing down from you.
“President Trump and Capitol Hill Republicans have been good for federal unions, even as they attempt to undermine the labor organizations and the public servants they represent.
With the GOP running the White House and Congress, membership in federal unions is on the rise, fed by an administration and legislature that leaves the workforce anxious about budget cuts, layoffs and an erosion of civil service protections.
The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), the biggest federal employee union, had a net increase of 1,022 members last month alone, part of almost 5,000 new members since January. Three of the four other major unions also reported growth — the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) did not provide membership information — with the National Federation of Federal Employees on pace to achieve 7 percent growth this year.
While membership has grown previously, important factors currently are White House and congressional proposals that would cut government contributions to federal employee benefits, significantly devaluing the 1.9 percent pay raise that staffers are slated to get in January. The union growth occurred even before Thursday’s House approval of a budget proposal that would reduce subsidies to the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. The budget plan calls for $32 billion in cuts targeted at feds over 10 years. While unspecified in the House budget resolution, those hits could include damaging retirement proposals previously offered by Trump.
At the same time AFGE recorded impressive growth in September, Trump was doing his best to weaken federal unions through his executive order revoking the labor/management forums created by predecessor President Barack Obama.”
For the rest of the story, check out the full piece by the Washing Post here.