AFGE: The impact of President Trump’s executive orders

In the news business the best way to bury a story is to release or leak it on the Friday before a major national holiday. Such was the case this Memorial Day weekend when three executive orders designed to whip the bureaucracy in shape were issued Friday afternoon via a telephone conference call with reporters.

One of the EOs makes it easier to fire poor-performing feds and harder for them to bury their poor-performance histories when looking for another government job.  The second slashes the amount of official time feds can be paid for doing union-related assignments. The third EO would change labor-management bargaining practices which, the White House said, cost taxpayers $16 million in salary money in 2016.

Because these are presidential directives rather than legislation, they can be overturned by a future president with the stroke of a pen.

The three EOs fulfill — at least on paper — President Donald Trump’s campaign pledge to drain the D.C. swamp and to snip the red tape that makes it next to impossible to prod nonperforming bureaucrats either to action or the unemployment line.

And it especially curbs the power of unions in the federal establishment. The unions, as you might expect, are flipping out. The National Treasury Employees Union called the EOs a blueprint for “dismantling the merit system,” which is the core of a nonpartisan federal civil service.

The American Federation of Government Employees told Federal News Radio, “this is President Trump taking retribution on an apolitical civil service workforce.”

AFGE President J. David Cox  will join host Mike Causey on this week’s Your Turn radio show to talk about the executive orders and their potential impact.

Listen if you can at 10 a.m. EDT on WFED 1500 AM in the Washington D.C. area or online at Federal News Radio. It will also be archived on our homepage so you can listen anytime.

If you have questions for Cox email them to Mike Causey before air time at

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