Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., plans to enact federal workforce policy that reverses Trump administration initiatives, should she be elected president in 2020.
In a policy plan for empowering the American workforce released Oct. 3, Warren promised to rescind three executive orders issued by President Donald Trump that place strict restrictions on federal unions, require the renegotiation of collective bargaining agreements and make it easier to fire federal employees.
Warren’s policy goes one step further than trashing the executive orders, by planning to make it possible for federal employees to strike for changes to their labor agreements, a practice that is currently prohibited by the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute, which defines federal employee striking as an “unfair labor practice.”
Warren’s plan would also guarantee that feds are paid during lapses in appropriations, stating:
“I will also fight to ensure that federal workers are paid continuously during government shutdowns rather than facing furloughs and no-pay status, and crack down on contracting out services and on the widespread use of temp workers.”
Federal employees have to currently rely on Congress to authorize back pay for when they were either out of work or forced to work without pay during a lapse in appropriations. Contractors have never received such back pay.
The Trump administration’s practice for workforce management has been targeted at “draining the swamp,” which includes hard-to-fire federal employees, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney confirmed at an August South Carolina Republican Party Silver Elephant Gala.
Warren’s policy plan for federal workers is part of a larger promise to guarantee the right to organize for public sector workers, provide more protections for labor organizations and broaden the definition of “employee” and what it means for labor unions.
Jessie Bur covers federal IT and management.