July 17, 2019

Maryland Delegation Hears from Union Leaders about the Trump Administration’s Ongoing Attacks on Federal Workers

WASHINGTON  U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Elijah E. Cummings, Dutch Ruppersberger, John P. Sarbanes, Anthony G. Brown, Jamie Raskin and David Trone on Tuesday hosted key leaders of federal unions to discuss the Trump administration’s ongoing campaign against civil servants and federal workers. Participants included American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) National President J. David Cox, Sr.; International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers, AFL-CIO & CLC (IFPTE), International President Paul Shearon; National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE) National President Randy Erwin; and National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) Legislative & Political Director Kata Sybenga. The discussion focused on the ongoing threats to the collective bargaining rights, countering efforts to splinter agency headquarters staff, budget constraints on workers asked to do more year after year for less pay, and the devastating impact the Trump administration is having on retention and recruitment across the federal government.

“Maryland’s congressional delegation is extremely proud of our federal workforce, which is the best in the world at serving its citizens. We let the leaders of unions that represent federal workers know that we will continue to stand up for them as they continue to face unnecessary uncertainty from the federal budgetary process and from an administration that continues to take steps to systematically dismantle federal agencies and displace federal workers,” said Senator Cardin.  “We also let union leaders know that we will continue to work on their behalf to protect pay parity, collective bargaining as a fundamental right, and to ensure that our federal workers receive the respect they deserve.”

“Our federal workforce is a professional, merit-based system that is an incredible national resource to the American people. This Administration wants to take a wrecking ball to that, attacking federal unions and trying to turn the civil service into a system based on political patronage. We will continue working together to push back against President Trump’s actions and to protect the integrity of our non-partisan federal workforce, who work so hard on behalf of all of us,” said Senator Van Hollen.

“The Trump Administration’s continued assault on our federal civilian workforce has severely negative consequences for both the men and women who work hard each day to serve their country and for the American people,” said Congressman Hoyer. “I appreciated the opportunity to join with my colleagues from Maryland and reiterate our strong support for federal employees. I worked hard to ensure that a 3.1% cost of living adjustment for federal employees was included in the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill, which passed the House last month. I will continue to fight against the Administration’s draconian policies in Congress, which undermine the morale and productivity of our workforce.”

“The Trump Administration’s assault on federal employees’ union rights hurts the non-partisan civil service, many of whom are my constituents,” said Congressman Cummings. “I was glad to meet with the leaders of federal employee unions to discuss the challenges they face, including yesterday’s DC Circuit decision, which lifts the injunction against President Trump’s anti-union executive actions. The appellate court’s decision would require each local union chapter to petition an anti-union Federal Labor Relations Authority prior to seeking review in federal court.  The phrase ‘justice delayed is justice denied’ will become a reality in the collective bargaining context.  Federal employees and their many allies in Congress must find additional means to protect workplace and collective bargaining rights from the threat of President Trump’s administration.”

“I represent more than 171,000 federal employees and all of them say the Administration’s full-court press against the federal workforce is having a chilling effect on recruitment, retention and morale,” Congressman Ruppersberger said. “Yesterday, we learned his wasteful plan to decentralize key federal agencies will cost taxpayers as much as $100,000 per employee. We are not going to sit idle while the President threatens to withhold modest pay raises, cuts pensions and even attacks reasonable civil service protections.”

“My colleagues and I had an important conversation with federal workforce representatives about the increasing challenges faced by our nation’s federal employees,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “I remain committed to the hardworking women and men of our federal workforce and will continue to push back forcefully against the Trump Administration’s mean-spirited attacks on our nation’s civil servants.”

“Federal employees are instrumental for a functioning government – without them Americans’ water wouldn’t be clean, our roads wouldn’t be safe, and our national security would be at risk,” said Congressman Brown. “Any attack on the rights of federal employees is an attack on the whole of government. We will continue to fight for civil servants’ collective bargaining rights, cost-of-living raises, and dignity at work.”

“Civil servants and federal workers are the backbone of America’s workforce,” said Congressman Raskin. “I was proud to join my Maryland colleagues and the leaders of federal employee unions for this discussion about the Trump Administration’s ongoing efforts to undermine the federal workforce, strip federal functions and close federal offices. Maryland’s 8th congressional district is home to tens of thousands of federal workers and I am working however I can to make sure the Trump Administration understands the essential contributions they make to our country.”

"Our federal workers come to work every day and serve their country, and they deserve more respect than they receive from the Trump Administration," said Congressman Trone, member of the House Committee on Education and Labor. "The Maryland delegation is dedicated to supporting our unions and fighting back against the Administration's attempts to take away modest pay increases, cut pensions, and threaten collective bargaining rights."

AFGE is the largest federal employee union, representing 700,000 federal and D.C. government workers nationwide and overseas in virtually all functions of government at every federal agency.

IFPTE is a diverse labor union advocating on behalf of more than 80,000 women and men in professional, technical, administrative and associated occupations, including auditors, drafters/designers, engineers, administrative law judges, lawyers, researchers, scientists, and technicians.

NFFE is a national union representing approximately 110,000 blue and white collar government workers and is affiliated with International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers (IAM).  NFFE is the oldest union representing federal employees, dating back to 1917.

NTEU is the nation’s largest independent union of federal employees, representing 150,000 workers in 33 departments and agencies.

###