Under President Obama, public unions were given free government office space—but now, President Trump is ending the gravy train, telling them: pay rent, or get out.
Working off an executive order signed by Trump, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) released guidance last week on how federal agencies should comply.
The order, which was “aimed at making it easier to fire federal workers, streamline the collective bargaining negotiation process, and curb union employees’ use of official time,” will go into effect immediately, it seems.
At least one public union is already feeling the heat:
Tony Reardon, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, confirmed that he was told by one of his landlords—the Social Security Administration’s Office of Hearing Operations—that his union would lose their rent-free office space.
Another department in which the NTEU enjoys free office space, Health and Human Resources, also said they would kick the NTEU to the curb during the next round of contract negotiations, demanding that they pay rent or vacate.
The NTEU already plans to fight for their office space.
“We do not believe the agency can unilaterally implement these anti-employee provisions without bargaining, as required by the current statute governing labor relations in the federal government,” said Reardon. “We look forward to arguing our case in federal court at the end of this month to preserve the workforce rights.”
Trump’s executive order comes on the back of another tough blow for public unions—the Supreme Court ruled in Janus v. AFCSME that public unions could no longer force non-member workers to pay “agency fees,” potentially depriving them of a large source of revenue.