HUD Orders Unions to Vacate Federal Office Space

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has “told the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) and the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE)” that it wants to engage in midterm negotiations to implement the requirements under” the new workforce executive orders released last month by the Trump administration, according to Jason Miller at Federal News Radio.

Notably, “one key proposal submitted by the agency would be for the unions to vacate federal office space by July 15.”

“No union representative, when acting on behalf of the union, may be permitted the use of government property or any other agency resources. Such property and resources include office or meeting space, reserved parking spaces, phones, computers, computer systems, copy machines, paper, filing cabinets, keys, scanners, external drives, fax machines, use of printing services, subscriptions to information services (cyberdfeds, etc.) and all other government property or resources,” HUD told AFGE on June 14. “The union shall have until July 15, 2018, to vacate all offices they currently occupy, return all government property they currently possess and cease using government resources. This applies to field and HQ.”

The move is among the first and most public efforts to implement the Trump administration’s workforce executive orders, which have proven controversial amongst the labor unions they single out. Among the executive orders’ effects are requiring that unions pay rent for their use of federal office space, and limiting the amount of time a federal employee can spend on union business to a maximum of 25 percent of their time.

AFGE has argued that the cap on official time use “improperly amends the section of the 1978 Civil Service Reform Act governing collective bargaining negotiations and establishing official time as a lawful practice.”

While labor unions have largely renounced the measures, many professional associations representing federal employees – including the Senior Executives Association, Professional Managers Association, and Federal Managers Association – have been generally supportive of the administration’s efforts to curtail federal union activity within the workforce in the interest of providing federal managers with more options for managing their employees.

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