June 27, 2006 – Federal employees won a major victory against the Bush administration’s attempt to gut collective bargaining and civil service rights at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). A federal appeals court upheld a lower court’s ruling that sections of the new rules went beyond Congress’ authority and illegally stripped federal employees of their collective bargaining rights.
“The appeals court ruling effectively ends DHS’s effort to impose these unjust rules that would constrict employees’ workplace rights and further erode their morale,” said National Treasury Employees’ Union President Colleen Kelly. NTEU led the suit and is part of the United Defense Workers Coalition, a coalition of federal employee unions fighting the unfair personnel rules at DHS and the Department of Defense. “The bottom line is that working against the best interests of your employees is never a winning strategy,” said Kelley. “It’s high time the administration abandoned this losing proposition.”
The latest court decision against the new personnel rules at DHS and a lower court ruling against similar rules, the National Security Personnel System (NSPS) at the Defense Department have slowed the Bush administration’s attempt to expand the unfair rules to all federal workers through a bill called the Working for America Act (WFAA). The bill has stalled and has not garnered a congressional sponsor.