Photo of Donald Trump

President Donald J. Trump is Reforming the Civil Service to Work for the American People

May 25, 2018

"To empower our civil servants to best help others, the government must always operate more efficiently and more securely." – President Donald J. Trump

PUTTING TAXPAYERS FIRST: President Trump signed an Executive Order requiring agencies to negotiate better union contracts in a more efficient and transparent manner.

  • The order directs agencies to negotiate better contracts with Federal unions, holds down costs, promotes performance and accountability, and creates a Labor Relations Working Group.
  • It will eliminate years of costly drawn-out bargaining by encouraging agencies to conclude labor negotiations in less than a year.
    • Agencies pay for union negotiators' salaries, so it hurts taxpayers when bargaining drags on for years. The salaries for union negotiators cost $16 million in 2016 alone.
  • Americans will now be able to gauge for themselves whether they got a good deal. The order requires union contracts to be published in a public online database, promoting transparency.

WORKING FOR THE PEOPLE: The President's Executive Order reducing spending on taxpayer-funded union activities will ensure Federal employees prioritize work for the American people.

  • The order directs agencies to work on renegotiating contracts to cut taxpayer-funded union time by an average of two-thirds, reducing union business interfering with agency operations.
    • The Social Security Administration estimates it could complete 135,000 more retirement applications or 17,000 more disability determinations annually, if taxpayer funding for union activities were redirected to public service functions.
  • Those Federal employees authorized to act on behalf of unions will be permitted to spend no more than 25 percent of their time on union business.
    • Over 470 Veterans Affairs employees spend 100 percent of their duty hours working for a labor union instead of serving veterans. This includes 74 full-time nurses.
  • The order cuts back on lobbying or pursuing a grievance against an agency on taxpayer-funded union time. Taxpayers should not pay for unions to sue or lobby the government.
  • Agencies will charge rent to employees that use Federal office space for non-agency business and stop covering travel expenses for non-agency business.
  • This order will save taxpayers at least $100 million a year, when fully implemented.

STRENGTHENING THE MERIT SYSTEM: Through Executive Order, President Trump is making procedural changes to strengthen the merit system and streamline the removal of poor performers.

  • The current system makes firing employees for poor performance or misconduct prohibitively difficult, undermining the Federal Government's merit principles.
    • It takes 6 months to 1 year to remove a tenured Federal employee for poor performance, plus an average of 8 more months to resolve appeals. Tenured Federal employees are also 44 times less likely to get fired or laid off than private sector workers.
    • Tenured Federal employees have stolen agency property, run personal businesses from work, and been arrested for using drugs during lunch breaks and not been fired.
  • The order facilitates the efficient removal of poor performing employees and makes it hard for those employees to mask adverse employment information when seeking re-employment at another agency, while upholding Federal merit principles.
  • Agencies will be required to report information on disciplinary actions and management of poor performers to the Office of Personnel Management for publication.

Donald J. Trump, President Donald J. Trump is Reforming the Civil Service to Work for the American People Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Filed Under



Simple Search of Our Archives