PASS Applauds Efforts to Protect Federal Employees

Earlier this month, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued its final rule aimed at protecting federal employees from the threat of Schedule F, which would essentially strip them of their due process rights.

“The federal workforce, including the 11,000 employees PASS represents at the FAA and DoD, is critical to our country’s success and strength,” said National President Dave Spero. “Allowing politics to interfere with the work of career federal employees is a misguided step. We are pleased the current administration recognizes the value of their work and is moving to protect them from the ‘spoils system’ of the 19th century.”

In October 2020, the Trump Administration issued Executive Order 13957 creating a new type of federal position, Schedule F, empowering agencies to involuntarily move thousands of career federal employees into positions for which statutory and constitutional job protections would be eliminated. These employees would lose their workplace and union protections and could be fired for no reason and without due process.

The Pendleton Act in 1883 ended the patronage system within the civil service and created a competitive system designed to hire federal employees based on merit. With some tweaks and modifications, that system has endured and continues to exist as the selection of the federal workforce is based on competition and merit.

The final rule issued by OPM clarifies and reinforces long-standing protections and merit system principles for civil servants. “The rule will ensure that the hiring and firing of federal employees is done so based only on professional standards free of political influence,” continued President Spero.

The final rule—set to go into effect on May 9—states that civil service protections cannot be taken away involuntarily; prevents an exception designed for non-career, political appointments from being misapplied to civil service positions; and establishes procedures for moving positions from the competitive service to the excepted service and within the excepted service.

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