President Biden Keeps His Campaign Promise to NTEU Members
President Biden wasted no time fulfilling the commitments he made to NTEU and federal employees during last year’s campaign and taking action on many of our recommendations to restore the relationship between federal agencies and their employees on the front lines. In his first week in office, President Biden showed his dedication to rebuilding the relationship between the White House and federal employees by sending a video message to the federal workforce affirming his commitment to treat all federal employees with dignity and respect. President Biden started his term by quickly fulfilling the commitments he made to NTEU during last year’s campaign, taking action on many of our recommendations to restore the rights of federal employees on the front lines and the unions that represent them:
Issued an executive order (EO) that will protect the federal workforce during the pandemic.
Rescinded EOs that limited collective bargaining and employee rights in the federal government.
Rescinded an EO that threatened our merit-based civil service by reclassifying employees to demand political loyalty.
Rescinded the ban on diversity training for federal employees, reflecting his commitment to confronting systemic racism in our institutions.
Secured resignations of the pro-agency, anti-union biased members of the Federal Service Impasses Panel.
Proposed additional COVID-related paid sick and FMLA leave for federal employees.
In an interview with Government Matters just over a week after the inauguration, NTEU National President Tony Reardon praised these actions saying, “President Biden kept his promise. He said he was going to rid of these executive orders, and he did. And the bottom line is that agencies are now under orders to go back and follow the law by bargaining in good faith. Getting rid of these executive orders simply restores balance between labor and management as the law requires.”
This reset is the direct outcome of NTEU members’ political organizing. NTEU aggressively used litigation and legislation to try to block or delay the worst of the last administration’s attacks on employees, but ultimately, we needed a new administration to come in and reverse these policies. We needed to win at the ballot box. And despite a nationwide pandemic, more NTEU members voted and got involved in the electoral process than ever before.
NTEU members were a part of a nationwide mobilization effort to get out the vote. We found new ways to connect with each other, candidates, and our communities. We strengthened the expectation that candidates for federal office need speak to our members, learn our issues, and pledge their commitment to improving the lives of federal employees.
We are proud of this progress, but we also need to remember that building political power is a year-round job. This work is vital, and it doesn’t end after any one election.
As we celebrate this new era, we stand on the shoulders of the civil servants who formed this union in 1938. We will continue to build on NTEU’s legacy of organizing federal employees to secure dignity and respect in their workplace.
NTEU’s election communications are available without regard to the voter’s political preference. Information and other assistance regarding registering or voting shall not be withheld or refused based on support of or opposition to candidates or a particular party.