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*** The Trump administration is probing whether the recent Supreme Court decision in Janus vs. AFSCME, which sets a "right to work" policy for public sector employees, has implications for unionized federal employees. The case is complex, but in its essence under the ruling, public sector employees who benefit from unionized contacts but aren't members of the union don't have to pay agency fees to the union underwrite political activity they don't support.

The Office of Personnel Management is asserting, via a Federal Register post from the Federal Labor Relations Authority, that the Janus decision has consequences for existing law on the collection of union dues, specifically with the ability of unionized employees to revoke their assignment of dues.

Federal employee unions were swift to condemn OPM's reading of the decision.

"The Trump administration’s request for the Federal Labor Relations Authority to overturn decades of precedent is part of an all-out assault on federal employees' collective bargaining rights," said J. David Cox Sr., national president of the American Federation of Government Employees. "They are throwing out our contracts, enforcing illegal executive orders, and now trying to make it harder for workers to join and stay in the union. Their ultimate goal is to destroy federal sector unions, and we will do everything in our ability to prevent that from happening."

*** The National Defense Authorization Act passed the House on Friday with two amendments designed to promote greater joint oversight of the electronic health records modernization programs at the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs. The amendments outline the authority to be delegated to a joint DOD-VA board being established to help oversee the projects and sets deadlines and milestones for achieving interoperability between DOD and VA systems. Both agencies are in different points in efforts to deploy new systems based on the commercial Cerner Millennium electronic health record.

Posted on Jul 15, 2019 at 2:04 AM


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