A federal judge dealt a blow Saturday to President Donald Trump's efforts to "promote more efficient" government, ruling that key provisions of three recent executive orders "undermine federal employees' right to bargain collectively" under federal law, the AP reports. US District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson also ruled that Trump "exceeded his authority" in issuing the orders. The White House had no immediate comment on the decision, which was hailed by federal worker unions that had sued to block Trump's use of his executive authority in this area. "President Trump's illegal action was a direct assault on the legal rights and protections that Congress specifically guaranteed to ... public-sector employees," J. David Cox Sr., national president of the American Federation of Government Employees, said in part.
Cox's organization, which represents about 700,000 of the approximately 2 million-member federal workforce, was first to challenge the executive orders, filing two lawsuits. The executive orders, issued by the White House in May, covered collective bargaining rights, grievance procedures, and use of "official time." Andrew Bremberg, the president's domestic policy adviser, said at the time that the orders would "promote more efficient government" by overhauling civil service rules to make it easier to remove poor-performing employees and ensure that taxpayer dollars are used more efficiently. The president also sought tougher negotiations over collective bargaining agreements and fewer lobbying and grievance pursuits on taxpayer-funded union time. Click for the whole story.
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