Will Unions Soon be Banned at IRS?

by | Jul 12, 2018

Last Updated December 6, 2022

bannedThe Preventing Unionization of Revenue Service Employees, or PULSE, Act (H.R. 6268), introduced by Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), looks to block 70,000 federal employees from unionizing. The bill would specifically exclude IRS employees from provisions of Title 5 of the U.S. Code related to labor-management relations. It would effectively prohibit employees at the unions from unionizing or engaging in collective bargaining.

Gosar said his bill would piggyback on a recent Supreme Court decision that ruled public sector unions couldn’t collect mandatory fees from non-members. The ruling wouldn’t apply to federal unions because they’re already banned from collecting such fees.

“In line with this major win for the American taxpayer, my legislation would be a check against partisanship and union abuse, specifically at the IRS, and would help ensure that the employees within the agency enforce the law with integrity and fairness,” Gosar said.

In 2015, he introduced a similar bill with 24 cosponsors, but it never received a vote. He noted other federal agencies impose bans on unions, such as the National Security Agency and the FBI.

“Given the everyday functions of the IRS, there is no good reason why the agency shouldn’t be on the list,” he said. “This legislation is another step in the right direction toward stopping federal government tax collectors and other bureaucrats from unionizing and entering into collective bargaining agreements at the taxpayers’ expense.”

This measure continues to target federal employee unions.

“Like the president’s anti-labor executive orders, this is just another effort to deny working men and women basic rights in the workplace,” said National Treasury Employees Union (who represents almost all IRS workers) President Tony Reardon. “Over the years, NTEU and IRS have made improvements at IRS workplaces that make the agency more efficient and assisted more taxpayers. After losing 22,000 employees in the last 8 years and $700 million in funding, what the IRS really needs is more staff and resources to better serve the American public.”

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