The Office of Personnel Management confirmed the federal employees of the Postal Service will be exempt from the executive orders President Trump recently signed. The orders aim to streamline the disciplinary process for the federal employees, boost oversight of official time, and revamp collective bargaining between unions/agencies.
The EO’s concern chapters of Title Five of the U.S. Code that don’t apply to the Postal Service. That goes along with an analysis conducted by outside attorneys for the National Association of Letter Carriers, said union president Fredric Rolando. Even though his organization is exempt, Rolando called the orders “an outrageous attack on America’s civil servants.”
“The NALC stands in solidarity with…all the federal unions and will work with them to reverse these executive orders,” he said.
The postal unions are relieved by this updated clarification. The official time order would prevent employees from spending more than 25% of their work hours on representational duties. The collective bargaining order required agencies to complete negotiations within a year and creates a working group to identify “wasteful” provisions in CBA’s and set “model ground rules” for labor-management talks. The 2 largest federal employee unions, AFGE and NTEU, have already launched lawsuits to block the orders.
Since 1971, the Postal Service has been set up as an independent agency and operating to resemble a private enterprise, it’s often exempt from governmentwide provisions. For example, USPS was unaffected by the hiring freeze Trump enacted on the civilian workforce.
This clarification comes at a key time because USPS is set to begin negotiations with the American Postal Workers Union. Their current collective bargaining agreement is set to expire in September.
All of this doesn’t mean Postal employees won’t face changes in the future. Trump has created a task force to examine their operations and the state of its workforce. The group has held meetings with stakeholders and plans to issue a report of recommendations by August 10.