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  • AFGE: Comey Firing Underscores Need For Civil Service Protections Against Political Firings - 05-11-17
    Print Icon May 10, 2017

    By Doug Cunningham

    The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) says Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey underscores the need "now more than ever" to protect public workers against political firings.

    Comey led the FBI investigation into Trump campaign collusion with the Russians as the Russians attacked U.S. democracy during the 2016 election.

    AFGE Policy Director Jacque Simon says the civil service system and union contracts protect public workers from politically motivated firings and punishment.

    [Jacque Simon]: "They certainly protect the public and taxpayers from having a government staffed by people whose only qualification for the job is political connection."

    Simon says a Republican House bill currently before the U.S. Senate making it ‘easy’ to fire VA employees opens up the entire civil service system to political firings without civil service or union protections to ensure just due process - just like what happened to Comey.

    [Jacque Simon]: "Basically it takes away a worker's ability to effectively appeal a firing. It does so in many ways.

    It very much undermines the ability of a worker to use a collective bargaining agreement's grievance and arbitration process and it also undermines the ability of a worker to go to the Merit Systems Protection Board.

    Their goal - they'll state it all the time - is to make it easy to fire a federal employee. Just as easy as it was for President Trump to fire Comey.

    And all of these people who are jumping on the bandwagon of yes, yes, yes, we have to make it easy to fire a federal employee - a lot of them are the same ones right now who are shocked at the way James Comey was fired."

    Simon says Trump's administration is open hostile toward union workers.

    [Jackie Simon]: "There's certainly hostility to union workers. We see it at the bargaining table. We also see it in the House firing bill for VA workers."

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