DARYL SHANKLAND – Recently, President Trump signed three executive orders designed to change the dynamics of federal employment significantly. These orders aim to reduce the firing time and process of any federal employee, removing “underperforming” workers far more efficiently. Along with that, these orders also reduce much of the influence unions have had on policies, ensuring that they can’t protect workers’ right as much anymore. Primarily these were all done to cut down on the lengthy legislative process and cost of firing an inefficient employee, but these will also make employees more in danger of being let go.
One of the things that changes the paradigm hugely is the 30-day timeline of the Employee Performance Improvement Plan (PIP). Although this comes as a saving grace for supervisors as they can hold these workers more accountable, for employees, this means their chances of getting fired are significantly higher now. It is also far harder for any fired employee to move to another agency. While any federal employee knowingly or unknowingly automatically enrolls for FEGLI, primary insurance is dependent upon the annual pay of any employee. Now that employees are more likely to be fired than suspended their whole life insurance plans can blow up. You, as a federal employee, need to make sure that you choose the most convenient option for yourself to cover for a better future. At the same time, you need to get serious about your retirement options as well, since you are more likely to be sent into early retirement.
The executive orders limit the power of unions as a bargaining tool for the rights of employees. Employees of the collective bargaining unit generally have two ways to appeal a significant disciplinary action. They can go through the administrative process or follow the union grievance process. Typically, a grievance can be filed with their union by any bargaining unit employee. From there on, the employees usually receive an arbitration hearing resulting in the issuance of a decision by the arbitrator. But now with the executive orders in place, employees in a collective bargaining unit won’t be able to take any termination cases to an arbitrator for any decisions reducing the power of employees of a bargaining unit significantly.
Moving forward with these orders also suggests prioritization of employees by the length of their service time, meaning the newer ones are more likely to be let go during a Reduction in Forces (RIF). This can have a profound impact on your FERS Annuity, because as your likelihood of getting fired rises at the early stages of your career, you need to be able to choose the right option to ensure the betterment of yourself and your family. A lot of federal employees have been scratching their heads over retirement plans after president Trump signed these three orders. We suggest talk to your family members, friends, and financial advisor such as Daryl Shankland and find out which would be the best plan for you.
Now employees will be able to spend much less time for union works as it is deemed as “tax-payer funded union time,” also aiming to charge unions for rents, space, and federal buildings. A group of administration of labor relations will develop “government-wide approaches to bargaining issues.” Agency officials have already been instructed to work on renegotiation recommendations of contracts that are “not subject to disclosure” to any of these existing union representatives. All these mean that participation of employees within these unions is likely to decrease more also the unions’ ability to bargain for things like health, safety benefits of workers will be limited as all of those will be renegotiated. While there are retirement programs like FEHB which ensures the health of the employee and their families, the best sort of bargains can’t be obtained without the help of a collective bargaining unit and there are chances of lesser funding from the government on these.
Executive orders issued by President Trump enhances the probability of an employee getting fired while lessening the bargaining rights of the worker to a large extent. All the more reasons you need to make sure your insurance is in place to help you out and have a retirement plan ready to act on!
Daryl Shankland has been guiding clients in their investment decisions since 1980, encompassing both good times and bad. Her broadcasting background has helped her communicate complex, quickly changing information to clients in a manner that they can understand.
Contact Daryl Shankland to find out more about your retirement options.