On May 25, the President signed three Executive Orders making it easier to fire federal employees, limiting the time employees who are union representatives can spend on representational duties (official time) and requiring agencies to renegotiate bargaining contracts.
The President's 2018 budget proposes significant reductions in federal employees retirement programs and calls for employees to pay more for retirement. The proposals, which would take affect October 1, 2017, include:
• Increasing FERS employee contributions by one percent a year for six years until the employee contribution and the government's contribution are equal.
• Calculating future retirement benefits based on high-five year salary, rather than the current high three-year salary.
• Eliminating the cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) for current and future FERS employees and cut the COLA for CSRS employees by 0.5 percent from what the formula would allow.
• Eliminating the supplemental payments for FERS employees who retire in 2018. The supplement is for employees who retire before age 62.
The new rules governing how the US House of Representatives will work in 2017 includes the Holman rule gives any lawmaker the power to offer amendments to appropriations bills that could, legislatively, fire any federal employee or cut their pay down to $1 dollar, if the lawmaker so chooses.
The Holman rule allows lawmakers to exercise this power with laser focus and to target individual civil servants. A majority of the House and Senate would have to approve any such amendment.