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Reform is critical after IRS and federal employee unions thumb nose at Obama’s directive

JFK signed the executive order giving federal employees the right to collective bargaining via labor unions in 1962. (Photo: Federal Labor Relations Authority)President Barack Obama is one of the most powerful men in the world, but IRS and the National Treasury Employees Union could care less. Both the federal agency and the workers’ de facto lobbyist have thumbed their nose at the president.

Obama cancelled discretionary federal bonuses after his sequester took effect and budgets were automatically cut.

Despite Obama’s directive, the IRS and the NTEU plan to see to it that those bonuses are paid.

The current head of IRS, Danny Werfel, technically attempted to halt the bonuses. The Daily Caller said:

The National Treasury Employees Union, which represents IRS employees, said that bonuses already promised to unionized IRS workers must be paid, because the bonuses represent work done in 2012, before Werfel canceled bonuses.

The total amount of taxpayer money that will go to reward employees at an agency mired in scandal: $70 million.

One bureaucrat got more than $100,000 in bonuses in a three-year period.

The DC also reported IRS employs 201 fulltime union reps. The taxpayer funds wages and bonuses for those individuals too, and it’s likely they don’t receive a great deal of scrutiny regarding union activities on the taxpayer dollar.

As best we can tell, the Federal Labor Relations Authority handles negotiations. At present, the taxpayer has no advocate while the federal employee has an advocate arrogant enough to back down the U.S president. The FLRA was formed in 1978 during the administration of President Jimmy Carter.

According to FLRA, President John F. Kennedy gave federal employees the right to collective bargaining through Executive Order No. 10988, "Employee-Management Cooperation in the Federal Sector," on January 17, 1962.

Numerous historians have documented the Kennedys’ close ties to labor unions; without them, JFK would have never become president.

If ever there was need for reform, it is critical that we reform the protocol for federal employee bargaining. Any federal agency burning $70 million tax dollars and exhibiting the inept, at times almost incoherent testimony before Congress that we witnessed in recent oversight hearings, is in dire need of reform.

We need a taxpayer advocate to represent us in such negotiations. Until we get one, lack of accountability is a given and looting of the taxpayer wallet will continue.

Incidentally, presidents after JFK from both parties actually expanded the advantages for federal workers, likely taking note of a specific voting bloc that could be rewarded in exchange for support. That policy has contributed to a level of corruption throughout federal agencies that is a negative for the republic.

(Analysis by Kay B. Day/July 12, 2013)

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