We the Partnership

Tell your representative to protect our merit-based civil service

December 2, 2020

The president recently signed an executive order that threatens the integrity of the professional, nonpartisan civil service—a core feature of American government since the late 1800s. The order permits agencies to transfer career employees working in policy roles into positions under a new job classification called Schedule F that are removed from the longstanding protections against politically motivated personnel decisions. The executive order also opens the door for a wave of non-competitive hiring into the Schedule F in the final days of an administration.

The move could replace tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of career civil servants with officials who essentially act as political appointees.

But it’s not too late.

Congressional leaders are currently negotiating a large government funding package that could include language to block implementation of the order. That’s why it’s important for you to contact Congress today, and tell your representatives to protect our merit-based civil service by opposing this order in their next funding bill.

You can send a quick message through the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the general welfare of all federal workers and retirees, right now. Just click here.

“This executive order threatens our competitive, merit-based civil service in both the short and long term,” said Kenneth J. Thomas, the national president of the association. “If Congress fails to act, it signals indifference to future executive actions that would dismantle the legal framework supporting our nonpartisan civil service and ensuring that the delivery of services are free of undue political influence.”

Although the Oct. 21 executive order has drawn congressional scrutiny and legal challenges, and could be rescinded by President-elect Biden, the order leaves the door open for sweeping changes to the civil service before Inauguration Day.

In a recent USA Today op-ed on the executive order, Partnership President and CEO Max Stier warned that “federal agencies across the government are quietly moving ahead with an 11th hour plan to fill vacant, nonpartisan career jobs with political appointees as well as fire and replace civil servants with individuals loyal to President Donald Trump.”

Join more than 20 good government organizations and individuals who recently sent a letter on this issue to the Hill and urge Congress to act now to stop this irresponsible executive order, and the incoming Biden team to make it a priority to undo this attack on this essential feature of our democracy.

Please help us protect a competitive, merit-based civil service for current and future generations.