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Unions oppose Trump’s pick to head government personnel office

Office of Personnel Management headquarters. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg News)
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A broad coalition of labor organizations launched strong opposition Wednesday to President Trump’s pick to lead the government’s personnel office.

In a letter to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which is considering the nomination of George Nesterczuk as Office of Personnel Management director, 16 unions said he has a failing record in fostering a federal workplace “free of discrimination, nepotism and political influence.”

A main point in their opposition to Nesterczuk, a former Republican OPM official, was his role in developing the Defense Department’s National Security Personnel System (NSPS), which was repealed by a Democratic-controlled Congress in 2009.

“Mr. Nesterczuk was one of the principal architects of NSPS, which turned out to be a discriminatory personnel system created out of extreme ideological disdain for the due process worker protections and merit system principals that define our modern day civil service,” the letter said. It was organized by the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers and was signed by most of the major unions with federal employee members, including the AFL-CIO, an umbrella labor organization.

Union leaders are concerned that if he is confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate, working with a Republican president Nesterczuk “will again attempt to do a great deal of damage to members of the federal workforce and their due process rights” and continue “his battle to put in place NSPS-like personnel systems throughout the federal government that would lead to even more lawsuits, waste billions more in taxpayer dollars, and result in rampant discrimination in federal workplaces across the nation.”

Nesterczuk did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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