Union 'Witch Hunt' Decried

The leaders of the association that represents senior federal executives have accused a major federal employees union of launching a "witch hunt" against senior career managers.

Carol Bonosaro, president of the Senior Executives Association, and G. Jerry Shaw, the association's general counsel, have written a letter to Vice President Gore complaining about an effort by the American Federation of Government Employees to identify career members of the Senior Executive Service who the union believes do not adequately support the Clinton Administration's policies and its efforts at labor-management partnership.

According to a report in The Washington Post, AFGE president John Sturdivant sent a memo to AFGE staffers in various agencies last November asking them to identify "career SES people who, based on specific experiences, you believe have been adverse to the mission of the agency." AFGE, Sturdivant indicated, would forward information on such individuals to the Clinton Administration's second-term transition teams in an effort to get them moved out of their jobs.

Sturdivant's memo, first revealed by the Federal Labor and Employee Relations Update, a newsletter published by FPMI Communications Inc., said union officers should use the "Plum Book," a congressionally published list of the government's top career and political positions, to guide them in their "review of people in career SES positions who should be 'moved.' "

In their letter to Gore, Bonosaro and Shaw said "the preparation, and forwarding to Clinton transition teams, of detrimental opinion and hearsay is extremely disturbing and might be viewed, not unfairly, as a witch hunt."

"It's not a witch hunt," says AFGE spokesperson Diane Witiak. "It was never [Sturdivant's] intention to go after a certain group of people." AFGE officials, she said, are also being asked to identify union members who are adversarial to the idea of cooperating with management. And Sturdivant's memo also asked union officials to identify agency leaders who they believe "merit an increased role in your agency because they have empowered employees and embraced partnership principles."

But some AFGE officials say they are already planning to target senior agency leaders. "We're prepared to name names," says John Anderegg, treasurer of AFGE Local 1812 at the United States Information Agency, which withdrew from its partnership effort with USIA's management this fall. "You know, how Santa Claus makes a list of who's naughty or nice."

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.