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GovExec Daily: How Unions Are Protecting Feds From Everything from Relocation to Coronavirus

Courtney Bublé and Erich Wagner spoke to the podcast about the state of public service unions and their place in the federal ecosystem.

It's a tough time to be a member of a public sector union in the federal government. Official time rules have been scaled back and the White House released a memo giving Defense Secretary Mark Esper the ability to abolish public sector unions altogether at the Pentagon. Public sector unions that represent federal workers have tried to push back on the administration's challenges to organized labor, but have found mixed results. In the wake of the coronavirus, for example, the unions and their Congressional allies have called for expanded telework to mixed results.

But public sector unions face their own internal challenges. Despite public sector union gains, nationwide union membership has been steadily decreasing for decades. J. David Cox, the president of the American Federation of Government Employees, resigned in February over a series of sexual harassment complaints.

Courtney Bublé attended NTEU's legislative conference last week and Erich Wagner covers the workforce for GovExec. They spoke to GovExec Daily about the challenges public sector unions face and where public sector unions 

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