Labor Union

National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU)

Logo of the National Treasury Employees Union (link)
Website:

www.nteu.org

Location:

WASHINGTON, DC

Tax ID:

53-0244795

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(5)

Budget (2017):

Revenue: $33,655,303
Expenses: $32,317,546
Assets: $41,678,571

Formation:

1939

Membership:

79,725 (2017)

President:

Tony Reardon

Type:

Federal workers union

The National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) is the second-largest federal-government worker union in the United States[1] with 150,000 employees from 33 government departments and agencies. [2] The NTEU is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has field offices in Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Denver, Hoboken, and Oakland. [3]

The NTEU has close ties to the Democratic Party. In July 2020, the organization formally endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden for president. [4] Former NTEU president Colleen Kelley met personally with President Barack Obama numerous times throughout his terms, and was appointed to the Federal Salary Council and National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations. Current president Tony Reardon was given the same appointments in 2016. [5] The NTEU’s PAC, the Treasury Employees PAC (TEPAC), has given about $9 million to almost exclusively Democratic candidates and PACs since 1990,[6][7] and regularly contributes tens of thousands of dollars to the Democratic Senatorial and Congressional campaign committees. [8]

The NTEU has a long history of successfully suing the federal government to attain increased pay for its members. More recently, the organization’s leadership has been embroiled in corruption scandals, including ten convictions between 2001 and 2013. A whistleblower accused union president Tony Reardon of overseeing a “Jimmy Hoffa level of abuse and corruption,” though authorities took no action against the complaint. [9]

Membership

The NTEU’s membership fluctuated for decades before dramatically increasing in recent years. In 2000, the organization had 71,186 members which only increased to 86,654 members by 2010. [10] In 2012, despite the decrease in the number of employees in its federal agencies, the NTEU’s membership and lobbying budgets continued to increase. [11] But by 2017, membership had fallen to 79,725. [12] Over the last three years, the NTEU has almost doubled its membership to 150,000,[13] making it the second largest federal-employee union after the American Federation of Government Employees with 700,000 members. [14]

History

In 1938, a group of workers at the Bureau of Internal Revenue formed a professional association called the National Association of Employees of Collectors of the Internal Revenue (NAECIR) with the goal of attaining increased pay and better working conditions. In 1952, with the reorganization of the Bureau into the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), NAECIR grew to include all employees of the department. [15]

In the mid-1960s, NAECIR nearly joined the American Federation of Government Employees but instead continued to grow as an independent entity. In the early 1970s, the organization officially reformed into a union and adopted the name, National Treasury Employees Union. [16]

Lawsuits

The NTEU has successfully sued the federal government on numerous occasions to attain benefits for its members. [17]

In 1973, the NTEU sued the Nixon administration for allegedly violating the Federal Pay Comparability Act, which guaranteed federal workers would receive wages comparable to private sector workers in the same field, by blocking a 5.14% pay increase. In 1975, after President Nixon had left office, the government settled and agreed to pay federal employees $533 million in back pay. In the mid-1980s, the NTEU launched another lawsuit over salaries and received a $173.5 million settlement for 212,000 employees in 2002. [18]

In 2006, the NTEU won the right to represent 30,000 employees of the Department of Homeland Security’s Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CPB) over the American Federation of Government Employees. In the mid-2000s, the NTEU settled a lawsuit against the CPB which gained $184 million for its employees. [19]

In 2018, President Donald Trump issued an executive order which streamlined the collective bargaining process between federal agencies and federal employee unions to give the agencies more power in hiring and firing practices. The NTEU condemned the measure and soon after sued the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for overstepping the bounds of the order. In September 2020, an arbitrator ruled partially in favor of the NTEU and declared portions of the executive order unlawful. [20]

2013 Government Shutdown

In 2013, acting IRS commissioner Danny Werfel canceled $98 million in bonus pay due to a government shutdown. NTEU president Colleen Kelley made a public statement in opposition to the cancellation. By informal pressure alone, Werfel’s successor partially reinstated the bonus pay the following year, amounting to $62.5 million. [21]

Corruption

2000s

From 2001 to 2013, ten National Treasury Employees Union officials were charged with crimes, including embezzlement, wire fraud, mail fraud, making false statements on union reports, obstruction of justice, and bank robbery. Nine of the ten pled guilty. [22]

2013 IRS Conservative Targeting Controversy

In 2013, it was revealed that the IRS had used inappropriate criteria to prohibit conservative organizations from establishing nonprofit status since 2010, which some suspected hindered conservative and Republican efforts during the build-up to the 2012 presidential election. [23]

Then-NTEU president Colleen Kelley was a supporter of President Barack Obama and had been appointed to his Federal Salary Council, which advises on pay raises to federal employees. Kelley had met with President Obama the day before the anti-conservative screening criteria was established. She also met with him numerous times in 2009 and had been granted a mandatory seat on the newly established National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations, which further empowered federal labor unions. President Donald Trump abolished the Council in 2017. [24]

The close relationship between President Obama and Kelley have caused many to speculate that she used her power over the IRS to enact anti-conservative discrimination on the president’s behalf, or at least made the president aware of the policies. However, there is no smoking gun connection between the scandal, Kelley, and President Obama. [25]

Daily Caller Allegations

In 2016, IRS lawyer and NTEU union member Jane Kim spoke to the Daily Caller about alleged corruption perpetrated under NTEU president Tony Reardon. Kim accused Reardon of permitting a “Jimmy Hoffa level of abuse and corruption,” including the creation of a “caste-like system” within the union based on personal loyalty to Reardon. Kim also alleged that Reardon spied on employees with recording devices to use as evidence for trumped up charges against internal opposition. [26]

Official Time

The NTEU has been criticized for its extensive use of “official time,” or union activity conducted on-the-clock at taxpayers’ expense. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) proposed the PURSE Act to remove the ability of IRS workers to join a union and has pointed out that in 2016 the IRS spent $22 million and 482,000 work hours on union activity. In 2014, then-House Ways and Means subcommittee chair Charles Boustany (R-LA) criticized the IRS for maintaining an employee in Washington, D.C., with a salary well over $100,000 who only did union work. At the time, the IRS was publicly claiming that it was underfunded and understaffed. [27]

Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund

The NTEU is a founding member of the Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund (FEEA), an organization which provides financial support to struggling government workers. NTEU national president Tony Reardon is on FEEA’s board of directors. [28]

Lobbying

The NTEU has steadily increased its annual lobbying expenditure from just over $200,000 in 1998 to $920,000 in 2019,[29] the fifth most of any government union in that year. [30] In the first half of 2020, the NTEU spent $470,000 on lobbying, putting the organization on track for its highest year of spending ever. [31]

Chapters

The NTEU has chapters in 18 government departments and 15 government agencies:[32]

References

  1. Ogrysko, Nicole. “Two largest federal employee unions endorse Biden for president.” Federal News Network. July 20, 2020. Accessed October 23, 2020. https://federalnewsnetwork.com/unions/2020/07/two-largest-federal-employee-unions-endorse-biden-for-president/. ^
  2. “Our History.” NTEU. Accessed October 22, 2020. https://www.nteu.org/who-we-are/history. ^
  3. “What We Do.” NTEU. Accessed October 22, 2020. https://www.nteu.org/who-we-are/what-we-do. ^
  4. Ogrysko, Nicole. “Two largest federal employee unions endorse Biden for president.” Federal News Network. July 20, 2020. Accessed October 23, 2020. https://federalnewsnetwork.com/unions/2020/07/two-largest-federal-employee-unions-endorse-biden-for-president/. ^
  5. “Anthony M. Reardon.” Congress.gov. Accessed October 23, 2020. https://www.congress.gov/116/meeting/house/110430/witnesses/HHRG-116-SY21-Bio-ReardonA-20200205.pdf. ^
  6. “National Treasury Employees Union.” Open Secrets. Accessed October 22, 2020. https://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/summary?toprecipcycle=2020&contribcycle=2020&lobcycle=2020&outspendcycle=2020&id=D000000346&topnumcycle=A. ^
  7. “Contributions by Party of Recipient.” Open Secrets. Accessed October 22, 2020. https://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/national-treasury-employees-union/totals?id=D000000346. ^
  8. “Recipients.” Open Secrets. Accessed October 22, 2020. https://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/national-treasury-employees-union/recipients?id=D000000346. ^
  9. Wolf, Connor D. “Whistleblower Allegedly Exposes Vast Abuse Within IRS Union.” Daily Caller. April 2, 2016. Accessed October 25, 2020. https://dailycaller.com/2016/04/02/whistleblower-allegedly-exposes-vast-abuse-within-irs-union/. ^
  10. Ludwig, Hayden. “Litigious Labor in the White House: The National Treasury Employees Union.” Capital Research Center. November 15, 2018.  Accessed October 23, 2020. https://capitalresearch.org/article/litigious-labor-in-the-white-house-part-1/. ^
  11. Boschma, Janie. “Capital Eye Opener, Jan. 30: Federal Unions Growing, Hillary’s Biggest Fan, and Samsung Opens DC Lobbying Office. Open Secrets. January 30, 2013. Accessed October 23, 2020. https://www.opensecrets.org/news/2013/01/capital-eye-opener-jan-30/. ^
  12. Ludwig, Hayden. “Litigious Labor in the White House: The National Treasury Employees Union.” Capital Research Center. November 15, 2018.  Accessed October 23, 2020. https://capitalresearch.org/article/litigious-labor-in-the-white-house-part-1/. ^
  13. “Our History.” NTEU. Accessed October 22, 2020. https://www.nteu.org/who-we-are/history. ^
  14. Ogrysko, Nicole. “Two largest federal employee unions endorse Biden for president.” Federal News Network. July 20, 2020. Accessed October 23, 2020. https://federalnewsnetwork.com/unions/2020/07/two-largest-federal-employee-unions-endorse-biden-for-president/. ^
  15. Ludwig, Hayden. “Litigious Labor in the White House: The National Treasury Employees Union.” Capital Research Center. November 15, 2018.  Accessed October 23, 2020. https://capitalresearch.org/article/litigious-labor-in-the-white-house-part-1/. ^
  16. Ludwig, Hayden. “Litigious Labor in the White House: The National Treasury Employees Union.” Capital Research Center. November 15, 2018.  Accessed October 23, 2020. https://capitalresearch.org/article/litigious-labor-in-the-white-house-part-1/. ^
  17. Ludwig, Hayden. “Litigious Labor in the White House: The National Treasury Employees Union.” Capital Research Center. November 15, 2018.  Accessed October 23, 2020. https://capitalresearch.org/article/litigious-labor-in-the-white-house-part-1/. ^
  18. Ludwig, Hayden. “Litigious Labor in the White House: The National Treasury Employees Union.” Capital Research Center. November 15, 2018.  Accessed October 23, 2020. https://capitalresearch.org/article/litigious-labor-in-the-white-house-part-1/. ^
  19. Ludwig, Hayden. “Litigious Labor in the White House: The National Treasury Employees Union.” Capital Research Center. November 15, 2018.  Accessed October 23, 2020. https://capitalresearch.org/article/litigious-labor-in-the-white-house-part-1/. ^
  20. Ogrysko, Nicole. “NTEU earns win in ongoing legal battle over Trump’s workforce executive orders.” Federal News Network. September 23, 2020. Accessed October 23, 2020. https://federalnewsnetwork.com/unions/2020/09/nteu-earns-win-in-ongoing-legal-battle-over-trumps-workforce-executive-orders/. ^
  21. Ludwig, Hayden. “Litigious Labor in the White House: The National Treasury Employees Union.” Capital Research Center. November 15, 2018.  Accessed October 23, 2020. https://capitalresearch.org/article/litigious-labor-in-the-white-house-part-1/. ^
  22. Ludwig, Hayden. “Litigious Labor in the White House: Partisan Players.” Capital Research Center. November 15, 2018. Accessed October 23, 2020. https://capitalresearch.org/article/litigious-labor-in-the-white-house-part-2/. ^
  23. Ludwig, Hayden. “Litigious Labor in the White House: Partisan Players.” Capital Research Center. November 15, 2018. Accessed October 23, 2020. https://capitalresearch.org/article/litigious-labor-in-the-white-house-part-2/. ^
  24. Ludwig, Hayden. “Litigious Labor in the White House: Partisan Players.” Capital Research Center. November 15, 2018. Accessed October 23, 2020. https://capitalresearch.org/article/litigious-labor-in-the-white-house-part-2/. ^
  25. Ludwig, Hayden. “Litigious Labor in the White House: Partisan Players.” Capital Research Center. November 15, 2018. Accessed October 23, 2020. https://capitalresearch.org/article/litigious-labor-in-the-white-house-part-2/. ^
  26. Ludwig, Hayden. “Litigious Labor in the White House: The National Treasury Employees Union.” Capital Research Center. November 15, 2018.  Accessed October 23, 2020. https://capitalresearch.org/article/litigious-labor-in-the-white-house-part-1/. ^
  27. Ludwig, Hayden. “Litigious Labor in the White House: Limiting Labor’s Sway.” Capital Research Center. November 15, 2018. Accessed October 23, 2020. https://capitalresearch.org/article/litigious-labor-in-the-white-house-part-3/. ^
  28. “FEEA.” NTEU. Accessed October 22, 2020. https://www.nteu.org/who-we-are/feea. ^
  29. “Lobbying.” Open Secrets. Accessed October 22, 2020. https://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/national-treasury-employees-union/lobbying?id=D000000346. ^
  30. “Industry Profile: Public Sector Unions.” Open Secrets. Accessed October 22, 2020. https://www.opensecrets.org/federal-lobbying/industries/summary?cycle=2019&id=P04. ^
  31. “Client Profile: National Treasury Employees Union.” Open Secrets. Accessed October 22, 2020. https://www.opensecrets.org/federal-lobbying/clients/reports?cycle=2020&id=D000000346. ^
  32. “Our Agencies.” NTEU. Accessed October 22, 2020. https://www.nteu.org/who-we-are/our-agencies. ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Colleen Kelley
    Former National President
  2. Robert Tobias
    Former National President
  3. Anthony Reardon
    National President
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: September - August
  • Tax Exemption Received: April 1, 1943

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2017 Sep Form 990 $33,655,303 $32,317,546 $41,678,571 $10,981,969 Y $0 $28,562,499 $1,281,183 $498,100 PDF
    2016 Sep Form 990 $30,831,641 $29,673,567 $37,744,992 $11,431,391 Y $0 $27,828,223 $2,109,872 $489,673
    2015 Sep Form 990 $29,970,876 $29,055,711 $37,028,676 $13,847,578 Y $0 $27,103,455 $1,724,567 $643,843 PDF
    2014 Sep Form 990 $29,403,346 $28,651,147 $39,457,313 $14,935,343 Y $0 $26,871,403 $960,262 $564,863 PDF
    2013 Sep Form 990 $28,773,025 $28,770,575 $38,736,707 $16,309,075 Y $0 $26,696,720 $768,320 $498,767 PDF
    2012 Sep Form 990 $29,550,346 $28,491,121 $36,479,103 $16,712,414 Y $0 $26,647,996 $714,931 $495,594 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU)

    1750 H STREET NW
    WASHINGTON, DC 20006-4600