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Public Employees

Last updated 02.12.2024

AFT members and public employees pose with signs that says "Montana Kids Not For Sale" and "Respect Teachers"

The Biden Presidency:

Advocating for better pay and student loan relief. Protecting workplace safety. Defending our labor rights. Advancing unions for a stronger middle class.

Strengthening the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

  • Fixed the Broken PSLF Program: Strengthened the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, leading to $56.7 billion in loan relief for 793,400 public employees since October 2021. Simplified access to PSLF for frontline workers and others who have dedicated their lives to public service.

Advocating for Better Pay

  • Proposed Extending Overtime Protections: Proposed a new rule extending overtime protections to nearly 3.6 million workers.
  • Pushed to Ban Noncompete Clauses: Worked through the Federal Trade Commission to propose a new rule banning the common practice of blocking workers from leaving a job to work for a competing employer, thus suppressing wages and worker power.
  • Incentivized Davis-Bacon Prevailing Wages for Publicly Funded Work: Pushed or outright required all contractors and subcontractors doing work covered under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act to adopt and enforce wages that match local prevailing wage rates.
  • Launched the Good Jobs Initiative: Helped federal agencies leverage their grantmaking, procurement and other investment dollars to improve job quality; promote equity, diversity and inclusion; and support economic empowerment for workers in communities across the nation.
  • Restored Federal Workers’ Right to Collectively Bargain: Reversed the union-busting executive orders signed by President Donald Trump and signed executive orders empowering federal workers to collectively bargain for increased pay and better benefits.
  • Advanced Pay Equity: Directed the U.S. Office of Personnel Management to issue a rule ensuring that more than 80 federal agencies will no longer be able to consider an individual’s pay history when determining federal employees’ salaries, to ensure that salaries are based on applicants’ skills, experience and expertise.

Defending Our Workers and Our Labor Rights

  • Passed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law: Funded coast-to-coast projects that created well-paying union jobs to rebuild outdated public structures including roads, bridges, and water and sewer systems and to expand our broadband capabilities—especially in rural areas.
  • Nominated Pro-Labor Attorneys: Appointed attorneys with a track record of working for unions or workers to the federal judiciary and the National Labor Relations Board.
  • Cracked Down on Union Busting: Required companies seeking a federal contract to disclose whether and when they have hired union-busting firms.
  • Expanded Access to Early Childhood Care: Issued more than 50 directives to nearly every Cabinet-level agency to expand access to affordable, high-quality care and to provide support for care and early education workers and family caregivers.
  • Regulated Artificial Intelligence: Signed a landmark executive order establishing new standards for AI safety and security, protecting Americans’ privacy, advancing equity and civil rights, and standing up for workers and their rights.  


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