If you saw the story we posted yesterday, you know that EPA planned to shut off the water to EPA's Potomac Yard building for half a day for nearly 1000 employees. No drinking water, no toilets, no sprinkler system to suppress fires, and no sinks to clean up dirty dishes. EPA was refusing to close the building and place employees without telework agreements on administrative leave, something they're required to do.
When NTEU 280 learned from a member of this not-well-thought-out idea, we sprung into action and sent a strongly-worded email to facilities management informing them that they were violating Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rules and the EPA-NTEU Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). We said:
We're happy to report that NTEU's intervention avoided a potentially messy situation. By 3:00 in the afternoon, management called off this during-the-workday water shutoff and informed employees that the work would be conducted after hours or on a weekend.
We're pleased that common sense prevailed but are disappointed that management once again failed to consult with the union in advance, and also disappointed that it was necessary to explain what should have been common sense to facilities' management.