WaPo Article Praises Federal Employees & Union Efforts

Yesterday's Washington Post carried an essay reflecting on NTEU and other federal unions' court challenge to President Trump's anti-employee, anti-union executive orders, characterizing the efforts as the real resistance to President Trump's illegal actions.

The article quotes NTEU President Tony Reardon….

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NTEU Supports Federal Employees Under Attack

Federal employee rights and benefits are under attack.

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The collective bargaining agreement at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) expired. HHS proposed to eliminate 21 entire articles from the contract, including articles governing alternative work schedules, telework, performance appraisals, awards, and transit subsidies. HHS also proposed to exclude over 40 subjects from the grievance procedure. After only 2 ½ days, the HHS "bargaining team" declared an impasse, ending the "bargaining." This dispute will likely come before the Federal Service Impasse Panel, the panel that resolves disputes between federal agencies and unions representing federal employees. The panel's members are appointed by the President.

NTEU is pursuing measures on Capitol Hill, such as filing a bad-faith bargaining unfair labor practice grievance, in addition to the pending executive order lawsuit.

HHS' proposals mirror those that were unilaterally implemented at the Department of Education. Other NTEU represented agencies could be next. 

What to Do When You've Been Wronged at EPA

The agency and its employees, through its unions, agreed on procedures to challenge actions that we don't think are fair, appropriate, or accurate. We call that process a "grievance," and it's detailed in the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), Article 34.

EPA guarantees that a grievance filed by an employee "does not affect the employee's standing with the Agency." Employees are assured by EPA that they will be free from "restraint, interference, coercion, discrimination, intimidation or reprisal" for filing a grievance or participating in the grievance process. See CBA, Article 3, Section 3.

Prior to filing a grievance, we typically try to reach out to your manager to discuss the matter, with your permission, of course. We find that we can sometimes resolve the issue informally prior to resorting to the formal grievance process.  But where our informal contact bears no fruit, where you're uncomfortable with us reaching out informally to your manager, or where it is strategically disadvantageous to do so, we then move to a formal grievance.

Process
The grievance process is established to resolve issues at the lowest level possible. To accomplish this, the agency and NTEU agreed on a three-step process....

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The National Labor-Management Partnership Council

The National Labor-Management Partnership Council (Partnership Council) is an EPA organization composed of both management and union officials dedicated to the accomplishment of the Agency's missions, fostering more productive and cost effective service to the agency's customers, and improving the working conditions, career development, and morale of employees. The Partnership Council is founded on the belief that Agency employees want to be involved in decisions that affect them; that they care about their careers and are dedicated to fulfilling the missions of the agency; that they take pride in their work and contributions to protecting public health and the environment; and that they should share in the success of their efforts. The Partnership Council’s goal is that by creating an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect, open sharing of information, and recognizing and utilizing individual ideas and knowledge in innovative ways, EPA's labor unions and management can improve the agency for all employees.....

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