Our union on June 25 filed an unfair labor practice charge against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for declaring they would impose new anti-worker management directives on nearly 9,000 EPA employees. The ULP charge seeks to prevent the new workplace directives from taking effect on July 8.
Many of the provisions in the directives mirror those contained in three executive orders issued by the Trump administration last year. Trump’s workforce executive orders were largely ruled illegal by a federal judge in August.
The efforts by management at EPA to obliterate workers’ rights on the job mirror what the administration has been doing at other agencies.
“The Trump administration has shown an outrageous pattern of trampling on federal employees’ rights and ignoring the law to dismantle decades of prior agreements between our union and previous administrations,” AFGE President J. David Cox Sr. said. “This attack on worker rights is especially egregious at the EPA, where engineers and scientists fight every day to protect the air we breathe and the water we drink.”
Here are some of the provisions the administration plans to impose on EPA employees:
- Allow management to unilaterally exclude employees from telework, disrupting their lives and schedules;
- Prevent AFGE from providing fair representation to employees by slashing the amount of time union representatives can spend representing employees by 75%;
- Limit employees’ access to their union representatives by evicting union representatives from the office space currently provided by the agency;
- Eliminate many memorandums of understanding and supplemental agreements used to enforce employment laws and policies at the worksite; and
- Impose the contract terms for seven years.
“The administration is hijacking the collective bargaining process to enforce illegal provisions that will make it harder for EPA employees to do their jobs,” AFGE Council 238 President Gary Morton said. “We are going to do everything we can to fight this injustice and defend EPA employees from these baseless attacks on their rights and jobs.”