AFGE President Cox Blasts Homeland Security Leader

Read the letter from Jeh. C. Johnson, Secretary at the Department of Homesland Security, about the targeting of employees' pay. 


Dear Secretary Johnson: 

 
I am writing on behalf of the 78,000 OHS employees represented by my union, the American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO (AFGE). I realize that you have only recently taken the helm. I was hoping for a real change in OHS behavior. I am outraged that the Department of Homeland Security (OHS) acted to unilaterally suspend administratively uncontrollable overtime (AUO) for up to 900 employees. OHS has abrogated its statutory obligation to engage and notify AFGE, the largest union representing DHS employees (including the impacted agencies of lCE and Border Patrol), regarding this decision. Thousands of DHS employees receive AUO in discharging their duties as law enforcement officers, and the pay they receive for that work is implicated in this change. DHS has abysmal labor management relations, this act is as one of extreme bad faith. 
 
OHS has statutory collective bargaining obligations, consultation obligations, and commitments to engage in pre-decisional involvement with AFGE, as well as notification requirements established under law. In ignoring all of these, the Department asserts that is has no commitment to honoring its obligations to DHS employees and their exclusive bargaining representatives. 
 
AFGE has pursued AUO reform for several years with congress and the administration and up until now, OHS has engaged constructively on the issue. Now, DHS has failed to abide by the prescribed notification process, a minimum under the requirements of the law, and the Union learned of these changes in terms and conditions of employment with the employees. 
 
OHS and the administration have communicated the futility of our efforts through the OHS Labor Management Forum and on the National Council for Federal Labor-Management Relations; OHS is not invested in working with, respecting or abiding by its statutory obligations to labor. 
 
J. David Cox Sr.
AFGE National President

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