In yet another example of an irresponsible, undemocratic, unprecedented attempt to wipe out labor unions from the United States, the Trump administration has ordered federal agencies across the country to begin implementing the three controversial executive orders to obstruct our work fighting discrimination, retaliation, and injustices in the federal workplace.
Following a July 5 memo issued by Office of Personnel Management Director Jeff Pon, agencies on July 9 started shutting union volunteers off their Intranet and email systems, and drastically cut down official time – the hours union volunteers use to respond to workplace disputes such as discrimination and retaliation complaints filed by employees against management. Agencies also prevent our union reps from taking documents off-site and block us from using unpaid leave to represent workers.
Here’s what happening at Social Security Administration (SSA) offices nationwide:
- Union volunteers were told to evacuate space by July 31. Space includes union offices, filing cabinets, and bulletin boards.
- SSA cancelled all negotiated travel and per diem for union officials to travel to meetings with SSA managers, arbitration witnesses, etc.
- Official time was slashed by 88%. Taking away official time means taking away employees’ rights to protect themselves against abuses and injustices in the workplace.
- Union officials can't use any agency equipment including phones, computers, photocopy machines, faxes, etc. to communicate with employees, management, and others in order to represent employees.
- Management walked away from our contract ground rules agreement signed on March 19, 2018. They are imposing no travel reimbursement for negotiators, no caucus space, or use of management equipment. They have imposed a shorter bargaining period into the ground rules.
- Management eliminates grievance/arbitration option for terminations, performance appraisals, and awards. These are now excluded from the grievance procedure.
- Management fast-tracks performance terminations – 30-day improvement period instead of 150 days under the 2012 contract.
Red for Feds Day of Action
Our union has filed lawsuits against the administration and has been joined by other unions and even members of Congress who are disgusted by this administration’s behavior. The hearing is set for July 25, which is our Day of Action. We will gather in Washington, D.C. and take action in our communities nationwide.
Here's how you can stand up for workers like us on July 25:
- Wear red to work. By all of us wearing #RedForFeds on Wednesday, July 25, we can show our strength and our solidarity.
- Join us in Washington, D.C. If you are able to travel, meet us for our rally outside the courthouse. We will meet on Wednesday, July 25 at 12:30 p.m. at John Marshall Park (333 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001).