June 26, 2019

Tim Kauffman

[email protected]

Administration Assault on Federal Employee Rights Hits Environmental Protection Agency

Categories: EPA

Union seeks to block EPA attempt to replace collective bargaining agreement with illegal management directives

WASHINGTON – The American Federation of Government Employees is vowing to fight efforts by the Trump administration to impose new anti-worker management directives on nearly 9,000 employees the union represents at the Environmental Protection Agency.

AFGE filed an unfair labor practice charge against the EPA on Tuesday, June 25, to prevent the new workplace rules from taking effect on July 8.

“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 National 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.”

Many of the provisions mirror those contained in three executive orders issued by the Trump administration that were largely ruled illegal by a federal judge in August.

“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.”

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.

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