(WASHINGTON) – National and local leaders with the American Federation of Government Employees will meet today with Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson to discuss longstanding issues facing civilian employees in the EPA, including the need to reconstitute the National Partnership Council, develop better labor-management relations and reform the process of contracting out Federal jobs. AFGE National President John Gage, National Secretary-Treasurer J. David Cox, Council 238 President Charles Orzehoskie and Local 3331 President Nate James, representing EPA headquarters employees, all will attend the meeting.
“We appreciate Administrator Jackson’s willingness to meet with us,” said Gage. “We believe Ms. Jackson will be open to further discussions about how labor and management can work more effectively.”
“We are cautiously optimistic that this new administration will take EPA to renewed levels of respect and environmental leadership,” Orzehoskie said. “As American citizens, we all should be committed to ensuring that future generations have clean air, land and water, and that the health and safety of our fellow citizens, particularly our children, are protected.”
During his election campaign, President Obama sent a letter to AFGE regarding the importance of EPA stating that “The mission of the EPA is to protect the environment of the nation. In recent years, however, the pursuit of this goal has slowed, and in some cases, has been jeopardized outright. This is due to the failed leadership of the past eight years, despite the strong and ongoing commitment of the career individuals throughout this agency.”
“We are encouraged by President Obama’s commitment to fully fund the EPA and his dedication to ensuring that the environment will be a high priority,” Gage said. “We are especially encouraged that the principle of scientific integrity will be an absolute. AFGE is committed to turning the page on the failed policies of the past and we are reaching out to be a responsive partner in the cause for good government.”