WASHINGTON – The American Federation of Government Employees Local 3430, representing Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) employees in Morgantown, West Virginia, recently won a significant victory over the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) after the Federal Labor Relations Authority found that the Department failed to provide legal rationale for striking down 16 provisions in a collective bargaining agreement.
Negotiations between AFGE Local 3430 and CDC began in February 2019, and after 5 months of bargaining the two parties came to an agreement and the CBA was signed. HHS rejected 16 provisions during agency head review, determining that such provisions were illegal. Subsequently, AFGE filed a negotiability appeal with the FLRA seeking to reverse this decision.
During negotiability appeal proceedings, the agency has a legal duty to supply arguments in support of its position, which AFGE asserted the agency had neglected to do. In the FLRA decision, the Authority unanimously ruled in favor of AFGE, stating that “the Agency failed to support its argument and has waived its argument that the provisions are [illegal].”
Thanks to the FLRA’s decision, the 16 provisions rejected during agency head review can go into effect.
“AFGE Local 3430 members are thrilled to finally have a contract, it has been a long journey,” said AFGE Local 3430 President Cathy Tinney-Zara. “For months our contract was in limbo, creating additional uncertainty during an already stressful time, and it is wonderful to have this process completed.”