Alex Azar, HHS

NTEU files grievances against HHS, sends petition

The National Treasury Employees Union has filed an unfair labor practice grievance against the Department of Health and Human Services for the agency’s refusal to negotiate a new contract and ending several workplace programs.

According to NTEU, HHS has proposed eliminating 21 of 34 contract articles without any explanation, including one that allows for flexible work schedules.

The proposed changes are in accordance with President Trump’s three workforce executive orders issued in May that includes changes to collective bargaining agreement negotiations.

“After only two unusually short days of bargaining, the agency issued a take-it-or-leave-it directive and walked away from the bargaining table,” NTEU said in a statement.

National President Tony Reardon organized a petition signed by more than 5,400 HHS employees and sent it to HHS Secretary Alex Azar.

“HHS employees for years have operated under a contract that they built their lives around, providing them the right work-life balance that allowed them to continue to serve their country by keeping food and medicine safe and supporting our nation’s health care system,” Reardon said. “If the agency’s current contract proposal is implemented, I’m worried about the harm to the public. HHS and the FDA will lose some of our most valued civil servants and the agency’s work will be negatively impacted.”  

Telework, recruitment and retention benefits and alternative work schedules alike will be affected by the proposals, Reardon said.

He asked to meet with Azar to discuss the proposals, but the invite was declined. 

“The agency’s proposals, motivated by the executive orders, represent the larger danger this administration poses to maintaining a merit-based civil service that carries out the missions of federal agencies without partisanship or favoritism,” Reardon added.

Reader comments

Sun, Aug 19, 2018 John Columbus, OH

Right. Blame the Union for wasting your money. Better yet, nobody pay dues and just let it die. Then see what this Administration and management would get away with. You would be no better off than those in the private sector with less unions, less benefits and falling wages despite the fact that we are at lower than ever unemployment. Unions built the middle class and their erosion will destroy it. But hey, at least you will not have to waste your minimal wages on union dues.

Fri, Aug 17, 2018

Hey just look at the commercials for pharmaceuticals on TV, its is now the same in the federal government where the agency is run by a former pharm executive. Just remember read the fine print. By the way NTEU has done nothing for federal employees other than drain their wallets through dues.

Thu, Aug 16, 2018

Down size the number of inept managers. The good ones left know how to work with their people. With less management minions/bloats better morale and cost savings and costs savings would be a result. Also the union is finally doing something but hardly worthy what the employees pay as dues based on what they do for them.

Wed, Aug 15, 2018 Sam USA

No Contract, No work. No one ever gets anything who is not willing to fight for it. Every CEO with a multi-million dollars salary has a contract. Every million dollar professional sports figure has a contract. None of them would work WITHOUT a signed contract agreement. Every private firm that does work for Uncle Sam has a contract.

Tue, Aug 14, 2018 Tee’d off

Management does not know how to effectively monitor telework, flexible schedules and telework is the only incentive for working at the government. We don’t get bonuses and our paychecks are threatened every year at budget time. If they take this away, the good people who can get better jobs will follow. Mgmt should focus on the bad apples and force them back in office.

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Edward A. Zurndorfer Certified Financial Planner
Mike Causey Columnist
Tom Fox VP for Leadership and Innovation, Partnership for Public Service
Mathew B. Tully Legal Analyst

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