NTEU files grievances against HHS, sends petition
- By Sherkiya Wedgeworth
- Aug 10, 2018
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.