Union calls on HHS to return to negotiations

The National Treasury Employees Union has been trying to negotiate a new contract for its members employed by the Department of Health and Human Services—and the union recently is getting some help from two members of Congress.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) co-authored a letter directed to HHS Secretary Alex Azar, nudging the agency chief to recommence talks for a new contract for employees at the agency. DeLauro and Schakowsky are the ranking members on key committees affecting HHS.

“We believe that federal workers at HHS and elsewhere in the Administration deserve to be treated with respect and to have full access to the workplace rights that Congress has provided through statute,” the lawmakers say in the letter.

In recent months, agency executives called for eliminating 21 of 34 standing contract articles, “without any explanation or reasonable attempt to negotiate,” and then walked away from ongoing negotiations, according to a union press release

“The men and women of HHS who work every day to advance the nation’s public health are grateful for the support from Rep. DeLauro and Rep. Schakowsky,” NTEU National President Tony Reardon said. “HHS employees deserve a fair contract negotiated in good faith that gives them a voice in their workplace and keeps the agency a competitive employer, and we look forward to returning to the table as soon as possible to get it done.”

NTEU represents approximately 14,000 frontline employees among numerous HHS offices, according to the release.

Reader comments

Fri, Sep 21, 2018

Unions are now the spokes person(s) for what ever administration is in power. They bend backwards towards them. A good example is the 1.9% raise. This amount is worth little when it comes to escalating direct costs of food, medicine, gasoline, insurance etc, the only thing unions do is talk and take the dues for their bloated ranks. Unions used to fight and protect workers rights and benefits no longer they are ineffectual sell outs to the highest degree possible.

Wed, Sep 19, 2018

To the person making the comparisons of those with contracts I can only say this....YOU took the job that said CLEARLY NO STRIKE....I guess you could always be a plumber

Wed, Sep 12, 2018 Steve

Wouldn't that constitute a strike? Federal employees are not allowed to strike.

Tue, Sep 11, 2018 Sam USA

Every multi-million dollar salary CEO in the USA has a Contract. Every professional athlete has a contract. Every movie star has a contract. NO Plumber or electrician will work for you unless you sign their contract first. The solution is very simple: NO Contract, NO WORK.

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