EPA employees demand 'Bill of Rights'

Environmental Protection Agency’s nearly 8,000 workers want a new vision for the agency; one that will better embrace scientific efforts, improve working conditions and deliver a more equitable contract to union members.

Along with the American Federation of Government Employees, the largest federal employee union, EPA employees are urging support for a 10-point EPA Workers’ Bill of Rights, as part of a larger campaign, the Protect EPA campaign, designed to protect the EPA from anti-science policies by the administration.

“EPA employees have committed our careers to protecting human health and the environment, working day-in and day-out to keep our air clean, ensure our water is safe to drink, and clean up our land so that we may live and work on it,” Bethany Dreyfus, president of AFGE Local 1236, said. “Yet time and time again, the administration has attempted to silence research and gut our labor rights. That’s why we’re not just standing up for a fair contract, we’re fighting to be able to do our jobs and protect public health – and we’ll keep fighting until our voices are truly heard.”

The bill of rights include: a right to a hate-free and safe workplace; the right to a fully-funded EPA budget and full staffing levels;  right to an end of lockouts caused by US government shutdowns;  and the right to whistleblower protections, among others.

The Union for Concerned Scientists has signed onto effort, as well as Democratic Sens. Ed Markey (Mass.), Gary Peters (Mich.), Chris Van Hollen (Md.), and Tom Carper (Del.).

Six House members have also signed on.

EPA workers are holding rallies, meeting with members of Congress, and encouraging everyone who supports the mission of EPA to sign their petition.

Reader comments

Thu, Jan 30, 2020

EPA scientists and their staff do great work in many disciplines of environmental sciences. There are way too many political appointments who have no idea what real science is and how their un-educated decisions cause damage to the morale and integrity of EPA. They got rid of Scott Pruitt a corrupt loose cannon, now it is time to reduce the ranks of destructive political appointees.

Fri, Jan 24, 2020

Carbon imprint and the calls to reduce it are touted by phonies like Al Gore who uses a private jet to travel. What a joke along with his slob friends.

Wed, Jan 22, 2020

Science has taken a back seat in many organization s, EPA, FDA, NIH and others. This trend will continue long after the current administration is out of office. Democrats and Republicans are all at fault. De-regulation and lack of science surely was perpetuated by the Clinton administration and was continued in the administrations that followed.

Wed, Jan 22, 2020 SAM USA

Each and Every Private Contractor who does work for Uncle Sam has a 'signed contract agreement' Before they do any work for Uncle Sam. There is nothing unfair or unusual about career workers also wanting a signed contract agreement also to perform work for Uncle Sam.

Wed, Jan 22, 2020

Sounds like you are a Trumper. They don't want carte blanche they just want to do their jobs protecting people and the environment. All Trump wants to do is destroy the environment and keep his wealthy donners happy.

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Mike Causey Columnist
Mathew B. Tully Legal Analyst

2020 Digital Almanac

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