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Education Dept. must address Trump-era violations

The Department of Education faces a range of union-busting complaints—many standing without redress for several years now—and soon will have to account for its actions in an official hearing. 

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) made its first of the related complaints against the department back in 2018. 

Now, a hearing—scheduled for Nov. 2—is necessary, according to the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA), which ordered the move, because throughout the term of the Trump administration departmental management simply ignored the formal union complaints, multiple warnings from FLRA and in general “has been refusing to negotiate in good faith” with AFGE. 

The initial breach came in March 2018, when “management refused to bargain in good faith with the union over a new contract … and instead imposed its own illegal management edict on the workforce,” according to AFGE

Since that time, the union has alleged at least 13 additional violations. 

“In the months and years since, the department continued to violate labor law in myriad ways,” AFGE said. “It implemented changes to telework policies, imposed new employee performance standards, reorganized the chief information officer’s office, and relocated both the Chicago and Dallas regional offices all without negotiating with the union.” 

The 14 charges have been bundled into one complaint. The union has expressed hope that since the Biden administration formally ordered all departments to cease such stonewalling—and in fact  “undo the anti-labor actions of the previous administration and work with unions in good faith”—that the current Department of Education management will settle the matter and “restore workers’ bargaining rights” in advance of the hearing. 

AFGE represents several thousand employees at the department. 

Reader comments

Fri, Aug 6, 2021

This kind of thing happened at more than just the Ed. Dept. Everyone knows that.

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