…from the Washington Post…
The Education Department is attempting to enforce a “collective bargaining agreement” on a union that does not agree.
The department’s move to foist a contract on the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the Trump administration’s latest and most dramatic attack on federal labor organizations and has implications far beyond the 3,900 employees the union represents at the department.
This bold stroke could herald what federal unions across the government might encounter from an administration bent on belittling them.
Last week, the department notified Council 252, which represents Education employees, that the agency was unilaterally imposing a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), which union members had overwhelming rejected, effective Monday of this week. Though called an “agreement,” the union hotly disagrees with the terms of the contract and the way it was imposed.
Each side blames the other for a breakdown in contract negotiations.
Defending its peremptory action, an Education Department statement said that the “Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) has repeatedly ruled that a union’s failure to timely respond to an Agency notice waives the union’s right to bargain and the Agency is then free to implement.”
But in an unfair labor practice complaint filed with the FLRA, the AFGE blames the agency for failing “to negotiate and bargain in good faith.”
Saying “the so-called ‘collective bargaining agreement’ … is an illegal management edict,” a union statement said it “guts employee rights, including those addressing workplace health and safety, telework, and alternative work schedules.” Provisions on workplace discrimination, performance appraisals, compensation, child care and training “have all been deleted and replaced with nothing.”…