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Union Victory:

Impasse Panel Rejects HUD’s Request to Cut Off Bargaining

Ashaki Robinson Johns
President
Ashaki Robinson Johns

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) got a rare slap on the wrist from the Federal Service Impasses Panel (FSIP) when the Panel rejected the HUD’s obvious effort to declare an impasse before HUD and the Union had even finished negotiating all of the contract articles. The FSIP, whose job is to resolve impasses between unions and agencies in contract negotiations, declined to get involved as the parties have not yet reached an impasse.

“AFGE Council 222 is grateful that the FSIP has seen through HUD management's newest attempt to short-circuit the bargaining process,” said Council 222 President Ashaki Robinson. “Hopefully, the agency will finally come to the table with a genuine effort to bargain in good faith so that the long-standing amicable labor-management relationship at HUD can be maintained."Read more.

Black History Month: Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Support for Unions

"There are no civil rights"
where there are right to work laws

Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a staunch supporter of workers' rights as an important part of fighting for civil rights. His last speech on April 3, 1968, in Memphis, Tennesee, was in support of sanitation workers who were on strike to get union recognition.

Martin Luther King opposed the idea of "right to work," a misleading phrase that allows employees to benefit from union efforts without joining the union and paying dues. Government employees' unions such as AFGE, among others, suffer from right to work laws because only a few members pay dues that have to support all of the workers.

In 1961, Martin Luther King called right to work a "false slogan" and a law that will "rob us of our civil rights and job rights:"

Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining by which unions have improved wages and working conditions of everyone…Wherever these laws have been passed, wages are lower, job opportunities are fewer and there are no civil rights.

House Republicans Propose Reducing Feds' Pay, Benefits, Pension

paycut: scissors cutting $100 bill

The House Republican Study Group has released an undated report that describes supposed problem areas in the federal government. Using alarmist language that sets up federal workers as opponents of the American people, the report calls the government "a grossly inefficient bureaucracy" that "wields too much authority over every aspect of our lives [so] it becomes a threat to our prosperity and the very foundation of our republic." Read more.

President's 2021 Budget Proposal a Net Loss for Employees

AFGE calls budget “punitive and ridiculous.”

oppressed: stepping on the worker

The President's 2021 budget proposal calls for only a 1% increase in federal civilian employee salaries, far less than the 3% proposed for the military. It also calls for increased employee contributions to the FERS, elimination of the cost-of-living adjustments for current and future FERS retirees, and a cut in CSRS retirees' COLA. Read more.

In contrast, to ensure that federal employees are paid fairly, Representatives Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) and Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) introduced legislation calling for a 3.5% federal pay raise in 2021. They introduced similar legislation in each of the past five years, too.

Called into the Boss's Office?

Do you know your rights? You don't have to go it alone! Read more about your rights and how AFGE Local 476 can help you.

AFGE Wins Appeal in Data Breach Lawsuit

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit mostly agreed with AFGE and the National Treasury Employees Union in their lawsuit against OPM and a federal contractor related to the disclosure of the personal records of 21.5 million individuals. The court of appeals sent the case back to the district court. Read more.

Backlog Grows at EEOC

Employees who want to take their discrimination complaints to the EEOC are going to have to wait in line for a long time before their cases are heard, according to the Government Standard. The AFGE publication reports that sexual harassment claims were up 13.6 percent in 2018 at the same time that the EEOC’s workforce dropped below 2,000 employees for the first time since before 1980. President Trump’s proposed budget for FY 2020 would slash the EEOC’s budget by another $23.7 million and cut staff by 180 more positions, including mediators, judges, intake representatives, and 50 investigators.