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    July 13, 2020
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    Federal Agencies Still Drag Feet in Protecting Workers Against Coronavirus

    Major Win for AFGE. EO Opposition Grows: Senators Release Another Letter Blasting Attacks June 25, 2018 8 Categories: Congress , The Insider , Executive Orders More members of Congress are speaking out against the White House’s attempts to undermine the U.S. Constitution and laws providing checks and balances in the federal government.
    Read More...

    DR. EVERRETT KELLY SWORN IS AS AFGE NATIONAL PRESIDENT

    New law would revive panels disbanded by President Trump WASHINGTON – The American Federation of Government Employees fully supports legislation introduced in the House and Senate that would establish in law a national council overseeing labor-management relations in federal agencies.
    Read More...

    AFGE president: Future of labor movement hinges on organizing

    WASHINGTON – Following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn 40 years of constitutional law that ensured public-sector workers benefited from the collective voice of union representation, the head of the largest union representing federal workers says employees will need to come together to preserve their workplace rights. “On May 25, President Trump issued a series of executive orders targeting federal employees’ collective bargaining and due process rights. And now the Supreme Court has issued a decision that jeopardizes union rights and protections for millions of public-sector workers at the state and local levels, and here in the District of Columbia,” said J. David Cox Sr., national president of the American Federation of Government Employees.
    Read More...

    11 Facts About Family and Medical Leave You May Not Know

    Twenty-five years ago on Feb. 5, 1993, President Bill Clinton signed into law one of the most important pieces of legislation for working families – the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
    Read More...


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      Best Practices for Local Leaders: Coronavirus (COVID-19)

      Things we recommend following when there is a confirmed case:

      1. Notify OSHA at the Federal Level (Federal OSHA and the State OSHA are separate agencies). Call 1-800-321-6742.
      2. Advise the State OSHA that a case is confirmed at your Federal Agency and the exposure could affect state businesses due to community spread of the (COVID-19) Federal OSHA has jurisdiction at your agency, state OSHA has jurisdiction over local businesses that are affected: Example fitness centers, Train station etc....
      3. Call CDC and advise them of the confirmed case at your location. Get their name, Title and what action they will be taking.
      4. Call your state Health Department and advise them that you have a case in your agency.
      5. Notify your Council and NVP/NR
      6. For a member to be able to use Workers Compensation benefits, they must be diagnosed by a doctor (MD)
      7. Many hospitals are advising infected employees to stay home, the infected employee should advise the hospital that they must get a written document with the Diagnosis due to the Federal Employees Compensation act (FECA).
      8. Some medical facilities will not test an employee unless they are admitting them, if this is the case, then the employee needs to go to a drive thru facility to be tested.

      We also highly recommend setting a Conference call with all the affected employees. The call would advise the employees on how to proceed with their Workers Compensation Cases and safety. Loop in you NR.

       

      As Feds Fight for Proper PPE, Coronavirus Hits Home with First Deaths

      9
      Categories: The InsiderCoronavirus

      AFGE and federal employees are demanding safer working conditions, including proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), for frontline workers as more and more federal employees are dying of the coronavirus.

      As of April 13, at least 11 federal workers have died while thousands more have tested positive for the new coronavirus, known as COVID-19. The real numbers could be much higher since there is no uniform method for federal agencies to report COVID-19 cases and related deaths among employees. The information we receive comes from our locals and news reports.

      • At the Department of Veterans Affairs alone, 1,100 employees have tested positive and seven have died – two of whom were AFGE members.
      • At the Bureau of Prisons, there are 70 staff members with confirmed cases.
      • At the Transportation Security Administration, 378 employees have tested positive and three have died.
      • 160 Customs and Border Protection employees have tested positive for the virus.
      • There are more than 300 confirmed cases of civilians at the Department of Defense. At least one AFGE member who contracted the virus died. Nearly 1,500 military personnel have tested positive.
      • More than 150 State Department employees have tested positive. Three locally employed workers overseas died.
      • At the Health and Human Services Department, at least 74 employees have the virus.
      • The Department of Interior has at least 22 positive cases.
      • At the Social Security Administration, more than 100 employees have tested positive for the virus.

      AFGE mourns passing of members

      AFGE mourns the passing of AFGE members who died from COVID-19 complications while serving the American people.

      At least four members have died: two worked for the VA, one worked for the Army, and one worked for TSA. More member deaths have been reported, and we’re in the process of confirming them.

      “On behalf of the 700,000 workers AFGE represents, I extend my deepest condolences to the families of our members who have lost their lives,” said AFGE President Everett Kelley. “Their avoidable and untimely deaths highlight the risks facing front-line health care providers and other mission-critical workers every day – and the scandalous lack of action to keep these workers safe.”

      “We wouldn’t send our soldiers off to war without the proper equipment, but that’s precisely the situation facing many of the federal workers on the front lines of this pandemic. Employees are literally risking their lives to do their jobs, and the government must take immediate action to protect these brave employees and the public they serve. Not tomorrow. Today,” he added.

      AFGE Is Fighting Back to Protect Our Members

      AFGE on March 31 filed health and safety complaints with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) charging the VA and BOP with violating workers’ health and safety, exacerbating the coronavirus outbreak.

      Both the VA and BOP have directed staff who have come in contact with or been in close proximity to individuals who have shown symptoms of the virus to report to work without regard to the 14-day self-quarantine guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

      The VA has further violated OSHA standards by failing to provide workers with N-95 respirators and other necessary personal protective equipment, failing to isolate suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients, and refusing to provide COVID-19 testing to employees who have been exposed to those known or suspected of having the virus.

      The BOP has recalled staff who have been screened and ordered home due to possible exposure within 48 hours of suspected infection. The agency violated OSHA standards by continuing to transfer inmates across prisons, including moving inmates who have tested positive for or been exposed to COVID-19 into areas of the country without any rate of coronavirus infection. Also, BOP has allowed inmates to continue to gather in group settings and has failed to provide N-95 masks to custodial staff and officers transporting inmates who have tested positive.

      One day after AFGE filed the complaint, BOP implemented a “modified lockdown” to restrict inmate movement within the facilities. BOP said it will evaluate the situation again on April 15.

      Our union also sued the federal government for hazardous duty pay and environmental differential pay for AFGE members and federal employees who have been or are being exposed to the coronavirus while performing their official duties.

      “The Trump administration’s years of staffing cuts are having deadly consequences,” Kelley said. “Frontline agencies such as the VA and BOP now don’t have enough workers to staff facilities and handle the coronavirus outbreak.”

      “Even now, the Trump administration is still battling federal workers and their unions, trying to silence and discredit voices from the frontlines, even as the pandemic is killing the employees they have a duty to protect. It’s a national disgrace,” he added.

      Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Overturn Trump Collective Bargaining Decisions

      A bipartisan measure would nullify President Trump’s three executive orders aimed at reducing the influence of federal employee unions, as well as a memo granting the secretary of Defense the authority to exempt the Pentagon from federal labor law.

      Abipartisan group of House lawmakers last week introduced a bill that would invalidate some of the most controversial actions by the Trump administration affecting collective bargaining in the federal government.

      The Protecting Collective Bargaining and Official Time for Federal Workers Act (H.R. 6246), introduced by Reps. Derek Kilmer, D-Wash., and Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., would invalidate three executive orders aimed at making it easier to fire federal employees and reducing union influence at federal agencies, as well as a recent White House memo granting Defense Secretary Mark Esper the authority to exempt all or part of his department from federal labor law.

      In May 2018, President Trump signed the three workforce executive orders. The orders shorten the length of performance improvement plans to 30 days, exempt adverse personnel actions from grievance proceedings, set time limits on collective bargaining negotiations, and significantly curtail the activities and time spent on official time.

      The executive orders were the subject of a lengthy court battle, but a federal appellate court ultimately ruled that unions can only challenge their provisions through concrete disputes with agencies before the Federal Labor Relations Authority.

      Kilmer said he and his colleagues believe the administration’s actions in the realm of federal sector collective bargaining violate at least the spirit of federal labor law.

      “Up front, I would just mention that at a high level, it’s important to recognize the important role that federal employee unions play in protecting the rights of workers, and the value of collective bargaining as a means through which they can advance issues on behalf of workers,” he said. “Collective bargaining is important because it provides mutual agreement between labor and management, and it fosters harmony between the government and its employees. In many respects, through the executive orders, this administration has sought to dismantle our federal employee unions and undermine employees’ collective bargaining rights.”

      The largest employer in Kilmer’s district is the Puget Sound naval shipyard. The memo signed by Trump in January granting Esper the authority to abolish collective bargaining for portions or all of the Defense Department on national security grounds has been particularly concerning for his constituents.

      “The feedback we have gotten so far is that there’s just a lot that’s left up to interpretation,” Kilmer said. “The notion of what constitutes a national security interest is not really defined. We’ve had folks at a military installation where the unions have said, ‘Well, are security personnel deemed a national security interest?’ . . . It’s just so high level and so ill-defined that it has created a lot of concern.”

      Kilmer said that since the courts have punted on the legality of the executive orders, it is up to Congress to protect the rights of federal workers.

      “It is undeniably so that this administration is simply working to undermine the ability of unions to represent workers,” he said. “Any time there is action by the federal government, or legislation in Congress, I always start with the threshold question of, ‘What is the problem this trying to solve?’ And there is nothing that suggests to me that these are legitimate administrative actions seeking to solve a problem; rather, they seem designed to undermine the ability of workers to be represented by unions to create labor-management harmony.”

      Paused
      Federal Agencies Still Drag Feet in Protecting Workers Against Coronavirus

      Major Win for AFGE. EO Opposition Grows: Senators Release Another Letter Blasting Attacks June 25, 2018 8 Categories: Congress , The Insider , Executive Orders More members of Congress are speaking out against the White House’s attempts to undermine the U.S. Constitution and laws providing checks and balances in the federal government.
      Read More...

      DR. EVERRETT KELLY SWORN IS AS AFGE NATIONAL PRESIDENT

      New law would revive panels disbanded by President Trump WASHINGTON – The American Federation of Government Employees fully supports legislation introduced in the House and Senate that would establish in law a national council overseeing labor-management relations in federal agencies.
      Read More...

      AFGE president: Future of labor movement hinges on organizing

      WASHINGTON – Following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn 40 years of constitutional law that ensured public-sector workers benefited from the collective voice of union representation, the head of the largest union representing federal workers says employees will need to come together to preserve their workplace rights. “On May 25, President Trump issued a series of executive orders targeting federal employees’ collective bargaining and due process rights. And now the Supreme Court has issued a decision that jeopardizes union rights and protections for millions of public-sector workers at the state and local levels, and here in the District of Columbia,” said J. David Cox Sr., national president of the American Federation of Government Employees.
      Read More...

      11 Facts About Family and Medical Leave You May Not Know

      Twenty-five years ago on Feb. 5, 1993, President Bill Clinton signed into law one of the most important pieces of legislation for working families – the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
      Read More...


      When working people come together, they make things better for everyone. Joining together in unions enables workers to negotiate for higher wages and benefits and improve conditions in the workplace. There are millions of union members in America from all walks of life. These individuals know that by speaking up together, you can accomplish more than you could on your own.

      Building Power for Working People

      A union is you and your co-workers coming together as a team to make improvements at your workplace.

      Union members work together to negotiate and enforce a contract with management that guarantees the things you care about like decent raises, affordable health care, safer workplaces, job security and a stable schedule.

      There is a union for every type of career. There are unions for NFL players, lobstermen and sitcom actors, and many other professions. No matter what profession you are in, you deserve to make ends meet, have a good life and plan for the future.

      Advocate for Social and Economic Justice

      The gains working people make at the bargaining table are strengthened by good laws that protect against exploitation. Corporations use laws to increase their profits by weakening working people’s rights and safety. The legacy of strong unions has led to weekends, overtime pay and the end of child labor. That’s why union members continue to raise their voices to be heard from the worksite to the White House.

      We are a watchdog for working people. 

      Voice of the People

      Unions give a unified voice for all working people by advocating for legislation and regulations that keep us safer, healthier, and enjoying a higher quality of life. Many union members are politically engaged. We advocate for the public servants who will best serve the interests of working people at all levels of government. Together, we are re-writing the rules of the economy, so they benefit the 99% instead of the wealthy few.

      We also advocate for an expansion of voting rights. We need to make participatory democracy easier and stop the racist laws that keep all people from accessing their right to vote.

      When we fight, we win


      Links
      LEGISLATIVE ACTION
      116TH CONGRESS 2D SESSION H. R. ll To provide that certain Executive Orders with respect to Federal employee collective bargaining shall have no force or effect, and for other purposes. IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Mr. KILMER introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on llllllllllllll A BILL To provide that certain Executive Orders with respect to Federal employee collective bargaining shall have no force or effect, and for other purposes. 1 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa2 tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, 3 SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. 4 This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Protecting Collective 5 Bargaining and Official Time for Federal Workers Act’’. 6 SEC. 2. FINDINGS. 7 Congress finds the following: VerDate Mar 15 2010 09:47 Mar 04, 2020 Jkt 000000 PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 6652 Sfmt 6201 C:\USERS\MSJOYNER\APPDATA\ROAMING\SOFTQUAD\XMETAL\7.0\GEN\C\KILMWA_04 March 4, 2020 (9:47 a.m.) G:\M\16\KILMWA\KILMWA_045.XML g:\VHLC\030420\030420.009.xml (756526|2) 2 1 (1) Federal Unions play a critical role in pro2 tecting the rights of Federal workers by allowing 3 members to have a collective voice on the job and in 4 the legislative process, advance issues for working 5 families, ensure equal opportunities for all workers, 6 and raise the standards by which all professional 7 and technical workers are employed. 8 (2) Collective bargaining is essential to the 9 union process, because it provides mutual agreement 10 between all parties that fosters harmonious relation11 ships between the Federal Government and its em12 ployees and protects the interest of both parties. 13 (3) The current administration has acted 14 through Executive Orders and official memorandums 15 to dismantle Federal Unions and undermine their 16 collective bargaining rights across the Federal work17 force and these directives have already negatively 18 impacted labor contracts, both signed and under ac19 tive negotiation. 20 (4) These orders set an aggressive schedule for 21 unions to engage in collective bargaining, while also 22 slashing the unions official time for performing 23 union duties by over 91 percent in some cases. 24 These actions are limiting the ability for unions to VerDate Mar 15 2010 09:47 Mar 04, 2020 Jkt 000000 PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 6652 Sfmt 6201 C:\USERS\MSJOYNER\APPDATA\ROAMING\SOFTQUAD\XMETAL\7.0\GEN\C\KILMWA_04 March 4, 2020 (9:47 a.m.) G:\M\16\KILMWA\KILMWA_045.XML g:\VHLC\030420\030420.009.xml (756526|2) 3 1 prepare for negotiations and perform their legally re2 quired employee representational duties. 3 (5) Section 7101(a) of title 5, United States 4 Code, states, ‘‘Congress finds that labor organiza5 tions and collective bargaining in the civil service are 6 in the public interest.’’. Attempting to eliminate the 7 Union by eliminating almost all its official time re8 pudiates the statutory position that unions are in 9 the public interest. 10 (6) Through these orders, agencies are required 11 to comply with artificial bargaining schedules, which 12 undermine good faith negotiations and divert the de13 cision-making to an impasse panel, which has no 14 union representation on it and does not represent 15 both parties. 16 (7) Collectively, the administration’s actions 17 have violated Congressional intent, undermined the 18 ability of unions to engage in collective bargaining, 19 and threatened the rights and benefits of millions of 20 Federal workers. VerDate Mar 15 2010 09:47 Mar 04, 2020 Jkt 000000 PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 6652 Sfmt 6201 C:\USERS\MSJOYNER\APPDATA\ROAMING\SOFTQUAD\XMETAL\7.0\GEN\C\KILMWA_04 March 4, 2020 (9:47 a.m.) G:\M\16\KILMWA\KILMWA_045.XML g:\VHLC\030420\030420.009.xml (756526|2) 4 1 SEC. 3. NULLIFICATION OF EXECUTIVE ORDERS RELATING 2 TO FEDERAL EMPLOYEE COLLECTIVE BAR3 GAINING. 4 Each of the following Executive Orders and presi5 dential memorandum are rescinded and shall have no force 6 or effect: 7 (1) Executive Order 13837 (relating to the use 8 of official time). 9 (2) Executive Order 13836 (relating to Federal 10 collective bargaining). 11 (3) Executive Order 13839 (relating to the 12 Merit Systems Protection Board). 13 (4) The Presidential Memorandum on the Dele14 gation of Certain Authority under the Federal Serv15 ice Labor-Management Relations Statute, issued to 16 the Secretary of Defense on January 29, 2020. 
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