NTEU National President Tony Reardon heard from me and many other HHS chapter presidents about the rather sorry state of the NTEU-HHS labor-management relationship. NTEU staff had also been advising Tony that that relationship had sunk to new lows. Therefore, in late March, Tony wrote a letter to HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell, in which he outlined our concerns about this poor state of affairs, and cited several recent matters that illustrated how badly the relationship had deteriorated. Tony asked for her help in resetting the relationship. HHS replied in a May 23 letter that the agency is “committed to working with NTEU in establishing and maintaining a positive working relationship to ensure a healthy environment for our employees.”
Tony reports that the Union met with top labor relations officials, at the departmental level, to discuss the matters that we have raised. Those officials committed to further meetings and to an ongoing dialogue in a joint effort to get the relationship on a more productive track. This will take some time, of course, because there is so much work to do, but Tony wants you to know on what has occurred thus far.
I will keep you posted on further developments.