Taking a stand against recent efforts and rhetoric by agencies to severely limit telework for federal employees, Representatives Gerald Connolly (D-VA) and John Sarbanes (D-MD) have introduced the “Telework Metrics and Cost Savings Act.”
The bill intends to improve agency efforts to establish and achieve goals for telework participation, better track and report telework cost-savings and efficiencies, and, most importantly, prevent changes to telework policies that reduce or limit employee telework offerings, negating the progress the U.S. government has made in increasing telework participation in recent years. Specifically, the bill would prohibit proposals taken under consideration at the Department of Education and the NTEU-represented Department of Agriculture, to restrict telework frequency.
Until recently, agencies regarded telework as a positive tool in providing workplace flexibilities to its workers, and as a mechanism to substantially reduce millions of federal dollars spent on facilities. Earlier this year, the Office of Personnel Management produced a report touting the benefits of telework. It wrote, “As noted in the key findings, employees that telework are more likely to exceed performance standards. In addition, the two most important reasons employees choose to telework are to minimize distractions (67%) and improve productivity (64%), resulting in improved morale (83%), better stress management (77%), increased desire to stay at current agency (76%), and other outcomes that benefit both employees and agencies.”
NTEU supports this legislation, and we will keep you informed of its progress.