Update on HHS Term Bargaining

It has been more than a week since our legal victory against the Executive Orders, and HHS still hasn’t responded to our demand that the agency return to the table and bargain in good faith. Here’s an update on our ongoing efforts to protect your rights and on how you can get involved.

HHS Secretary Alex Azar

Following our legal victory against the executive orders, NTEU sent a letter to HHS demanding that the agency return to the bargaining table and collaborate with frontline employees and their workplace representatives. To date, HHS has not bothered to respond. Now is the time to tell Secretary Alex Azar that HHS employees value a workplace that listens to you, and that you value your contract and all the benefits that it contains for you and your family.

If you haven’t already, look at the final proposal the HHS team put on the table before walking out. Take note of what you DON’T see, meaning all these items could soon be gone:

  • An AWS program
  • A telework program
  • Transit subsidies
  • An awards program

St. Louis FDA employee and union steward wearing a black NTEU T-shirt on WednesdayTry and imagine what your workday and your work life at HHS become without NTEU.

NTEU’s victory in federal court should have been an immediate message to HHS of its obligations, under the law, to bargain in good faith with its employee representatives and to halt its plan to eliminate highly valued workplace benefits NTEU negotiated for you.

NTEU Chapter 254 President David Arvelo wearing a black FDA polo on Wednesday in DallasInstead, what do we see? HHS flouting the courts, violating labor relations laws, and continuing down its plan to ignore HHS employees, their workplace rights and incentives. NTEU is fighting back, in the media, in court, and on Capitol Hill. But your voice matters the most.

Four FDA employees in Jefferson, Arkansas, wearing black and 'Shame on HHS' stickers, holding Today, like every Wednesday until HHS agrees to maintain these important employee programs, is Black Wednesday. This is your chance to signal just how important it is for HHS to start acting like an employer should and respecting its workforce. There are simple steps you can take:

  1. San Antonio FDA employees wearing black on WednesdaySign our petition. Nearly 6,000 HHS employees have signed our petition to Secretary Azar telling him how vital telework is to you, and that without it HHS is jeopardizing keeping its employees. Add your signature and get us to 8,500 signers. The more HHS and FDA employees let the department know that it cannot continue to ignore the individuals that make up HHS and deliver its program, the faster they will be forced to respond.
  2. Wear black clothing on Wednesdays and wear a “Shame on HHS” sticker. Need a sticker? Contact your local chapter.
  3. Watch your personal email for additional information. If NTEU does not have a personal email address for you, update your contact information by logging into NTEU.org.

Three Dallas FDA employees wearing black on WednesdayTweet Secretary Azar at @SecAzar and demand your voice back. (Get sample tweets)

Don’t let HHS take away your rights and benefits without a fight!

Author: chapterpresident

I have worked in the FDA since 1990 in a variety of positions. I currently serve as chapter president of NTEU Chapter 254, representing FDA employees in Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah.