Monday was the first day of an abbreviated bargaining schedule with a mediator over your contract. NTEU came to the bargaining table with a good faith effort to reach an agreement that is fair to employees. It remains to be seen if HHS will approach this two-week session with the same illegal, bad faith tactics as when it proposed eliminating one-third of the contract, refused to bargain and then walked out.
Over NTEU’s objection, the FSIP asserted jurisdiction over most of the contract provisions – including telework, awards, PMAP, and transit subsidies – and ordered NTEU and HHS to bargain for 30 days with the assistance of a mediator. The federal mediator is available for only two weeks to negotiate over more than 25 articles. When NTEU asked HHS to come to the table for a week without the mediator, it refused.
This schedule is designed to favor HHS and allow it to tick off the procedural boxes so a contract can be imposed. But, NTEU is prepared to do everything in our power to secure a contract that protects your rights and benefits. Along with our bargaining efforts, we continue to alert members of Congress and the public about the agency’s mistreatment of its employees, and are pursuing three national grievances over the egregious process.
You and your HHS colleagues nationwide have shown your outrage over this disregard for your rights and benefits, and we need you to keep it up. Here is how you can support NTEU at the bargaining table this week: