Union-Busting House bill would limit federal employees’ access to union representation, AFGE Says

Union-Busting House Bill Would Silence the Voice of Workers, AFGE Says

afgeWASHINGTON, March 8, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The American Federation of Government Employees strongly opposes legislation moving through the House that would limit an employee’s access to union representation and financially penalize employees who voluntarily serve as union representatives.

The Official Time Reform Act of 2017 would arbitrarily cap how much time union volunteers can spend per day on representational work, such as resolving workplace conflicts between employees and managers, or meeting with agency leaders to discuss workplace improvements. It also would create a financial disincentive for employees to volunteer as union representatives by cutting their retirement for any time spent on representational work above the arbitrary caps.

“This legislation is a blatant attempt to bust federal employee unions and silence the voice of workers in decisions that impact not only their jobs, but services the American people rely on,” AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. said.

The legislation targets federal employees’ use of official time, which is the system Congress established to ensure that all employees entitled to union representation receive it – regardless of whether they choose to join the union. Federal employees who volunteer as union representatives spend all or part of their work day on official time, where they work with employees and managers to resolve disputes, address issues of discrimination and retaliation, and effect improvements in the workplace that benefit all employees. Official time is official agency business.

“Federal managers and their employees are fully competent to negotiate the terms of official time, when it is needed, how much is needed, and where it should be used to address unique agency and workplace issues,” AFGE said in a letter to lawmakers.

“This legislation creates a form of micromanaging that will tie the hands of supervisors and agency officials when it comes to scheduling meetings, legal proceedings, and non-official time work for union representatives, ultimately discouraging the use of official time.”

Employees are allowed to use official time only to perform representational activities, such as setting procedures that protect employees from on-the-job injuries, enforcing protections from unlawful discrimination, providing workers with a voice in determining working conditions, and representing employees in grievances and disciplinary actions.

Union representatives are not allowed to use official time to conduct union-specific business such as organizing new members, holding internal union meetings, electing union officers, or engaging in partisan political activities.

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 700,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.

36 thoughts on “Union-Busting House bill would limit federal employees’ access to union representation, AFGE Says

  1. Abner, come look at what Trumps up to… Shut the heck up Gladis, you’re an idiot…

  2. The reason trump won is simple, people are tired of having all the political correct crap shoved down their throats such as comparing gay or muslim believes as civil rights like the blacks in this country had to achieve. Saying that gays are born that way is a bunch of crap its a choice and not a civil right such as the color of skin a person has when they are born, this approach is a slap in the face of true civil rights issues also it was time to reel in the liberals before they started telling you what kind of foods you could and could not eat as for the muslims if they don’t want to assimilate to american ways then they should stay where they are.

  3. It’s a damn shame that highly educated and not so educated Americans voted for Trump!! With all the problems Trump has with his past and now all the problems we’re finding out in the present and the future he has.. Hilliary Clinton is a SAINT compared to what TRUMP is.. You fools make me SICK!!! I’m sure one of his billionaire cabinet members are gonna want our parcel business for sure.. You guys might as well work all the overtime possible and save it.. Because we will definitely be privatized during his term… Lights out 💤💤💤💤

  4. I guess this was posted on Postal Reporter to put all the post office unions and associations on notice. I’m thinking this was done due to Postal unions and organizations supporting the ridiculous idea of what they call Medicare integration. They have sold their”retiree’s” down the toilet and opened a Pandora’s box for other federal agencies. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if Congress did away with FEHB altogether and tell federal employees to get health insurance through the brand new repubicare program.

    • I do agree with you being in the same boat that the unions divide them self against them self, and
      wonder why are we becoming weak. I also agree with others who wonder why anyone would want
      to be someones slave ( at will employment). Let me educate some who believe that not having a
      union that it corrects all ills , because it doesn’t. Look at the ranks of mismanagement . I have always wondered how in the hell at will employment ever was a law. The best that i understand was it came from the days of slavery. I know not anyone who has had a vote on it. The truth talking
      past people solves nothing. Common sense, and civility always at least leaves hope that something
      positive is possible.

      • Congress use to get their health benefits from FEHB. That changed when the ACA became law and they we’re required to get health benefits through ACA.

    • that wont happen; remember Congress has their insurance through FEHB and they want to keep it; its quite good

      • ET, your lack of understanding is showing. No Union would be needed if Owners, Managers, and Supervisors adhered to the Collective Bargaining Agreement and perform their jobs. The Union agrees with management on the contract and then too much energy is wasted violating the agreed upon language, and creating workplace hostility while pretending to not know what they’re doing is wrong. Then the Union is there to rectify the wrong and make the grievant whole.

  5. If it were within my power, I’d take it a step farther. If you are doing union business, you should be off the government’s timeclock and on the union’s. Your union job isn’t within your job description for what you are supposed to be doing, thus, if you aren’t earning your money for doing your job, you don’t get paid by the government for that time.

    • Union business is part of the job, dumbass. It’s negotiated in the contract that management and the unions sign. If you’ve ever read one, you’d know this.

      • Federal law that is passed will automatically negate anything negotiated in the contract that contradicts the law. Before you call “dumbass” you should know this. Its amazing how few have figured this out. Apparently short memory issues from all, as you have all forgotten about PATCO and Reagan. Outside the halls of the USPS and the unions, the national agreements are meaningless.

    • We need more anti-union views like yours. But then you’re too dumb to know that it is one of the right that the unions won : be able to perform union’s work while on the clock.

      • Larry Bel-Air, Federal law that is passed will automatically negate anything negotiated in the contract that contradicts the law. It is not a guaranteed right. That will be struck from the contract. Remember PATCO and Reagan. Outside the halls of the USPS and the unions, the national agreements are meaningless, powerless. Hence the reason you do not have the right to strike.

      • PATCO went out on strike, which Postal employees have not that luxury. No federal law will rescind an agreed upon contract. NO law governs that part of the agreement. APWU members are getting a $56 Million grievance settlement this week because the contract was violated, that fault should be placed where. Are you aware how much work is needed for a Grievance yielding $56 million. Why should the Union be responsible for Managements mismanagement?

      • commonsense what Federal Law passed, specifically negates the contracts agreed upon by both parties? Please remember each Union is represented by a Labor Attorney, plus the agency has a battery of lawyers chomping at the bit to get a leg up on any contract issue, and send Union Officials running. What say YE?

  6. Trump……”worker friendly”. First the Federal Sector, than the private sector, until all unions are no more and mean and stupid bosses can fire you, “at will”.
    Too late for all those “Trump chumps to change their vote.

  7. So much for free speech and freedom of choice . So those of you who voted Republican just to let you know you could very well get a buy out in your fifties and end up looking for another job with less benefits , which means smaller retirement pay. Don’t think so looked what happens at Sears also Cerner . Good luck .

  8. after 30 years of hearing union say…..they can do that!……does any of this poop really matter?

  9. This union busting tactic is of benefit to no one. Both management and the union representatives need adequate time to resolve the many issues in the work place. Arbitrary time limits may mean the union steward is unable to settle grievances or diffuse an altercation.
    It is often the union steward who prevents situations from getting out of hand.

    • I do agree Rolando is without a doubt someone you bears close watching. His Union allegiance has disappeared and it “STRANGE” bed fellows are ALL-TO-Get-HER! They are who we think they are!

  10. The so called mighty NALC is already weak and useless as this proposed bill. You guys(NALC) are already giving us carriers the shaft and making management victorious and against us letter carriers. Lol

  11. And yet thousands of postal employees, craft and management, vote Republican. I simply do not understand how any worker knowingly, willingly and repeatedly votes against theirs and their families’ best interests by believing what the GOP and the likes of FOX News and other right wing media tell them without question.
    Psychologically, there just are people out there who are susceptible to suggestion and once they have prescribed to a certain philosophy, religious, political, societal, etc., they become mentally entrenched and rather than question what their sources they choose to believe tell them, they accept it, all of it.
    The Republicans we have right now are the most anti worker, benefits, union and just plain anybody not already a millionaire in that party’s history. They are pushing big business agendas, and those businesses want the lowest labor costs, hence the anti union/worker/insurance stance, no restrictions on their poisoning the environment, and tax breaks out their gilded wazoos.
    I am not afraid to doubt or question anybody, regardless of party. If a Democrat does wrong in my view, I call it as I see it. I do not defend anybody just because they’re my “party”. Sadly, Republicans seem to look at it like they root for their favorite sports team – 100% approval, to hell with facts, history and efforts from many very qualified people – scientists, climatologists, environmental experts, to name a few. They simply will not listen and will never learn.
    Well, it’s time to listen. You as a postal worker have a responsibility to yourself, spouse and family to provide the best care you are able to do. This means earning enough to pay bills, medical costs, college for your kids, which is getting so expensive that if laws aren’t passed in the future, nobody but the very rich and athletic will be afforded a chance to get a higher education and thus a good paying job. Republican lawmakers don’t want citizens to be educated – they want to govern gullible fools and morons. And modern Democrats aren’t a whole lot better. Fact is, all working class families need to understand how D.C. is ruining our chances to ever be even mildly successful.
    By diverting attention to guns, racism and other very ugly “issues” the GOP distracts you and hides their true agenda – an oligarchy, which is a government run by a privileged few, possibly a theocracy to go along with it, and the extinction of the middle class. I am, as I said, not happy at all with the Democrats – some are very good, but most are Wall Street suck ups no better than the GOP and they have totally abandoned their voters, too. This is what’s wrong – both parties pretend to be enemies but as in war, it’s the populace who suffers. We need people who are truly sincere about the needs of regular Americans, men and women who understand that there was never a better champion of the little guy than FDR, who deftly balanced getting people back to work and established Social Security, but didn’t make enemies with businesses either. He just didn’t allow them to screw their employees like they do and want to even more.
    We need to stop this horrible bill. Sign the petition and make your voice heard.

    • wtodd, A question was posed by you but to get your answer we should rely on the foul language spewed out of mitt romney mouth, about the money employees lost due to hostage takeovers and plain retirement benefit raping. Then the company is goes out of business. Geaux figure!!!

  12. Ratpublicans just hate the thought that workers deserve, need, and by all rights, have a union to represent them. the right thinks that management should have all the rights In the working world. A employee only has the right to work! If a worker is cheated out of pay, works in unsafe conditions, or is treated like dirt then just to bad. America is regressing back to the 18th century. Just look back in history and how government agencies and private business treated their employees. How many workers were killed in the Republic Steel strike? Or the Ludlow massacre? How many at the Haymarket massacre? How many women were beaten during the Bread and Roses strike? what was the death toll at the Triangular waste Shirt factory fire? How many workers have been cheated out of their retirements and health care while the bastards file for bankruptcy and walk way with big bucks? Then one must ask the question how many people voted to screw themselves during the last election?

    • Same song – different day.

      How about listing what had been done for postal employees in the past 8 years? And don’t tell me that there was a Republican congress. In the first two years of the administration, Dems had the majority in both houses. And all they gave you was ObamaCare. How’d that work out for you?

      • The problem is like retired, and whole lot of others is saying . How can you throw your fellow
        worker under the bus, and moan and groan when the very self centered view is starting to
        come home to roost for you. At least for retired, and a whole lot others like me. Our days of
        kissing up to fools is over. The election is over, everyone is free to their belief. I do not know
        how anyone could be a mailman to the public, and not have known people who had a different
        view, but were still were good, and helped you grow into a better person. Mismanagement will
        surely school you given a chance. Together we may all rise, but divided surely all fall.

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