But under pressure from lawmakers and a decision by a Federal Labor Relations Authority investigator that the EPA had negotiated in bad faith, the agency and the union agreed to return to the negotiating table. The EPO had agreed to unilaterally terminate the contract it had imposed, while AFGE agreed to abandon unfair labour practices and other complaints it had filed in recent months. WASHINGTON (August 6, 2020) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today signed a new collective bargaination management contract (MCBA) with the EPA`s largest union, the Afge (American Federation of Government Employees). Successful negotiation of a new agreement is the latest step in the Trump administration`s current efforts to create an effective and effective government. UMAD has set unfair conditions for issues such as telecommuting, working time, basic working hours, official EU time, EU use of agency resources, complaints, EU levies, bonuses, promotions and other conditions. Council 238 lodged an appeal and the Agency proposed to negotiate and negotiate a limited number of articles in the UMAD if Council 238 drops the appeal. The agreed negotiating and negotiating teams of both parties began negotiations on 15 articles or articles on January 7, 2020 and ended on March 13, 2020. The parties agreed on decisions on 11 of these articles; the rest went to mediation, where two were resolved.
The last two articles are now decided separately by a committee of deadlock. Kelley also stated in his letter that the EPO had violated labour law in its dealings with the union. Last year, FLRA was credited with being accused by the union of failing to negotiate in good faith by imposing a contract on members of AFGE`s bargaining unit (Greenwire, October 31, 2019). JAMES Hewitt, EPO spokesman, wrote in an email: „The Agency`s offer to increase telework flexibility during negotiations in exchange for AFGE`s official time agreement and the negotiated procedure is well documented.” Assistant Administrator Doug Benevento is also mentioned in AFGE`s complaint. At another staff meeting in Region 8, he „misrepresered and threatened” the union and workers in response to a question about the EPA`s plans to reopen during the pandemic. Negotiations on the new MCBA date back to 2010, including years of back-and-forth, failed ratifications, refusals to negotiate, accusations of unfair labour practices, settlement agreements and a pandemic. Wheeler was confronted by a local union president who was part of AFGE`s bargaining team, but repeated his „false assertion” and said he would publish „what the agency has proposed so that everyone can see what the union refuses.” AfGE, however, called the agreement a „great contractual victory,” during which the union saw improvements to 13 items over the contract unilaterally imposed last year. Asked about the additional flexibilities offered by the Agency at the negotiating table, EPO spokesman James Hewitt told the Federal News Network: „The Agency`s offer to increase the flexibility of telework during negotiations in exchange for the AFGE Official Time Agreement and the Negotiation Policy Appeal Procedure is well documented.” In July, the EPO and AFGE agreed on a new contract. Both the Agency and the union have called the new collective agreement a victory in their own way.
„Regardless of telework programs or alternative work schedules, employees are expected to physically register at work and official service at least three days a week,” the new collective agreement states.