EPA and union reach tentative agreement to restore 2007 contract protections

EPA and union reach tentative agreement to restore 2007 contract protections
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The largest union representing non-postal federal government workers announced Wednesday it has reached a deal with the Environmental Protection Agency to restore provisions of its 2007 contract that were rolled back under the Trump administration.

The deal, effective today, will restore provisions from the contract between the EPA and the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) relating to office space, performance evaluations, official time and arbitration procedures, according to AFGE. The agreement keeps two articles from the 2020 contract in place regarding telework and work schedules.

The agreement follows a Jan. 22 executive order signed by President BidenJoe BidenFighter jet escorts aircraft that entered restricted airspace during UN gathering Julian Castro knocks Biden administration over refugee policy FBI investigating alleged assault on Fort Bliss soldier at Afghan refugee camp MORE that undid Trump-era orders affecting federal workers’ collective bargaining rights and organizing. In March, the Office of Personnel Management issued guidance that similarly rolled back earlier Trump administration policies governing collective bargaining.

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“This is a huge victory for all of the EPA employees that AFGE represents,” AFGE National President Everett Kelley said in a statement. “This agreement eliminates anti-worker contract provisions that were forced on us by the previous administration and puts us on a path to fully restore all of the workplace rights, protections, and benefits that employees are entitled to.”

“This interim agreement restores employees’ right to full representation at the worksite and will make it possible for employees through their union representatives to resolve any issues they encounter,” added AFGE Council 238 President Gary Morton. “This is a huge step in the right direction, and the union won’t stop fighting until we eliminate all of the anti-labor provisions forced on us by the previous administration.”

The announcement comes after the news in August that the EPA and AFGE had reached a contract agreement after a years-long fight. The contract included up to two days of telework per week and required the EPA to test indoor air quality and provide workers with personal protective equipment.