WASHINGTON—The American Federation of Government Employees filed a complaint Mar. 14 accusingafge the Department of Education of failing to bargain in good faith, five days after the department announced that it would stop contract talks and impose its own terms. The union called that move “an illegal management edict that guts employee rights, including those addressing workplace health and safety, telework, and alternative work schedules.” The Federal Labor Relations Authority has accepted the complaint, an AFGE spokesperson told Federal News Radio. The “management edict,” the union said, comes after “months of anti-union proposals and hostile behavior at the bargaining table.” AFGE Council 252, which represents 2,500 Department of Education employees nationwide, particularly objects to two provisions. One eliminates paid time for union representational duties, requiring shop stewards and local union officers to handle grievances and other workplace issues during unpaid time off. The other requires workers who want to remain union members to certify that in writing every year. “In 100 years of case law this has never been done before, this whole ripping up a standing agreement and putting down an edict that’s not agreed to by both parties,” AFGE spokesperson Ashley De Smeth told The Hill. Read more


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