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AFGA Outlines Preconditions For Reopening Federal Offices And Agencies

AFGE National Pres Everett Kelley addresses the 2019 MTD Executive
Board meeting.

The MTD-affiliated American Federation of Government Employees
released an April 22 letter to the acting director of the U.S. Office
of Management and Budget (OMB) listing six preconditions for federal
departments, agencies and offices to return to work during the time of

Signed by National President Everett B. Kelley, AFGE notes its
“members are on the front lines of America’s efforts both to contain
the coronavirus pandemic and to treat those who have been infected.
Health care workers in the Department of Veterans Affairs,
Transportation Security Officers employed by (the Transportation
Security Administration), correctional officers in the Bureau of
Prisons, inspectors at the Department of Agriculture, civilians in the
Department of Defense have lost their lives carrying out their duties
on behalf of the American people.”

In addressing Acting Director Russell T. Bought, Kelley states, “Human
life is precious and we must protect the health and safety of our
government workforce. Every precaution must be taken to protect human
lives as the first consideration in any attempt to reopen agencies and
the economy at large.”

AFGE lists its six precautions as:
1) universal testing for COVID-19;
2) science-based standard for the safe return to work;
3) treat all individual workers equally, with full accommodation as needed;
4) federal workplaces must be safe workplaces;
5) symptomatic employees sent home on leave; and
6) comply with bargaining obligations with union.

The letter was sent in reply to an April 20 OMB memo regarding the
Trump administration’s “Opening Up America Again.” AFGE called that
document “both premature and imprudent.”

AFGE represents more than 700,000 federal and District of Columbia workers.

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