The MTD-affiliated American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is seeking the help of fellow union members to stop legislation pending in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Specifically, AFGE is calling out the Official Time Reform Act of 2017 (HR 1364) and the Veterans, Employees and Taxpayer Protection Act of 2017 (HR 1461). Both of these bills would greatly restrict union activities for federal employees.
AFGE notes that HR 1364 would “eliminate full-time union representatives in federal workplaces.” In addition, the union says it would take away “retirement benefits from shop stewards and others who use official time.” It “would prohibit lobbying lawmakers, meaning no employee in an official capacity could testify before Congress and limits the ability to tell lawmakers about agency waste, fraud and abuse.”
Regarding HR 1461 which deals with the Veterans Administration, the union states the proposed measure would “replace collective bargaining with arbitrary caps and restrictions on union representation.” It would further restrict “official time by imposing limits on who can serve as a union shop steward or officer, how much time they are permitted to spend on these official duties, and what they are permitted to do.” One aspect of this measure, according to AFGE, would invite “employees to drop union membership at any time.” Finally, it would “extend the ‘at-will’ probationary period when employees can be fired for any reason or no reason from 12 to 18 months.”
AFGE urges union members and their families to contact their local member of Congress to vote against both bills.