Department of Education Aims to Bust the Union By Terminating New Contract

From the AFGE

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has made headlines over the past year for attacking both teachers and students. Now her management team has set its sights on us. 

After months of hostility at the bargaining table, Department of Education management told AFGE Council 252 that it was no longer willing to negotiate. Management threw out the contract that the council had previously bargained – which was still in effect – and replaced it with an anti-union directive that strips 3,900 workers we represent of all previously negotiated rights and protections. 

AFGE did not agree to the terms of the illegal document that the Education Department is now masquerading as a collective bargaining agreement. In fact, members voted to reject the so-called contract on March 5, yet management forced this this illegal document on the membership anyway. 

AFGE’s national office filed an unfair labor practice charge with the Federal Labor Relations Authority on March 12 to stop the Education Department from implementing its illegal management edict. 

We are eager to return to the bargaining table and negotiate a fair and just contract, which all employees deserve.

Management’s illegal document strips workers of all previously negotiated rights and protections, forces employees to file SF-1187s every year to remain a union member, and prevents union leaders and stewards from representing employees by severely restricting the use of official time. 

“The Education Department has imposed on its workers an illegal document that we had absolutely no bargaining over,” Council 252 President Claudette Young said. “Secretary Betsy DeVos and her management team are attempting to strip employees of their collective bargaining rights and kill the union.”

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Reposted from AFGE

Posted In: Allied Approaches

Union Matters

Failing Bridges Hold Public Hostage

From the USW

From tumbledown bridges to decrepit roads and failing water systems, crumbling infrastructure undermines America’s safety and prosperity. In coming weeks, Union Matters will delve into this neglect and the urgent need for a rebuilding campaign that creates jobs, fuels economic growth and revitalizes communities.

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) gave the public just a few hours’ notice before closing a major bridge in March, citing significant safety concerns.

The West Seattle Bridge functioned as an essential component of  the city’s local and regional transportation network, carrying 125,000 travelers a day while serving Seattle’s critical maritime and freight industries. Closing it was a huge blow to the city and its citizens. 

Yet neither Seattle’s struggle with bridge maintenance nor the inconvenience now facing the city’s motorists is unusual. Decades of neglect left bridges across the country crumbling or near collapse, requiring a massive investment to keep traffic flowing safely.

When they opened it in 1984, officials predicted the West Seattle Bridge would last 75 years.

But in 2013, cracks started appearing in the center span’s box girders, the main horizontal support beams below the roadway. These cracks spread 2 feet in a little more than two weeks, prompting the bridge’s closure.

And it’s still at risk of falling.  

The city set up an emergency alert system so those in the “fall zone” could be quickly evacuated if the bridge deteriorates to the point of collapse.

More than one-third of U.S. bridges similarly need repair work or replacement, a reminder of America’s urgent need to invest in long-ignored infrastructure.

Fixing or replacing America’s bridges wouldn’t just keep Americans moving. It would also provide millions of family-supporting jobs for steel and cement workers, while also boosting the building trades and other industries.

With bridges across the country close to failure and millions unemployed, America needs a major infrastructure campaign now more than ever.

 

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work