EPA Heeds Kuster Request to Renegotiate Union Contract with New Hampshire Workers
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-02) released the following statement on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) announcement that it will return to the bargaining table with the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) to discuss the ongoing labor dispute. Under the terms of the settlement, EPA and AFGE will resume negotiations on a new contract within 30 days. The EPA’s decision to return to the table comes after Kuster joined Representative Paul Tonko and Energy & Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone last month in leading a bipartisan group of 228 Members of Congress calling on the EPA to negotiate in good faith with union representatives on behalf of hundreds of Granite State AFGE members and workers nationwide.
“It’s encouraging the EPA has heeded my request to have a fair and open discussion with union representatives, though I wish the agency came to this decision sooner,” said Kuster. “These union representatives are following in the footsteps of previous generations of union members who fought tirelessly for basic fairness and justice on the job, and they deserve a fair negotiation process. I’ll be monitoring this situation in the hopes that an acceptable contract will be agreed upon in a timely manner. I will continue to stand up for the hard-working men and women in New Hampshire and I’ll keep working to ensure that workers nationwide are treated fairly and with respect.”
In June 2019, EPA imposed a unilateral management directive that impacts more than 14,000 EPA employees in place of a negotiated collective bargaining agreement. This directive reduced telework options for EPA employees, eliminated important due process rights for workers and removed union members from their membership without their consent. The directive violates the rights and protections that Congress specifically guaranteed to public-sector employees.