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The president of the MTD-affiliated American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is alerting union sisters and brothers to the latest attempts to attack collective bargaining for federal workers.

In a letter sent May 21, Cox (who serves on the MTD Executive Board) said several federal agencies – including the Veterans Affairs Department, the Social Security Administration and Housing and Urban Development – are up for contract negotiations this year.

“When the parties can’t come to any agreement at the bargaining table, an appointed body, the Federal Services Impasses Panel (FSIP), considers the last best offers of both sides and imposes a new contract,” the AFGE president wrote. “It will come as no surprise that [President] Trump’s FSIP would make the National Right-to-Work Committee blush, and so agencies are rushing to the Panel to gut our contracts.

“Federal workers don’t have the right to strike,” Cox added. “The FSIP can impose any contract they want and there is no avenue of appeal.”

Cox stated the AFGE will hold worker actions across the country regarding the contracts and other issues. He asked for the support of the Labor Movement at the local, state and federal levels.

Within the negotiations presented by Veterans Affairs, according to Cox, are a “10-year agreement;” elimination of “all matters from the grievance procedures, including disciplinary action;” and seeking “the union to pay the salaries and benefits of management time spent dealing with the union.”

Additionally, the union will be working with the U.S. House Appropriations Committee to defund any such imposed contracts, “allowing the old contracts to remain in place until outstanding contract issues are resolved by an ‘independent arbitrator’ in lieu of the stacked panel.”