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Federal Workers Demand Frozen Contracts and End “At-Will” Negotiations

Federal Workers Demand Frozen Contracts and End “At-Will” Negotiations

Uber called its recent union deal ‘historic.’ A new complaint alleges it was actually against the law. (Photo: Thinkstock/Getty)

Two federal workers at the Internal Revenue Service unionized together Tuesday to protest a plan to end the agency’s union contract and seek greater wages and benefits.

The agency’s union, the American Federation of Government Employees, is demanding the agency freeze its contracts with federal contract workers and end its practice of letting agency contract employees to decide when those employees, known as “at-will” employees, get paid what they’re owed.

This week, the agency began what’s known as “final offer” negotiations, under which union workers begin to look for an agreement to end their contract. The final offer process isn’t supposed to begin until after the current contract expires, however (the current contract was set to expire Friday). But the agency wants to start the process “as soon as possible” to negotiate a deal that would be in keeping with legislation signed into law in December that would, among other things, prohibit agencies from using “at-will” provisions in their union contracts.

Related: The Real Reason That We Must Stop Union Busting

That’s not what union members said in a letter to their CEO, and President, Bob McManus.

“AFGE is not seeking to negotiate anything beyond the contract at issue nor are employees seeking to join any other union,” the letter reads. “We believe it is critically important to all employees to not only receive a fair contract, but also to negotiate a union contract that treats them fairly.”

The union is asking McManus to ensure that the agency not use “at-will” provisions to terminate contract employees on the final offer.

“As long as agencies continue to use them to terminate contracted employees, you will also continue to be held accountable for terminating AFGE employees who have been wrongfully terminated,�

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