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April 1, 2003

President Bush has determined that HUD's mission is essential to Homeland Security. As a result, he has issued an Executive Order suspending our collective bargaining rights, including the HUD/AFGE Agreement and all Supplements.

Please be sure to review this entire Edition to fully understand the changes you will be expected to make.

Effective April 2, 2003, all flexible and alternative work schedules will be cancelled. All telework agreements will be suspended. Employees will be expected to report to duty at 8:30am and depart at 5:00pm. Credit hours will not be authorized. Sign-in and sign-out sheets will be reinstated.

The negotiated grievance procedure will be eliminated. Employees seeking redress for inequitable treatment regarding EPPES evaluations, career ladder promotions and details will be directed to the Management controlled administrative grievance procedure (see HUD Handbook 600.1). There will be no opportunity for neutral third-party review of Management's decisions.

Current grievances, including national grievances targeting unfair and inequitable distribution of grades and promotion potential, are null and void. Employees facing disciplinary action involving reprimands or suspensions of 14 days or less will also be directed to the HUD HB 600.1.

Future proposals to reorganize, realign or eliminate divisions or offices will not be subject to bargaining and no employee input will be entertained. Current negotiations regarding the OTAR/TARC realignment, reasonable accommodations, electronic mail policy and the COOP are suspended indefinately. Management will proceed directly to implementation.

This is an April Fools' Day edition of the Council 222 E:News. For employees at HUD it is a spoof -- a reminder of the day-to-day difference that your union makes in the workplace.

For employees at INS, Border Patrol, FEMA and others consolidated into the Homeland Security Agency, it is a potential reality. Congress granted the President's request to allow the agency to eliminate collective bargaining rights and suspend negotiated contracts. Although the law already gave the Administration broad discretion to declare individual union proposals as impermissibly interfering with Management's rights, the administration may now declare any union activity at all as interference.

The Department of Defense is seeking similar legislation. If successful, AFGE could lose 45% of it's membership, weakening our ability to fight against contracting out and for pay comparability and better health insurance coverage.

Federal sector unions are seeing unprecedented attacks. In a fund raising letter, House Majority Leader Tom Delay (R-Texas) called the American union movement "a clear and present danger to the security of the United States at home and the safety of our armed forces oversees." With the ensuing uproar, Representative DeLay disavowed the letter. But he didn't send a correction letter to all the people who received the first letter.

To help ensure your workday continues to be flexible, that you have a means to grieve injustices, and that you have input into Management proposed changes, your union needs your support.

Go to our webpage (http://afgecouncil222.tripod.com) to learn more about what you can do to keep this an April Fool's Day spoof and not a reality.

In solidarity,

Carolyn Federoff, President
AFGE Council 222

pic of small envelope
e:mail suggestions to: AFGE COUNCIL 222@hud.gov
in the subject of your e:mail type: Attn: Tim Oravec (E:News Editor)

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