Betsy DeVos Evicts AFGE From Department of Ed
In a blatant violation of their CBA, DeVos is making moves to bust the DOE union
For the past 30 years, the Association of Federal Government Employees (AFGE) have represented the employees of the Department of Education. As part of their collective bargaining agreement (CBA), AFGE was able to have an office in the building. On Wednesday, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos decided that she didn’t want to play by the rules and unilaterally evicted the union.
UCOMM previously reported that talks between the Education Department and AFGE had broken down. In March, DeVos decided to stop negotiations altogether and instead attempt to enact a new contract on her own. Many of the new rules DeVos planned to implement would make it harder for AFGE to represent their members. This eviction seems to be DeVos making good on her promise.
The eviction comes at a time of increased strife within the department. After DeVos took the unilateral action of stripping 3,900 employees of their collective bargaining rights, hundreds of members rallied outside of the Department on March 28th.
“Make no mistake, brothers, and sisters – this is not an attempt to slow us down. This is an attempt to kill us,” Sharon Harris, executive vice president of AFGE Council 252, told the crowd. “They don’t want a union. They don’t want employees with any rights at all.”
AFGE also reports that this is not just an Education Department issue but rather a concerted campaign by the Trump administration to bust or weaken unions. Similar actions are taking place in the VA, EPA, and Bureau of Prisons. “This administration won’t stop until every union has been busted, every contract has been ripped up, and every employee lives in fear of losing his or her job,” National Secretary-Treasurer Joe Flynn said.