Shame On HHS

The unfairly abbreviated contract negotiations between NTEU and the Department of Health and Human Services, already contentious, took a more ominous turn when the agency said it wants the power to eliminate telework altogether.

In the coming weeks, HHS will be holding “Listening Sessions,” where employees will be randomly selected to provide input on workplace matters. If you’re angry about having your voice stifled and workplace rights trampled over, this is your chance to sound off.

NTEU was given notice that the 30-minute, phone-based Listening Sessions and 60-minute in-person sessions will take place between now and April to gain insight on employee engagement.

HHS refused to listen to your bargaining representatives, refusing to even sit with us, during negotiations.

HHS refused to listen when thousands of you signed a petition against their bargaining proposals.

HHS refused to listen when you raised your voices at informational picketing outside HHS headquarters.

But now HHS says it wants to listen, so we urge you to get engaged, join in the sessions and tell it like it really is.

Participation is voluntary and confidential with employees randomly selected to join a session by email invitation. The Listening Sessions are part of the “Sprint to 2019” monthly activities leading up to the launch of the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS).
HHS knows a thing or two about a “sprint.” For management, contract bargaining has been a sprint—a sprint to ram through an unfair contract after less than two days of bargaining. A sprint to the Federal Service Impasses Panel (FSIP), where management is hoping its political appointees will impose proposals that could eliminate your telework, AWS, transit subsidies and leave rights.

If you feel disrespected, speak up. 

If you feel demoralized, speak up. 

If you want management to return to the table for actual bargaining, speak up. 

HHS claims that input from the Listening Sessions will be analyzed to gain insight that will drive improvements in creating “workforce conditions that best support employee engagement.”

Let’s send a unified message to management and the Office of Personnel Management that cutting employee rights and benefits undermines your engagement and morale. OPM and HHS will be looking for trends in the results, and with your help, they will see a clear one—that management’s conduct is detrimental to employees and the HHS workplace.

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