Reardon, Citing Legal Ruling, Urges HHS Secretary Azar to Return to Bargaining

Press Release October 7, 2019

Washington D.C. – Prompted by a strongly-worded legal decision in the union’s favor, National Treasury Employees Union President Tony Reardon today urged Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to properly negotiate a new contract for the HHS workforce.

Reardon’s letter to Azar cited last week’s decision by a neutral arbitrator that found the agency bargained in bad faith, in violation of labor-management relations statute.

 “This decision is an opportunity to reset our negotiations and for HHS to meet us again at the bargaining table with a sincere desire to reach agreement on a contract, as required by law,” Reardon wrote.

In his letter, Reardon reminded Azar how NTEU, thousands of employees and many members of Congress took issue with HHS’ unfair and illegal bargaining tactics, but their concerns were ignored as agency negotiators plowed ahead to eliminate many rights and benefits of its own workforce.

“It is unfortunate that you refused to meet with me and that you ignored the voices of thousands of your employees who signed a petition asking for your respect,” Reardon wrote.

NTEU represents 150,000 employees at 33 federal agencies and departments, including the FDA, the Administration for Children and Families, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the National Center for Health Statistics, and other important HHS programs and offices.