Good afternoon Chapter 141,
Yesterday there was a chapter presidents call regarding COVID and the agencies testing program that was announced earlier this week. On that call it was explained that the government was obligated to come up with a plan by the beginning of this week. However, that does not mean that this program will start soon or even in the near future. The hiring of telework medical professionals alone will be a significant lift and we are unsure how that will even work logistically at our diverse locations. We will keep you updated but we do not expect any testing to occur soon. Also we don’t know what it will ultimately look like in the future if it even happens.
NTEU National has engaged CBP in what is called post implementation bargaining. The federal government is still operating under the “emergency” designation that allows the government to implement some things without engaging the union in in pre-implementation bargaining. During this conversation, it was also brought up that members who are not currently vaccinated are unfairly being denied training and travel opportunities due to their vaccination status, among other issues. These issues are currently being looked into by our NTEU negotiation teams.
It was made very clear during this call to National Executive Vice President Doreen Greenwald that a significant amount of our members, not only in Chapter 141, but across the country are upset with the mask guidance, vaccine mandates and proposed testing programs especially NTEU National’s stance on the vaccine mandate. The message was delivered that although there are some members who are in support of the various mandates, there are others who are not and NTEU needs to do a better job at representing those employees.
We encourage you all to continue sharing your concerns with us. We use those examples when having these conversations with NTEU national.
Thank you all for your membership