But under pressure from lawmakers and a ruling by a Federal Labor Relations Authority investigator, who said the EPA negotiated with bad intentions, the agency and the union agreed to return to the bargaining table. The EPO had agreed to cancel the unilaterally imposed contract, while the AFGE agreed to drop the accusations of unfair labour practices and other complaints it had filed in recent months. However, AFGE described the deal as a “big contractual victory,” during which the union saw improvements to 13 items over the contract imposed unilaterally last year. “Regardless of the telework plan or alternative work schedule, employees are expected to physically report to the construction site and the official service at least three days a week,” the new collective agreement states. The treaty should be renegotiated and the parties discussed the articles to be renegotiated. In July 2019, the Agency withdrew from the discussions and imposed a unilateral Management Directive (UMAD). The UMAD was a blatant attempt by the EPA Agency administration to weigh on our working conditions and try to dismantle our public union. Staff must, according to the agreement, perform teleworkers from their local commuter areas. It also confirms teleworking under the EPO`s Continuity Plan (COOP) and describes positions that are simply not eligible for remote work, including those that need access to classified information, must have personal interactions with their superiors and members of the public, or be physically present in a laboratory or testing centre.
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