10,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) employees will be forced to work under a “collective agreement” (CBA) imposed on them by the Trump administration. So, what were the problems that stopped the contract? Joshua Rider, the president of AFGE Local 1106, told Bloomberg that the flexibility of the schedule, the representation of unions in complaints and other rights granted in the previous contract have been removed from the new agreement. “It is clear that the Union has no intention of ratifying a successor agreement, whatever its conditions; whether they are imposed by the panel or obtained by the parties through further negotiations. “The Agency agrees to continue existing RA agreements and consider extensions for temporary RA agreements if the current service is different from Washington, D.C.C. as long as housing remains efficient, medically necessary and if this pursuit does not interfere with the Agency`s mission,” he said. To marginalize the union, the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 1106, the USDA announced that a new contract would take effect on July 20. Although the department calls it CBA, it is not an agreement, but a unilateral contract. In a letter from agency general Stephen Vaden, the department says the union does not want to agree on a succession contract, so they have no choice but to implement the new CBA. The real objective of this approach is to further weaken federal unions. By unilaterally applying a contract, Trump deprives a union of the primary power, the right to negotiate.
This is an unprecedented step. Todd Dickey, a professor of public administration and international affairs at Syracuse University`s Maxwell School, said he had never seen a federal agency attempt to unilaterally develop a new contract on its staff. Trump is clearly trying to see how far he can push his executive power to court. If they do not, it could mean the end of collective bargaining for federal workers. Both the department and the union began negotiations on the relocation of the USDA about a month after Agriculture Minister Sonny Perdue of Kansas City announced as a new site for ERS and NIFA headquarters.