Negotiated Telework Agreements Unaffected by New OMB Guidance
Late yesterday, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released new guidance to federal agencies that advised agencies to “substantially increase meaningful in-person work.” This guidance does not and cannot change negotiated telework programs in NTEU’s collective bargaining agreements.
To be clear: if you are teleworking this will not change your ability to telework or your telework schedule. This is the value of having an NTEU contract that protects your rights and benefits by having a negotiated program that the union can and will enforce.
Federal employees have shown that telework works. It is an essential benefit that helps employees with work-life balance, maintains productivity, and assists agencies in recruiting and retaining skilled employees. NTEU has seen no evidence to justify any change from that position.
Additionally, agency health is critically related to adequate resources including technology and staff. This is a message NTEU regularly shares with the administration and Congress when pushing for hikes in agency budgets during the appropriations process. Agencies aren’t unhealthy because of telework; they are unhealthy because they lack resources needed to get the work done.
NTEU will continue to work with the administration and agencies to increase telework where appropriate and will strongly oppose efforts to scale back telework opportunities for frontline federal employees with portable work.