|NTEU Demanding Investigation of NPS Training Center|
NTEU Demanding Investigation of NPS Training Center
Five National Park Service (NPS) employees whose appointments as instructors were abruptly rescinded are the latest in a disturbing pattern of toxic work environments at the National Park Service, as documented by the agency’s own internal report that it took two years to release to employees.
Led by NTEU Chapter 296 (NPS-HQ), the union has notified top NPS and Department of Interior management about persistent problems across NPS, most recently at the Horace M. Albright Training Center at Grand Canyon National Park and the Stephen T. Mather Training Center in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.
Based on promises that their one-year training details would be converted into permanent positions, five NPS employees uprooted their families — from as far away as Alaska, Florida and Hawaii — and moved at their own expense to Arizona in
NTEU Chapter 296 President Rudy D’Alessandro gathered evidence from multiple employees and took it to management in October, demanding another investigation. On Nov. 15, the agency was forced to release its own internal report on work-place harassment hours after it was disclosed by the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. Three days later, the five instructors were told their details were canceled and they should return to their home parks within two weeks. The employees were understandably shocked by the abrupt reversal. Not only had they spent thousands of dollars to move their families to the Grand Canyon area, but also their home parks — based on the same assertion that their moves would be permanent — had backfilled their positions and their previous jobs were no longer available.
At the very least, NTEU believes management violated department policy and ignored statutory bargaining obligations at the training center, and Chapter 296 has filed a grievance. “But we are also extremely concerned about what appears to be outright retaliation against these five employees,” said National President Tony Reardon. “These employees deserve to be compensated for their moving expenses and the incredibly stressful disruption this has caused them and their families, and we all need assurances that NPS employees will not be treated this way again.”