|Telework Legislation Approved by House Committee|
SUMMARY: The House Oversight and Reform Committee has approved NTEU-supported legislation regarding telework.
Today, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform approved, on a party line vote, the Telework Metrics and Cost Savings Act (HR 7951). This bill, introduced by Representatives Gerry Connolly (D-VA) and John Sarbanes (D-MD) with the strong support of Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), seeks to strengthen and expand the federal government’s telework programs, especially in light of the lessons learned during the recent pandemic.
During the Committee mark-up, the Committee considered and rejected several problematic amendments, including one from Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) that would deny any locality pay to any federal employee who teleworks three or more days each workweek. NTEU strongly opposed this amendment and is grateful to the Committee members who defeated it.
The merit of this legislation is clear. The pandemic has shown that telework not only ensures continuity of government operations, but also enhances employee productivity, morale and retention. The bill would develop standards for the collection of federal agency data on telework, help develop supervisor and manager training on telework, and track cost savings achieved through the expansion of telework. It also modifies a provision that made employees with AWOL issues permanently ineligible for telework, instead only making them ineligible for telework for five years.
I believe the data collection included in this bill will be particularly helpful to our NTEU negotiating teams as we push for robust programs in our collective bargaining agreements. I will keep you updated on any developments.
Anthony M. Reardon