Union Victory at Department of Homeland Security
September 28, 2006
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) woke up to the reality of union power on Sept. 25, deciding not to challenge a June D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals injunction that confirmed DHS's new personnel system was unconstitutional. The personnel system would have allowed DHS to set aside lawfully negotiated collective bargaining agreements. A coalition of unions, including IBEW, is actively fighting similar provisions at the Department of Defense.
The deadline to appeal the June ruling that affirmed an injunction issued in August 2005 by Judge Rosemary M. Collyer of the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia was September 25.
Legal challenges to the DHS personnel system, known as MaxHR, were led by the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), the largest federal union representing workers in DHS. "Management was in a battle they knew they couldn't win. The decision not to appeal was the right thing to do for management, and more importantly for DHS employees," said AFGE General Counsel Mark Roth.
President Edwin D. Hill praised DHS's decision not to appeal on behalf of IBEW members who are part of the work force dedicated to America's security. "Three of the four judges on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals were appointed by Republicans, yet they struck down DHS's rules for violating our Constitution,” said President Edwin D. Hill. "It's time for rational union-management dialogue at DHS and DOD that respects our nation's legal precedent and the collective bargaining rights of workers."
IBEW Government Department
Members at Work