New Post: December 23, 2018. Links to 11 documents have been added on the Fluoride page of the website that show how the union attempted to work “within the family” on the question of applying principles of scientific integrity to regulation of hazards of fluoride in drinking water. Members of the union began in 1985 to try to bring ethical science to bear on this question. At least one such member, albeit in retired status, continues to this day in this effort.
New Post October 10, 2018 Links to three documents that bear on NFFE Local 2050’s early activities on fluoride toxicity. The documents are the Report of the Surgeon General’s Ad Hoc Committe on Non-dental Effects of Fluoride, EPA’s Criteria Document justifying the drinking water standards set in 1985 that are still in effect, and the lawsuit filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council v. EPA over the health based standard – which Local 2050 joined as amicus curiae.
Also a subpage to the Fluoride page has been created and discusses costs associated with use of HFSA and pharmaceutical sodium fluoride as fluoridating agents.
New Post August 5, 2018 Bill Hirzy has been working with one of five focus groups of EPA alumni on a project to envision, in essence, what EPA should look like in 2025. He was impressed with the dedication and hard work of all the alumni who are contributing to this project. His suggested text, below in italics, for dealing with staff concerns about scientific integrity and their ability to most effectively contribute to a better functioning Agency was adopted in his focus group’s final report.
2. Staff/Management Coordination and Empowerment Empowering staff as well as managers to identify potential improvements and correct systemic weaknesses can make the Agency more effective and innovative. This will require a sustained commitment from the highest levels of the Agency.
In this iteration of the Agency, staff will be active participants with management in identifying problems to be addressed and in planning how to address them. Processes to implement this mode of operation should be developed jointly by all participants with a stake in the process.
The focus group recognizes that disagreements will occur from time to time among sincere, committed environmental professionals. In matters involving interpretation and evaluation of scientific inputs, managers and staff qualified by education, training and experience should be the decision makers in resolving differences in professional judgments as they arise, using EPA’s Principles of Scientific Integrity as guidance. (Appendix C)
New Post July 31,2018: Significant Documents re: Official Time Posted During the Toxic Carpet incident and subsequent battles, EPA made a doomed attempt to bust the union by severely restricting its members’ and officers’ use of official time to less than one full time person (a.k.a. 1 FTE – or “one full-time equivalent) at a time when about six members/officers were working on the problem. That work included (as the Toxic Carpet Page explains) dealing with employees injuries and inability to work in their normal office spaces, filing and followup on a petition to the Agency concerning the problem, and responding to a torrent of inquiries from the public about it after major media picked up the story.
The newly posted documents illustrate how the union won the right to bargain for adequate official time in an appeal to the Federal Labor Relations Authority and garnered support from the public and Congress that not only fought off those attempting to destroy the union, but ultimately resulted the union’s acquiring 4 FTE’s for officers, adequate official time for stewards, and decently equipped office space.
Once NFFE Local 2050, representing the professional bargaining unit, won these rights, EPA granted 5 FTE’s, along with office space, for our sister union, AFGE Local 3331, representing the non-professional bargaining unit.
New Post April 8, 2018 When the Gorsuch Administratorship crashed in 1982 from ethical catastrophes, EPA staffer and whistleblower extrordinaire, Hugh Kaufman, created this cartoon which was posted on bulletin boards around Headquarters.Die Opera ist Kaput (This was more than 10 years before email communication at HQ became available.)
Sensing a dejavu moment approaching, and employing technology 30+ years more advanced than what Hugh Kaufman had available, some people here in DC, observing the sleaze at the head of the Agency now, have posted these gems all around Capitol Hill. The phone number on the tear-out response tabs at the bottom is for the EPA Public Information Office.
Pruitt’s sound proof phone booth, biometric office door locks, bullet proof desk, platoons of security details and first-class airline seats (when he doesn’t take private jets) may show up in future around-town postings like this one. Stay tuned!
New Post November 29, 2017 More documents have been posted on the main Toxic Carpet page and the sub page on the Carpet policy Dialogue. These provide substantial documentation on how EPA management bent far over to protect the (then) $9 billion/year carpet industry. See, especially, the Indoor Environment ’93 material on the Carpet Dialogue page titled “Re-Inventing Government and History.”
New Post November 27, 2017 A professor at the University of California-Davis contacted us after reading the material on this website, particularly the material on Toxic Carpet and the Carpet Policy Dialogue. As a result we have today posted new material related to that work and EPA management’s attempts to silence the union’s voice on that subject in particular and on other scientific integrity issues in general. This new Post is on the EPA Attempts to Bust the Union page. Here is a link to one of the items that also appears on that page. Health Freedom News Article
We think this new Post is a significant piece of organized labor history worthy of your reading.
New Post August 19, 2017 All available print editions of Inside the Fishbowl – through 2001 – are now viewable on the News Letters page. Up to 2001 print editions had been printed and distributed by EPA management to bargaining unit members under contract. In 2001 a new contract provided that EPA would make available a web platform to host the union’s website, which would publish the ‘Bowl and other information that the union and management agreed was in the public interest. On-line editions – through 2008 – have been preserved and are being edited to make them compatible with the platform supporting epaunionhistory.org. They will be posted later this month.
New Post June 20, 2017 Letter to EPA’s Office of General Counsel at headquarters from three EPA Region 9 union presidents, Thelma Estrada, AFGE Local 1236; Patrick Chan, NTEU Chapter 295; and Mark Sims of Engineers and Scientists of California, IFPTE Local 20 regarding Fisrt Amendment rights of EPA employees.Ethics Letter – R9 Unions to OGC 03-24-2017
New Post May 15 2017 copy/pasted from EPA Alumni Association email of May 14, 2017 featuring a visit by Rep. Deb Dingell to the Ann Arbor Laboratory. The visit was hosted by AFGE Local 3907 and the AFGE National Council of EPA Unions.
Thanks to the EPA Alumni Association for providing this material.
New Post, April 30, 2017
EPA Unions represented at the March for the Environment, April 29, 2017. Our sign is next to the Globe, in the second rank.
Photo of EPA HQ union presence at the March for Science, April 22, 2017. At left, holding banner, Amer Al-Mudallal, Executive Vice-President, far left, side view of Chief Steward, Anne-Marie Pastorkovich, right side of banner, Secretary Toby Jeong, holding”We need EPA,” Steward Denise Walker, Bill Hirzy behind “EPA Unions Fighting….” sign. EPA HQ Union at March for ScienceEPA HQ Union at March for Science
Two other links regarding NTEU Chapter 280’s efforts on scientific integrity are below…..
“Rejuvenating Federal Sector Science” was the topic of a conference called by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, and a presentation at that conference caught my eye today (April 23, 2017). I was looking through historical documents to post on this website and ran across that presentation. Although it was given 9 years ago, in July 2008, the presentation speaks clearly to the theme of yesterday’s March for Science. Here is the link to it.Protecting Federal Sector Scientists
Later that year the union was invited to make a presentation at Harvard University’s School of Law, along with other unions, on the subject of representing professional employees in science and technology workplaces.Representing Professionals in Science, Engineering and Technology