Federal Union Demands Action from Trump Administration: Protect Federal Civil Servants, Win the War Against COVID-19
Washington, D.C. – Today, Randy Erwin, National President of the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE) sent a letter to President Trump demanding that the Administration provide federal employees with the tools they need to win the war against COVID-19. The letter is in reply to the lackluster response by the Administration to adequately protect federal civil servants during the pandemic thus far, and it raises additional safety concerns for when the larger federal workforce begins to report back to their workstations in the coming weeks and months.
“Your Administration recently issued guidance titled “Opening Up America Again,” reads the May 6 letter from Erwin to President Trump. “NFFE understands that it is important to get the government up and fully running in the near future. However, this must be accomplished while keeping federal employees safe. More needs to be done to protect federal employees in the face of this COVID-19 pandemic.”
The letter goes on to demand that the Administration take action to protect the workforce, including:
- Providing adequate face masks and other PPE, and equipping medical workers with ample N-95 masks, gowns, and gloves;
- Testing on demand, especially for medical workers, and proper isolation protocols for those infected;
- Sanitizing work areas, and high traffic areas;
- Maximizing telework and staggering work hours;
- Providing hazardous duty pay and environmental differential pay to more employees;
- Providing more coverage and flexibility for parents with children while schools remain closed; and
- Granting protections for employees who sent home due to exposure or signs of illness.
“Federal employees are absolutely vital to our great nation,” the letter continues. “While we share in the desire to resume full government operations as soon as it can be responsibly achieved, it is paramount that workers be protected while performing their duties. We insist that you take these reasonable actions to ensure their safety. Anything less will put hundreds of thousands of dedicated federal employees in unnecessary danger and make the already difficult COVID-19 crisis in this country a magnitude worse than it already is.”