Press Release

Betsy DeVos: Union Buster

AFT Calls On Education Secretary to Bargain With Government Employees in her Agency

For Release: 

Tuesday, March 20, 2018


Oriana Korin

WASHINGTON—The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) represents nearly 4,000 federal employees working for the U.S. Department of Education. Last week, that union filed a complaint accusing the agency, run by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, of union busting, after the agency foisted an agreement on the staff union without any bargaining. AFT President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement:

“This attempt to silence the hardworking voices of the public servants at the Department of Education is unprecedented, even for Betsy DeVos. The secretary has always seen fit to exploit the underdog – whether it was cozying up to the Koch brothers, or protecting the big companies who profit off student loan debt – and now we see that she’s eager to flout labor the laws the protect them, too.

“The Department’s management forced a ‘contract’ upon its workforce that, as AFGE’s attorney explained, ‘wasn’t collective, wasn’t bargained, and wasn’t an agreement.’  It’s a disgrace, we condemn it, and we urge them to do better by their workforce, who’s simply asking for a seat at the table. DeVos’s anti-worker agenda aims to do enough damage in America’s public schools; we won’t let her wreak the same havoc within our federal workforce, too.”​

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.