Washington, DC – Today, Representatives Jackie Speier (CA-14), Barbara Lee (CA-13), House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Ranking Member Elijah E. Cummings (MD-07), and 52 of their House colleagues sent a letter to Department of Education Secretary DeVos after hearing alarming reports about the Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) Regional Offices. The letter urges Secretary DeVos to prioritize the hiring and retention of OCR employees, to rescind a unilaterally-imposed Management Edict set to go into effect on October 1, 2018, and to return to the bargaining table with the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE).

“The Department of Education’s decision to walk away from the bargaining table and instead unilaterally adopt an anti-worker Management Edict exposes this Administration’s crusade to destroy workplace rights and roll back decades of progress towards ensuring equal access to educational opportunities for all Americans,” Rep. Speier said. “The decision to rescind the Management Edict is even more troubling given disturbing reports from regional offices of the Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) that the Department continues to undermine OCR’s mission of combatting discrimination, harassment, and sexual violence in our education system through forced early retirements, arbitrary flexible workplace restrictions, and the rescission of workplace rights.”

“If the Department moves forward with the October 1, 2018, implementation of the Management Edict, countless employees will lose critical safeguards that enable them to be effective advocates for students and educators. Following public outcry, congressional criticism, and the Federal Labor Relations Authority’s determination that the Department violated federal law in failing to bargain in good faith with AFGE, the Department has a duty to rescind its illegitimate Management Edict. We stand with AFGE employees in calling on Secretary DeVos to return to negotiations and make a legitimate effort to do right by our hardworking public servants.”

A copy of the letter can be found here and a copy of the list of cosigners can be found here.