Surveying aquatic life. Newport, OR. USEPA photo by Eric Vance

Our Members Say...

Join AFGE to help improve your working conditions at EPA!

AFGE Council 238

Who We Are

AFGE Council 238 and member locals are there to help you — the EPA staffer! We exist to represent your interests for a quality workplace at the office, regional and national levels. AFGE Council 238 (The Council) and locals, in concert with other unions that represent EPA employees, serve as a moderating buffer between management and the workforce.

Why We Exist

We exist to make sure that you get a fair shake, and that management adheres to the various regulations and agreements governing the workforce. We do that individually (by representing you in labor disputes) and collectively (by bargaining for better pay, benefits, etc). As a cohesive collective organization, we can help leverage positive changes in working conditions.

Our Purpose

A primary role for the Council is to act as an interface between the national AFGE that covers many agencies across the country, and the 14 EPA regional and organizational local union units that comprise the Council. We also combine the talent and collaboration of all the local AFGE units across EPA to collectively represent your interests to EPA management.

A Designated Bargaining Council

AFGE Council 238 has been designated a bargaining council by AFGE National and has been delegated the authority to deal directly with the Agency on collective bargaining agreements and negotiations. The Council also deals with arbitrations, grievances, labor disputes and unfair labor practices, among other things, that affect EPA employees nationwide.

The Council’s clout with EPA management is especially strong because it is the only union within the EPA that has a consolidated bargaining unit. That means the Council can negotiate with EPA Headquarters on a nationwide basis, representing more than 10,000 employees in all 14 AFGE/EPA locals. This has led to the Master Collective Bargaining Agreement (MCBA), which provides the same rights and protections to AFGE bargaining unit employees whether they work in Seattle, Atlanta, or anywhere in between.

Supplemental Agreements

Our National bargaining rights have also led to a number of supplemental agreements covering issues such as Flexiplace, the Leave Bank and National Reasonable Accommodations Procedures. We have represented our members with the Agency over implementation of Smart Cards, the Library System reorganization, National Reasonable Accommodations Procedures (NRAP), Financial Reorganization and Consolidation, and the five-tier Performance Appraisal and Recognition System or PARS. So when an employee joins AFGE, not only are they represented by their local, but also through AFGE Council 238.

Finally, as a result of having a consolidated bargaining unit, it is very difficult for the Agency, or any person, to “de-certify” any individual AFGE/EPA local because it would require a vote of all bargaining unit employees represented by Council 238.


updated June 30, 2016