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Union opposes Trump nominee to lead USDA attorneys office


AFGE says General Counsel pick Stephen Vaden is not in best interest of USDA or public

WASHINGTON, Nov. 9, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The union representing U.S. Department of Agriculture attorneys and legal professionals is calling on the Senate to reject President Trump's nominee for USDA General Counsel.

Stephen Vaden has been the de facto head of the Office of General Counsel (OGC) since January when he arrived as a beachhead official. One of his first official acts was to terminate the labor contract between the office and its staff of 250 lawyers and legal professionals nationwide, who are represented by American Federation of Government Employees Local 1106.

"We respectfully seek a collaborative work environment and true partnership with the agency that facilitates stellar service to our client agencies and, most importantly, to the American public," Local 1106 President Matt Tilden said.

Mr. Vaden has rejected collaboration and partnership and has shown contempt for the contract that the agency negotiated with the union for OGC workers. If Mr. Vaden is confirmed to be USDA's chief legal officer, he will have authority to continue creating an agency culture that results in even more unprecedented levels of poor worker morale, with the potential to negatively impact the quality of services provided to virtually all Americans.

AFGE calls on the Senate to reject Mr. Vaden's nomination and strongly urges President Trump to nominate qualified officials who will partner with our dedicated federal employees in serving the public.

The Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee has scheduled a confirmation hearing for Mr. Vaden on Nov. 9. He will then need to be confirmed by the full Senate.

USDA attorneys and legal professionals provide legal services to the department and the more than 100,000 USDA employees who ensure the safety of your food, help feed children and families in need, promote healthy animals and plants, support our nation's farmers, protect the forests, fight wildfires, and bring prosperity to rural communities. 

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 700,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.

For the latest AFGE news and information, visit the AFGE Media Center. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube

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SOURCE American Federation of Government Employees

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