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The American Federation of Government Employees Council 238, which represents 7,500 scientists, engineers, and other employees at the federal Environmental Protection Agency, is demanding a contract that insulates agency science from political interference.

According to Nicole Cantello, an EPA lawyer and union leader, “We are looking to be the first union in the nation to have a scientific integrity article in our contract.” The union plans to introduce its proposal at a bargaining session with management in June.

At the top of Council 238’s website is the banner “Protecting the Workers Who Protect the Planet.” Their mission statement:

EPA employees have committed our careers to protecting human health and the environment. Our fight for a fair workplace is a fight to continue our mission to protect all Americans and preserve the soul of the EPA. The health and future of our country and planet depend on it.

Protecting the health of our country and our planet depends on a fully functioning EPA, where all employees – from climate scientists to pollution analysts, lawyers, and enforcement personnel – are free from political interference to do their jobs.

EPA employees and their unions have a long history of fighting political interference with their duty to protect people and the planet. In 2007, leaders of 22 EPA unions petitioned Congress to “allow U.S. EPA’s scientists and engineers to speak frankly and directly with Congress and the public regarding climate change, without fear of reprisal.”

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