NTEU Objects to Task Force’s Screening Testing Program
Federal employees should no longer be subject to the Task Force’s screening testing program for
COVID-19, according to a letter NTEU National President Tony Reardon sent to the administration
In following up on previous discussions with the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force, Reardon
outlined the union’s objections and asked for an immediate end to the testing program.
“The current plan simply does not accomplish the goal of halting the spread of COVID-19 in the
workplace and reflects outdated policies that are no longer applicable based on current conditions,
which have changed since the program was first announced in January 2021,” the letter states.
The same reasons the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently rescinded the requirement
for travelers entering the U.S. to test negative also apply to the federal workforce, including
high vaccination rates and the availability of therapeutic treatments.
“Further, the current screening-testing programs being conducted by federal agencies are expensive,
time consuming and do little to protect the workforce,” the letter states.
Fully vaccinated employees are not required to be tested, even though they are also contracting and
transmitting the latest variants of COVID-19. Rapid antigen tests have proven to be less effective
in detecting the latest variants and take longer to reveal a positive result.
“Funds spent on this insufficient testing program would be better allocated to doing the important
work of the federal government. It is time to reevaluate the screening testing program based on the
circumstances as they exist today and end this requirement immediately,” Reardon wrote.
NTEU continues to recommend vaccinations against COVID-19 as one of the most effective ways to
reduce the likelihood of severe illness and death.