NTEU Lands Key House Committee Vote to Increase the SEC's Merit Pay Budget for FY 2009


6/26/08: Yesterday afternoon, the House Appropriations Committee approved the FY 2009 Financial Services and General Government spending bill. In addition to several important NTEU-supported provisions on the GS pay raise and contracting out of federal jobs, the committee recommended an appropriation of $15 million over the President’s request for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The committee has also specifically instructed the SEC to allocate at least half of this $15 million increase to augment funds budgeted for merit pay under the agency’s negotiated performance-based pay system.

As previously reported, over the past several months, NTEU National President Colleen Kelley and Chapter 293 President Greg Gilman have worked hard in conjunction with NTEU's Legislative Department to obtain a substantial increase for the SEC's merit pay budget. President Kelley recently wrote to the Appropriations Committee that additional funds were needed for merit pay and told them that she was troubled by reports from Chapter 293 leadership that funding constraints were forcing SEC managers to make merit pay decisions based on budget limitations rather than performance criteria. The Appropriations Committee explicitly concurred with the union's view in the report they issued accompanying the appropriations bill.

Given the very tight pressures on the federal budget, finding over $7.5 million for SEC merit pay in addition to the President’s request was no small feat. "I am extremely grateful for the leadership of Chairman Jose Serrano (D-NY) of the Financial Services Appropriations Subcommittee, Chairman David Obey (D-WI) of the full Appropriations Committee, and Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA), who was an essential advocate for this funding boost," President Kelley noted.

"Once again, we are seeing the direct benefit of a strong union presence at the agency to represent the interests of all SEC employees," Chapter 293 President Gilman stated. "Really, we all owe a great debt of gratitude to the dues paying members of our chapter, without whose support this work would not and could not be accomplished."

NTEU's work on the SEC's budget will continue in the coming months. The union will make every effort to secure the largest possible merit pay budget for the agency.