Gilman on Merit Pay Settlement


10/6/08: I wanted to provide further detail about the comprehensive settlement agreement, announced today by NTEU National President Colleen Kelley, that NTEU has signed with the SEC involving our national grievances alleging discrimination in the SEC’s "pay for performance" program from 2003 through 2007. While this is a significant achievement on behalf of those employees who will receive a monetary settlement, it is also an important step in establishing a fair pay system for all SEC employees.

Here are the details:

  • Under the agreement, the SEC will pay a total sum of $2.7 million to African-American employees at grades 8-16 and employees age 40 and over at all grades. Current bargaining unit employees who fall into one of these categories, who were hired before January 1, 2007, and who received less than three merit step increases for any year covered by the settlement, are eligible to receive a share of the monetary settlement.  
  • The amount of the monetary settlement for each employee will be determined through a formula that awards shares based upon grade level and the number of years that the individual was employed from 2003 through 2007. Shares will be distributed to employees no later than February 18, 2009.  
  • The SEC has also agreed to implement increases to these employees' base salaries, ranging from $194 to $2,482 annually, depending upon grade and the number of years the individual worked for the SEC from 2003 through 2007. The salary adjustments will be made within 90 days of the date that Congress enacts the SEC’s appropriations bill for FY 2009, or by the end of FY 2009, whichever is sooner.  
  • The SEC will e-mail a notice to affected employees by November 20, 2008, containing information that will be needed to calculate individual shares of the monetary settlement, including years of service and grade level. The notice will also include instructions about how to seek corrections. Employees who do not receive a notice but believe that they should will have an opportunity to request one.

Going forward, the SEC and NTEU will enter a Memorandum of Understanding adopting several important diversity initiatives that I have recommended to ensure fairness in the system. As you know, NTEU is also currently working with the SEC to negotiate changes to the merit pay system to create a system that is fair, credible and transparent.

This important victory is a clear demonstration of the value of NTEU in the SEC workplace. Thank you to all Chapter 293 members, without whom collective action to achieve important goals such as fixing the merit pay system would not be possible.