1/23/09: Last week, Chapter 293 President Greg Gilman and SEC Associate Executive Director of Human Resources Jeff Risinger signed a memorandum of understanding on a number of diversity iniatives at the agency. This agreement followed the broader settlement agreement regarding the Merit Pay system which was signed late last year, and which resolved national arbitrations involving discrimation against African-Americans and employees over the age of forty in the administration of the SEC's pay for performance system. The new agreement provides for the following new diversity initiatives at the agency:
- The President of Chapter 293 will now serve on each of the SEC's four Diversity Executive Committees effective immediately.
- Each Diversity Executive Committee will issue an Annual Report describing the committee's goals for the coming year. The issuance and publication of these annual reports will occur once each quarter, commencing with the fourth quarter of FY 2009.
- All SEC managers will receive at least two hours per fiscal year of mandatory diversity training, commencing in the third quarter of FY 2009, and the union will receive reports on such training.
- The SEC and the union will develop a process to solicit information through exit interviews addressing diversity culture at the agency.
- Within sixty days of the end of each fiscal year, the SEC will issue a notification to all SEC employees informing them of the diversity iniatives that have been adopted by the agency during the preceding year, commencing at the end of FY 2009.
- The new performance management system at the agency will include a new "360 degree review" process commencing in FY 2010 and FY 2011, under which all employees will be afforded the opportunity to evaluate the performance of any managers to whom they report in the organizational hierarchy of the agency. This mechanism will be broad in its implementation, and will afford employees the opportunity to, among other things, report on diversity problems at the agency.
- The SEC will issue an annual report within sixty days of the end of each fiscal year identifying all EEO complaints and grievances containing allegations of discrimination by employees, describing the nature of each complaint and grievance, the offices and/or divisions in which they were filed, and the disposition thereof. This report will be provided to the union.
- Commencing in FY 2009, the SEC will create inclusive and diverse hiring committees for each Office and Division.
- The SEC and the union will work together to create additional opportunities similar to the "Friends of Howard University Program."
- The SEC will hire a qualified independent outside vendor to conduct a barrier analysis at the agency, identifying the barriers to promotion at the agency based on race, gender, age and ethnicity. This analysis will cover the last three years, commencing in FY 2006, and will be provided to the union.
"I am pleased that we have been able to reach agreement on these issues," Chapter 293 President Greg Gilman noted after signing the MOU. "An agreement of this kind is not a panacea, but increased transparency, information gathering and discussion around these important issues are essential first steps to real improvement in the diversity culture at the SEC. I hope that this agreement, together with management changes at the top of the agency, will help to fundamentally improve the SEC."