6/22/11: Last month, NTEU Chapter 293 reported that the SEC had notified the Union that 1.9% merit pay awards, retroactive to January 2, 2011, would be processed by pay period 14, and that all employees who were employed at the SEC by August 31, 2010 and who received an "acceptable" rating would receive these merit-based awards. The SEC again confirmed that it would make these merit pay awards in communications to the Union last week. However, management also reported to the Union that there may be a further delay in the processing of these awards and the agency would not commit to a date certain for making the awards. The Union has no reason at this time, however, to believe that agency management will renege on its commitment to provide the awards.
The SEC also recently notified the Union that, for those employees who are at the top of their current pay grade, the agency will provide a permanent increase in their base pay rather than a single, one-time lump sum payment. As reported by the Union last month, NTEU previously notified the SEC that it would file a national grievance for breach of its existing compensation agreement with the Union if the agency failed to provide this permanent pay increase.
The Union continues to believe that the SEC's continuing delays in providing the merit pay awards sends a negative message to the agency's workforce. Indeed, the rating period for these merit pay awards ended on October 31, 2010, almost eight months ago. SEC senior management's failure to attend to this issue reflects a serious and continuing lack of concern for obvious human capital problems at this agency.
By contrast, merit-based awards have been a priority this year in other federal financial regulatory agencies, all of which have already provided such awards to their employees, including the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the National Credit Union Administration. Admittedly, in the past year, SEC management has made some financial decisions that have created problems that these other agencies do not face. With the enactment of the FY 2011 budget with sufficient funds to cover the merit pay awards, however, there is no longer a reason for further delay. Indeed, the fact that SEC senior management has not similarly prioritized providing the merit awards for the 2010 rating period speaks volumes about the value that the SEC places upon its own employees .
NTEU Chapter 293 will continue to keep you informed about this process, and we will continue to fight to ensure that you receive the merit-based awards to which you are entitled for your hard work in the past year. We continue to greatly appreciate the work that you do for our nation.
Thank you to the majority of SEC employees who now support the Union as dues-paying members, without whom we would have no advocate regarding these important compensation issues. We hope that others will continue to join our growing ranks, to help reduce the recurrence of these types of human capital issues at the SEC.