10/16/07: Our new collective bargaining agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission is a testimony to the hard work and dedication that the NTEU bargaining team brought to the negotiations table during a difficult bargaining environment. NTEU's team consisted of Chapter 293 members Greg Gilman, Veronica Lewis, Katie Nix, Dean Suehiro and Netta Williams and NTEU Negotiator Kevin Fagan.
It has been more than two years since the SEC announced its plan to reopen the national agreement and, from the beginning, NTEU was intent on retaining and improving the benefits we had already negotiated and building on the strong contract we already had in place. I am pleased to say that we have achieved that goal, but it was not easy.
This is a very difficult bargaining environment across the federal government. NTEU is seeing agency after agency come to the table with the express goal of taking away a number of rights and benefits, reducing the voice of its own employees and diminishing the ability of the union to be an effective representative. Agencies are operating under the direction of political leaders who have not shown a great deal of respect for federal employees and the work you do.
This was the situation facing the NTEU team over the course of the bargaining process, but this team did not fold and it never lost sight of our original goal. Their perseverance has resulted in an agreement with new workplace rights and expanded benefits that will go far toward making the SEC one of the most employee-friendly agencies in the federal government.
These improved rights and benefits will encompass the entirety of the SEC’s workforce, including employees interested in child care subsidies, annual leave and the college loan repayment program.
Highlights of the new NTEU-SEC contract are:
- A new telework program permitting employees to work from home for three, four, and, in some cases, five days per week. This program expands upon the existing program previously negotiated by NTEU.
- A new 4/10 compressed work schedule that will permit employees to work four ten-hour days and take off one day per week. This new compressed schedule is in addition to the previously bargained for 5-4/9 schedule, which allows employees to work eight nine-hour days and take off one day every two weeks.
- A new Leave Sharing Program that allows enrolled employees suffering a sudden medical emergency to use annual leave that has been donated to a special “leave bank” by their colleagues.
- Compensatory time off for travel.
- A casual clothing policy for travel outside the office when conducting inspections, exams, testimony or meetings. Previously, employees were required to wear business attire in all circumstances.
Not only do we continue to actively secure new rights and benefits, but we fight just as hard against the misguided proposals that agencies try to implement.
Along with the gains we secured in the new contract, there were a number of ill-advised management-initiated proposals that we were able to keep out of the contract. Not only do we continue to actively secure new rights and benefits, but we fight just as hard against the misguided proposals that agencies try to implement – proposals that you would have no choice but to accept, were it not for NTEU.
Some of SEC proposals blocked by NTEU were:
- Management’s efforts to be able to remove employees from the 5-4/9 work schedule at any time, for any reason.
- Management’s efforts to take away your right to grieve merit pay.
- Efforts to eliminate Upward Mobility.
- Efforts to reduce the amount of official time available to union stewards to address employee workplace issues.
- Plans to require employees who are required to request advance sick leave to deal with a serious illness to take a minimum of five consecutive sick days.
Members can click here to view the new NTEU-SEC contract. If you have any questions regarding the agreement, e-mail Chapter 293 President Greg Gilman. Thank you for your continued support of the goals and mission of both the SEC and NTEU.
Colleen M. Kelley
NTEU National President