Union News Archive

12/01/2011

 12/1/11: Yesterday, Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) introduced legislation to offset the cost of extending payroll tax reductions by freezing federal pay for a total of five years and instituting a 1 for 3 replacement cap on federal hiring.  The Senate may consider this proposal as soon as tomorrow.  Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) has a bill, S. 1917, which would offset the cost of extending the payroll tax cut by increasing taxes on millionaires.  That bill will also likely be considered as early as tomorrow.

NTEU has sent this attached letter to every senator strongly opposing Senator Heller’s... Read more ...
11/22/2011

 

From the Stewards and Representatives of NTEU Chapter 293. We wish you a safe and happy holiday. It is our pleasure to represent your interests every day at the Securities and Exchange Commission!
11/17/2011

 11/17/11, Washington, D.C.: The nation’s largest independent union of federal employees has joined a list of 277 national organizations in voicing strong opposition to a proposed constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget, warning that it would be strikingly counterproductive. The groups’ serious concerns were expressed in a letter to every member of the House and Senate.

“Such a step would effectively tie the hands of Congress in dealing with the specific fiscal circumstances confronting the nation at any given point in time, and that is a most unwise proposition,” said... Read more ...
11/16/2011

 11/16/11, Washington, D.C. — Despite increased workloads, employee satisfaction at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has improved as a result of workplace improvements secured by the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), which represents about 6,200 FDIC employees nationwide.

The FDIC has not only soared to the top spot on the survey of “Best Places to Work in the Federal Government,” but it was also the most improved agency moving up from third place in 2010 with an 8.5 percent increase.

“NTEU has worked closely with FDIC management to ensure employee morale... Read more ...
11/16/2011

11/16/11: The Union has received a substantial number of questions and comments from SEC employees about the November 10, 2011 email message from Chairman Schapiro to the staff concerning the SEC’s new performance management system.

Many employees have raised questions about management’s apparent decision to shift all of the performance ratings down this year, and its message that most employees should now be satisfied with a “3” rating. Aside from concerns that management seems to be veering perilously close to an illegal forced distribution of ratings, employees are expressing ... Read more ...
11/16/2011

 The Partnership for Public Service on November 16, 2011 released its annual list of the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government, an important yardstick that measures federal sector employee satisfaction and engagement. The SEC's ranking dropped once again, this time to 27th place out of 33 federal agencies. As recently as 2007, the SEC was ranked as the third best place to work in the federal government.

This low ranking does not reflect the exceedingly high level of skill, commitment and accomplishment of the SEC's workforce. It does, however, mark a continuation of the dramatic... Read more ...
11/16/2011

 11/16/11:  

The Partnership for Public Service today released its annual list of the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government, an important yardstick that measures federal sector employee satisfaction and engagement. The SEC's ranking dropped once again, this time to 27th place out of 33 federal agencies. As recently as 2007, the SEC was ranked as the third best place to work in the federal government.

 

This low ranking does not reflect the exceedingly high level of skill, commitment and accomplishment of the SEC's workforce.  It does, however, mark a continuation of the... Read more ...
11/16/2011

 11/16/11: Over the objections of NTEU, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has directed that so-called "public trust" employees undergo a periodic reinvestigation (PRI)at least once every five years.  Public trust employees are those who occupy positions that involve policy making, major program responsibility, public safety and health, law enforcement duties, fiduciary duties, and similar responsibilities; they complete the SF 85P background investigation form. It includes a large percentage of the bargaining unit employees represented by NTEU.  

NTEU had twice submitted comments... Read more ...
11/02/2011

  12/7/11: Commencing on January 1, 2012, the maximum monthly mass transit subsidy at the SEC will be reduced to $125 from its current level of $230. NTEU is continuing to press for a possible legislative solution to this issue, H.R. 2412/S.1034).

Last month, NTEU sent these letters to every member of Congress in support of H.R. 2412/S. 1034 that was introduced by Representative James McGovern (D-MA) and Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and that would prevent a reduction in the current mass transit commuter benefit of $230 per month by providing permanent parity between mass transit and... Read more ...
11/01/2011

 11/1/11: Today NTEU wrote this letter to every member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform urging a “No” vote on moving out of committee, H.R. 3029, a bill to slash the size of the federal workforce by 10 percent by 2015. The bill was introduced by Representative Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) on September 22, 2011, and is identical to H.R. 2114, the Workforce Reduction Act introduced by full committee chair Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA) earlier in the year. Both measures call for a workforce that is 10 percent smaller by 2015 and require that only one employee may be hired... Read more ...
10/24/2011
 11/4/11: Last week, the Union raised with SEC management concerns over an image of a black female that the SEC included in its online performance management training materials made available for both bargaining unit and management staff. The Union conveyed to SEC management the concerns that many SEC employees, including minority employees, expressed about the insensitive use of this image. In response to these concerns, the SEC removed the image from the training module and also from a separate management training module. However, notwithstanding the concerns raised by these employees, the... Read more ...
10/24/2011

 10/24/11: In the wake of damaging revelations regarding a security breach in connection with the SEC's "Ethics Program System" for ethics compliance and conflicts checks, the Union requested that the SEC extend credit monitoring services to spouses and other affected family members of SEC employees. The agency has agreed to provide these services. The Union also has requested further discussions with the SEC regarding fundamental changes to the EPS itself to ensure the safety and security of SEC employees' sensitive personal financial information, before a new system is put in place. The... Read more ...
10/08/2011

10/8/11: The training modules for the SEC’s so-called “evidence based” performance management system contain statements that describe the process for developing performance objectives and standards as having been "collaborative," and even go so far as to say that the Union’s feedback was incorporated in the final drafts of the objectives and standards. 

These statements misrepresent and unfairly characterize the SEC’s performance management team’s unilateral development of the system as "collaborative." Similar statements contained in an earlier version of the performance management... Read more ...
10/08/2011

A Chapter 293 member meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 25, 2011 from 12:00 to 1:00 EST at the Headquarters Auditorium in Washington, D.C. This meeting will be videocast to the regions; please check with your local steward for the location of the videocast in your office.
10/07/2011

10/7/11: The SEC’s Office of the Inspector General (“OIG”) recently issued this report in which it explored how well the SEC has implemented alternative work schedule and telework programs at the agency. The OIG’s conclusions lend further support to the Union’s positions on these important work-life programs in the ongoing Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations. Surprisingly, the SEC responded to several of the OIG’s recommendations by stating that it was working to expand and improve both AWS and telework programs – when in fact the SEC is working hard to do precisely the opposite in... Read more ...
10/07/2011

10/7/11: This afternoon, in response to this national grievance filed by NTEU last Friday, the SEC informed Union representatives that next week it will be implementing Health Insurance Premium Reimbursement (HIPR) benefits for domestic partners in accordance with its 2009 Memorandum of Understanding with the Union. The first reimbursement will be retroactive, for the period from October 1, 2010 through September 30, 2011. The second reimbursement will cover the period from October 1, 2011 to December 31, 2011.  The first

The HIPR benefit agreed to by the SEC is a unique one which will... Read more ...
10/04/2011

  10/4/11: Today, in a vote of 352 ayes to 66 nays, the House agreed to H.R. 2608, the Continuing Appropriations Act of 2012 that has already passed the Senate. The measure funds the government through November 18 and will now be sent to President Obama who is expected to sign it. 

This CR reflects the $1.043 trillion spending limit, with an across- the-board reduction of  approximately 1.5 percent for individual agencies. While the agreement was long in coming, and avoided a government shutdown for now, Congress still needs to finish appropriating the FY 2012 funds for all federal... Read more ...
09/30/2011

9/30/2011:  Chapter 293's Executive Board recently voted unanimously to appoint Pat Copeland to serve as the chapter's Vice President. Pat will serve the remainder of the term of her predecessor, Veronica Lewis, who retired this summer after more than forty years of government service.

"We are all thrilled to be serving with Pat," Chapter 293 President Greg Gilman remarked last month. "She is already one of our best chapter leaders who has done so much for SEC employees, and she is going to be an excellent VP."

Pat is one of the original founders of Chapter 293 at the SEC, and the list... Read more ...
09/30/2011

2/9/12: The Union is pleased to announce that it has reached an agreement with the SEC for merit pay awards for FY 2012.

Under the agreement, all employees who receive an "acceptable" rating for the rating period ending September 30, 2011, will receive an equivalent share 2.5% merit increase in their base pay in Pay Period 4 (which begins on February 12, 2012). For those employees who are already at the top of their grades, their salary range maximum will be increased by 2.5%, so that they will receive the award as a salary raise.

NTEU's compensation negotiating team, comprised of... Read more ...
09/30/2011

9/30/11:  This week, NTEU Chapter 293 filed a national grievance against the SEC for its continuing failure to implement Health Insurance Premium Reimbursement (HIPR) benefits for domestic partners. The SEC first signed a memorandum of understanding agreeing to provide these HIPR benefits in September of 2009. Over the past two years, however, the agency has failed to comply with this agreement.

No SEC employee should have to worry about how to cover the costs of insurance for their partner or their partner's dependent children. The HIPR benefit agreed to by the SEC is a unique one which ... Read more ...
09/30/2011

9/30/11: This fall, the SEC is rolling out its new so-called “evidence-based” performance management/merit pay system nationwide for the rating period that ends today. The SEC has advised the Union, however, that any merit pay distribution for FY 2011 will not be based on the new rating system, but will instead again consist of “equivalent share” merit awards. This decision was made on the heels of the new system’s unsuccessful 2010 Pilot program in OCIE and Enforcement, which produced substantial inconsistencies in how managers rated performance. As the Union previously reported here, the... Read more ...
09/30/2011

9/30/11: With the close of the fiscal year, the Union is preparing to conclude one of the longest running negotiations of workplace rights in the history of Chapter 293. For the better part of Fiscal Year 2011, the Union Reorganization Committee (URC) has met every week with senior members of OCIE to discuss the widespread changes proposed by management in the National Examination Program, and successfully modified many changes to ensure that the top-to-bottom reorganization of OCIE would be implemented in a fair and equitable manner.

Beginning in the second half of 2010, OCIE Director... Read more ...
09/29/2011

 9/29/11: Today, the House of Representatives unanimously passed H.R 2017, a short term CR to fund the government through October 4.  Since the Senate passed the measure earlier in the week, it will go to the President for signature and a government shutdown will be avoided for the time being. 

When the House returns from its recess next week, it will still need to pass H.R. 2608, the longer CR that was passed by the Senate and funds the government through November 18. This needs to be done by October 4.

The revised H.R. 2608 sets spending for federal agencies at the $1.043 trillion... Read more ...
09/29/2011

 9/29/11: In keeping with our efforts to fight against the unwarranted reductions of federal employees’ pensions and benefits, NTEU has signed this coalition letter to the Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, more commonly known as the “Supercommittee,” urging them to reject proposals by President Obama that would have an “inequitable” impact on federal employees.  This follows the letters NTEU sent earlier to the President and OMB. 

“Federal employees have already made a $60 billion sacrifice in the form of a pay freeze and are now facing layoffs and downsizing due to shrinking agency... Read more ...
09/28/2011

 9/28/11: NTEU received a briefing yesterday on FEHBP and the issues related to OPM’s annual Open Season period for FEHBP and other federal benefits programs. Federal employees and retirees need to closely examine their current coverage and consider any needed changes during the upcoming Federal Benefits Open Season which runs from November 14 through December 12 this year. Unfortunately, like in the private sector, premiums under FEHBP will rise again this year. 

While premiums have not risen as rapidly as in previous years, enrollees will still see an average increase of 3.5 percent in... Read more ...

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