Union News Archive

09/19/2011

9/19/11: NTEU National President Colleen Kelley today expressed her strong opposition to the administration’s debt reduction proposal provision that calls for $21 billion in ‘reforms’ to civilian federal employee benefit programs by asking federal employees to make higher contributions toward their retirement. 

The president is proposing a permanent 1.2 percent increase in federal employee retirement contributions phased in over a three-year period.  Since the FERS pension system is fully funded, this permanent 1.2% salary reduction amounts to a $21 billion tax hike for federal employees... Read more ...
09/15/2011

 9/15/11: Yesterday the chair of the House Appropriations Committee, Representative Harold Rogers (R-KY) introduced H. J. Res. 79, a Continuing Resolution (CR) to keep the government running until November 18. Because no appropriations bills have been enacted into law and the new fiscal year begins on October 1, a CR is necessary to keep the government running.

This morning the House Rules Committee met and reported a closed rule on the bill which means it cannot be amended during floor consideration. The bill is expected to be brought up on the House Floor very soon.

While Congress is... Read more ...
09/15/2011

9/15/11:  Today  NTEU today joined a broad coalition of federal employee, management and related organizations in sending this letter calling for President Obama to reject proposals that will harm federal employees in his submissions to the Super Committee.

“Federal employees have already made a $60 billion sacrifice in the form of a pay freeze; federal agencies have already cut back significantly on hiring and are planning furloughs; and now we are seeing proposals that disproportionately target federal retirement benefits,” said NTEU President Colleen M. Kelley. “We call on the... Read more ...
09/15/2011

 9/15/11: NTEU National President Colleen Kelley applauded action by a key Senate subcommittee to boost the agency’s fiscal 2012 budget by $222 million over that of the current fiscal year.

The proposed 19 percent increase for the SEC is contained in legislation marked up yesterday by the Senate Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee. The full Appropriations Committee is scheduled to take up the measure today.

“I am very pleased to see the subcommittee’s recognition of the reality that new and expanded responsibilities require sufficient resources if they... Read more ...
09/12/2011

9/13/11: During the most recent CBA negotiating sessions, SEC management has continued to remain steadfast in its opposition to the Union's proposal to allow employees to refuse an order when it would violate the ethical rules to which they are subject. The Union has vowed to take this issue all the way to the Federal Service Impasses Panel, if necessary, to ensure that the SEC's workforce will remain able to exercise their independent judgment to maintain the highest ethical standards in their public service for investors. 

Under current rules at the SEC, if an agency employee believes... Read more ...
09/12/2011

9/13/11: This month, NTEU filed with the Federal Labor Relations Authority a second unfair labor practice claim against the SEC in connection with its continuing bad faith negotiations on the Collective Bargaining Agreement. In this claim, the Union asserts that the SEC has refused to respond at all to certain routine information requests submitted by the Union under Federal labor statutes and that the SEC continues to negotiate in bad faith.

Earlier this summer, following established information request procedures, NTEU requested information from the SEC in connection with certain of the... Read more ...
09/12/2011
9/13/11: The Union is pleased to announce that the IRS, in a ruling requested by NTEU Chapter 293, has determined in our favor that the SEC and its payroll processor incorrectly over-reported wages for recipients of back pay awards in the within grade increase (WIGI) case. The SEC has reported to the Union that it will be providing corrected W-2 forms to WIGI recipients who received their back pay in 2010. The agency also indicated that it will be correcting OASDI, Medicare, and state and Federal income tax withholding for WIGI recipients who received their back pay award in 2011.
The WIGI... Read more ...
09/09/2011

9/9/11:  Earlier this week the Union requested an update on the agency's processing of the FY 2010 Merit Pay awards. This morning, SEC management informed the Union that no Merit Pay processing has been completed for anyone at the agency, and that all Merit Pay processing will occur between pay periods 20 and 24. Furthermore, we were told that while approximately 2,300 bargaining unit employees were expected by management to receive their Merit Pay awards in Pay Periods 2o or 21, the rest will require more complicated processing, which could mean delays until as late as Pay Period 24 (which... Read more ...
09/06/2011
9/6/11: Last week, NTEU National President Colleen Kelley sent this letter to each member of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, also known as the “Supercommittee,” urging them to oppose proposals that would affect federal pensions, federal employee health programs or an adequate federal workforce.  She reminded the committee members that federal employees are already under a two-year pay freeze and that other avenues such as eliminating tax loopholes for the wealthiest in the country should be considered in an effort to reach their stated goal of “shared sacrifice.”  She... Read more ...
08/24/2011
8/24/11:  Chapter 293 won an arbitration this week on behalf of an SEC employee against whom the SEC's Division of Corporation Finance management retaliated for filing a grievance. The federal arbitrator found that the SEC had violated Article 32 of the parties' Collective Bargaining Agreement by retaliating against the employee for filing a grievance     contesting the denial of his telework application.
This case is related to the arbitration that the Union won last February in which the same employee contested the denial of an application to participate in a recurring telework arrangement... Read more ...
08/24/2011
8/24/11:  Thousands of Federal employees were sent home after yesterday afternoon's 5.8 earthquake shook our nation's capitol -- including hundreds of SEC employees in Headquarters. Except, of course, for the HQ employees who were already teleworking on a recurring schedule yesterday.
Immediately following the earthquake, the Union sent out a notice to these recurring teleworkers from Headquarters asking them if they were still online and at work. Within minutes, dozens of teleworkers responded by email that they were still hard at work, including numerous participants in the Expanded... Read more ...
08/22/2011
8/22/11: On August 11, the Union and the SEC entered into this settlement agreement to resolve a grievance concerning possible retaliation against staff for bringing program area concerns to the attention of senior Enforcement Division managers in Washington, D.C. In the agreement, the SEC explicitly affirms and recognizes the need for candid and unfiltered communications by SEC employees to management, without fear of reprisal by mid-level managers:
The Commission recognizes that communications between Division staff and management need to be candid and unfiltered. Through such... Read more ...
08/21/2011
8/22/11: The pre-scheduled Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiating sessions agreed upon last spring by the Union and the SEC came to an end last week. As the parties seek to schedule further mediated negotiating sessions this fall, many of the most important issues to agency employees remain unresolved due to the SEC’s continuing demands to substantially reduce or eliminate employee benefits that have served for years as the foundation for the SEC’s successful work-life programs. Management’s aggressive positions are exemplified by its most recent proposals last week to cut back on... Read more ...
08/14/2011

8/15/11: In late June, NTEU Chapter 293 reported that the SEC had confirmed that 1.9% merit pay awards, retroactive to January 2, 2011, would be awarded to SEC employees for their performance in FY 2010, and that all employees who were employed at the agency by August 31, 2010 who received an "acceptable" rating would receive these merit-based awards. The Union also reported at that time that the SEC had agreed that, for those bargaining unit employees who are at the top of their current pay grade, the agency would provide a permanent increase in their base pay rather than a single, one-... Read more ...
08/14/2011
  8/24/11: During NTEU's biannual National Convention in Seattle two weeks ago, Chapter 293 President Greg Gilman accepted the Robert M. Tobias Award, which was awarded in recognition of his innovation in representation and implementation of partnership and employee involvement as a Union leader. The Tobias Award states "Your leadership is a tribute to our Union and exemplifies the distinguished NTEU career of the man in whose name this award is given.”   
The Tobias Award is given in honor of long-time NTEU President Robert Tobias, who preceded Colleen Kelley in that office and served with... Read more ...
08/14/2011
08/14/2011
10/7/11: Jeff Risinger served as the Associate Director of the Office of Human Resources at the SEC for seven years, before leaving the agency last month. He served as the key point of contact for employee representatives at the agency, the Co-Chairman of the SEC's Labor-Management Forum with NTEU Chapter 293 President Greg Gilman, and the Chief Negotiator for the SEC in the Collective Bargaining Negotiations until his removal from that process by senior management last spring. Towards the end of his tenure at the SEC, Jeff offered to share some of his thoughts on labor-management relations... Read more ...
08/02/2011

8/2/11: Today, in a vote of 74-26, the Senate passed the debt ceiling package that allows the President to raise the debt ceiling through 2012 in increments and requires about $2.4 trillion in deficit reduction over ten years. The House passed the bill last night, and the President has announced he will sign it. Fortunately, an historic default has been avoided. However, as the Union reported earlier, while there are no immediate changes to federal pensions in the first round of deficit cuts, there will likely be serious cuts to agencies’ budgets.  NTEU is concerned with this and with... Read more ...
08/02/2011

8/2/11: Last night the House passed legislation, 269-161, implementing the bipartisan agreement reached last night by the administration and Congress to avoid a government default and reduce the federal deficit.  The measure now goes to the Senate.

The package extends the debt ceiling through 2012 while calling for about $2.4 trillion in deficit reduction over ten years.  Under the agreement, the President would be able to raise the debt ceiling in two increments to avert a government default. Deficit reduction cuts of approximately $2.4 trillion over ten years are also required. While... Read more ...
07/05/2011

7/5/11: This weekend, NTEU and other members of the Federal-Postal Coalition sent this letter to President Obama and this one to Congressional leaders urging them to reject proposals that will require federal employees to shoulder a disproportionate share of our nation’s debt.  As you know, proposals have been made that would require federal workers to contribute a much higher share toward their defined benefit annuity, in effect producing a pay cut.  We pointed out to the President that in October of 2010, data showed that federal employees’ salaries are 24 percent behind similar private... Read more ...
07/03/2011
Article from the NTEU Bulletin: When NTEU Chapter 293 President Greg Gilman visits the district office of Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), he knows to expect a substantive discussion about key workplace issues and NTEU legislative priorities.
"Barney Frank is the most knowledgeable person on Capitol Hill in terms of understanding the ins and outs of the financial services industry and the issues that concern the financial regulatory workforce,” said Gilman. “The depth of understanding that Frank possesses makes our discussions go very smoothly.”
Gilman said the level of comfort that he has with... Read more ...
06/30/2011

6/30/11:  Last week, Chapter 293 President Greg Gilman appointed a Fitness Center Committee to address issues related to the fitness center at the SEC's Headquarters building. The committee is chaired by Alton Turner, and the other members are Daniel Johnson, Maryse Mills-Apenteng, Jacob Prudhomme and Katrina Wilson. The Union thanks these volunteers for their work to improve the fitness center for their fellow employees.

This committee was formed when SEC employees contacted the Union to ask questions about the SEC's decision to change contractors at the fitness center, and the changes... Read more ...
06/30/2011

6/30/11: Under a proposal being discussed as part of the debt ceiling negotiations, federal employees could see a 5 to 6 percent reduction in their pay to increase employees' contribution to their pension plans. This proposal, which NTEU is strongly opposing, is already part of the House budget for FY 2012.

Budget talks led by Vice President Biden broke off last week when House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Senator Jon Kyl refused to continue the discussions. Both are adamantly opposed to tax increases. President Obama met with both top Senate leaders this week. In a speech yesterday,... Read more ...
06/29/2011

6/30/11: The SEC this week provided notice that it will be proposing cutting the SEC’s Student Loan Repayment Program as a “savings opportunity” in the agency's budget. The Union opposes this proposal, which would further diminish SEC employees' work-life benefits while saving the agency only a small fraction of one percent of its budget.

The Student Loan Repayment Program for SEC employees has been part of SEC employees' Collective Bargaining Agreement for almost a decade. Under this highly popular and successful program, participating SEC employees receive up to $10,000 per year as a... Read more ...

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