Union News Archive

11/12/2009
 
            I am pleased to announce that NTEU members will again have access to Consumers’ Checkbook’s online Guide to Health Plans for Federal Employees and Annuitants.  All NTEU members who currently or are planning to participate in Federal Employees Health Benefit (FEHB) plans or the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) are eligible to use this online guide.
 
            The guide is available through NTEU’s web site, www.nteu.org, in the “Member Benefits” section throughout Open Season (November 9 – December 14, 2009).  It will remain available throughout... Read more ...
11/12/2009
11/11/09: Over the weekend, in a vote of 220–215, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3962, the comprehensive health insurance reform bill.  As NTEU had advocated, the legislation maintains the integrity of FEHBP.  Federal employees and retirees will be able to continue receiving coverage through the current system, using the plans they choose.  The House-passed bill rejects the use of the so-called excise tax on insurers as proposed by the Senate, which would tax insurance companies above certain thresholds. NTEU believes the tax would likely be passed on to federal enrollees in the... Read more ...
11/04/2009
11/4/09: A year ago, a federal arbitrator ruled in favor of the Union that all Securities Compliance Examiners in grades 11, 12 and 13 are eligible to receive higher pay rates for their overtime work. The SEC has now completed the process of converting all of the Securities Compliance Examiners to non-exempt (or covered) status under the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"). What this means is that, going forward, the overtime provisions of the FLSA will apply to these Securities Compliance Examiners in Grades 11-13. They will be entitled to choose between receiving time-and-a-half their regular... Read more ...
11/04/2009
A Chapter 293 meeting will be held on Thursday, December 3, 2009, from 1:00-2:00 EST at the Headquarters LL Auditorium. This meeting will be videoconferenced to the Regional Offices. If you work in a Regional Office, please contact your local steward for details. Thanks!
11/02/2009
11/2/09: Last week, President Obama signed the Department of Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 Bill (S.1390/H.R.2647) into law. This was the culmination of a longstanding effort by NTEU to bring fairness and reform to the treatment of tens of thousands of federal employees and retirees who will benefit from a number of changes included for the civilian workforce.
The measure includes the provisions to allow unused FERS sick leave to be counted toward the retirement calculation as is done for CSRS employees; fix the CSRS part-time anomaly so those who choose to go part-time at the... Read more ...
10/30/2009
President's Perspective, October 2009: In FY 2009, Chapter 293 continued to demonstrate its value as your exclusive representative with a steady stream of successes. Here are just a few for your consideration now that the year is over:
• The Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia affirmed the Union’s arbitration victory in the 2002 within grade increase case, which will lead to the payment of over ten million dollars in back pay and interest to hundreds of affected employees.
• Hundreds of SEC employees received payments totaling $2.7 million in damages, plus millions more in... Read more ...
10/30/2009
H1N1 has become the first pandemic in over forty years, and it has many characteristics that make it unlike a typical seasonal flu. How severe it will be remains to be seen. With the flu season now upon us, it is a good time to review H1N1 concerns and procedures.
Last week, Chapter 293 leaders received a briefing from Carl Schilling, Program Manager in the SEC’s Office of the Executive Director, regarding the SEC’s H1N1 policies. From this briefing, it is clear that the SEC agrees with the following recommendations from the CDC:
• Employees should wait 24 hours after a fever has subsided... Read more ...
10/30/2009
During NTEU's Biannual National Convention in San Francisco a few weeks ago, Chapter 293 President Greg Gilman accepted the First Place Award for Excellence in Chapter Communications. This award recognizes outstanding achievement in overall communications among the hundreds of NTEU chapters, including how well the chapter utilizes various forms of media to reach its audience, the effectiveness of its message, communication results, writing and design. An independent panel of communications professionals from various Washington DC associations judged the award, reviewing the various websites,... Read more ...
10/30/2009
Participants in the new Upward Mobility Program will be chosen soon from the members of the support staff across the country who submitted applications. This program was negotiated by Chapter 293 in our most recent Collective Bargaining Agreement, and it will provide an opportunity for participating employees to perform higher graded duties at the agency, increasing their experience as well as their salaries. Chapter 293 believes that this program will have a positive effect on employees, encouraging them to achieve higher education and learning.
The Union’s Upward Mobility Committee,... Read more ...
10/30/2009
In September, Chapter 293 signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the SEC creating a new Domestic Partners Benefits Program at the agency. Under this agreement, the SEC will provide certain benefits to an employee’s domestic partner and the domestic partner’s eligible dependent children. These benefits will include employee dental insurance, employee vision insurance and a new Health Insurance Premium Reimbursement benefit.
The Health Insurance Premium Reimbursement benefit is a unique one which will allow employees to recover the lesser of 85% of the actual cost for health benefits... Read more ...
10/30/2009
In early October, almost 100 employees in the Division of Corporation Finance received their career ladder promotions to Grade 14 as the result of an agreement between NTEU and senior management in the Division.
The resolution of this issue began several weeks ago, when Chapter 293 submitted an information request to the agency seeking to identify all current non-management employees at the agency who had not received a promotion to the next grade on their career ladder for more than a year. An employee’s “career ladder” is a series of positions of increasing difficulty in the same line of... Read more ...
10/30/2009
Chapter 293's Nomination and Election Committee is pleased to announce the 2009 election results for the 2009-2012 term.
First, we would like to thank members for voting, and for submitting nominations to the Committee. Next, we would like to thank the nominees who accepted the challenge and responsibility to lead our chapter by agreeing to be candidates.
The Committee is also very grateful to the many members who volunteered to help the Committee during the election process by stuffing and labeling envelopes. Without all of you the election could not have taken place.
Finally, we would like... Read more ...
10/30/2009
In September, NTEU Chapter 293 entered into an agreement with the SEC concerning compensation issues. Under the terms of this agreement:
• Commencing January 1, 2010, the Commission will lift the caps upon maximum salaries for SEC grades to provide pay scale comparability with other FIRREA agencies;
• The SEC has committed the resources to complete the new Merit Pay system by January 2010;
• During the transition to the new system, SEC employees will be provided a supplemental “equivalent share” pay raise of 1.125% in January 2010; and
• SEC employees will receive an additional pay raise... Read more ...
10/30/2009
Earlier this year, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) released the results of its 2008 Federal Human Capital Survey (FHCS). The FHCS results for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reflect an alarmingly high level of negative employee perceptions about the SEC’s senior leaders, the policies and procedures they implement, the quality and effectiveness of SEC managers, the fairness and transparency of promotions and performance awards and the extent to which front-line SEC employees have an impact on their own work-life.
OPM administers the FHCS every two years. According to... Read more ...
10/16/2009
10/16/09: NTEU, working with Representatives Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Kathy Dahlkemper (D-PA), received good news this week when the Speaker’s office announced that it will include language in the leadership’s compromise bill to extend the age for child dependents until 27. Earlier this month, NTEU backed the Van Hollen/Dahlkemper letter to key committee chairmen who are working with members of the House leadership to craft the compromise version of H.R. 3200 “America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009.”  This development is good news for NTEU in its fight to lift the age 22 cap for... Read more ...
10/16/2009
10/15/09: In testimony yesterday before two committees of the Senate, NTEU National President Colleen Kelley shared examples of the overwhelming opposition expressed to her by NTEU members who signed up for long-term care insurance under FLTCIP as early as 2002, many of whom now face unexpected premium increases of up to 25 percent. Many NTEU members purchased the Automatic Compound Inflation option or ACI, and were told in the promotional materials issued by OPM and the insurance partners –John Hancock and MetLife Insurance Companies – that their premiums would not increase. President Kelley... Read more ...
10/15/2009
10/15/09: Aside from their basic fairness and the importance of leading by example, the federal government needs to provide domestic partner benefits to remain competitive with the private sector in the face of its looming personnel crisis, the leader of the nation’s largest independent union of federal employees told a Senate committee today.
In testimony submitted to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, President Colleen M. Kelley of the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) underscored data on retirements impacting the federal workforce provided by the Office... Read more ...
10/14/2009
10/14/09: Many federal employees and retirees enrolled in the government’s long-term care insurance program were stunned to learn of substantial increases in premiums scheduled in January, NTEU National President Colleen Kelley today told congressional members, particularly since many enrollees believed they had purchased plans which guaranteed no premium increases.
"Those who purchased policies," President Kelley said, “made smart decisions to plan ahead for their long-term care needs. Those who paid more for policies with the Automatic Compound Inflation (ACI) protection option were told... Read more ...
10/08/2009
10/8/09: The Defense Authorization conference report released yesterday retains several important NTEU-sought provisions that will benefit federal employees and retirees, including language allowing workers under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) to get credit for unused sick leave.
NTEU led a lengthy fight to build congressional support for this provision permitting FERS employees to count sick leave toward their retirement calculation, a right employees under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) already have. It will be phased in over four years with a 50 percent credit... Read more ...
10/07/2009
10/7/09: The Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) announced this week that it has launched a new and improved web site at www.flra.gov to provide greater access to an array of agency information and resources. "The modernized FLRA web site has a fresh new look and feel that provides easier and quicker access to agency information," said FLRA Chairman Carol Waller Pope. "The improvements to the FLRA’s web site are yet another step in our efforts to better serve our customers and to provide current, useful and complete information to federal employees, the unions that represent them, and... Read more ...
10/06/2009
10/6/09: In a report issued last week, the agency charged with guarding the federal workforce merit principles found that federal agencies have all the tools necessary to deal with performance issues in the federal government, however, the biggest barrier to effective performance management remains poorly-trained supervisors.
NTEU National President Colleen Kelley today called for significant improvements in the training of federal supervisors in managing the performance of their employees.
In the report, the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) recommended that the best way to deal with sub... Read more ...
10/05/2009
10/6/09: Four members of the House of Representatives are seeking the support of their colleagues to advance an issue that continues to be an important goal of NTEU—extending the age for health care coverage for dependent children under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP).
The House members—Reps. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Kathy Dahlkemper (D-Pa.), Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.)—are circulating a letter to be sent to the chairs of four key House committees with jurisdiction over health care legislation.
Within the context of broad health care reform, the... Read more ...
09/29/2009
 9/29/09: The nation’s largest independent union of federal employees today called for legislation that would permit the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) to lower significantly the cost of prescriptions drugs for its more than eight million enrollees. FEHBP is the largest employer-sponsored health program in the country.
NTEU said the best option is to allow the FEHBP to use the Federal Supply Schedule to purchase drugs—the so-called ‘statutory pricing’ which is permitted by law for the Veterans Administration, Defense Department, Coast Guard and Public Health Service—which... Read more ...
09/29/2009
9/29/09: The average 8.8 percent increase in 2010 health care premiums for federal employees and retirees covered under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) indicates the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) can do a better job in leveraging the weight of the largest health plan in the United States to keep costs down, said the leader of the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU).
“I am disappointed with the 8.8 percent average increase and the double-digit rate hike for the largest plan in the system,” said NTEU National President Colleen M. Kelley. “These increases are... Read more ...
09/22/2009
9/22/09: NTEU Chapter 293 and the SEC today jointly announced that scores of Corp Fin employees will receive their career ladder promotions to Grade 14 next month.
The resolution of this issue began a few weeks back, when Chapter 293 submitted an information request to the agency seeking to identify all current non-management employees at the agency who had not received a promotion to the next grade on their career ladder for more than one year. An employee’s “career ladder” is a series of positions of increasing difficulty in the same line of work through which he or she may progress from... Read more ...

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