Union News Archive

09/22/2009
9/22/09: The Nomination and Election Committee is pleased to announce the 2009 election results for Chapter 293's 2009-2012 term.
Firstly, 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 stuffing and labeling envelopes, without whom the election could not have taken place. And finally we would... Read more ...
09/18/2009
9/18/09: On September 15, 2009, NTEU participated in a conference with OPM Director John Berry, the Centers for Disease Control, the Department of Labor, and various White House officials. The conference highlighted some of the developing policies that will guide federal agencies when dealing with outbreaks of the H1N1 virus.
Dr. James Lawler, the Director for Medical Preparedness Policy on the White House’s National Security Staff, confirmed that federal health officials have been closely monitoring the H1N1 virus. Officials focused on H1N1’s behavior in the U.S. during the recent spring and... Read more ...
09/15/2009
9/15/09:  Yesterday, Chapter 293 signed a new Domestic Partner Program Memorandum of Understanding with the SEC.
Under this new agreement, the SEC will provide certain benefits to an employee's domestic partner and the domestic partner's eligible dependent children. The benefits 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 coverage for a domestic partner's self... Read more ...
09/15/2009
9/15/09: NTEU supports congressional efforts to increase consumer protections and transparency for those who purchase long-term care insurance policies, its leader said today.
NTEU national President Colleen Kelley expressed that support in a letter to Sen. Herbert Kohl (D-Wisc), chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, and committee member Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), sponsors of S. 1177. The legislation would provide consumers with a better understanding of the coverage and cost of their plans in the years ahead.
President Kelley cited the example of those among the 224,000 federal... Read more ...
09/08/2009
9/9/09: Director of Enforcement Rob Khuzami last week released details on the Division’s much anticipated, and badly needed, organizational reform. The reforms as currently outlined constitute a major step towards a more rational and efficient management structure and will move the Division closer to a key objective the Union shares with the Director – to empower frontline investigative staff. As the Director said in his recent address to the New York City Bar, a flatter management structure will “encourage autonomy and accountability throughout the organization by pushing decision-making to... Read more ...
09/08/2009
"So very much of what we are as a nation -- and what we are to achieve as a people -- depends upon the caliber and character of the federal career people. In no other endeavor can you more directly serve our country's cause -- or the values on which we stand -- than in the public service."
--President Lyndon B. Johnson
09/04/2009
9/4/09: On August 31, 2009, NTEU participated in a conference call with OPM director John Berry, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Center for Disease Control. HHS detailed the causes of the H1N1 virus and described the ability of the virus to spread quickly throughout a population. However, HHS did not provide specific guidelines for protecting the federal workforce from contracting the H1N1 virus.
Representatives from the Center for Disease Control indicated that the federal government has purchased a limited number of vaccinations. CDC indicated that vaccines will be... Read more ...
09/03/2009
The deadline for submission of applications for the Upward Mobility Program has been extended to September 18, 2009.
The Upward Mobility Program at the SEC, negotiated by NTEU Chapter 293, offers training, experience, and improved job opportunities to employees whose career prospects are limited. For these employees, the Upward Mobility Program provides an avenue for advancement to positions of greater responsibility and a means of realizing their full potential. Upward Mobility benefits management officials as well by enabling them to more fully utilize the capabilities of their employees.... Read more ...
09/01/2009
9/1/09: President Obama yesterday sent another letter to Congress requesting a 2% pay raise for federal employees in January. In July, the House approved a 2% raise, but the Senate has been pushing for a 2.9% raise that would provide pay parity between military and civilian raises. NTEU is strongly supporting the 2.9% raise. 
The President cited the "national emergency" that has existed since 9/11/01, the "serious economic conditions" currently facing the nation, and increasing demands on the federal government. 
If Congress fails to pass a federal pay raise (which is unlikely), last year’s... Read more ...
08/31/2009
9/1/09: NTEU Chapter 293 entered into an agreement with the SEC late yesterday concerning compensation issues. Under this agreement:
-- Commencing January 1, 2010, the Commission will lift the caps upon maximum salaries for SEC grades to provide for 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 ...
08/26/2009
8/26/09: With the death of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), federal employees lost not only a stalwart champion of their rights, but a man whose vision of public service inspired so many to make their own commitment to serve our country, NTEU National President Colleen Kelley said today.
Senator Kennedy and NTEU worked together on many issues over the course of his long and distinguished Senate career,” said Kelley. “He never wavered in his belief that the work of this country was vital and he innately understood that frontline federal employees are the key to our nation’s success.”
That... Read more ...
08/20/2009
8/20/09: Last week, during NTEU's National Convention in San Francisco, 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 ...
07/30/2009
7/30/09: This week, NTEU National President Colleen Kelley sent letters to Chairmen Carl Levin (D-MI) and Ike Skelton (D-MO), of the Senate and House Armed Services Committee who will be the lead negotiators on the Conference Committee to reconcile the differences between the two versions of the Department of Defense (DOD) Authorization bill for fiscal year 2010. She also sent identical letters to Ranking members Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and Representative Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA). These letters urged retention of the House-passed provisions on unused FERS sick leave and the package of... Read more ...
07/30/2009
7/30/09: Today, the House Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce marked up and sent to full committee HR 2517, the Domestic Partner Benefits and Obligations Act. This legislation, introduced by Representative Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and cosponsored by 116 other members of the House, would extend to same-gender domestic partners many of the benefits and obligations currently available to married couples. Since this is not a matter that can be resolved in contract negotiations, NTEU is seeking legislation that would extend these important benefits to same-gender partners.
Consideration of this bill... Read more ...
07/28/2009
7/28/09:  The SEC informed NTEU today that it intends to utilize highly subjective and unscientific opinion surveys as the chief metric for assessing the success of the Expanded Telework Program. These surveys were created "in house" by HR employees at the SEC. NTEU has filed a national grievance to prevent the SEC from utilizing these opinion surveys, or any data derived therefrom, in this fashion. For this reason, NTEU is urging all SEC employees not to respond to SEC surveys regarding telework, as the Union has serious concerns that the data derived from such surveys may be improperly... Read more ...
07/24/2009
7/24/09: Yesterday, on July 23, 2009, the Senate passed its version of the Department of Defense Authorization Bill (S. 1390) for Fiscal Year 2010 in a vote of 87-7. The measure did not include the Akaka amendment that would have added most of the provisions NTEU reported on earlier that were included in the House DOD bill. These provisions would 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 end of their careers will have their pensions calculated correctly;... Read more ...
07/21/2009
7/21/09: In response to President Obama’s March instructions to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to conduct a government-wide review of the federal contracting process, OMB solicited input from interested parties on various key outsourcing issues. NTEU welcomed this chance to put on the record the union’s strong views on the abuses resulting from the prior administration’s aggressive outsourcing agenda. NTEU also wanted to set forth clearly how "inherently governmental" and other mission-critical work should be identified and to explain why it is essential that these functions be... Read more ...
07/21/2009
President's Perspective, Summer 2009: In June, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in favor of NTEU on the SEC’s last appeal in the 2002 within grade increase case. While this decision will obviously be a monetary victory for all of the SEC employees who were denied their within grade increases in 2002, it is important to understand why it is also a victory for all SEC employees, by reaffirming their right to have a voice in matters that directly affect them.
SEC employees voted in NTEU as their representative almost a decade ago, in the summer of... Read more ...
07/21/2009
In early July, Chapter 293 President Greg Gilman met with Ron Crawford, the SEC’s Chief Counsel for Diversity and Policy initiatives. This new position, which is within the Office of Human Resources, was created by the agency to improve recruitment and retention of a highly qualified and diverse workforce. Crawford, who previously served as an Associate Regional Director in the ARO, will be working to implement the diversity initiatives negotiated by Chapter 293 earlier this year.
“I am looking forward to working with Ron to improve the SEC’s diversity policies, including in hiring and... Read more ...
07/21/2009
Simmenetta (“Netta”) Williams came to the Commission in 1997, and joined Chapter 293 at the very beginning. As Netta puts it, “I walked the picket lines back in the days when SEC management was fighting to keep us from unionizing.” She serves as a steward, and was a member of the team that negotiated our current contract. She also manages the SEC Leave Bank on behalf of Chapter 293, a resource for those who need sick leave and have had to use all they had accrued. She also has been in charge of our bulletin boards at headquarters for years.
Netta is a Washington native, but now lives in... Read more ...
07/21/2009
Last month, President Obama announced the administration’s sweeping plan for financial regulatory restructuring. This broad and ambitious plan is a reaction to what the President called a “culture of irresponsibility” that resulted in the financial crisis, and it would result in a significant reordering of financial regulatory agencies and substantially increased government supervision of the financial sector. Obama said that the existing regulatory structure had been “overwhelmed by the speed, scope and sophistication of a 21st century global economy.”
Final legislative passage will likely... Read more ...
07/21/2009
The SEC has not yet communicated to the Union its final budget for merit pay for FY 2010. This budget will of course determine the “equivalent share” salary increases that employees will receive at the end of this summer.
For the past few years, the SEC has repeatedly slashed its merit pay budget, sending the clear message that senior management does not believe that human capital issues are a priority at the agency. As the Federal Human Capital Survey results recently demonstrated, however, this shortsighted policy has severely damaged employee morale, as well as the agency’s ability to... Read more ...
07/21/2009
In July, NTEU Chapter 293 surveyed the participants in the most recent round of reimbursements under the Student Loan Repayment Program. Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey.
The Union received a lot of helpful comments and feedback, and we have relayed this information to management at the SEC. We wanted to provide you with a brief synopsis of the information that we gleaned from this survey, as well as to respond to comments and questions that we received.
It is clear that the vast lion’s share of participants are happy with the Student Loan Repayment Program at the SEC.... Read more ...
07/21/2009
Senior management in the Division of Enforcement is considering implementation of a plan to flatten management by eliminating the branch chief layer. For many months, the Union has called for the elimination of branch chiefs to streamline the current Enforcement management structure. In meetings with Chairman Schapiro, Enforcement Director Rob Khuzami, other senior SEC officials and key members of Congress, the Union has pressed the need for flattening management in this fashion. Such a change would result in an immediate, substantial increase in the front line staff available to conduct... Read more ...
07/21/2009
Chapter 293 will hold elections for all officers and representatives in September for three year terms. The elections will be by mail, with first a notice and then a ballot sent to each member’s home address. We plan on sending out the notices in late July and the ballots in late August. The notice will contain a form to make a nomination.
The home address that the Chapter will use is the address that has been provided to us by NTEU on July 2. If you have been receiving the monthly NTEU Bulletin, you should receive the notice, and then the ballot at the same address that you have been... Read more ...

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