Union News Archive

07/21/2009
In June, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in NTEU’s favor on the SEC’s appeal of a decision by the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) requiring the SEC to make back pay distributions to all SEC employees who should have received within grade increases (WIGIs) in 2002. As this newsletter went to press, NTEU and the SEC were discussing these back pay distributions. The Union will notify all employees as soon as the details are worked out.
Under the original order entered by arbitrator and subsequently affirmed by both the FLRA and the DC... Read more ...
07/20/2009
7/20/09: Twenty Chapter 293 stewards recently traveled to a three-day NTEU national training seminar, where they attended classes on a wide variety of labor-management relations issues and received updates on the latest developments. These annual training sessions afford stewards from across the nation an important opportunity to improve their representational skills at the agency.
While at the session, the stewards pictured here (click the photo for an enlarged version) also attended a Chapter 293 Leadership Awards Luncheon. Katie Nix (Corp Fin), Dean Suehiro (Corp Fin) and Netta Williams (... Read more ...
07/13/2009
7/13/09: Senior management in the Division of Enforcement is considering implementation of a plan to flatten management by eliminating the branch chief layer, according to a recent press account.
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... Read more ...
07/09/2009
7/9/09: The Senate Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee approved yesterday a 2.9 percent pay raise for federal employees for next year. This level, which is expected to be reported out of the full committee today, would match the President’s proposal for the military pay raise in his FY 2010 budget.
The House Appropriations Committee has already advanced a proposed 2% raise, which is what the President's budget originally called for. The Senate subcommittee's action now will set the stage for a conflict between the chambers that will have to be resolved in... Read more ...
07/08/2009
7/8/09:  Chapter 293 will hold elections for all officers and representatives in September for a 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 the 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... Read more ...
07/01/2009
7/1/09: This week, NTEU Chapter 293 surveyed the most recent participants in 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 will be relaying 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. Nobody reported that... Read more ...
06/26/2009
6/26/09: NTEU has expressed concern about the rising costs in FEHBP, especially the high costs of prescription drugs which could contribute to higher premiums for federal employees and retirees. For some time, NTEU has questioned whether OPM has leveraged its large pool of participants in FEHBP to get the best possible prices for enrollees. FEHBP is the largest employer sponsored health insurance program in the country serving approximately 7.7 million people. Yet costs continue to go up. Last November, NTEU recommended a study on whether OPM can get a better deal for consumers by directly... Read more ...
06/26/2009
6/26/09: The House Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee yesterday included a substantial increase of $10 million in funding for the SEC in the fiscal 2010 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill markup. NTEU had requested the addition of the $10 million over and above the president’s request for the SEC to allow the agency to increase its merit pay budget for FY 2010.
“Clearly, the SEC has major responsibilities to tackle in the days and months ahead. I am confident with new leadership, additional resources and a dedicated and experienced... Read more ...
06/26/2009
6/26/09: The new Public Service Loan Forgiveness program is underway at the Department of Education. As previously reported, NTEU backed this program when it was passed by Congress with the assistance of Representative John Sarbanes (D-MD), as part of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007. Last year, the regulation process to implement the new law took place at the Department of Education. The program allows the forgiveness of the balance on qualifying federal student loans after a recipient makes payments for ten years, beginning in October, 2007. The first cancellation of... Read more ...
06/26/2009
6/26/09: NTEU National President Colleen Kelley today welcomed the introduction of legislation that would increase the maximum age to qualify for dependent coverage under the federal employees health benefits plan to age 25. The bill, H.R. 2978, was introduced last week by Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.).
“Young adults without health insurance are a serious and growing health care issue,” said President Kelley. “NTEU strongly supports congressional action that would provide dependents of federal employees with the option of continuing health coverage under their parent’s plan.”
At present,... Read more ...
06/26/2009
6/26/09: Two weeks ago NTEU reported on the disappointing developments in the Senate when it dropped the federal employees/retirees’ provisions from the tobacco regulation bill. NTEU pledged to look for other avenues to advance these provisions. Since then, NTEU has fought to bring the measure up again and to help develop a strategy that gives it a better chance in the Senate.
This week the package was passed by the House again as part of H.R. 2990, a bill pertaining to veterans and military benefits. H.R. 2990 passed 404-0. Subsequently NTEU backed a key procedural effort to attach H.R. 2990... Read more ...
06/22/2009
6/22/09: On June 4, 2009, Republican Leader John Boehner and Republican Whip Eric Cantor submitted a proposal to the President to change the calculation of federal annuities and to eliminate official time for full-time union representation. The overall package proposes sweeping cuts to many federal agencies and worthwhile programs, that are unlikely to be seriously advanced by the majority party in Congress, but the section on federal personnel changes and union activity are particularly egregious. NTEU will vehemently oppose these.
The federal employee proposals fall under a section entitled... Read more ...
06/17/2009
6/17/09:  President Obama today 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."
Under the proposed plan, the SEC ... Read more ...
06/17/2009
6/17/09: NTEU National President Colleen Kelley yesterday supported the call of three members of Congress for President Obama to re-establish, by executive order, partnership in the federal sector. The letter was issued by Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.), Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) and Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.).
“This trio of lawmakers has vast experience in federal labor-management issues and they understand that when agencies and employees work collaboratively the true beneficiary is the American taxpayer who sees more efficient service delivered in a cost-effective environment... Read more ...
06/17/2009
6/17/09: The House last Friday passed the Senate version of tobacco legislation with NTEU-backed language changing the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), but without federal retiree provisions.
The bill provides for automatic enrollment of federal employees in the TSP and the addition of a qualified Roth-style contribution program in the TSP for those who choose one, both supported by NTEU.
What was stripped from the bill is an NTEU-supported amendment with other federal retiree provisions, including one that would have allowed workers in the Federal Employees Retirement System to get credit toward... Read more ...
06/16/2009
6/16/09: Last week, NTEU joined a number of labor unions in a coalition of those who oppose the taxation of health insurance benefits in the context of national health care reform. The union has agreed to sign on to a letter which was sent to Congress last week (LETTER), and will be further circulated in the weeks to come.
As you can see, this letter urges opposition to eliminating or capping the tax exclusion for employer-provided health care benefits. Doing so would adversely impact federal employees and retirees who participate in FEHBP. Federal employees and retirees have no input in the... Read more ...
06/12/2009
6/12/09: Yesterday, in NTEU's latest victory, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in NTEU's favor on the SEC's appeal of a decision by the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) requiring the SEC to make back pay distributions to all SEC employees who should have received within grade increases (WIGIs) in 2002. The SEC filed this appeal last July, after the FLRA rejected the agency's first appeal from NTEU's initial arbitration victory.
This case began when NTEU filed an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) complaint against the SEC in 2002, asserting that... Read more ...
06/11/2009
6/11/09: The Senate is expected to cast its final vote on H.R. 1256, the FDA tobacco regulation bill today. Included in the legislative package are changes to the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), including the automatic enrollment in TSP for new employees and the addition of a qualified Roth contribution program for those who choose one. NTEU backed these provisions, which, as I reported earlier, have already passed the House.
Unfortunately, because of procedural rules, a bipartisan, NTEU-backed amendment that mirrored the House-passed provisions on counting unused FERS sick leave toward retirement... Read more ...
06/10/2009
6/11/09: The first phase of the merit pay settlement, which occurred a few months ago, involved the distribution of $2.7 million in lump sum amounts to affected employees based on their service dates, the merit pay raises they received and, in the case of employees over the age of forty, the date on which they turned forty.

The second phase of the settlement, salary adjustments, will show up in employees’ second pay check in June. If some or all of the salary adjustment would result in the employee’s salary exceeding the salary grade maximum, the excess amount will be paid to the employee as... Read more ...
06/09/2009
6/9/09: Federal employees came one step closer to gaining paid parental leave last week when the House passed H.R. 626. This bill, introduced by Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), was designated a legislative priority by NTEU's Legislative Advisory Committee in January, and NTEU worked closely with the congresswoman to attain its passage. This measure will allow federal workers the ability to better balance family needs and work requirements as access to paid parental leave has become a necessity for today’s working families.
No parent should have to choose between a paycheck and a child... Read more ...
06/03/2009
6/3/09: SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro testified before the Senate Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government yesterday. Click here to read the testimony.
05/22/2009
5/21/09: Chapter 293 recently increased the ranks of its senior leadership.
Katie Nix will now be serving as a Senior Chapter Adviser with an emphasis on EEO and disabilities issues. Katie will be consulting with chapter stewards on these types of cases. As part of her shifting duties, she will be stepping down from her position as Chief Steward.
Katie has done an outstanding job as Chief Steward over the past couple of years. She recently won a Chapter 293 award for her exemplary service, and she will continue to be actively involved with grievances at a senior level. All members and... Read more ...
05/22/2009
5/21/09: A key Senate committee's approval this week of legislation that would expand federal telework opportunities is a needed and welcome step forward in efforts to expand the availability of this important workplace program, said NTEU National President Colleen Kelley.
The bill, the Telework Enhancement Act of 2009, would complement an enhanced telework initiative announced last month by Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director John Berry. The measure, introduced by Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), was approved today by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. It... Read more ...
05/21/2009
Here are the managers assigned to the various Enforcement Division Working Groups:
Specialization:
David Bergers
Andy Calamari
Kit Addleman
Kay Lackey
Michele Layne
Lou Mejia
Merri Jo Gillette
Rick Firestone
Cheryl Scarboro
Marc Fagel
Tim Warren
Management Plan:
Roz Tyson
John Dugan
Don Hoerl
Pauline Calande
Rick Firestone
Streamlining Internal Processes:
Marc Fagel
Toni Chion
David Rosenfeld
Kit Addleman
David Nelson
Steve Korotash
Ken Israel
Andy Petillon
Charles Wright
Enforcement Metrics:
Michele Layne
Cheryl Scarboro
Merri Jo Gillette
Lou Mejia
Glenn Gordon
Mike Dicke
Fostering a... Read more ...
05/17/2009
5/15/09: NTEU has appointed the bargaining unit employees listed below from those who volunteered to fill the slots provided by management on the various Enforcement Division Management Work Groups that are currently discussing the following issues:  specialization, revising management structure, streamlining processes, measuring success, fostering consistency in the national program, centralizing risk management, training, improving the HUB, case closing procedures, and fostering cooperation by individuals. Please feel free to contact them with any suggestions or comments that you might have... Read more ...

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