Union News Archive

04/23/2009
4/23/09: With the federal workforce poised to play an increasingly important role in helping resolve the nation’s serious problems, it is vital that Congress and the administration address a number of key workplace issues—particularly dealing with recruitment and retention, the leader of the nation’s largest independent union of federal employees told a House subcommittee yesterday.
“These are exciting times in the federal service,” President Colleen M. Kelley of the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) told a hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on the... Read more ...
04/23/2009
4/23/09: Employees at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency recently received the news that their maximum public transportation subsidies would be increased from $120 to $230, effective June 1, 2009. This increased benefit was provided for in the economic stimulus bill signed into law by President Obama back in February. While employees at the OCC are disappointed that this change did not occur more quickly, they are pleased that senior management understands the importance of encouraging employees to use public transit to save oil, decrease environmental damage and ease the employees... Read more ...
04/21/2009
President's Perspective, April 2009: There has been much discussion both inside and outside the SEC over the past several years – not to mention the last several months – about how to improve the SEC’s Enforcement program. Beyond the obvious suggestion of hiring more staff, many opportunities exist to refocus the manner in which the Division of Enforcement leverages its highly skilled frontline employees to advance the Commission’s mission.
Perhaps the single biggest challenge facing Enforcement (as well as other SEC offices and divisions) is the out-dated, multi-layered and redundant... Read more ...
04/21/2009
Last year, the SEC filed with the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals a Petition for Review of NTEU's Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) victory in the 2002 within grade increase (WIGI) case. Briefs have been filed in this appeal, and the Court has scheduled oral argument for May 5. We hope to have a decision this summer.
NTEU originally commenced this case when it filed a complaint against the SEC in 2002, asserting that the agency had violated the law by unilaterally terminating WIGIs without first completing bargaining. The SEC ceased giving employees WIGIs as of May 19,... Read more ...
04/21/2009
In March, U.S. Office of Personnel Management Acting Director Kathie Ann Whipple announced the appointment of NTEU Senior Deputy General Counsel Elaine Kaplan as the agency’s General Counsel.
With Kaplan’s appointment, OPM gains the expertise of an individual with more than 25 years of legal experience in the fields of federal sector labor and employment law who is uniquely qualified to serve OPM in its role as the President’s chief advisor on federal human resources issues.
Kaplan began her legal career in the Solicitor’s office of the U.S. Department of Labor, first in the Employee Benefits... Read more ...
04/21/2009
In March, Chapter 293 President Greg Gilman visited with employees at luncheon events in the Philadelphia Regional Office and in the Office of General Counsel in Washington. During both of these visits, Gilman provided representational updates and answered employee questions on issues ranging from compensation, personnel management and benefits to financial regulatory reform. In Philadelphia, he also met with the local stewards and Regional Office Director Dan Hawke to discuss labor management relations.
Thanks to NTEU stewards Patricia Trujillo, Paul Lapinski and Eric Helmer in Philadelphia... Read more ...
04/21/2009
The salary adjustments (raises) for SEC employees under the NTEU-negotiated merit pay settlement are scheduled to occur in June 2009. Under the settlement agreement, these salary adjustments are required to happen within ninety days of passage of the FY 2009 budget, which was signed into law by President Obama last month.
To be eligible for a salary adjustment, an employee must be a member of one of the two groups covered by the agreement – African-American bargaining unit employees in grades 8 and above (320 employees), and all bargaining unit employees aged 40 or older (981 employees). To... Read more ...
04/21/2009
In March, over 350 NTEU members took part in the 2009 NTEU Legislative Conference. Participants attended workshops, heard speeches from key policymakers , met with lawmakers on Capitol Hill, and learned about issues of prime importance to NTEU’s 2009 legislative agenda.
The conference included speeches by Representative Edolphus Towns (D-NY), Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Representative Stephen Lynch (D-MA), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, Postal Services and the District of Columbia of the House Oversight and Government Reform... Read more ...
04/21/2009
As part of this year’s NTEU Legislative Conference in March, union representatives from several financial regulatory agencies represented by NTEU – the SEC, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the National Credit Union Administration – met with the Senior Counsel for the Senate Banking Committee. At the meeting, these union leaders discussed options that the Committee may be considering as it considers possible changes to the structure and authority of the federal financial regulatory agencies.
The Committee’s Senior Counsel indicated... Read more ...
04/21/2009
This week, Chapter 293 launched the next generation of its website here at www.secunion.org. The new site has been redesigned for ease of use, and contains a wealth of news and content for SEC employees on benefits, compensation, legislative matters, and more.
Please take a moment to check out the features on this new site, and provide any comments or suggestions that you might have to Chapter 293 President Greg Gilman at gilmang@sec.gov.
04/21/2009
As the SEC faces what is perhaps the most challenging period in its history, its single most important asset continues to be its human capital – the stock of skills and knowledge embodied by the talented group of individuals who work at the agency and carry out its complex mission every day. For that reason, maintaining a sound strategy to both attract and retain the best possible work force is critical to the agency’s long term success. This is even more the case given that a large majority of the federal work force will be eligible for retirement in the coming decade. For years, however,... Read more ...
04/21/2009
In February, President Obama signed the $787 billion economic stimulus package into law. Included in that package was an increase in the monthly public transit benefit allowance which went into effect on March 1. The SEC, however, has yet to increase the public transit benefit available to SEC Employees. 
The new legislation permits employers to subsidize their employees as much as $230 per month, or $2,760 per year, in public transportation benefits. Currently, SEC employees are eligible to receive the former maximum of $120 per month, or $1,440 per year.
The collective bargaining agreement... Read more ...
04/20/2009
This week, Chapter 293 launched the next generation of its website here at www.secunion.org. The new site has been redesigned for ease of use, and contains a wealth of news and content for SEC employees on benefits, compensation, legislative matters, and more.
Please take a moment to check out the features on this new site, and provide any comments or suggestions that you might have to Chapter 293 President Greg Gilman at gilmang@sec.gov.
03/29/2009

One of the most important NTEU services that your union dues make possible is the union's tireless Congressional lobbying work on your behalf – and in particular its legislative work to obtain better pay and benefits. This critical work is accomplished in conjunction with Chapter 293’s Legislative Committee, which has been headed from the beginning by Chairman Bill Friar at Headquarters. As but one example of this work, please consider how those efforts brought you Pay Parity, greatly increasing your compensation.

In January of 2002 the President signed into law the Investor and Capital... Read more ...
03/29/2009
Do you know what you can and cannot do under The Hatch Act? Back in 1939, the enactment of The Hatch Act was hailed as a critical step toward cleaning up government and ending political patronage. Its goal was to ensure a qualified, stable work force free from coercion and the constant threat of job loss for no reason.
Since that time, the federal workplace has changed a great deal and in 1993, The Hatch Act was reformed to reflect these changes. The law officially changed on February 3, 1994. Listed below you will find the guidelines for activities allowed and prohibited under the current... Read more ...
03/25/2009
3/25/09: Today the House Budget Committee included language calling for pay parity in its budget resolution. The resolution calls for an equal level of pay increase in fiscal year 2010 for both military personnel and federal civilian employees. While the budget resolution needs to go though the committee markup and reporting process, this is an early victory for NTEU. NTEU will continue to push the language until it is reported by the Budget Committee and passed by the House of Representatives, hopefully in the upcoming weeks.
The budget submission to Congress by the administration had called... Read more ...
03/25/2009
3/25/09: NTEU national President Colleen Kelley today applauded the markup by a key House subcommittee of a bipartisan measure to provide federal workers with four weeks of paid parental leave for the birth or adoption of a child.
President Kelley, who has long promoted the idea of providing paid parental leave for federal employees, welcomed the markup of H.R. 626. “Many of the country’s top companies already offer a paid benefit and the federal government needs to do the same,” President Kelley said. “Besides helping to ensure that every federal worker has the ability to adequately care for... Read more ...
03/19/2009
3/19/09: A key House committee yesterday marked up legislation containing provisions to improve the treatment of federal retirees covered under different retirement systems, a step applauded NTEU national President Colleen Kelley. The bill also contains other provisions addressing in positive ways matters important to the federal workforce.
The retirement provision in H.R. 1256, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Bill, would permit those covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) to get credit toward retirement for their unused sick leave. It would match a right... Read more ...
03/18/2009
3/18/09: U.S. Office of Personnel Management Acting Director Kathie Ann Whipple today announced the appointment of NTEU Senior Deputy General Counsel Elaine Kaplan as the agency’s General Counsel.
With Kaplan’s appointment, OPM gains the expertise of an individual with more than 25 years of legal experience in the fields of federal sector labor and employment law who is uniquely qualified to serve OPM in its role as the President’s chief advisor on federal human resources issues.
Kaplan began her legal career in the Solicitor’s office of the U.S. Department of Labor, first in the Employee... Read more ...
03/13/2009
3/12/09: Yesterday President Obama signed into law the FY ‘09 Omnibus Appropriations Act which contains funding for key NTEU-represented agencies as well as important NTEU- supported provisions on contracting out.
The bill provides a total of $11.5 billion in funding for the IRS, including $5.1 billion for enforcement and $2.3 billion for taxpayer services. The $11.5 billion in overall funding represents an increase of $428 million above FY ’08 levels. In addition, the package provides an additional $352 million for the Food and Drug Administration, $37 million for the Securities and Exchange... Read more ...
03/11/2009
3/11/09: The Senate has joined the House in approving a fiscal 2009 Omnibus Appropriations bill containing a one-year government-wide moratorium on new public-private job competitions for federal work.
The measure, which now goes to President Obama for his signature, also requires agencies to establish guidelines for bringing back into the hands of federal employees government work currently being performed by private contractors, in line with a broad outline contained in an Obama administration memorandum on contracting issued March 4.
“These are two very positive steps for taxpayers,” said... Read more ...
03/09/2009
3/9/09: The chairman of a key House subcommittee dealing with federal employee issues last week promised prompt action on a measure to provide paid parental leave, and left the door ajar for potential changes in the administration’s recommendation concerning federal pay in 2010.
Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) addressed these subjects and others in remarks before several hundred members of NTEU, gathered in Washington for the union’s Legislative Conference. Rep. Lynch is chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce, Postal Service and the District... Read more ...
02/28/2009
2/27/09: NTEU Chapter 293 President Greg Gilman and new SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro met this week at SEC Headquarters in Washington. During the meeting, Gilman and Schapiro discussed a broad range of topics concerning the SEC's future, compensation and benefits, the merit pay system, personnel issues, and labor management relations at the agency.
"It was a very positive meeting," Gilman remarked afterwards. "I told Chairman Schapiro that SEC employees are pleased that she is here and eager to make improvements on a number of fronts and move ahead with the agency's mission. I'm looking forward... Read more ...
02/28/2009
New Benefit! As part of NTEU Chapter 293's ongoing work negotiating additional benefits for you, the union recently obtained an agreement permitting SEC employees to join the Treasury Department Federal Credit Union (TDFCU). Thanks to Chapter 293 Steward Pat Copeland in D.C. for all of her hard work to make this happen! TDFCU was founded in 1935 by United States Department of Treasury employees. It is a full service financial institution, headquartered in the Treasury Annex in Washington, DC. With assets in excess of $150 million, TDFCU currently serves over 25,000 members nationwide.... Read more ...
02/28/2009
2/26/09: NTEU national President Colleen Kelley said today that she will seek discussions with the administration on the proposed federal pay raise and expressed disappointment that the budget does not reflect the long-standing tradition of parity in pay raises for federal civilian employees and members of the military.
The administration proposed a military pay raise of 2.9 percent for next year, and an increase of 2 percent for the federal civilian workforce.
 
“We understand that these are tough times, but we are very concerned about breaking the historic linkage of civilian and military... Read more ...

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