Union News Archive

02/28/2009
2/26/09: NTEU national President Colleen Kelley today characterized as very positive her initial face-to-face meeting with new agency chair Mary Schapiro, during which they discussed ways in which the agency workforce can contribute to the successful accomplishment of its mission.
“I found the new chair to be personable, forthright, knowledgeable and determined to restore the credibility of the SEC and get employees into the daily conversations of how to turn the agency around and restore its greatness,” said Kelley. “This was a very good first meeting,” she said of this week’s occasion.... Read more ...
02/28/2009
2/26/09: NTEU national President Colleen Kelley yesterday applauded House approval of a fiscal 2009 omnibus appropriations measure that would take definitive steps to rein in runaway federal contracting.
The House-passed bill contains a one-year government-wide ban on new public-private job competitions for federal work under Office of Management and Budget contracting rules, and would require federal agencies to establish guidelines for bringing back into the hands of federal employees government work currently being performed by private contractors. “These provisions are the clearest sign... Read more ...
02/28/2009
2/20/09: Congressman Barney Frank appeared at the SEC at the invitation of NTEU Chapter 293 to speak to SEC employees on Thursday, February 19. His appearance was telecast to Headquarters and all of the regional offices at the agency. Congressman Frank spoke on a broad range of issues related to regulatory reform and fielded a number of questions from employees. He encouraged SEC employees to "hang in there" in the face of recent criticism from a number of quarters.
In his remarks, Frank reviewed his goals for regulatory reform, placing the current financial crisis into a broader historical... Read more ...
02/28/2009
2/11/09: A House measure introduced yesterday to provide annuity credit for unused sick leave to federal employees covered under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) would be an important step toward employee equity in the government, said NTEU national President Colleen Kelley.
President said the union is ready to help Congress deliver for FERS-covered employees the same credit for unused sick leave already provided to their Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) colleagues. The bill was introduced by Rep. James Moran (D-Va.).
“I commend Rep. Moran for his leadership in working to... Read more ...
02/28/2009
2/2009: Congressman Barney Frank has accepted the invitation of NTEU Chapter 293 to speak to SEC employees on Thursday, February 19, from 1:00 to 2:00 PM EST. His appearance will be telecast in the Headquarters Auditorium. Regional office employees should ask their local steward for the location in their office.
Representative Frank is Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, which oversees all components of the nation’s housing and financial services sectors, including banking, insurance, real estate, public and assisted housing, and securities. This important committee has... Read more ...
02/28/2009
2/9/09: During a speech at the SEC Speaks conference last week, new SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro announced the end of two policies of former Chairman Chris Cox in the Enforcement Division.
First, she has ended the two-year "penalty pilot" experiment. The staff will no longer be required to seek advance approval of penalties from the Commission in connection with settlement discussions. Second, she is moving back to routine review and approval of formal orders, to ensure that enforcement investigations can move forward more quickly.
Here is an excerpt from Chairman Schapiro's speech:
As a first... Read more ...
02/28/2009
2/2/09: NTEU-supported legislation introduced in the Senate last week would provide federal employees with four weeks of paid parental leave for the birth or adoption of a child. The Senate bill matches legislation previously introduced in the House of Representatives.
NTEU National President Colleen Kelley, who has been a strong proponent of providing federal workers with paid parental leave, said the measure is a useful tool for boosting retention in the current workforce as well as with the recruitment of younger federal employees. “Paid parental leave is an important benefit for the... Read more ...
01/25/2009
1/23/09: Last week, Chapter 293 President Greg Gilman and SEC Associate Executive Director of Human Resources Jeff Risinger signed a memorandum of understanding on a number of diversity iniatives at the agency. This agreement followed the broader settlement agreement regarding the Merit Pay system which was signed late last year, and which resolved national arbitrations involving discrimation against African-Americans and employees over the age of forty in the administration of the SEC's pay for performance system. The new agreement provides for the following new diversity initiatives at the... Read more ...
01/25/2009
1/23/09: Last week, Chapter 293 President Greg Gilman and his wife Julie made the trek to DC with millions of others to attend the Inauguration of President Barack Obama. "This was a historic event that we just didn't want to miss," Gilman recently remarked. "We were fortunate enough to obtain purple tickets on the Capitol grounds, but we still needed to get up at 2:30 in the morning to get in line at the gate to be sure that we would be as close as we could to see the swearing in and listen to the President's speech. It was extremely cold, even for hardy New Hampshirites like us, but... Read more ...
01/25/2009
1/22/09: A bipartisan measure introduced this week in the House of Representatives would provide federal workers with four weeks of paid parental leave for the birth or adoption of a child and bring the government’s approach to this key benefit closer to that of the private sector and many other industrialized nations, said NTEU National President Colleen Kelley, who applauded the bill’s introduction.
President Kelley has long argued the importance of providing paid parental leave for federal employees. The 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for... Read more ...
01/25/2009
1/21/2009: This month, NTEU joined with a number of organizations in the FAIR coalition in sending a letter to President Obama expressing the position that future White House initiatives to reform the nation’s health care should not unintentionally jeopardize the integrity of FEHBP. The FAIR coalition is comprised of a number of organizations that represent current and retired federal employees and postal workers. Click HERE to review a copy of the letter. It essentially makes the following points which NTEU has supported for some time:
Opposition to opening up FEHBP without strict firewalls... Read more ...
01/23/2009
1/23/09: Last week, Chapter 293 President Greg Gilman and SEC Associate Executive Director of Human Resources Jeff Risinger signed a memorandum of understanding on a number of diversity iniatives at the agency. This agreement followed the broader settlement agreement regarding the Merit Pay system which was signed late last year, and which resolved national arbitrations involving discrimination against African-Americans and employees over the age of forty in the administration of the SEC's pay for performance system.
The new agreement provides for the following new diversity initiatives at... Read more ...
01/15/2009
1/15/09: In the first legislative victory for working Americans in the 111th Congress, last week the House of Representatives passed HR 11, the NTEU-endorsed “Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.”
Prior to last week’s vote, NTEU contacted each member of the House, asking for support of the Lilly Ledbetter bill. This bill is named for an Alabama woman employed by the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. While she was being paid 40% less than her male colleagues doing the same or similar work, the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision ruled that she not did file her complaint in time, namely 180 days after her... Read more ...
01/14/2009
President's Perspective, January 2009: In 2008, Chapter 293 enjoyed a string of successes in its continuing efforts to represent your interests. As we embark upon a new year and a new administration, I thought that it would be appropriate to review a few of the union’s important accomplishments last year:
The union won an unprecedented settlement of its five national Merit Pay arbitrations with the agency, securing $2.7 million in damage payments and salary increases for affected employees, as well as important agreements on diversity initiatives at the agency.
The union caused the SEC to... Read more ...
01/14/2009
Over the past seven years, some SEC managers and employees have suffered from a fundamental misconception regarding how it was that Congress passed Pay Parity, leading to substantially higher compensation levels for SEC employees. According to their version of events, although NTEU provided some small assistance in the process, the “heavy lifting” was done by SEC management. This is revisionist history. It is important to understand what really happened so that you will appreciate the union’s vital role at the SEC.
Beginning in the late 1980s, SEC management tried, unsuccessfully, to get... Read more ...
01/14/2009
The first round of settlement payments to SEC employees under the NTEU-negotiated merit pay settlement are scheduled to occur by February 18, 2009. African-American bargaining unit employees in grades 8 and above, and all bargaining unit employees aged 40 or older, who worked at the SEC during the period from 2003 to 2007, will receive these distributions under the settlement. To be eligible, an employee must have been a member of the bargaining unit in October of 2008, when the settlement agreement was signed. In a second round later this year, the same participating employees will also... Read more ...
01/14/2009
In NTEU's latest national victory for SEC employees, in December a federal Arbitrator ruled that all Securities Compliance Examiners in grades 11, 12 and 13 are now eligible to receive higher pay rates for their overtime work. Under the Arbitrator's decision, these employees are also eligible for back pay and damages. The SEC has elected not to appeal this decision to the Federal Labor Relations Authority. The agency has commenced the process of re-classifying affected employees to FLSA non-exempt status, but is not yet certain when this process will be completed.
This case began on November... Read more ...
01/14/2009
Early this month, NTEU National President Colleen Kelley welcomed recognition by key House members that structural issues involving both the SEC and more broadly the nation’s financial regulatory system played a major role in the proliferation of a long-running financial scheme.
President Kelley pointed in particular to the view expressed by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, who, in speaking about SEC employees, said in the face of structural problems at the agency, that “no one should infer from this terrible situation that the working personnel... Read more ...
01/14/2009
The current economic crisis has led to increasing calls for fundamental changes to the financial regulatory structure of our nation. Such changes could have a profound impact upon the Securities and Exchange Commission and how it operates. NTEU leadership is currently working to ensure that SEC employee rights and benefits will be protected as these plans unfold in Washington. Union leaders have reached out to incoming SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro, House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd, and members of the Obama transition team to... Read more ...
01/14/2009
This month, President-Elect Barack Obama nominated Mary Schapiro to serve as the next Chairman of the SEC. Schapiro currently serves as the CEO of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). She has previously served as Chairman and CEO of the NASD, Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and as an SEC Commissioner.
Schapiro faces the tough challenge of leading a demoralized agency that recently has been beset by criticism in the wake of the current financial crisis. She is widely viewed as a veteran Wall Street regulator who will provide strong leadership and... Read more ...
01/05/2009
1/5/09: NTEU National President Colleen Kelley today welcomed recognition by key House members that structural issues involving both the SEC and more broadly the nation’s financial regulatory system played a major role in the proliferation of a long-running financial scheme.
President Kelley pointed in particular to the view expressed by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, who, in speaking about SEC employees, said in the face of structural problems at the agency, that “no one should blame SEC employees” for the financial activities of Bernard... Read more ...
12/19/2008
12/19/08: NTEU National President Colleen Kelley today expressed approval of the White House decision to allocate one percentage point of the average 3.9 percent federal civilian employee pay raise in 2009 to locality pay. The White House decision was announced in an executive order implementing the pay raise. Click here, OPM Locality Rates, to review the actual increase percentages by city.
“This action is an important step in helping close the gap between public and private sector pay in some areas of the country, and I am hopeful it will assist federal agencies in their ongoing recruiting... Read more ...
12/17/2008
12/17/08: Late yesterday, OPM announced the approval of changes to the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Standard Option plan under FEHBP for out-of-network nonemergency surgeries. Under the new agreement, BC/BS’s coverage will be similar to last year’s plan when enrollees use out of network physicians.
Under the new agreement, Blue Cross/Blue Shield Standard Option enrollees will be responsible for 30 percent of the plan's payment allowance for surgeries (including maternity) by out-of-network physicians, plus the difference between the plan's allowance and the amount billed by the surgeon. Last year,... Read more ...
12/17/2008
12/17/08: To show our appreciation for your continued support, NTEU Chapter 293 is hosting an Ice Cream Social for union members in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, December 18, in the Headquarters Lower Level Multi-Purpose Room. Please drop by between 12:00 and 2:30 for some ice cream on us. Happy Holidays from Your Friends at Chapter 293
12/17/2008
12/17/08: NTEU National President Colleen Kelley today sharply criticized the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission for abdicating responsibility and blaming agency employees for the recent Madoff financial scandal.
“Responsibility starts at the top and I am outraged that Chairman Cox immediately points the finger at frontline employees even before he begins the internal investigation he announced yesterday,” said President Kelley.
Kelley was reacting to media statements published today in the Washington Post and other outlets in which SEC Chairman Christopher Cox criticized agency... Read more ...

Pages