Union News Archive

04/30/2008
4/30/08: The SEC sent out an announcement yesterday concerning a change to the agency’s pay schedules. Unfortunately, this announcement was unclear and consequently it has generated a great deal of unnecessary confusion among agency employees.
In short, the SEC is eliminating “steps” and is shifting to the use of “ranges” in its pay schedules. This change, which the SEC sought during compensation negotiations with NTEU in 2006, was ordered by the Federal Service Impasses Panel in October, 2006.
As a result of this change, each grade on the pay schedules will no longer have “steps.” Instead,... Read more ...
04/30/2008
4/29/08: NTEU National President Colleen Kelley this week endorsed legislation that would provide tangible encouragement to federal workers to take even-greater part in community-based volunteer efforts that benefit others.
“Federal employees are well known for their willingness to volunteer to meet community needs,” President Kelley noted. “Their on-the-ground help in the wake of Hurricane Katrina is just one example.” Another is their generosity during the government’s Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), when federal employees donate millions of dollars to a wide variety of charities... Read more ...
04/24/2008
4/24/08: NTEU National President Colleen Kelley today wrote to every member of the Senate Personnel Subcommittee lending NTEU’s support to the Military Coalition’s testimony requesting a 3.9 percent pay raise for military personnel. She pointed out that, like the military, federal civilian workers serve their country faithfully in defending the homeland, in keeping our borders safe and our government systems operational. Like the military we are also requesting a 3.9 percent pay raise, which amounts to one-half percent above the ECI. Review a copy of Kelley's letter by clicking here, Pay... Read more ...
04/18/2008
4/18/08: NTEU National President Colleen Kelley has raised serious questions with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) regarding the potentially unfair and unrealistic shift of certain prescription drug costs to persons with serious illnesses.
In a letter to OPM Director Linda Springer, President Kelley described her “great concern” after having seen a media report about a new drug pricing system in use by some insurance companies that has the effect of substantially driving up consumer costs. OPM oversees the nation’s largest health care plan, the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program... Read more ...
04/16/2008
4/16/08: On April 15, 2008, the Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform amended and reported to the full committee, H.R. 5781, the paid parental leave bill. The measure was introduced by Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and expanded upon her bill, H.R 3799, which NTEU National President Colleen Kelley testified in support of at the March 6, 2008 hearing. During consideration of H.R. 5781, an amendment by full committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) passed to provide four weeks of paid leave (instead of eight) and grant OPM the... Read more ...
04/16/2008
4/16/08: NTEU National President Colleen Kelley has taken sharp issue with proposed administration changes to Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) rules that would make it much more difficult for working people to secure their rights under this congressionally-mandated benefit.
A number of the proposed Department of Labor (DOL) rules changes “would inevitably deprive employees of the medical and family leave authorized by Congress,” said Kelley.
NTEU offered a variety of changes to the proposals in comments submitted in response to changes DOL wants to make impacting private sector employees... Read more ...
04/16/2008
4/16/08: If you applied to participate in the Expanded Telework Program (3, 4 or 5 days of telework per week), management is required to respond to your application by Monday, April 21.
When you have received a response to your application, please help us to provide better representation by taking one minute to answer a couple of questions about your experience with the application process, by clicking here, Expanded Telework Feedback Page.
If your Expanded Telework request was denied for any reason, please immediately email your manager and request the reason(s) for the denial in writing.... Read more ...
04/11/2008
4/11/08: At a hearing on paid parental leave earlier this spring, an Office of Personnel Management (OPM) representative indicated that the agency had developed a legislative proposal for a short-term disability program. At that time, the only detail available was that the program would cost federal employees approximately $40 per pay period. After the hearing, NTEU National President Colleen Kelley wrote to OPM Director Springer asking for more details and suggesting that different ways be explored to fund the program other than through employee contributions.
On March 25, NTEU received a... Read more ...
04/11/2008
4/2/08: Click this link, Member Benefits Fair, to obtain more information about an informative NTEU Member Benefits Fair to be presented at HQ on Tuesday, April 29, 2008 at the HQ Multi Purpose Room – Lower Level from 12:00 Noon to 2:00 PM. Information on a number of different insurance and other benefits will be presented.
04/03/2008
4/3/08: On Wednesday, April 30, from 12:00 to 1:00, Chapter 293 will present a training session at Headquarters on SEC attire policies. Click this link, April 30 Attire Policy Workshop, to obtain more information.
04/02/2008
4/2/08: NTEU is pleased to offer SEC members an opportunity to apply for personal insurance products through Colonial Life from April 2 – April 11. Colonial Life gives you the flexibility to select the products that help meet your individual needs and help provide the protection that you and your family deserve, all through the convenience of payroll deduction.
You can obtain a packet of information from the Union Office in Headquarters, or from your steward in the Regions, on the personal insurance products available and also steps to enroll these benefits by phone directly with a Benefits... Read more ...
04/01/2008
4/1/08: Yesterday, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson outlined a blueprint for reform of federal financial regulatory agencies (click here, blueprint, to review the document). This proposal could have a substantial impact on the work lives of NTEU members at the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and other agencies. Also affected would be the investors, consumers and others who rely upon the important work performed by NTEU members at these important agencies.
The Treasury blueprint is complex in some aspects and ambivalent in others. It speaks... Read more ...
03/25/2008
3/25/08: Representative Jim Moran (D-VA) recently introduced H.R. 5573, legislation to provide a lump sum payment to employees retiring under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). The bill was cosponsored by Representatives Frank Wolf (R-VA) and Tom Davis (R-VA). To review the bill, click here, H.R. 5573.
NTEU National President Colleen Kelley sent a letter to Representatives Moran and Wolf last year pointing out the inequitable treatment of unused sick leave for FERS retirees. Unlike their CSRS colleagues, FERS employees do not receive any credit for unused sick leave when they... Read more ...
03/25/2008
3/25/08: Last week, NTEU National President Colleen Kelley wrote to every member of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel in support of a higher pay raise than the administration proposed. To see a copy of one of these letters, click here, Kelley Letter.
President Kelley lent support to the Military Coalition’s testimony in favor of a higher pay raise for military personnel than the Bush Administration requested and urged the subcommittee to provide a 3.9 percent pay raise, equal to the one NTEU proposed for federal employees. She urged the subcommittee to provide that... Read more ...
03/23/2008
NYRO Lunch March 26
NTEU is holding a representational lunch for all NYRO bargaining unit employees on Wednesday, March 26 at 12:30, 17th Floor Forum Area. Chapter 293 President Greg Gilman, NTEU Field Representative Ralph Talarico, and NYRO stewards will be on hand to discuss the CBA, merit pay, alternative work schedules, telework and more. Sandwiches and salad will be served.
Headquarters Workshops Scheduled in April
On Thursday, April 3, from noon to 1PM, NTEU representatives will present a workshop on alternative work schedules and telework. On Wednesday, April 30, from noon to 1PM, NTEU... Read more ...
03/23/2008
March 2008: This year being what it is, now is a good time for SEC employees to refresh their understanding of the restrictions on political activities contained in the Hatch Act.
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 workforce 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.
Listed below you will find some... Read more ...
03/23/2008
March 2008:
Telework Bill
On March 13, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform approved HR 4106, the Telework Improvements Act of 2007, sponsored by Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL). This legislation largely follows recommendations NTEU made in congressional testimony last November. The bill seeks to ensure that all eligible employees will have the opportunity to telework. It defines teleworking employees as those who telework at least 20% of the time. The bill would require agencies to provide training on telework to both managers and employees and have each agency appoint a full-time... Read more ...
03/23/2008
In some offices, OCIE managers have been restricting employee participation in some popular programs provided in the new collective bargaining agreement. Issues involve 4-10 schedules, telework arrangements and attire policies. NTEU representatives recently met with OCIE Director Lori Richards, and discussions related to these issues will continue in late March.
NTEU will keep you apprised regarding these issues. Please be sure to request the reasons for any denial of a 4-10 or telework request in writing from your supervisor, and let your Chapter 293 steward know about any problems that you... Read more ...
03/23/2008
The expanded telework provisions of the new CBA went into effect on February 26. Eligible employees who have worked on a recurring telework schedule for at least one year in the past may request to participate in the program for three, four or, in some cases, five days per week. Applications must be received by the SEC by March 31. Decisions on those applications will be made by April 21.
If you have any questions about the expanded telework program, or about telework in general, please contact NTEU Steward Dean Suehiro, suehirod@sec.gov. Dean can respond to your questions, and he also has... Read more ...
03/23/2008

Legislative NewsMarch 2008: In early March, NTEU leaders from chapters and agencies across the nation assembled to bring the voice of federal workers to Capitol Hill. The conference was a tremendous success. From Maine to California, members of Congress heard directly from NTEU leaders on representational issues of importance to federal employees. From these meetings, members of Congress agreed to cosponsor important pro-federal employee legislation, agreed to work with NTEU on federal employee issues, and pledged to vote against legislation that would cut back on retirement and health... Read more ...
03/23/2008
On March 13, the House of Representatives approved a budget resolution that includes language to provide pay parity for federal civilian and military employees in fiscal 2009, as well as significant funds to reduce the backlog of disability determination cases at the Social Security Administration (SSA). The language — which does not set a figure for the salary increase but calls for equal amounts for both groups — was applauded by NTEU National President Colleen Kelley.
The White House budget proposal sent to Congress in February calls for only a 2.9 percent pay increase for federal civilian... Read more ...
03/23/2008
The grand opening of the SEC’s new child care center, the Harbor at Station Place, occurred on January 30. SEC Chairman Chris Cox, NTEU National President Colleen Kelley, and Chapter 293 President Greg Gilman were all on hand for the ceremony.
The road leading up to the Harbor began when NTEU commenced negotiations with the SEC regarding the move to Station Place. An NTEU survey found that a child care center was a priority for many SEC employees. Chapter 293's bargaining team pressed this issue for two years before obtaining management’s agreement.
Their hard work paid off for SEC employees... Read more ...
03/23/2008
NTEU entered into a settlement agreement with the SEC, effective as of March 17, which partially resolves the union’s Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime rates grievance, and includes back pay and damages for numerous affected employees.
This grievance alleged that the SEC incorrectly exempted a number of bargaining unit positions from the overtime provisions of the FLSA and, by extension, failed to pay them sufficiently for overtime worked. Under the settlement, the SEC will convert employees in a number of positions (listed below) to nonexempt (or covered) status under the FLSA. The... Read more ...
03/12/2008
3/12/08: Click the links below to obtain more information about two informative workshops to be presented at HQ by NTEU in April:
April 3 Telework and Alternative Work Schedules Workshop
April 30 Attire Policy Workshop

03/12/2008
AWS Form.

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