Union News Archive

05/22/2008
Gilman Speaks at FWRO and NYRO
NTEU recently held representational luncheons for bargaining unit employees in New York and Fort Worth. On March 26, Chapter 293 President Greg Gilman and NTEU Representative Ralph Talarico made a presentation at the NYRO, and on April 9, Gilman and NTEU Representative Dennis Schneider spoke to employees at the FWRO.
At both presentations, a range of issues were discussed, including the CBA, pay raises, merit pay, alternative work schedules and telework. These successful events were extremely well attended. Thanks to NYRO stewards Joel Crepea, John Graubard,... Read more ...
05/22/2008
Pay Raise Work Continues
On May 7, 2008, the House Subcommittee on Military Personnel of the Armed Services Committee voted out its portion of the Department of Defense authorization bill (H.R. 5658) with a provision that provides a 3.9 percent pay raise for the military.
The measure was passed by the full House Armed Services Committee on May 14, 2008. The subcommittee’s action follows the Senate Armed Services Committee’s reported bill last week with an identical raise.
NTEU has worked hard to achieve this pay raise recommendation on both sides of Congress. It is in the interest of pay... Read more ...
05/22/2008
Chapter 293 is continuing to recruit union members who are willing to participate in the development of performance appraisal parameters for their positions. If you are interested in working on this important project, please contact Chapter 293 President Greg Gilman.
05/22/2008
A few weeks ago, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson issued the Blueprint for Reform of Federal Financial Regulatory Agencies (a copy of this document is available on the “Resources” page of Chapter 293's website). This proposal obviously has the potential to have a substantial impact on the work lives of NTEU members at the SEC, as well as at a number of other agencies. Also affected would be the investors, consumers and others who rely upon the critical work performed by NTEU members at these important agencies.
Paulson’s blueprint is complex in some aspects and ambivalent in others. It speaks... Read more ...
05/22/2008
In April, Chapter 293 filed a national grievance challenging the new attire policy imposed by Lori Richards, the Director of the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”).
OCIE’s new policy provides that employees are required to wear formal business attire whenever they are meeting with outside parties on examinations, even in cases where a registrant has a business casual attire policy. The only exception provided in this policy is in situations where there is little or no chance of interacting with anyone outside the SEC, such as when “reviewing materials in a warehouse.”... Read more ...
05/22/2008
In February, the SEC announced its intention to suspend its merit pay program for 2008 by temporarily separating it from the performance evaluation process, while it continues to work with NTEU to create a new, fairer process for evaluating employees. In April, NTEU and the SEC reached an agreement on implementation of this temporary separation of merit pay from the appraisal process.
This agreement has three main components. First, all employees who are rated “acceptable” this year will receive an equivalent percentage salary increase. These salary increases will be the same percentage... Read more ...
05/22/2008
5/22/08: Language stating that it is the sense of Congress that there should be pay parity between military and civilian employees was included in S. Con. Res. 70, the 2009 Budget Resolution Conference Agreement that is expected to be voted on by the House and Senate by the end of this week. The language can be found in section 518 of the resolution.
Both the House and Senate versions of the 2009 Department of Defense Authorization bills include the NTEU supported military pay raises of 3.9 percent, rather than the 3.4 percent proposed by the administration. The administration proposed only a... Read more ...
05/09/2008
5/9/08: In March of this year, NTEU wrote to GSA Administrator Lurita Doan, asking that she make the mileage reimbursement rates federal employees receive for government use of their privately owned automobile retroactive to the first of the year. Review her response by clicking here, Doan Response.
Each fall the Internal Revenue Service (as a matter of tax policy, not as an employer) makes a survey of fuel and other costs to determine the maximum tax-exempt mileage reimbursement employers may offer employees. This new rate takes effect the first of the year. After the first of the year, GSA... Read more ...
05/08/2008
5/7/08: On May 7, 2008, the House Subcommittee on Military Personnel of the Armed Services Committee voted out its portion of the Department of Defense authorization bill (H.R. 5658) with a provision that provides a 3.9 percent pay raise for the military.
The measure will be considered by the full House Armed Services Committee on May 14, 2008. The subcommittee’s action follows the Senate Armed Services Committee’s reported bill last week with an identical raise. NTEU has worked hard to achieve this pay raise recommendation on both sides of Congress. It is in the interest of pay parity and... Read more ...
05/01/2008
5/1/08: NTEU is offering a Special BJ's Wholesale Club benefit for union members for a limited time. BJ’s is a wholesale club that offers discounted prices on over 6,500 different products and services. Members must sign up for this benefit by May 23, 2008.
The new BJ’s Wholesale Club/NTEU member only benefit is as follows:
$10 off the annual Membership Fee (for new members or renewals); the fee is normally $45 for Inner Circle® memberships;
15-month membership (an three extra months at no cost);
2nd membership card free for a household member (additional cards are usually $20 each); and
BJ’s... Read more ...
05/01/2008
5/1/08: NTEU National President Colleen Kelley today applauded a key Senate committee for approving a bill that would provide a 3.9 percent pay raise for military personnel in fiscal year 2009, a half a percent more than the President requested. She also renewed her call to Congress to continue the long tradition of pay parity between federal civilian employees and members of the military.
President Kelley said that the pay raise included in the mark up of the National Defense Authorization Bill by the Senate Armed Services Committee is well deserved considering the essential services... Read more ...
04/30/2008
4/30/08: On April 29, NTEU National President Colleen Kelley testified before the House Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in favor of increasing the age of FEHBP coverage for dependent children to age 25. This group currently loses FEHBP coverage when they turn age 22.
In her testimony (click here, Testimony, to review), Kelley pointed out to the subcommittee that young people —including dependent children of federal employees — make up the largest and fastest growing segment of the U.S. population without health insurance. Studies... Read more ...
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 ...

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