Union News Archive

6/4/08: Yesterday afternoon, the U.S. House of Representatives passed on a voice vote HR 4106, the Telework Improvements Act of 2007, sponsored by Representative Danny Davis (D-IL). This legislation largely follows recommendations NTEU made in congressional testimony last November.
The bipartisan 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-... Read more ...

Click HERE to read the May 2008 edition of Chapter 293 Works.
5/30/08: NTEU today called on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to establish regulations that guard against arbitrary management decisions leading to discrimination based on age under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), particularly in alternative pay systems.
The NTEU recommendations were submitted to the EEOC in response to a Federal Register notice that, pursuant to a Supreme Court decision, the commission is proposing to revise its regulations governing the burden of proof for disparate impact claims made under the ADEA. Such claims are made under the law... Read more ...

Ralph Talarico
5/27/08: Chapter 293 and the SEC have entered into a memorandum of understanding regarding the implementation of Quicktime, the new web-based time and attendance system for employees at the SEC and a number of other federal agencies.
Under the agreement, bargaining unit employees will commence the use of Quicktime for time and attendance in May and June. However, the use of any pre-defined activity codes for categorizing time will not be required for at least the remainder of FY 2008. Only time spent working or on leave will be tracked for the time being. If the SEC later decides to require... Read more ...
5/27/08: NTEU today welcomed a Supreme Court decision extending to federal employees the same protections against retaliation for alleging age discrimination as are presently enjoyed by private sector workers. NTEU filed an amicus brief in the case arguing for just such a decision.
In a 6-3 decision involving a Postal Service employee, the Court supported a broad reading of the 1967 Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), which was extended to the federal workforce in 1974. It rejected arguments that the exclusive remedies from such retaliation for federal employees are contained in the... Read more ...
President's Perspective, May 2008: In March and April, the new Expanded Telework Trial Program went into effect. Under this new program, which resulted from NTEU’s recent Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations, employees who have in the past participated in recurring telework arrangements at the SEC will be working from home for 3, 4 and in some cases 5 days per week. This program represents a major step forward for the continued expansion of telework opportunities at the SEC. Indeed, many federal agencies have not seen this type of forward progress on telework in recent years.
The... Read more ...
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 ...
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 ...
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.
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...