Union News Archive

11/08/2007
11/8/07: Next Monday, November 12, 2007, the Federal Benefits Open Season will begin. During this period federal employees may elect changes to their health insurance plans under FEHBP as well as to flexible spending accounts (FSAFEDS), and to their dental and vision coverage (FEDVIP).
According to a recent Benefits Administration Letter from the Office of Personnel Management:

There will be no benefit changes in FSAFEDS (flexible spending accounts program) for 2008, although administrative fees may change.


The FEDVIP program will change the effective date for the plan year to 1/1/08,... Read more ...
11/06/2007
10/6/07: The Association of Securites and Exchange Commission Alumni, Inc. ("ASECA") is sponsoring $3,000 scholarship awards for secretaries, paralegals, technical support staff, file clerks and other administrative staff who have worked full time at the SEC for more than one year. ASECA will award up to ten scholarships nationally.
To apply, you must submit the following:
1. A 500-word proposal stating in detail the applicant's educational and professional goals, highlighting the manner in which the applicant intends to utilize the scholarship award to further those goals;
2. A current... Read more ...
11/06/2007
11/6/07: Meaningful and practical federal telework programs are in place at some federal agencies, but uneven commitment by many others has resulted in a spotty track record of success, NTEU National President Colleen Kelley told a House subcommittee today.
In submitted testimony, President Kelley voiced her support for an amendment to H.R. 3221, an energy bill, offered by Reps. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) and Frank Wolf (R-Va.) that would require all federal agencies to establish a written telework policy, and would punish agencies that fail to adhere to it. The language also would require:
All... Read more ...
11/05/2007
11/2/07: NTEU National President Colleen Kelley today offered support for potential legislation that would treat more fairly unused sick leave for workers retiring under the newer Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS).
Under present law, FERS retirees—unlike federal workers who are covered under the older Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS)—are unable to have their sick leave credited in the calculation of their pensions.
In a letter to Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) and Rep. James Moran (D-Va.), who have taken the lead on this issue, President Kelley questioned “the inequitable treatment of... Read more ...
11/02/2007
President's Perspective, November 2007: With the commencement of a new fiscal year at the SEC, I wanted to take a moment to reflect upon Chapter 293’s accomplishments over the past year, which has been a good one for the union and the SEC employees it represents.
Prior to taking office a year ago, the current chapter officers pledged to make specific changes on three fronts in order to establish a solid foundation for the union’s continuing success at the SEC – advocacy for your rights and communications with management, the chapter’s communications with employees, and membership. I am... Read more ...
11/02/2007
Condolences
We extend our deepest sympathies to FWRO member Harold Loftin and his family on the recent tragic death of his son. Please keep the Loftins in your prayers during this extremely difficult time for the family.
Please Visit Our New Chapter 293 Offices
Chapter 293 is now located in much improved new offices at Headquarters in D.C. These offices include a new meeting space and a separate working area. Please come visit us in Rooms 2541 and 2549 in Station Place. Our new mailing address is Mail Stop 1590.
Chapter 293-Negotiated Childcare Center to Open
During the office move bargaining... Read more ...
11/02/2007
Jackie Rivas is a D.C. area native. She was born in Annapolis, Maryland, but grew up in the Virginia suburbs. She enjoys the area because of its international flair and diverse cultural offerings. “There are so many fun things to choose from, exhibits at the Smithsonian museums and the various art galleries, film festivals, the solar decathlon, wine-tastings at the Maison Française, and all the ethnic restaurants to name just a few,” she recently said. Her international interest stems from time spent living in Madrid, Spain, during college. One summer she bought a student rail pass and... Read more ...
11/02/2007
On October 9, Rep. Barney Frank (D. Mass.) spoke to SEC employees at the invitation of Chapter 293. He appeared at the Boston Regional Office and his remarks were video-conferenced to all of the SEC’s offices. Congressman Frank is the Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, which oversees, among other things, the SEC and other entities, such as the NYSE and the NASD, which police the securities markets.
Of particular interest to SEC employees was Rep. Frank’s announcement at the beginning of his speech that new legislation would soon be introduced in Congress to raise the current... Read more ...
11/02/2007
In October, NTEU welcomed legislation in Congress that would reinstate the partnership concept that served federal labor and management so well prior to 2001. “The Federal Labor-Management Partnership Act of 2007 holds great promise for federal employees, their agencies and our country,” NTEU President Colleen Kelley said.
NTEU was an early and strong backer of such partnership efforts, which were successfully implemented under an executive order issued by former President Clinton. That order was rescinded by President Bush in 2001.
The new legislation that would reinstate national and local... Read more ...
11/02/2007
In September, NTEU won an important legal victory against the SEC’s pay-for-performance system in a case that challenged the agency’s implementation of its 2003 merit pay program. In a decision dated September 4, Arbitrator James Harkless found that the SEC’s subjective program for awarding merit step increases violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, as well as the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The parties have been directed to submit briefs to the arbitrator regarding an appropriate remedy by early November.
The 2003 grievance is the first of five pending national... Read more ...
11/02/2007
On Thursday, October 25, the membership of NTEU Chapter 293 voted almost unanimously to ratify a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The final vote result, which was certified by NTEU Counsel Michael Piacsek, was 99.8% in favor of the new contract. Chapter 293's leadership appreciates this strong showing of support from NTEU members across the country. The contract will now go to SEC Chairman Christopher Cox for agency head review. He will have thirty days to decide whether to execute the final ratified agreement. It is anticipated that he will do so, especially given the strong support for... Read more ...
10/25/2007
President's Perspective, October 2007: This afternoon, the membership of NTEU Chapter 293 voted almost unanimously to ratify the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The final vote result, which was certified by NTEU Counsel Michael Piacsek, was 99.8% in favor of the new contract. We appreciate this strong showing of support from our members across the country.
I would like to thank the other members of Chapter 293's negotiating team, Dean Suehiro, Netta Williams, Katie Nix and Veronica Lewis (pictured here), for all of their hard work on this CBA. The negotiations, which spanned over the... Read more ...
10/21/2007
10/18/07: NTEU National President Colleen Kelley today welcomed legislation in both the House and Senate that would reinstate the partnership concept that served federal labor and management so well before it was abandoned by this administration very early in its tenure. “The Federal Labor-Management Partnership Act of 2007 holds great promise for federal employees, their agencies and our country,” she said.
NTEU was an early and strong backer of such partnership efforts, which were successfully implemented under an executive order issued by former President Clinton; that order was rescinded... Read more ...
10/18/2007
10/18/07: NTEU played a key role more than a decade ago in reforming the Hatch Act. NTEU President Colleen Kelley today reflected on the considerable positive impact those changes have had in fostering greater participation by federal employees in the nation’s civic life.
The Hatch Act governs the activities of federal employees in political matters; prior to the 1994 amendments to the law, federal employees were effectively barred from taking part in political activities.
President Kelley offered her assessment of the functioning of the Hatch Act in the post-reform period in testimony before... Read more ...
10/17/2007
NTEU has received questions from members regarding press reports that a health care plan recently proposed by Senator Hillary Clinton would open up FEHBP plans to nonfederal enrollees potentially raising premiums.
NTEU has confirmed that, under this proposed plan, federal enrollees in FEHBP would remain in separate risk pools from any other potential enrollees, thereby ensuring that federal enrollee premiums would not impacted in any way. This was exactly the same treatment of nonfederal enrollees’ participation in FEHBP that was included in the health care plan put forth by Senator John... Read more ...
10/16/2007
10/16/07: Our new collective bargaining agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission is a testimony to the hard work and dedication that the NTEU bargaining team brought to the negotiations table during a difficult bargaining environment. NTEU's team consisted of Chapter 293 members Greg Gilman, Veronica Lewis, Katie Nix, Dean Suehiro and Netta Williams and NTEU Negotiator Kevin Fagan.
It has been more than two years since the SEC announced its plan to reopen the national agreement and, from the beginning, NTEU was intent on retaining and improving the benefits we had already... Read more ...
10/16/2007
WHEN: On Thursday, October 25, 2007, from 1:00PM to 2:00PM EST, NTEU Chapter 293 members will vote on ratification of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. (Members in Washington may want to arrive between 12:30 PM and 1:00 PM to ensure that their names are checked prior to 1:00 PM).
WHERE: Members in Headquarters should go to the main auditorium. Members in regional offices should consult with their steward regarding where to meet. (Any bargaining unit employee who is not a member of the union but who would like to participate in this important vote should click here to fill out a Form SF... Read more ...

10/16/2007



10/16/07: Our new collective bargaining agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission is a testimony to the hard work and dedication that the NTEU bargaining team brought to the negotiations table during a difficult bargaining environment. NTEU's team consisted of Chapter 293 members Greg Gilman, Veronica Lewis, Katie Nix, Dean Suehiro and Netta Williams and NTEU Negotiator Kevin Fagan.
It has been more than two years since the SEC announced its plan to reopen the national agreement and, from the beginning, NTEU was intent on retaining and improving the benefits we had already... Read more ...
10/15/2007
10/15/07: As the National President of NTEU, Colleen Kelley serves on the Federal Salary Council (FSC or Council), an advisory body created under the Federal Employee Pay Comparability Act (FEPCA) to advise the President’s Pay Agent on implementation of the locality pay program established by FEPCA. NTEU National Executive Vice President Frank Ferris is also a member of the Council. The President’s “Pay Agent” is not a single person, but an entity comprised of the Secretary of Labor, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and the Director of the Office of Personnel Management.... Read more ...
10/10/2007
On Thursday, October 25, 2007, from 1:00PM to 2:00PM EST, there will be a meeting of all members of NTEU Chapter 293 for the purpose of ratifying the newly negotiated Collective Bargaining Agreement. At Headquarters, members should meet at the Auditorium. Members in the regions should check their local bulletin boards or ask a steward where to meet. Any bargaining unit employee who is not a member of the union but who would like to participate in this important vote should click here to fill out a Form SF-1187 (Standard Dues Withholding Form), and submit the executed form to a Chapter 293... Read more ...
10/09/2007
10/9/07: Rep. Barney Frank (D. Mass.) spoke to SEC employees this afternoon at the invitation of Chapter 293. He appeared at the Boston Regional Office and his remarks were video-conferenced to all of the SEC’s offices. Congressman Frank, shown here with Chapter 293 President Greg Gilman, is the Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, which oversees, among other things, the SEC and other entities, such as the NYSE and the NASD, which police the securities markets.
Of particular interest to SEC employees was Rep. Frank's announcement at the beginning of his speech that new... Read more ...
10/04/2007
10/4/07: NTEU and the SEC have reached a tentative agreement on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement at the agency. This agreement was negotiated by Chapter 293’s CBA negotiating team, consisting of Chapter 293 members Greg Gilman, Veronica Lewis, Katie Nix, Dean Suehiro and Netta Williams, and NTEU negotiators Jurmell James and Kevin Fagan. Once the new agreement has been finalized, all members of Chapter 293 will be afforded the opportunity to vote on this new contract, which contains a number of important new rights and benefits for all SEC employees.
New Rights and Benefits
Here are some... Read more ...
10/04/2007
10/4/07: Federal employees now make an average of 23 percent less in salaries than their counterparts in the private sector, according to new data released yesterday by the Federal Salary Council (FSC).
That federal employees earn less than employees doing similar work in the private sector has long been acknowledged but new compensation surveys using more refined data, performed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released today by the FSC, indicate that the gap is larger than previously thought. The advisory body put the growth in the public-private pay gap over the past year at six... Read more ...
09/28/2007
9/28/07: Late yesterday, in a vote of 94-1, the Senate passed H.J. Res. 52, the FY 2008 Continuing Resolution (CR) that funds the government agencies at FY 2007 levels until November 16, 2007. Earlier, as reported yesterday, the House passed the resolution by 404-14. The measure now goes to the White House where it is expected to be signed by the President.
Action on this CR means the government will continue to be funded until November 16, 2007. Meanwhile, Congress and the President will continue to work on the regular FY 2008 appropriations bills. Currently, the House has passed all of its... Read more ...
09/27/2007
9/27/07: On September 30, 2007, the federal government’s fiscal year ends. Since 1995 when, under then House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Congress failed to pass measures funding the government and many agencies shut down, NTEU members have been anxious as to the possibility of another shut down.
The House of Representatives has passed a Continuing Resolution (CR) to extend agency funding until November 16, 2007. NTEU expects the Senate will take this CR up later this week. If the President signs the CR into law before the end of the month, there will be no government shutdown before November 16th... Read more ...

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