Union News Archive

12/17/2007
12/17/07: A continuing resolution, funding critical government programs and services, without interruption, through Friday, Dec. 21, was approved by Congress and signed by the President Friday.
Congressional leaders plan to wrap the eleven outstanding funding bills into an omnibus package this week.
NTEU is optimistic that any fiscal 2008 omnibus bill will include a bipartisan-supported 3.5 percent pay increase. NTEU also is closely monitoring proposed legislation to ensure adequate agency funding.
Throughout the appropriations process, NTEU will keep you updated on our efforts.
12/14/2007
12/14/07: As you know, most agencies of the federal government have been running on a Continuing Resolution (CR) since September 30, 2007, the end of the fiscal year. Last night Congress passed another CR to extend agency funding through December 21, 2007. This legislation has now been sent to the President for his signature. If the President signs the CR into law before the end of the week, there will be no government shutdown before December 21st.
Since 1995 when, under House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Congress failed to pass measures funding the government and many agencies shut down, NTEU... Read more ...
12/12/2007
12/13/07: With low turnout, Chapter 293 members selected grade and then SEC service for the seniority rule at HQ. The vote count on the HQ office selection seniority rule was as follows:
Option 1, Grade, then Federal Service - 33
Option 2, Grade, then Step, then Federal Service - 25
Option 3, Grade, then SEC Service - 48
Option 4, Grade, then Step, then SEC Service - 46
Chapter 293 will keep you updated regarding the relocations in coming weeks.
12/06/2007
12/6/07: President Bush has issued the following executive order:
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. All executive branch departments and agencies of the Federal Government shall be closed and their employees excused from duty on Monday, December 24, 2007, the day before Christmas Day, except as provided in section 2 below.
Sec. 2. The heads of executive branch departments and agencies may determine that certain offices and installations of their organizations, or parts... Read more ...
12/05/2007
12/5/07: The ongoing Federal Benefits Open Season for health care coverage and other benefits will run through next Monday, December 10, 2007. SEC employees interested in making changes to their coverage should do so as soon as possible to avoid the last minute crunch. During last year’s open season, many NTEU members could not easily get through to OPM’s site to enroll in the new dental and vision program and, after NTEU intervened, OPM did accommodate those new enrollees. Nevertheless, it was very unnerving for thousands of federal employees.
This year’s Federal Benefits Open Season covers... Read more ...
11/29/2007
11/29/07: The alternative pay plan issued by the White House this week calling for an average 3 percent federal pay raise for federal civilian employees in 2008 is disappointing and a disservice to the talented, dedicated and experienced federal employees who serve the public every day, said NTEU National President Colleen Kelley.
President Kelley said the administration’s pay proposal ignores bipartisan congressional action that would establish a 3.5 percent federal pay increase in 2008. To date, both the full House of Representatives and the Senate Appropriations Committee have approved the... Read more ...
11/27/2007
11/27/07: Nearly six years ago, NTEU National President Colleen Kelley expressed her serious concern about politically-driven appointments to a key federal panel dealing with complex federal labor-management relations who have no background in the issues.
Since that time, said Kelley, “my concerns unfortunately have been more than realized, in the face of a near 80 percent pro-management bias in issues decided by the Federal Service Impasses Panel (FSIP), a cutback in its professional staff of six to only two, and a significant lengthening in the time it takes to get a decision.”
The role of... Read more ...
11/14/2007
11/14/07: As you know, on September 4, Arbitrator James Harkless issued a decision on NTEU's national grievance with respect to the 2003 merit pay distributions, ruling that the SEC’s subjective pay for performance program violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, as well as the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). NTEU and the SEC have now submitted briefs to the arbitrator regarding an appropriate remedy.
NTEU has requested that the arbitrator award full monetary and equitable relief to all affected employees, and also order the SEC to make appropriate modifications to its merit... Read more ...
11/13/2007

11/13/07: NTEU members will again have access to Consumers' Checkbook’s Online Guide to Health Insurance Plans for Federal Employees. All NTEU members who are currently participating, or are planning to participate, in the Federal Employees Health Benefit (FEHB) plans are eligible to use this online guide.
The guide is available through NTEU’s web site, NTEU National's Website, in the “Member Benefits” section throughout Open Season (November 12 – December 10, 2007). It will remain available throughout 2008. The online guide was developed by Consumers’ Checkbook, a nonprofit organization... Read more ...
11/13/2007
11/13/07: Last week, the House Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce held a hearing on telework in the federal sector. NTEU National President Colleen Kelley submitted testimony to the Subcommittee (Download It Here). In addition, NTEU member John Wilke, a teleworking employee of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria, Virginia, testified via videoconference from his suburban Chicago, Illinois, home-office.
Subcommittee Chairman Danny Davis (D-IL) moved quickly after the hearing and on November 9, 2007, introduced legislation on telework that largely follows the recommendation... Read more ...
11/13/2007
11/13/07: In the coming weeks, the SEC will be reorganizing Station Place One and Two. This reorganization will involve the relocation of a large number of employees in an effort to better consolidate various Divisions and Offices. NTEU is currently discussing these moves with management.
As part of this process, NTEU will be providing a seniority rule for the office selection process. In the past, several different rules have been utilized at the SEC for this purpose, and several rules have been proposed by Chapter 293 members in conjunction with the current process.
Chapter 293 members at... Read more ...
11/12/2007
Click on the icons below to review information regarding the SEC's distribution of merit pay step increases in 2005, 2006 and 2007:

Update on Merit Pay

As you know, on September 4, Arbitrator James Harkless issued a decision on NTEU's national grievance with respect to the 2003 merit pay distributions, ruling that the SEC’s subjective pay for performance program violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, as well as the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). NTEU and the SEC have now submitted briefs to the arbitrator regarding an appropriate remedy.
NTEU has requested that the... Read more ...
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 ...

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