Union News Archive

9/18/07: An important House subcommittee has marked up legislation containing provisions that would strengthen and expand the rights of federal employees and members of the military — including allowing retirees from both groups to use pre-tax income to pay health insurance premiums. At present, only current federal workers can use pre-tax income for such payments.
The National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), which played a key role in securing the benefit for federal workers starting in 2000, has been strongly advocating its extension to retirees as well.
The markup by the House Oversight... Read more ...
9/17/07: Mark your calendars -- training by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants is scheduled to occur December 10-12 at SEC Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Chapter 293 requested in past Labor-Management Relations Committee meetings that this AICPA training be webcast for employees who are not able to attend in person. Like last year, the training will be webcast in the Main Auditorium at HQ.
Please let your manager know if you intend to attend the training. You can receive a CPE certificate for attending. To get credits, please contact your Administrative Officer in... Read more ...
9/14/07: NTEU President Colleen Kelley today called on the Senate to join the House in approving legislation that would expand voting rights for residents of the District of Columbia by providing them with voting representation in the House of Representatives.
In a letter to senators, President Kelley said S. 1257, introduced by Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), “would correct a grave injustice—namely, the disenfranchisement of American citizens who live in the District of Columbia.” She noted that a great many NTEU members are District residents.
At present,... Read more ...
9/13/07: The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announcement today that the increase in health insurance premiums for enrollees in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) will average 2.1 percent in 2008 is severely undercut by the stunning 8.5 percent average increase in premiums for the Blue Cross/Blue Shield plan. Nearly 60 percent of the 8 million federal employees, retirees, and their family members in the FEHBP are enrolled in the Blue Cross plan.
“The increase to the Blue Cross/Blue Shield premium rates comes even though OPM used cash reserves to hold down overall... Read more ...
9/13/07: On September 12, 2007, the full Senate Appropriations Committee approved the recommendation of its Subcommittee on Defense and passed the military pay raise at 3.5 percent for fiscal year 2008. The Senate Committee’s version of H.R. 3222 passed out of committee unanimously, 29-0.
This development further demonstrates the bipartisan support for NTEU’s request for an increase of one-half percent above the administration’s proposed 3 percent increase for the military and civilian workforce. At the present time, all major legislative vehicles that address the two raises have either been... Read more ...

Obtaining Full Funding for the SEC's Merit Pay Program

Increasing the SEC's Retirement Match for SEC Employees in Accordance with the Pay Parity Legislation

Obtaining a 3.5% COLA for 2008

Click these links to review news about NTEU's arbitration victory on the merit pay system.
Business Week
Washington Post
Washington, D.C.—In an important legal victory for the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), an arbitrator has ruled that a pay-for-performance system unilaterally designed and implemented by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is illegal because it has resulted in discrimination against large groups of agency employees.
“This decision should serve as yet another warning against rushing to implement pay-for-performance systems in the federal workplace,” said NTEU President Colleen M. Kelley. “The SEC system failed because it lacks fairness, credibility and transparency, which... Read more ...
9/6/07 (A message from NTEU National President Colleen Kelley): NTEU has won an important legal victory against the unfair and fundamentally-flawed pay-for-performance system at the SEC. An arbitrator ruled that the pay system unilaterally-designed and implemented by the agency is illegal because it has resulted in discrimination against large groups of agency employees.
In a case challenging the SEC’s implementation of its 2003 “pay for performance” program, Arbitrator James Harkless found that the agency’s subjective program for awarding merit step increases violated Title VII of the Civil... Read more ...
Rep. Barney Frank (D. Mass.), Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, has accepted an invitation from Chapter 293 to speak to SEC employees. He will appear at the Boston Regional Office on Tuesday, October 9, at 12:00 EST, and he will be video-conferenced to all of the SEC’s offices. At HQ, employees should meet at the Closed Commission Hearing Room, No. 10800. Regional employees should ask their local steward where to meet. The House Financial Services Committee oversees, among other things, the SEC and other entities, such as the NYSE and the NASD, that police the securities... Read more ...
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has announced a change for the FEHBP open season to encompass FSAFEDS and FEDVIP. In a recent Benefits Administration Letter (07-401), OPM has indicated that one open season will cover all three major federal programs. Click HERE to review the letter.
Federal employees need to be prepared to make decisions and/or changes, if they desire, not only to their health insurance under FEHBP, but also to their flexible spending accounts, known as FSAFEDS. You will recall, under FSAFEDS federal employees can set aside pre-tax funds to pay for eligible, out-of-... Read more ...
8/27/07: U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales resigns; SEC Chairman Chris Cox mentioned on list of possible successors. Click HERE to review the article.
8/7/07: The Senate Finance and Judiciary committees released a 108-page report concluding a yearlong investigation into the firing of former SEC Enforcement attorney Gary Aguirre. The investigation involved interviews of 30 individuals and a review of 10,000 pages of documents. The report criticized the SEC's handling of an investigation of suspicious hedge fund trading that led Aguirre's firing. Click here to view or download a copy of the report.
8/7/07: Walter J. Stachnik, who has been inspector general of the SEC since the job was created in 1989, retired Friday, the day the Senate said his role in the investigation of allegations that a hedge fund engaged in insider trading and other suspicious trading was "flawed from the beginning and hindered by missteps during the entire process." Click HERE to review the article.
An amendment to House-passed energy legislation would focus much-needed attention by federal managers on telework programs, and NTEU will work for its inclusion when energy legislation goes to a House-Senate conference committee, NTEU President Colleen Kelley said today.
The energy bill amendment, authored by Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.), who worked with Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.)—a leading congressional supporter of telework—was made part of that legislation because of the significant positive impact telework can have on energy conservation.
“NTEU strongly supports this amendment and I am... Read more ...
8/7/07: By an overwhelming margin, delegates to the 51st NTEU National Convention have re-elected, for a third term, the union’s top officers—National President Colleen M. Kelley and National Executive Vice President Frank D. Ferris. Both were first elected to their positions in August 1999.
“I’m honored by the confidence of our leadership reflected in this vote,” President Kelley said. “Our efforts will continue to be directed toward improving the federal workplace for the men and women we are privileged to represent and who, by their job performance every day, earn the respect and thanks... Read more ...
7/31/07: Various pay-for-performance systems often are touted as an effort to improve effectiveness and morale in the federal workplace, but there is no hard evidence these alternative systems accomplish those ends. In fact, there is evidence they have the opposite impact, NTEU President Colleen Kelley told a House subcommittee today.
At the same time as she delivered that message, Kelley pressed her call for a 3.5 percent pay raise for federal employees in 2008. “Federal employees deserve what every other employee deserves,” Kelley told the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee... Read more ...
7/27/07: Congress took two important steps this week to advance the 3.5 percent military pay raise. In so doing, Congress moved forward the likelihood of enacting the 3.5 percent level for both military personnel and federal civilian employees.
First, in a procedural surprise, the Senate removed the pay raise from its version of H.R. 1585, the large Department of Defense Authorization Act and attached it to another legislative vehicle, its version of H.R.1538, the “wounded warrior legislation.” H.R. 1538 then passed the Senate by voice vote. Since that bill had already passed the House, the... Read more ...
7/25/07: Late last week, Chapter 293 and the SEC entered into a memorandum of understanding regarding two compensation issues that will affect hundreds of employees. The SEC agreed that all employees in grades with 31-step pay ranges will now be eligible to progress to the top of the pay range for their grade, without continuing to impose a ceiling at Step 27. In addition, Chapter 293 and the agency also reached agreement on an outstanding issue related to the October order of the Federal Service Impasses Panel (“FSIP”) – the SEC has agreed that all so-called “securities industry specialist”... Read more ...
7/25/07: Last Friday, SEC management announced that the Merit Pay budget for this year will be 2% of the agency’s current compensation level. This is the second consecutive year that the SEC has chosen not to fully fund the budget for the Merit Pay process at a level necessary to accomplish the program’s stated goals.
Due to the fact that each step increase under the Merit Pay program is worth approximately 1.5%, the SEC’s decision to fund the program at 2% will mean that the average Merit Pay step increase will be worth only approximately 1⅓ steps. The net result will be that managers will... Read more ...
7/25/07: Yet another approval by a key congressional body—the House Appropriations Committee—of a 3.5 percent 2008 pay raise for members of the military is further evidence of the strong bipartisan support for pay parity and a pay increase higher than proposed by the administration. NTEU strongly supports this latest action, in the markup of the 2008 Defense Appropriations bill, to provide a 3.5 percent military pay raise in 2008, and calls upon the full House to approve the measure. At each step of the legislative process thus far dealing with both military and federal civilian pay, both... Read more ...
7/17/07: Last week, Rep. Barney Frank, Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, sent a letter to SEC Chairman Christopher Cox expressing his support for the implementation of supplemental retirement benefits for SEC employees, and requesting information regarding why such benefits have not been established by the agency. The Financial Services Committee oversees, among other things, the SEC and other entities, such as the New York Stock Exchange and the NASD, that police the securities markets.
Chapter 293 reported last month on NTEU's continuing efforts to convince the SEC to... Read more ...
7/12/07: NTEU President Colleen Kelley told a key House subcommittee today that current efforts to reform guidelines governing employee rights and merit protections are “misguided” and threaten the entire foundation of a strong, nonpartisan and professional federal career civil service.
The credibility of both the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) and the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) is under attack, Kelley said in written testimony submitted to a hearing of the House Government Reform Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce. If the agencies’ basic mission — protecting the workplace... Read more ...
7/10/07: A Senate Appropriations Subcommittee today approved a 3.5 percent pay raise in 2008 for federal civilian employees in its final markup of the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill.
NTEU has been strongly supporting a minimum 3.5 percent boost, citing the importance of fair pay to recruiting and retaining quality federal employees. NTEU President Colleen Kelley noted that the vote "is welcome recognition in Congress of the importance of a fair pay raise to the ability of federal agencies to recruit and retain the high-quality employees they need and depend upon... Read more ...