Union News Archive

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 ...
President's Perspective, June 2007: Last week, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report to Congress reviewing how several federal financial regulatory agencies have implemented key performance management practices. The agencies reviewed by the GAO included the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as nine other agencies: the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC); the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC); the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC); the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA); the Farm Credit Administration (FCA); the Federal... Read more ...
6/27/07: As previously reported at www.secunion.org, a number of NTEU’s hard-fought legislative priorities were included in the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal 2008. Today the House of Representatives is expected to begin consideration. The measure contains the 3.5 percent federal employee pay raise, the reduction in the IRS’s private tax collection program to $1 million, and the A-76 contracting reform provisions.
It is important that the provisions that NTEU has worked hard for remain intact during House consideration. In an effort to educate Members... Read more ...
In April, NTEU Chapter 293 President Greg Gilman and Vice President Veronica Lewis, joined by NTEU Field Representative and Counsel Tim Welsh, made representational visits to both the Atlanta Regional Office (ARO) and the Miami Regional Office (MIRO).
At both offices, Gilman made a luncheon presentation to a large group of employees regarding various issues, including the current status of the CBA negotiations, compensation issues, and issues related to performance appraisal and merit pay. Gilman and Lewis also responded to a number of questions from employees.
In addition to these lunch and... Read more ...
Over the past few months, Chapter 293's Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) negotiating team has continued to work hard towards the goal of obtaining a new agreement with the SEC. During the multi-day negotiating sessions that have taken place at Headquarters in Washington each month this year, the progress has been slow but steady.
During the past few months, the parties have reached tentative agreements on several issues that will be important to employees. For example, the SEC has agreed to the inclusion of a new 4-10 work schedule in Article 7 (Work Schedules), which will afford... Read more ...
6/13/07: NTEU President Colleen Kelley offered her view of telework in the federal sector in the wake of a hearing yesterday by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce and the District of Columbia assessing telework policies and initiatives among government agencies. The subcommittee is examining NTEU-supported bipartisan legislation — S. 1000, the Telework Enhancement Act of 2007, introduced by Senators Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) and Mary Landrieu (D-La.) — which would require over the next year that... Read more ...
6/12/07: Late yesterday the full House Appropriations Committee passed the recommendations of the Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government which contained a number of NTEU’s priority legislative issues. These measures, included in the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act of FY 2008 are expected to be considered on the House Floor next week.
First, the federal employee pay raise of 3.5 percent for 2008 was approved. This amount is one half percent higher than the President recommended and is equal to the 2008 military pay raise approved by the House and... Read more ...
6/6/07: Late yesterday the Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government of the House Appropriations Committee approved a number of NTEU’s priority legislative issues. While specific language will not be available until the full Appropriations Committee takes up the measure next week, the subcommittee took the following action.
First, a federal employee pay raise of 3.5 percent for 2008 was approved. This amount is one half percent higher than the President recommended and is equal to the 2008 military pay raise approved by the House and reported in the Senate. NTEU has advocated... Read more ...
5/25/07: In a development that is significant to the federal employees' pay raise for 2008, the Senate Committee on Armed Services approved S. 567, its version of the Department of Defense’s Authorization Act which includes the 3.5 percent military pay raise. Earlier, on May 17, 2007, the House of Representatives passed its bill with the 3.5 percent raise. The Senate bill will be scheduled for action on the Senate Floor after the Memorial Day recess.
NTEU worked diligently with congressional committees on both the House and Senate sides in favor of the 3.5 percent level. This is ½ percent... Read more ...
5/24/07: On Wednesday, May 23, at the end of the SEC's 52nd Annual Awards Celebration, NTEU Chapter 293 President Greg Gilman and OHR Associate Executive Director Jeff Risinger jointly accepted an award presented to the SEC in recognition of its recent ranking as the "third best place to work" in the federal government. This award was presented by John Palguta from the Partnership for Public Service. The Partnership, together with American University's Institute for the Study of Public Policy Implementation, created the "Best Places to Work" rankings based on the results from last year's OPM... Read more ...
5/22/07: Today, NTEU President Colleen Kelley submitted a statement to the Subcommittee on the Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce and the District of Columbia, a subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. The subcommittee has been reviewing growth trends in health care premiums under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP). In her statement, President Kelley expressed support for three measures to help keep the program affordable for federal employees, retirees, and their dependents in the future. These measures... Read more ...
5/20/07: In recent weeks, Chapter 293 leadership at the SEC has grown stronger through the addition of new stewards in several offices and divisions:
Office of Financial Management: Danny Gay

Division of Enforcement: Lisa Ivory

New York Regional Office: Fred Haberfeld

Division of Enforcement: Cory Kirchert

Office of Administrative Services: Betty Perry

New York Regional Office: Azam Riaz

New York Regional Office: Belinda Rodriguez

Division of Corporation Finance: Dean Suehiro

Office of Information Technology: Luis Toledo

These individuals bring their unique backgrounds,... Read more ...