Union News Archive

Chairman Meadows
The SEC’s Director of the Office of Human Resources (OHR), Lacey Dingman, will testify this morning before the House Governmental Reform Committee’s Subcommittee on Government Operations. The National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) will be submitting written testimony to the subcommittee. The purpose of the hearing is to review trends in employee engagement as reported in the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government annual rankings. Due directly to successful labor-management collaboration in recent years, in the most recent Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS), the SEC saw... Read more ...
The IRS announcement this week that Americans with overdue federal tax bills will start getting calls from private debt collectors is an unwelcome development that will waste taxpayer money and further endanger taxpayers who are already targeted by financial scams and identity thieves.
The National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) has long opposed the use of private collection agencies (PCAs) to chase delinquent taxpayers because it has proven to be inefficient, unfair to lower-income taxpayers, and it opens doors for fraud and abuse.
“Every time this has been tried before, it has failed,”... Read more ...
Last week, President Donald Trump issued this Presidential Memorandum establishing the White House Office of American Innovation (OAI).  Headed by Jared Kushner, Senior Advisor and son in law to the President, and consisting of several other senior White House staff, the OAI’s mission is to make recommendations to the President on policies and plans that improve government operations and services, improve the quality of life for Americans, and spur private sector job creation. It is responsible for launching initiatives with a focus on innovation, coordinating implementation of any resulting... Read more ...
This week the SEC is celebrating SEC Telework Week to recognize the success of the telework program negotiated by the union for SEC employees. Under Collective Bargaining Agreement Article 11, employees may telework up to five days per week, affording them greater flexibility to balance their work and personal lives. The agency's celebration of the union's telework program presents an important opportunity to review the history of this benefit. Employees should remember that programs like telework exist at the agency solely due to the hard fought efforts of the union in the face of consistent... Read more ...
Legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives by Representative Barry Loudermilk (GA) that would upend the current adverse action procedures under title 5 United States Code for employee removals. H.R. 559, titled the Modern Employment Reform, Improvement, and Transformation Act of 2017, or so-called “MERIT Act,” was introduced with several original cosponsors:  Congressmen Austin Scott (GA), Grothman (WI), Barr (KY), Messer (IN), Babin (TX), Arrington (TX), and Bishop (MI). 
Under the bill, agency heads would be able to propose removal of an employee based on performance or... Read more ...
House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman, Jason Chaffetz (UT) has introduced H.R. 396, the “Tax Accountability Act” that would require the firing of federal employees with “seriously delinquent” federal tax debt. H.R. 396 is similar to legislation introduced during the 114th Congress (H.R. 1563) that failed to garner the two-thirds majority votes needed for approval under the procedure used in the House for this bill’s consideration and thus, was not approved.
As introduced, H.R. 396 would require all federal job applicants to certify that they do not have a seriously... Read more ...
Last week, the House of Representatives formally voted on its rules of procedure for the new Congress (2017-2018). As the majority party, the House Republican conference met on Monday evening to deliberate over and to finalize the rules package that was voted on late last week by the whole House. NTEU opposed the package. Nevertheless, it passed by a vote of 234 to 193.
This package included a notable change for appropriations measures that affects federal agencies and federal employees. Under the Holman Rule, which originated in 1876 and was last abandoned in 1983, amendments would be... Read more ...
Attached is a copy of the Executive Order issued by the White House implementing the 2.1 percent average pay increase for General Schedule federal employees that is effective with the first pay period of 2017. 
The President’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 budget proposal to Congress recommended a 1.6 percent average pay increase for 2017, with one percent designated for the across-the-board pay raise and the remaining amount allocated to increasing locality pay rates. Earlier, the President, under authority provided by the federal pay law, issued alternative pay plans to Congress calling for the 1.6... Read more ...
Congressional leaders released language this week for a short-term Continuing Resolution (CR) that will avert a government shutdown at midnight on Friday when current agency appropriations are set to lapse. This CR, the Further Continuing and Security Assistance Appropriations Act, 2017 (H.R. 2028) will keep federal agencies running at their current funding levels through April 28, 2017 though agencies will absorb an across-the-board cut of 0.1901%. The measure includes additional funding for defense and other foreign operations as well as emergency natural disaster relief; however, it... Read more ...
Medical Insurance
Yesterday, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) briefed NTEU on the premium rate increases in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) for 2017 that covers approximately 8.2 million federal employees, retirees, and eligible family members. In plan year 2017, the FEHBP will consist of 245 health plans government-wide. Overall, premium increases for FEHBP plans in 2017 will average 4.4%; 3.7% for the government and 6.2% for enrollees. Rate increases for the 1.7 million participants in the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program will be 1.9% for dental... Read more ...
White House
Today the President sent Congressional leaders a formal letter transmitting an alternative pay plan for the calendar year 2017 pay raise for federal workers in the General Schedule. Under current law, absent congressional action to establish a pay raise, the annual, across-the-board pay raise for most federal employee pay systems is set automatically using a formula tied to the Department of Labor’s Employment Cost Index (ECI), which measures the rise in private-sector pay.  However, the law also provides the President with the ability to set a different pay raise amount, which is required to... Read more ...
This week, the SEC announced its implementation of this program requiring employees to insert their HSPD-12 ID cards into their keyboards to gain access to the SEC computer network. Through the use of this tool, the SEC will be able to monitor and collect data concerning when employees are on the agency's network and when they are not.
The union does not oppose the use of HSPD-12 cards to ensure the security of the SEC's network. However, in repeated communications with the SEC's Office of Human Resources, the union requested that the SEC agree not to utilize the data it collects from the use... Read more ...
Have you considered some of the important legislation that would impact federal employees that is currently pending in Congress?
Federal Pay Legislation
H.R. 4585 (Connolly-VA) and S. 2699 (Sen. Schatz-HI)-provide federal employees with a 5.3% pay raise in 2017. NTEU Supports.
H.R. 1137 (Rice-SC)-cuts certain federal salaries immediately by 8.7% and limits future pay raises. NTEU Opposes.
Retirement & Health Care Benefits
H. Con. Res. 125-Proposed House Budget for FY2017 (Price-GA) –disproportionately targets federal employee benefit programs, resulting in significantly higher retirement... Read more ...
The House leadership’s proposed budget for fiscal year (FY) 2017, which calls for significant cuts to discretionary and mandatory spending over the next ten years, advanced out of the House Budget Committee last week on a party-line vote, but House leadership has so far been unable to secure the needed votes to pass it on the House floor.  House leadership has announced their plan to attempt a floor vote in mid-April as they work to secure additional support from Republican members who want greater cuts to overall spending.
Specifically, the budget calls for $49 billion in unspecified cuts in... Read more ...
Tammy Duckworth
Earlier this week, Representatives Tammy Duckworth (IL) and Richard Hanna (NY) introduced legislation to clarify that it is a prohibited personnel practice in the federal government to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. NTEU strongly supports this legislation and applauds the bill sponsors for their leadership on this issue.
In 1983, the Reagan Administration concluded that a federal employee in the excepted service had merit system protections from being dismissed solely because of his or her sexual orientation.  That determination has been further... Read more ...
Gerry Connolly
NTEU is supporting legislation that would give federal employees a 5.3 percent pay raise in January. The measure was introduced by Rep. Gerry Connolly (Va.) with 32 original cosponsors. Titled the FAIR Act (Federal Adjustment of Income Rates), the bill calls for a 3.9 percent across the board raise, plus a 1.4 percent adjustment for locality pay. 
The administration proposed a 1.6 percent pay raise in its budget proposal but NTEU believes that adjustment is too low. Federal employees are trailing their private-sector counterparts after three years of no raises, and three years of miniscule... Read more ...
House of Representatives
On March 1st, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform considered and approved multiple federal workforce bills, while separately the House of Representatives passed a federal hiring bill on the floor, clearing the measure for the President’s signature.   
The committee began by considering a bill to change agencies’ use of administrative leave for the purposes of conducting investigations of employees in the areas of misconduct and performance. Earlier in January, Chairman Jason Chaffetz (UT) introduced H.R. 4359, a bill that would only provide paid administrative leave for up... Read more ...
President Obama
President Obama’s budget recommendation for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017, which is to be formally unveiled on Tuesday, February 9, is now expected to include an average 1.6% pay raise for both federal civilian and military personnel. This proposed 1.6% pay adjustment for General Schedule federal employees would be effective January 2017.
As your Exclusive Representative, we view the amount of the Administration’s total proposed average raise — 1.6 percent — as far too low, particularly given the recent history on federal employee pay increases and the continued economic recovery underway which has... Read more ...
Capital Building
On January 12, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform considered and approved several federal workforce bills, including a bill opposed by NTEU to substantially extend probationary periods for new employees.
One of the key measures considered was H.R. 3023, a bill introduced by Rep. Ken Buck (CO) that would extend the current one year probationary period to two years for new employees hired into the competitive service. Additionally, this legislation would have the two year probationary period begin only after any required training for the position, meaning that employees... Read more ...
Late last week, the SEC’s Office of Human Resources (OHR) informed the union that the agency had decided not to fund the Backup Child and Elder Care Program at the level needed to continue to provide the amount of care promised to employees. As a consequence, since at least December 9th, all SEC employees have been turned away with respect to any backup care that they have requested during the month of December. The union has filed a national grievance for failure to negotiate a change to the program before implementing that change.
The Backup Child and Elder Care Program is an important... Read more ...
The Union was required to file a national grievance today to challenge the SEC's breach of its prior agreement to allow first-year SEC employees to participate in the Student Loan Repayment Program (SLRP).
In June 2014, the SEC and the Union entered into a memorandum of understanding in connection with certain changes in the SLRP. Pursuant to that agreement, the SEC agreed to:
waive for all bargaining unit employees the requirement contained within Article 25, Section 5, that ‘an employee must have completed one year of service with the Employer’ to participate in the SLRP (the ‘1-Year... Read more ...
Today, the SEC finally announced that, pursuant to its contractual agreements with the Union, it is creating new accounts to provide an additional 3% supplemental retirement match to all employees at the SEC. Many newer SEC employees are not aware of the fact that the Union had to fight for over a decade to establish these supplemental retirement accounts, which have long been enjoyed by federal employees at other financial regulatory agencies. Today is a good day to review the history of this program at the SEC.
Thirteen years ago, in 2002, the National Treasury Employees Union’s Legislative... Read more ...
The administration and House and Senate Leaders have crafted a deal to increase sequester spending levels for both domestic and defense spending for FY 2016 and 2017. The legislation, which is expected to be acted on by the House and Senate in the next few days, would also raise the debt ceiling until March 2017. If passed, the bill would avoid a debt ceiling default on November 3rd that could have prevented federal salaries from being paid.
The bill would increase domestic and defense spending caps by $25 billion each in 2016 and $15 billion each in 2017.  Separate FY 2016 spending... Read more ...
Today, NTEU received updated information from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) regarding the recent background investigations breach that affects approximately 21.5 million individuals. First announced in early June, this enormous breach involves the theft of Standard Forms 85, 85P, and 86 that are filled out by federal job applicants, employees and contractors, as well as other background materials and records, including investigative notes. 
Until today, OPM had stated that 1.1 million of the 21.5 million compromised individuals whose background records were stolen also had had... Read more ...
Newborn Baby
Yesterday, Sen. Brian Schatz (HI) and Sen. Barbara Mikulski (MD) introduced legislation to provide six weeks of paid leave for federal workser for the birth, adoption or fostering of a child. In introducing the legislation, which is supported by NTEU, the Senators pointed out that the U.S. is the only industrial nation in the world without paid parental leave. Although the Family and Medical Leave Act allows employees to take 12 weeks of unpaid leave for medical and family issues, many working families cannot afford to go without a paycheck. Sen. Schatz’s legislation would ease the pressure... Read more ...