Union News Archive

3/3/14:  We regret to inform you that, this week, the union is seeking intervention from a federal mediator at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) regarding the merit salary increase for the FY 2013 rating period that ended on September 30, 2013. This increase should have been paid in January, 2014.  If the issue is not resolved through mediation at FMCS, the union will be required to seek the intervention of the Federal Service Impasses Panel (FSIP).
The SEC's current merit pay offer is materially less than what the parties agreed upon last year. Furthermore, management is ... Read more ...
3/3/14:  The SEC recently briefed union officials on the status of the 1% retirement match that the agency promised to put in place by June 2013, retroactive to January 2013. The agency informed the union that the Office of Human Resources still hopes to have the new match in place prior to April 15, 2014, so that the match can still be made for 2013 contributions under IRS rules. The SEC is attempting to get SEC employees the additional retirement match in accounts that would be managed by another federal agency that already has a similar program set up for its own employees.
At the union’s... Read more ...
1/17/14: Last week, NTEU won a national grievance against the IRS for its refusal to provide retroactive transit benefits to its employees under the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA). The independent arbitrator ordered the IRS to pay retroactive transit benefits to IRS employees for each month in 2012. NTEU has a similar case pending against the SEC, which is scheduled for an arbitration hearing in early 2014. Furthermore, other financial regulators, such as the FDIC and NCUA, voluntarily provided this retroactive transit benefit to their employees. Nevertheless, we have remained... Read more ...
1/17/14:  NTEU and the SEC are entering into a new agreement this week to provide parking subsidies and bicycle expense reimbursement benefits to SEC employees.
Under the new parking program, eligible employees will be permitted to elect to have money deducted from their bi-weekly pay on a pre-tax basis to cover qualified parking expenses up to the maximum amount permitted by law (currently $245 per month). “Qualified parking” is parking provided to an employee by the SEC, or  on or near the SEC office, or on or near a location from which the employee commutes to work (including by carpool,... Read more ...
1/17/14: Last month, the Partnership for Public Service (“PPS”) released its Best Places to Work in the Federal Government rankings for 2013. The PPS rankings are based on the results of the Office of Personnel Management-administered Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS), which SEC employees completed in early 2013.
The SEC continued to perform poorly in the rankings. This year it placed 15thof 23 agencies in its category of Mid-Size Agencies.  The SEC was ranked 3rd on the list as recently as 2006. 
The SEC’s scores remained relatively unchanged since 2012. It appears that the single... Read more ...
12/4/13:  This afternoon, the union filed a national grievance against the SEC for its failure to implement the new professional dues reimbursement program provided in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The new CBA contains a provision requiring the SEC to reimburse SEC employees for their eligible professional dues, “up to $400 per year.” Eligible dues include dues for maintaining licenses  or memberships that are required in order to be employed in an SEC position (for example, attorneys’ and CPAs’ dues), or that, as a practical matter, the SEC encourages employees to hold (for example,... Read more ...
12/3/13: The current transit subsidy of $245 per month is scheduled to expire on December 31, 2013. Unless Congress takes action, the subsidy will drop back to $130 per month on January 1, 2014. NTEU supported legislation pending in the House by Representative Grimm (NY), H.R. 2288, the “Commuter Parity Act of 2013,” and in the Senate by Senator Schumer (NY), S. 1116, the “Commuter Benefits Equity Act of 2013,” which would prevent a reduction in the transit benefit by creating permanent parity between the transit and parking portions of the commuter benefit.
As you may remember, earlier this... Read more ...
10/24/13:  This week, the union requested assistance from a mediator at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) concerning the SEC’s plan to substantially increase surveillance of SEC employees. The SEC plans to activate “egress pads” at all Regional Offices which will require SEC employees to “card out” whenever they exit the building. This egress pad system will collect exit data, in effect creating a “time clock” system at the SEC. The union and SEC management have a fundamental disagreement over the use of this data to discipline employees for alleged “time and attendance”... Read more ...
10/22/13: Last week, union members attending Chapter 293's Annual Meeting voted overwhelming, by a 99.5% margin, to ratify the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The contract is now subject to "agency head review" by Chair White for a thirty-day period. We expect it to be in effect in mid-November.
10/22/13:  Last week, union members who were present at NTEU Chapter 293's Annual Meeting voted overwhelming, by a 99.5% margin, to ratify the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The contract is now subject to "agency head review" by Chair White for a thirty-day period. We expect it to be in effect in mid-November.
10/9/13: Early this summer, the SEC stated that, beginning this year, new employees would be granted a waiver from the one-year service requirement for participating in the Student Loan Repayment Program (SLRP). These waivers would have permitted new employees to participate in the program during their first year at the SEC.  The SEC has now reversed course.  In new guidance issued just a few weeks ago, the SEC is now instructing managers that an SLRP waiver may only be granted if: (i) the employee was offered a waiver “as a recruitment incentive prior to joining the SEC”; or (ii) in... Read more ...
10/9/13:  Last week, the SEC reported to the Union that the implementation of the 1% retirement match that the agency agreed upon in the FY 2013 compensation agreement will be delayed until at least the end of 2013. Union officials expressed their frustration with the continuing delays. Today, the Union filed a national grievance to compel compliance with the parties’ 2012 memorandum of understanding (MOU) on this issue.
The SEC signed the FY 2013 compensation MOU almost one year ago, in December of 2012. This contract included a new 1% retirement match, to be implemented in June 2013,... Read more ...
9/24/13:  The Union was pleased to participate in today's announcement to OCIE staff of the new SK-14 examiner position. The creation of this new position has been something the Union has pushed for since 2011.
In 2011, the Union was notified by several employees of an issue within OCIE that impacted attorneys working as Compliance Examiners. Although these employees had a JD, the SEC was unwilling to reclassify them to an SK-14 Attorney Advisor position, despite their experience. At the time, the only sure path to an SK-14 position was to seek reclassification to a Grade 14 Staff Accountant... Read more ...
9/24/13: The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) today announced an average increase of 3.7 percent in 2014 health premiums for federal employees and retirees.
“Higher health premiums are yet another financial hardship for federal employees and retirees in these tough economic times,” said NTEU National President Colleen M. Kelley. “Any increase in premiums places an undue burden on federal employees given the freeze on federal pay, unpaid furloughs and now the threat of a government shutdown.”
In announcing the 2014 premium rates for plans under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program... Read more ...
When:  On Tuesday, October 15, 2013, from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM EST, NTEU Chapter 293 will hold its annual member meeting. At the meeting, members will vote on ratification of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). (Members in Washington may want to arrive between 11:30 AM and 12:00 PM to ensure that their names are checked prior to 12:00 PM.
9/18/13:  Yesterday, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released this guidance regarding a possible government shutdown that would impact agencies funded through Congressional appropriations, including the SEC. As you know, current funding authority for federal agencies will run out on September 30, the end of the 2013 fiscal year. No individual agency funding bills have been enacted so far for fiscal year 2014, which is less than two weeks away. 
The House of Representatives was scheduled to vote last week on a Continuing Resolution (CR) that would fund the entire federal government... Read more ...
In a move that will have a significant, long-term impact on the SEC's culture, SEC Chair Mary Jo White appears to be moving the SEC further towards a two-class pay and benefits system that provides SEC managers with bigger raises, better retirement benefits and more perquisites. In September, Chair White announced at a managers-only town hall meeting that the agency will be providing several special new perquisites to managers only this fall:

Additional Supplemental Retirement Match of 3% (Frontline Staff Will Receive 1%)

A $500 Annual Reimbursement for Professional Dues (Frontline... Read more ...
9/11/13: The Union has fought for over a decade to establish a supplemental retirement match for all employees at the SEC – and the agency has repeatedly promised a 2% match to frontline staff for seven years, but has broken that promise. For that reason, management’s decision this week to provide a 3% supplemental match to managers only has angered many frontline employees. Indeed, the harm to morale caused by management’s latest move can only be fully understood in the context of the agency's tireless efforts since 2002 to block the Union from obtaining this important benefit for all SEC... Read more ...
9/3/13: Friday, the President called for a one percent pay increase for the federal workforce for FY 2014. The pay raise is scheduled to be effective January 1, 2014.  This brings to an end a three-year freeze on federal pay.  While no further action is needed for the raise to go into effect, NTEU is working to prevent any Congressional action to block it.
As you know, in the weeks ahead, Congress must pass a budget for FY 2014 and increase the debt limit. During these deliberations, NTEU will press Congress to remember that federal employees already have contributed some $114 billion toward... Read more ...
7/18/13: Legislation has been introduced in the House by Rep. Grimm, H.R. 2288, the “Commuter Parity Act of 2013,” and in the Senate by Sen. Schumer, S. 1116, the “Commuter Benefits Equity Act of 2013,” that would create permanent parity between the transit and parking portions of the commuter benefit.
As you may remember, earlier this year, as part of the “American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012,” Congress included NTEU supported language that restored the mass transit portion of the commuter benefit to the same level as the benefit for parking, to $245/month.  However, because the increase in... Read more ...
7/18/13: As the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee prepares for another hearing today to consider testimony related to the May Treasury Inspector General For Tax Administration’s (TIGTA) report on the handling of tax-exempt status requests, more evidence is coming out that confirms that IRS employees had no political motivation and did not single out only one political ideology for extra scrutiny.
A recent letter from the Oversight Committee’s Ranking Minority Member Elijah Cummings to Committee Chairman Darrel Issa provides additional evidence that IRS employees did not act with... Read more ...
7/9/13:  Today, the SEC sent out notices to SEC employees informing them about a data breach involving their personally identifiable information (PII), including the names, dates of birth and social security numbers of individuals who worked for the SEC prior to October 2009. The Union has requested a briefing on this issue, and has also requested that the agency provide one year of credit monitoring services to all affected employees who request it.
What we have been told so far is that this breach occurred in 2009, when a former SEC employee, who had access to employee lists with PII as... Read more ...
6/28/13:  To All Chapter 293 Stewards and Executive Board Members:
As you have probably heard by now, the Federal Service Impasses Panel (FSIP) Factfinder issued his report regarding our Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) negotiations on Monday of this week.
The Union has not yet reported on this development to the SEC employees we represent because I have been engaged in discussions with Chair White about possibly reaching immediate agreement on this contract and issuing a positive joint message about the agreement. This deal would involve the SEC giving us some additional provisions... Read more ...