Union News Archive

11/8/12: NTEU will match—dollar for dollar—money donated to a special fund that provides emergency assistance to federal employees of NTEU-represented agencies impacted by megastorm Sandy, NTEU National President Colleen Kelley announced today.
“Though more than a week has passed, many federal workers are still coping with the devastation caused by hurricane-turned-megastorm Sandy and are facing a lengthy road to rebuilding and recovery,” said Kelley. All donations made to the NTEU Fund at the Federal Employees Education and Assistance (FEEA) Fund will be doubled—up to $25,000.
“With tens of... Read more ...
Chapter 293 will hold its annual meeting for Union members on Tuesday, October 16, from 12:00 PM to 1:15 PM, EDT. The meeting will occur at the Headquarters Main Auditorium in Washington, D.C., and it will be videocast to the regional offices. An interpreter for the hearing impaired will attend the meeting. In Washington, the meeting will be followed by a complementary barbecue lunch for members at 1:30 PM in the Multipurpose Room. HQ employees should RSVP by COB on October 9, 2012 to reidk@sec.gov if they would like to attend the barbecue. Regional office employees should speak with a... Read more ...
10/1/12:  NTEU this week requested that the Federal Service Impasses Panel (FSIP) assert jurisdiction over the impasse in the negotiations between the Union and the SEC over a new collective bargaining agreement. After a year and half of negotiations, the SEC and the Union are at impasse over several substantive issues. The matter will likely be assigned to a member of the FSIP to assist with resolution of the remaining disputes.
This trip to the FSIP comes on the heels of the SEC's settlement of an unfair labor practices complaint lodged against it by the Federal Labor Relations Authority (... Read more ...
10/1/12: Chapter 293's Election Committee has certified the results of the 2012 chapter elections. The winners of the contested elections are as follows:
Executive Board Representatives, HQ Professional:  Noel Gittens, Mickael Moore and Kevin Stertzel; and
Executive Board Representative, HQ At Large:  Corey Jennings.
The results of the uncontested elections are as follows:
President:  Greg Gilman;
Vice President:  Patricia Copeland;
Secretary:  April Keyes;
Treasurer:  Dean Suehiro;
Executive Board Representative, ARO:  John O'Halloran;
Executive Board Representative, BRO:  Dan Barry;... Read more ...
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released a report this week outlining the sequester, or automatic budget cuts, that will go into effect on January 2, 2013 pursuant to the Budget Control Act of 2011, unless Congress acts to cancel them. The budget cuts will total $109 billion for 2013, $54.6 billion from defense and $54.6 billion from nondefense.  The percentage cuts will be 9.4% for defense discretionary accounts, 10% of defense mandatory accounts, 8.2% for domestic discretionary accounts and 7.6% for domestic mandatory accounts.  While a small number of accounts will be exempt from... Read more ...
August 3, 2012 emails
August 17, 2012 email from Lacey Dingman to management.
A little over a year after giving the following special Labor Day message on September 5, 1960, President John F. Kennedy signed Executive Order 10988 granting collective bargaining rights to federal employees:
May I offer my congratulations to the members of organized labor on this 1960 Labor Day.
American labor has insisted upon, and won, the highest wages and best working conditions in the world. You have not been content to sit still and let well enough alone. You have shown that high living standards can be won within the context of freedom.
Yours has been a pragmatic movement basing... Read more ...
9/5/12:  In a decision last week, an independent federal arbitrator ruled that SEC management in the New York Regional Office ("NYRO") violated the Collective Bargaining Agreement ("CBA") between the SEC and NTEU by reassigning a part-time Staff Accountant and mother of two to a full time schedule. The arbitrator ordered the agency to restore her prior part-time schedule.
The grievant in this case, Jacqueline Fine, is a Grade 14 Staff Accountant in the NYRO who worked for a number of years for the SEC on a half-time schedule. Ms. Fine took maternity leave a couple of years ago after the birth... Read more ...
8/23/12: Last week, NTEU Chapter 293 filed a national grievance against the SEC seeking an order compelling the agency to stop its use of the numerical ratings from the FY 2011 pilot run of the so-called "evidence based" performance management system ("EBP"). The Union expects that it will be necessary to take this matter to arbitration.
Last year, as part of an agreement with the Union to permit the agency to move forward with a "pilot run" of the EBP system, the SEC agreed that it would not use the numerical ratings for any official purpose:
“The 5-level numerical ratings generated under... Read more ...
8/22/12: Yesterday, the White House issued its alternative pay plan which would implement a 0.5% pay raise for civilian federal employees in January 2013.  However, the White House has asked Congress to delay the effective date of the raise until the expected CR expires, which is anticipated to be March 31, 2013.
It is disappointing that federal employees may have to wait until April 1, 2013, to see a pay raise.  Congress is expected to pass a CR funding the government from October 1, 2012 through March 31, 2013, when it returns in early September.  NTEU has successfully fought back efforts... Read more ...
What Are “Performance Management” and “Pay for Performance” Systems and How Does the SEC Intend to Use Them?
“Performance management” and “pay for performance” (the latter sometimes referred to as “merit pay” at the SEC) are frequently used interchangeably.  Although they are often linked, they are actually different.  Performance management systems relate to how agencies develop, monitor, and rate employee performance as part of an overall effort to manage and measure agency performance.  Pay for performance systems deliver performance-based raises and/or bonuses based on performance ratings... Read more ...
8/23/12: The last week of scheduled mediated negotiating sessions between the SEC and NTEU over the Collective Bargaining Agreement ("CBA") came to an end earlier this month. The SEC failed to come to agreement with the Union's bargaining team on several issues that are important to SEC employees. The parties will now take the negotiations to the Federal Service Impasses Panel to seek an order resolving the remaining disagreements between the parties.
The CBA negotiations have now been going on for sixteen months, and it will likely take months more to bring them to a conclusion. The original... Read more ...
8/23/12: The recent independent survey of the SEC regarding the agency's new, so-called "evidence-based" performance management system ("EBP") clearly demonstrates what SEC employees have been talking about for the last couple of years around the water cooler:  the new system is too complicated, time consuming, vague and subjective. Furthermore, the SEC's staff does not find it to be fair and credible, which is the foundation of any successful performance pay system. By a very large margin, SEC employees believe that this poorly designed system simply does not work. In fact, the data on the... Read more ...
8/23/12:  The results of an SEC employee survey about the SEC's so-called "evidence based" performance management system ("EBP") are in -- and the SEC received a failing grade.
Last year, the Union negotiated an agreement with the SEC concerning a second "pilot run" of the EBP for the 2011 rating year. As part of that agreement, the parties agreed that an independent expert would review the EBP, including by conducting a survey and focus groups at the agency, and report back to the SEC and the Union.  By overwhelming numbers, SEC managers and staff reported that the proposed new system lacks... Read more ...
8/2/12: Earlier today the Senate Finance Committee approved legislation, the “Family and Business Tax Cut Certainty Act of 2012,” that would extend a number of tax provisions that have expired or will expire at the end of this year, including a provision that would reinstate parity between the transit and parking portions of the commuter benefit through December 31, 2013 and make it retroactive back to January 1, 2012. 
As you know, in 2010, as part of the “Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010,” Congress included a provision that kept the mass... Read more ...
8/1/12: As you are aware, NTEU and BJ’s Wholesale Club has teamed up to offer a discount on BJ’s annual memberships.  The August enrollment period for our members to take advantage of this discount has been extended through September 30, 2012.
BJ’s is a discount wholesale club that offers discounted prices on over 6,500 different products and services.  The BJ’s Wholesale Club/NTEU member receives many benefits through this special offer from BJ’s such as, but not limited to the following:

$10 off the annual Membership Fee (for new members or renewals); the fee is normally $50 for Inner... Read more ...
8/1/12: Yesterday, the House of Representatives approved H.R. 828, the “Federal Employee Tax Accountability Act of 2011,” which requires federal employees to be fired if they have a tax debt. 
NTEU believes that requiring federal employees, already subject to a two year pay freeze, to be terminated if they cannot immediately pay back taxes is unfair, and would only serve to increase the likelihood that the government will never receive the taxes it is owed.
In a letter to House members in advance of the vote, NTEU stated its opposition to the bill noting federal employees were not immune to... Read more ...
6/28/12: A conference committee working on the Transportation bill, H.R.4348, has reached agreement on that bill.  The NTEU-supported phased retirement proposal for federal employees is included in that conference agreement.  Under this proposal, which was also included in the President’s FY 2013 budget, federal agencies would have the discretion to permit employees who are eligible for retirement to work a reduced schedule while simultaneously collecting a portion of their retirement benefit.
Under the pending conference agreement, federal employees opting for phased retirement (with their... Read more ...
6/25/12:  SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro today posted this notice to all SEC employees as part of a settlement with the Federal Labor Relations Authority of a bad faith bargaining unfair labor practices charge against the agency.
In this case, the FLRA alleged that the SEC engaged in what is known as “surface bargaining” in connection with its negotiations over a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the Union. "Surface bargaining" is bad faith bargaining without a real intent to reach agreement. The FLRA alleged, among other things, that the SEC needlessly prolonged CBA bargaining by... Read more ...
6/20/12: The SEC this week entered into a settlement agreement with the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) and the National Treasury Employees Union resolving an unfair labor practices complaint filed against the SEC. The matter had been scheduled for an evidentiary hearing on June 26. The SEC agreed to enter into the settlement after receiving the FLRA's evidence and witness list, which indicated that the FLRA intended to call SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro as well as Jeff Risinger, the SEC's former Director of the Office of Human Resources (OHR) and Chief Human Capital Officer, who would... Read more ...
6/6/12: This week, the Federal Labor Relations Authority issued another unfair labor practice complaint against the SEC for failure to bargain with the union over changes to employees' job duties in the Los Angeles Regional Office (LARO). The matter has been scheduled for an evidentiary hearing on August 29, 2012.
The case involves management's changes to the duties of several employees in the LARO. According to the FLRA's complaint, the agency implemented these changes without sufficient prior notice to the union and an opportunity to bargain. In addition, the complaint alleges that... Read more ...
6/6/12: The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government approved its FY 2013 appropriations measure today. The bill does not allocate funding for a 2013 federal pay raise, but also does not require a pay freeze for 2013. It includes a small $50 million increase in the SEC's budget over FY 2012.
 As you know, the President has recommended a 0.5% pay increase for civilian federal employees in FY 2013.  The fact that the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee bill is silent on the 2013 pay raise is not an issue at this time. NTEU... Read more ...
6/4/12:  Late last week, NTEU National President Colleen Kelley sent this letter to President Obama urging opposition to a proposal to use federal employee pension contribution increases to offset student loan interest rate reductions.  The proposal came in the form of a letter from House Speaker John Boehner, House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Whip, John Kyl to the President.
In her letter, Kelley pointed out that federal employees have already contributed $60 billion to deficit reduction through a two year pay freeze and another $... Read more ...
5/30/12:  A new report released this week by the Partnership for Public Service shows that federal employees’ satisfaction with their compensation is dropping, but also that levels of satisfaction vary widely between federal agencies. The report provides further evidence of persistent problems with human capital management at the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The Partnership’s new report compares the SEC directly to another similarly situated financial regulator, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Employees at the FDIC, which was the highest-ranked Best Places to Work large... Read more ...
5/30/12: Over the past year, the SEC has quietly transformed its Employment Relations unit in the Office of Human Resources. Many of the new staffers, including several managers, who now work in this important office come from another agency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a component of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). These changes may be shifting the culture of the SEC towards the more negative DHS approach to managing human capital.
The Employment Relations unit has an important impact upon your worklife. It is responsible for dealing with relations between the SEC... Read more ...