Union News Archive

12/19/2011

12/19/11: The Senate on Saturday followed the House in approving an omnibus spending bill to keep the government funded for the rest of the fiscal year. In a series of votes the House and Senate also passed a short-term continuing resolution that will keep the government operating while the full year funding bill is prepared for presidential signature. The president is expected to sign the legislation.

The fact that a government shutdown has been avoided is clearly good news for federal employees, agencies and the country. However, many agencies are being shortchanged in the final funding... Read more ...
12/16/2011

12/16/11: A final 2012 funding bill has been agreed to by a House and Senate Conference Committee and the full House and Senate are expected to approve it before midnight tonight, which would prevent a government shutdown. 

Congressional leaders have also indicated that if there are unexpected delays in getting the bill passed and signed by the President by tonight’s midnight deadline, they would consider a short term Continuing Resolution to keep the government operating until final action on the full year appropriations measure could be completed. 

During the talks, an additional $20... Read more ...
12/15/2011

12/15/11: In the omnibus spending bill proposed by the House of Representatives yesterday, the SEC would receive a budget of $1.3 billion for FY 2012. This would represent a substantial increase over the approximately $1.11 billion budgeted for FY 2011. It is, however, less than the approximately $1.4 billion requested by the SEC and previously passed by Senate appropriators.

NTEU has been working hard on Capitol Hill to obtain an increase. Now it will be up to House and Senate negotiators to work out a deal on the omnibus spending bill to cover most government expenditures for FY 2012,... Read more ...
12/14/2011

 12/14/11:  Most agencies are currently funded by a Continuing Resolution that will run out at midnight, Friday, December 16th.  Because Congress has not completed work on FY 2012 funding bills there could be a partial government shutdown at that time. The SEC's budget has not yet been approved by Congress.

Agencies will begin contacting employees today and plan to provide informal determinations of excepted or non-excepted employees by Friday with formal notice no later than Monday. SEC will be commencing this process this evening.

Agencies with FY 2012 funding legislation in place... Read more ...
12/13/2011

 12/14/11: Yesterday, by a vote of 234-193, the House of Representatives passed HR 3630, a bill that offsets an extension of the payroll tax holiday with huge cuts to federal employee pay and benefits. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration there. NTEU sent this letter to each House Member in anticipation of the vote, and sent this letter to every Senate office opposing passage of this bill yesterday. 

 Sen. Ben Cardin and Reps. Chris Van Hollen and Jim Moran will be participating in a conference call Wednesday with the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association... Read more ...
12/13/2011

 12/13/11: Last week, in this attached letter to the House leadership, a coalition of fifty members of the House of Representatives urged that any year end legislation include language maintaining parity between the parking and mass transit portions of the transportation fringe benefit. Without congressional action, the transit portion of the transportation benefit would revert to $125 per month from its current level of $230, at the end of the year.

In their letter to House leaders, the coalition noted that failing to maintain parity between the transit and parking benefits would result... Read more ...
12/13/2011

 12/13/11: Last Spring, NTEU launched an effort to obtain a mid-year increase in the mileage deduction for business-related travel to account for rising fuel prices from the 51¢ set in January 1, 2011. While it is unusual to have a mid-year adjustment, NTEU wrote this letter to IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman, who in his policy capacity has the authority to make a mid-year adjustment in the mileage reimbursement rate. The Union pressed the point that we are in unusual circumstances and that the current allowable level is inadequate for business and for government employees who use their... Read more ...
12/13/2011

12/13/11:  Commissioner Luis Aguilar was sworn in to a second SEC term by Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey last week in a ceremony at SEC Headquarters in Washington. He was reappointed by President Obama on October 24, 2011 for a term that ends on June 5, 2015.

In what many observers believe to be a first for the SEC, Commissioner Aguilar invited the frontline staff to join him at his swearing-in ceremony. A large number of SEC staffers crowded into the Auditorium Foyer at Headquarters for the occasion.  

“I am both honored and proud to have the opportunity to continue to serve as... Read more ...
12/13/2011

12/13/11: Next year, for Christmas 2012, the Union will be bringing back the Red Wagon Parade program for gathering Christmas toys for local children in the Washington, D.C. area. This renewed program will be jointly sponsored by Commissioners Aguilar, Gallagher and Paredes. If you would like to help out with this program in 2012, please contact Chapter 293 Vice President Pat Copeland, copelandp@sec.gov.

 The Red Wagon Parade program has been a universally popular program since 2005, when it was launched in the SEC’s Washington office by Jeff Risinger, the SEC's Associate Executive... Read more ...
12/01/2011

 12/1/11: Yesterday, Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) introduced legislation to offset the cost of extending payroll tax reductions by freezing federal pay for a total of five years and instituting a 1 for 3 replacement cap on federal hiring.  The Senate may consider this proposal as soon as tomorrow.  Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) has a bill, S. 1917, which would offset the cost of extending the payroll tax cut by increasing taxes on millionaires.  That bill will also likely be considered as early as tomorrow.

NTEU has sent this attached letter to every senator strongly opposing Senator Heller’s... Read more ...
11/22/2011

 

From the Stewards and Representatives of NTEU Chapter 293. We wish you a safe and happy holiday. It is our pleasure to represent your interests every day at the Securities and Exchange Commission!
11/17/2011

 11/17/11, Washington, D.C.: The nation’s largest independent union of federal employees has joined a list of 277 national organizations in voicing strong opposition to a proposed constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget, warning that it would be strikingly counterproductive. The groups’ serious concerns were expressed in a letter to every member of the House and Senate.

“Such a step would effectively tie the hands of Congress in dealing with the specific fiscal circumstances confronting the nation at any given point in time, and that is a most unwise proposition,” said... Read more ...
11/16/2011

 11/16/11, Washington, D.C. — Despite increased workloads, employee satisfaction at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has improved as a result of workplace improvements secured by the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), which represents about 6,200 FDIC employees nationwide.

The FDIC has not only soared to the top spot on the survey of “Best Places to Work in the Federal Government,” but it was also the most improved agency moving up from third place in 2010 with an 8.5 percent increase.

“NTEU has worked closely with FDIC management to ensure employee morale... Read more ...
11/16/2011

11/16/11: The Union has received a substantial number of questions and comments from SEC employees about the November 10, 2011 email message from Chairman Schapiro to the staff concerning the SEC’s new performance management system.

Many employees have raised questions about management’s apparent decision to shift all of the performance ratings down this year, and its message that most employees should now be satisfied with a “3” rating. Aside from concerns that management seems to be veering perilously close to an illegal forced distribution of ratings, employees are expressing ... Read more ...
11/16/2011

 The Partnership for Public Service on November 16, 2011 released its annual list of the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government, an important yardstick that measures federal sector employee satisfaction and engagement. The SEC's ranking dropped once again, this time to 27th place out of 33 federal agencies. As recently as 2007, the SEC was ranked as the third best place to work in the federal government.

This low ranking does not reflect the exceedingly high level of skill, commitment and accomplishment of the SEC's workforce. It does, however, mark a continuation of the dramatic... Read more ...
11/16/2011

 11/16/11:  

The Partnership for Public Service today released its annual list of the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government, an important yardstick that measures federal sector employee satisfaction and engagement. The SEC's ranking dropped once again, this time to 27th place out of 33 federal agencies. As recently as 2007, the SEC was ranked as the third best place to work in the federal government.

 

This low ranking does not reflect the exceedingly high level of skill, commitment and accomplishment of the SEC's workforce.  It does, however, mark a continuation of the... Read more ...
11/16/2011

 11/16/11: Over the objections of NTEU, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has directed that so-called "public trust" employees undergo a periodic reinvestigation (PRI)at least once every five years.  Public trust employees are those who occupy positions that involve policy making, major program responsibility, public safety and health, law enforcement duties, fiduciary duties, and similar responsibilities; they complete the SF 85P background investigation form. It includes a large percentage of the bargaining unit employees represented by NTEU.  

NTEU had twice submitted comments... Read more ...
11/02/2011

  12/7/11: Commencing on January 1, 2012, the maximum monthly mass transit subsidy at the SEC will be reduced to $125 from its current level of $230. NTEU is continuing to press for a possible legislative solution to this issue, H.R. 2412/S.1034).

Last month, NTEU sent these letters to every member of Congress in support of H.R. 2412/S. 1034 that was introduced by Representative James McGovern (D-MA) and Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and that would prevent a reduction in the current mass transit commuter benefit of $230 per month by providing permanent parity between mass transit and... Read more ...
11/01/2011

 11/1/11: Today NTEU wrote this letter to every member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform urging a “No” vote on moving out of committee, H.R. 3029, a bill to slash the size of the federal workforce by 10 percent by 2015. The bill was introduced by Representative Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) on September 22, 2011, and is identical to H.R. 2114, the Workforce Reduction Act introduced by full committee chair Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA) earlier in the year. Both measures call for a workforce that is 10 percent smaller by 2015 and require that only one employee may be hired... Read more ...
10/24/2011
 11/4/11: Last week, the Union raised with SEC management concerns over an image of a black female that the SEC included in its online performance management training materials made available for both bargaining unit and management staff. The Union conveyed to SEC management the concerns that many SEC employees, including minority employees, expressed about the insensitive use of this image. In response to these concerns, the SEC removed the image from the training module and also from a separate management training module. However, notwithstanding the concerns raised by these employees, the... Read more ...
10/24/2011

 10/24/11: In the wake of damaging revelations regarding a security breach in connection with the SEC's "Ethics Program System" for ethics compliance and conflicts checks, the Union requested that the SEC extend credit monitoring services to spouses and other affected family members of SEC employees. The agency has agreed to provide these services. The Union also has requested further discussions with the SEC regarding fundamental changes to the EPS itself to ensure the safety and security of SEC employees' sensitive personal financial information, before a new system is put in place. The... Read more ...
10/08/2011

10/8/11: The training modules for the SEC’s so-called “evidence based” performance management system contain statements that describe the process for developing performance objectives and standards as having been "collaborative," and even go so far as to say that the Union’s feedback was incorporated in the final drafts of the objectives and standards. 

These statements misrepresent and unfairly characterize the SEC’s performance management team’s unilateral development of the system as "collaborative." Similar statements contained in an earlier version of the performance management... Read more ...
10/08/2011

A Chapter 293 member meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 25, 2011 from 12:00 to 1:00 EST at the Headquarters Auditorium in Washington, D.C. This meeting will be videocast to the regions; please check with your local steward for the location of the videocast in your office.
10/07/2011

10/7/11: The SEC’s Office of the Inspector General (“OIG”) recently issued this report in which it explored how well the SEC has implemented alternative work schedule and telework programs at the agency. The OIG’s conclusions lend further support to the Union’s positions on these important work-life programs in the ongoing Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations. Surprisingly, the SEC responded to several of the OIG’s recommendations by stating that it was working to expand and improve both AWS and telework programs – when in fact the SEC is working hard to do precisely the opposite in... Read more ...
10/07/2011

10/7/11: This afternoon, in response to this national grievance filed by NTEU last Friday, the SEC informed Union representatives that next week it will be implementing Health Insurance Premium Reimbursement (HIPR) benefits for domestic partners in accordance with its 2009 Memorandum of Understanding with the Union. The first reimbursement will be retroactive, for the period from October 1, 2010 through September 30, 2011. The second reimbursement will cover the period from October 1, 2011 to December 31, 2011.  The first

The HIPR benefit agreed to by the SEC is a unique one which will... Read more ...

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