Joint HHS and NTEU Awards Training Tentatively Scheduled for July 28, 2016

NTEU and HHS have agreed to hold joint training on Article 27 of the Consolidated Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) regarding performance and incentive awards. This training is being held pursuant to the settlement of a national grievance regarding the awards program, executed in December 2015. In the grievance, NTEU alleged that HHS had failed to properly distribute awards and failed to establish and convene incentive awards committees as required by Article 27 of the CBA. As part of the settlement agreement, HHS agreed to hold a joint training event with NTEU for all awards committee members. The training will be conducted in-person at HHS Headquarters in Washington, D.C, and is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, July 28, 2016.

Clock on a pile of moneyThe training will be mandatory for all PMAP and incentive awards committee members representing the agency and NTEU, and will be open to any other NTEU representatives who would like to attend as well. The training will last approximately one hour, with time for questions. The training will be conducted in-person, with an option to join by phone and will be recorded so that employees who are unable to attend may watch at a time that is convenient for them. Employees will be granted one hour of duty time to attend this training. The agency will notify all committee members of the date, time and location of the training, once confirmed.

If you are a member of an awards committee, please set aside time to attend the training on July 28, 2016.

Please let me know if you have any questions or comments on this subject.

Correction to Today’s Timecard Verification Reminder Email

Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA) logoToday, Friday, July 22, 2016, ORA Senior Advisor Daryle Harris broadcasted an email with the subject “Reminder – Timecard Verification.” On the second to last paragraph, he stated, “for the ORA Timekeepers to complete their role in entering any premium hours earned, changes to their regularly scheduled tour hours, or leave request entries in ITAS on behalf of an employee, that the Time and Attendance form, along with the required documentation with supervisory approval, must be submitted…” However, the Agency has not negotiated a time and attendance form with the Union. If Mr. Harris’ statement was intended for bargaining unit employees (BUEs), this would represent a unilateral change in working conditions in violation of Article 3 of the CBA and an unfair labor practice (ULP) in accordance with 5 U.S.C. § 7116 (a) (5) and other statutes.

I am certain that this was simply an oversight since Mr. Harris was addressing all employees, not only BUEs. While BUEs have to provide their timekeepers with updated information regarding premium hours and corrections with supporting documentation showing supervisory approval, the use a time and attendance form is completely optional. BUEs can simply state the updates and corrections in an email or a written note with supporting documentation.

Most importantly, employees verifying their timecard in the ITAS system who work their standard tour hours and do not require a timekeeper to enter premium hours, premium pay, change of tour hours, or leave on their behalf, will not be required to submit a separate timesheet. The employees ITAS timecard verification will indicate to the timekeeper and supervisor that their hours are correct and ready for approval.

I welcome and encourage your feedback on this subject.

NTEU Responds to Heritage Report

Tony Reardon and David Arvelo
Tony Reardon and David Arvelo
NTEU National President Tony Reardon responded forcefully to a report by the Heritage Foundation calling for the next administration to slash federal employee pay and benefits.

“Clearly, The Heritage Foundation’s goal is to try to limit the effectiveness of government in any way possible,” Reardon said.

The report calls for a 10 percent pay cut for federal employees, reductions in vacation and sick leave, phasing out a defined pension benefit, and ending health coverage for retirees.

These proposals would make it virtually impossible to get the kind of talented employees needed to accomplish the critical missions of our federal government, Reardon said.