I wanted to alert employees about steps NTEU has taken as a result of the widespread devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey.
In addition to pledging $30,000 for emergency assistance in a matching grant to the Federal Employees Education and Assistance Fund (FEEA) and soliciting FEEA donations, here are some of the key actions we are taking.
- Asking the heads of agencies where we represent employees whose offices/ports have been closed to place every employee assigned to the office on administrative leave, at least until the office reopens.
- Asking that once the office officially reopens, employee requests for time off and other accommodations to address issues concerning their families and homes be handled on a case-by-case basis, according to individual needs.
- NTEU also expects that there will be employees who will need more paid time off to deal with the storm aftermath in the weeks and months ahead than they have accrued leave. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has the authority to establish an Emergency Leave Transfer Program (ELTP) at the request of employing agencies for employees needing paid leave to address storm damage. This authority may be delegated to agencies. NTEU is asking FDA and other agencies to immediately reach out to OPM and request the establishment of an ELPT for their employees or the delegation of authority to do so.
Where an ELPT is established, NTEU intends to solicit donations to the program from NTEU-represented employees across the country.
NTEU Chapter 254 and other NTEU chapters representing employees in southeastern Texas are also working diligently to assist their members and provide them with critical information about the status of agency operations and assistance available.
I know that we all have our heart-felt thoughts with our members, employees, family, and friends who have been affected by Hurricane Harvey.
I will update you on our efforts as we go along.