Last Friday, NTEU National President Tony Reardon met with Dr. Jeff Pon, Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), to discuss federal workforce issues. OPM is responsible for government-wide personnel issues, including compensation, benefit programs, performance management, due process, and hiring to name a few.
Tony’s primary goal at the meeting was to highlight NTEU’s opposition to the administration’s planned January 2019 pay freeze. Tony emphasized the need for pay raises given the current, healthy private-sector labor market, and to address recent years of no or small pay increases which have negatively impacted employees. Tony also discussed concerns with pay proposals that are designed to reward only certain occupations, which most certainly will create disparate impacts and will result in employee morale problems.
Further, Tony shared NTEU’s significant concerns regarding the administration’s proposed retirement and health care cuts, from the perspective of employees, and for the federal government’s ability to hire and retain a quality workforce to do the work of the American people. Tony also asked for specifics regarding the administration’s leave proposal to reduce overall leave levels and to combine annual and sick leave, but was informed the full proposal was not yet finalized.
Tony’s message to the OPM Director is that NTEU is willing to listen, as well as to provide the frontline employee perspective, but that we are also fully prepared and ready to defend our members’ compensation and right to fair treatment in the workplace.
I will keep you updated on any developments with the administration’s federal employee proposals.