Senators Respond to Trump Executive Orders by Standing with Federal Employees

Senate Democrats respond to the May 25 Trump Executive Orders by asking the White House to rescind them.

Seal of the U.S. House of RepresentativesFollowing the President’s issuance of the three Executive Orders (EOs) on May 25, NTEU has been working to educate Capitol Hill on the harm these actions will have on federal employees, as well as on federal employee labor organizations and day-to-day representational duties. Today, 45 Senate Democrats sent a letter asking the President to rescind the EOs and to direct agency and department heads to cease and desist from abrogating existing collective bargaining agreements. Continue reading “Senators Respond to Trump Executive Orders by Standing with Federal Employees”

Today House Budget Chair Issues Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Blueprint

Today, Representative Steve Womack, chair of the House Budget Committee, released budget materials for a possible fiscal year 2019 budget.

black calculator near ballpoint pen on white printed paperRepresentative Steve Womack (R-AR), chair of the House Budget Committee, has released a proposed budget plan for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019. As of today, the House Budget Committee is scheduled to consider and vote on the plan starting tomorrow. Several Republican members have shared concerns with the budget plan, and it is not known at this time whether or not there will be enough support from legislators for this budget plan to advance and pass on the House floor. Senate consideration of a FY 2019 budget also remains uncertain. Continue reading “Today House Budget Chair Issues Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Blueprint”

Senate Committee Action on Federal Workforce Items Including a Pay Raise

A Senate Appropriations Subcommittee has advanced a bill that includes several key federal workforce items, including a federal employee pay raise.

dollar billsA Senate Appropriations Subcommittee has advanced the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) appropriations measure, which includes government-wide federal employee items. Continue reading “Senate Committee Action on Federal Workforce Items Including a Pay Raise”

Executive Order Litigation Update

NTEU has expanded its legal challenge to contest provisions in each of the Executive Orders issued on May 25, 2018. The court now expects to issue a ruling by the end of July 2018.

U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
U.S. District Court, District of Columbia

On June 15, 2018, NTEU filed an amended complaint over the above-described Executive Orders (EOs) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. As you will recall, NTEU’s June 6, 2018 complaint in that court challenged the EOs imposition of a 25% cap on the use of official time; the prohibition against using official time for lobbying; the ban on the use of official time by union representatives to prepare and present grievances; and a provision that would generally set performance improvement periods (PIPs) at 30 days and give agencies the sole and exclusive discretion to apply longer periods. Continue reading “Executive Order Litigation Update”

NTEU Vows to Fight Harmful HHS Proposals

HHS Targets AWS, Telework, Awards, and More

opened mouth black haired boy in gray full zip jacket standing on grass field taking selfieNow that the president’s harmful executive orders have been issued, HHS has decided to restart bargaining over a new contract—after delaying the process for nearly three years— and has proposed changes to the contract that would erode or outright eliminate important rights.

Among other things, HHS proposes totally eliminating 13 articles from the contract including those addressing alternative work schedules (AWS), telework, awards, details and reassignments, and transit subsidies. Without these contract articles, HHS would be able to unilaterally make decisions on all these important subjects, including eliminating these programs altogether.

HHS is also seeking to strip employees of key rights, including restricting their access to a union steward to help resolve workplace issues. Another management proposal would prohibit employees and the union from challenging unfair management decisions in 40 different areas. This means that the agency can make completely arbitrary decisions in these areas with no accountability, including performance ratings; disciplinary actions; decisions involving awards and incentive pay; and disputes over leave, promotions and AWS.

The agency’s proposals are an attack on and an insult to hardworking HHS employees. NTEU will stand firm in defense of your rights during what will undoubtedly be long and contentious negotiations.

NTEU’s Proposals

NTEU is not just fighting to protect your existing rights and benefits—we want to expand them. Here are highlights of some of the union’s proposals:

  • Increased performance and incentive awards
  • A new agency-wide student loan repayment program
  • Make it easier for employees to use accrued annual and sick leave
  • Six weeks of paid parental leave and up to six months of leave for new parents
  • Improved merit promotion system and more fairness and transparency for details and reassignments
  • Employee involvement, through their union, in decisions about office space,

    relocations, and office sharing/desk sharing

HHS Bargaining Tactics

Logo of the Department of Health and Human ServicesAfter NTEU opened the current contract in July 2015, HHS stalled for two years. NTEU took the case to the Federal Service Impasses Panel (FSIP), a group of presidential appointees who are authorized to resolve federal collective bargaining disputes, and the FSIP imposed ground rules on the parties. HHS then refused to follow those rules, prompting NTEU to take legal action, which is still pending.

Last year, the current administration replaced the FSIP members with new members who are extremely anti-employee. With impasses now going to the newly-appointed FSIP and prompted by the new executive orders, HHS notified NTEU that it now wants to “bargain.” HHS then unilaterally established an expedited bargaining schedule. NTEU has responded by formally challenging the legality of HHS’ unilateral actions, but we have submitted our proposals to protect our bargaining position.

HHS is treating its employees and NTEU with disrespect, if not contempt. NTEU needs the support of every employee in what will be a prolonged and difficult fight to protect your workplace rights and benefits that you have enjoyed, and that we worked so hard over many years to achieve. Look for more to come on what you can do to support our fight.

Government-wide Federal Employee Provisions in Senate Defense Authorization Bill

Senate passes National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2019 that contains provisions affecting federal workers government-wide. The measure now goes before a conference committee to resolve differences in the House and Senate- passed bills.

Seal of the United States SenateToday the Senate passed its version of the Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), H.R. 5515, by a vote of 85 to 10. Although there were several amendments filed that adversely impacted federal employees, including on official time, those amendments were successfully blocked and not considered. The bill now goes to a House and Senate Conference Committee to work out differences between the two bills. Continue reading “Government-wide Federal Employee Provisions in Senate Defense Authorization Bill”

Your Union Fighting to Improve Your Working Conditions

An Article By Doug Sanders, NTEU Field Representative and Assistant Counsel

NTEU Field Representative and Assistant Counsel Doug Sanders
NTEU Field Representative and Assistant Counsel Doug Sanders

As your NTEU National Field Representative, I assist NTEU Chapter 254 in protecting your right to have representation when meeting with Agency Management about your working conditions. Last year, Management at the National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR) in Jefferson, Arkansas, took it upon themselves to bargain changes in the working conditions of several of your colleagues, namely their office arrangements. NTEU is the representative of all bargaining unit employees when it comes to your working conditions, to ensure that everyone is treated fairly and with respect. The Agency knows this – after all, it’s the law, and the Agency also agreed to this when it negotiated the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with the Union. Because Management attempted to negotiate directly with its employees, and did not afford them the right to have a Union representative present when it did so, Chapter 254 decided to remind Management of their obligations by filing a grievance to make sure this does not happen in the future. Continue reading “Your Union Fighting to Improve Your Working Conditions”