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Collective Bargaining Agreement between Passport Services &
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Talks Conclude on Adjudication of Child Applications

 June 11, 2015:  Union and Management came to agreement on details, most notably on translation of foreign documents, in relation to the Agency's changes to 7 FAM 1350, concerning the adjudication of passport applications for minors

 

Agreement Reached on 2015 Internal Controls

June 10, 2015:  The Union's negotiability appeal over several internal control requirements announced in late 2014 was mediated by the FLRA.  Comproises on both sides resulted in a deal that alleviated the need for the appeal.

 

Cell Phone Ban Receives Washington Post Coverage

May 8, 2015:  The Washington Post ran a second article on the Agency's plans to ban electronic devices within Agency space.  NFFE 1998 opposes the ban for its damage to employee morale and its poor prospects for stopping future malfeasance.

 

San Juan Assignment Questions Answered

May 1, 2015:  Following the temporary closure of the San Juan Passport Agency, the Agency made arrangements to temporarily assign the employees outside of Puerto Rico.  In response to Union objections to lack of notification and bargaining, local Management stated San Juan employees would not be involuntarily detailed.

 

Impasse Panel Rules for Union on Security Clearances

April 28, 2015:  The Union and Management sought resolution from the Federal Services Impasses Panel (FSIP) on the question of security clearances.  At odds was a mediator's language calling for the Agency to train and find positions for qualified employees who fail to obtain a secret clearance.  The Union supported the mediator's language, as did FSIP.

 

Media Covers Passport Plan to Ban Cell Phones

April 24, 2015:  The Agency's proposal to ban electronic devices within the workspace was the subject of an article in the Washington Post.

 

Agency Withdraws ULP Against Union

April 1, 2015:  Advised that the FLRA would not find merit in its ULP charge against Union officers in the Law Enforcement Liaision section, the Agency chose to withdraw its bad-faith bargaining charge.  Further illuminating the concept of "bad faith bargaing", Agency suddenly offered a settlement to the Union, apparently attempting to develop an excuse other than the FLRA's finding for its withdrawal.

 

Seattle Officers Update Leave Agreement

March 27, 2015:  Local Union and Management representatives agreed to edits to the local Leave Policy, adding "personal days" that are categorized separately from the office limits for annual leave usage.

 

Split Decision Issued on San Juan Office Layout

March 27, 2015:  Local 1998 received word that Arbitrator Abrams had ruled for both sides on the San Juan Office Move.  Abrams sided with the Union on the question of whether the issue was arbitrable.  He determined that the absence of any further negotiations on office layout did not demonstrate bad-faith bargaining by Management, finding the Agency willing to bargain.

 

Local Rolls Out Electronic Newsletter

March 24, 2015:  Local 1998 debuted its new electronic newsletter, E Pluribus Unum.  It contains stories on several Local 1998 arbitration victories and new Vice President, James Lensen-Callas.

 

Arbitrator Returns Passport Specialist to Work

March 3, 2015:  Arbitrator Norman Brand ordered that Passport Services return a Passport Specialist to work, with back pay for the time since dismissal.  The Agency had fired the employee from the San Francisco Passport Agency for poor performance.  The late Phil Snodgrass successfully argued at arbitration that the Passport Services performance system was flawed, as was the required standard for passing a "Knowledge of Adjudication" PIP. 

 

FEEA College Scholarship Deadline is March 27th

March 1, 2015:  NFFE members with college-bound children are able to apply for scholarships from the Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund.  Further details for the scholarship application can be found here.

 

NFFE Counsel Honored in Death

 February 27, 2015:  NFFE Associate Counsel Phillip Snodgrass was hit and killed by a car that suddenly left the road.  Snodgrass will be remembered for his strong work ethic and easy-going character .  Snodgrass defended Local 1998 in a hearing just last month. 

 

Partial Agreement Reached on Security Clearances

February 24 2015:  The Federal Services Impasses Panel instructed the Agency and Union to submit their final arguments concerning a remaining Security Clearance term in dispute.  The majority of provisions were bargained to conclusion.  Terms the Agency is already committed to for the upcoming clearance upgrades can be found here

 

Grievance Filed Over Denial Of Comp Time Option

February 20, 2015:  Local 1998 filed a grievance over changes in overtime compenstaion.  Comp time, a bargain for taxpayers compared to the alternative of overtime pay rates, was withdrawn as an option for employees at various regional passport offices. 

 

FLRA: Forty Five Agency Positions Wrongly Classified

February 2, 2015: A decision on a Union request to clarify who is within Local 1998's bargaining unit arrived today.  The FLRA ruled that 45 of 60 positions that Local 1998 had challenged were, in fact, incorrectly classified as Management positions.

 

ULP Settled on Acquisition Review Panel

September 24, 2014: In the wake of Passport Services' failure to bargain implementation of the Acquisition Review Panel, the Agency agreed to send a nationwide announcement pledging to bargain working condition changes in the future.

                                   
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  Winpisinger Center

NFFE 1998 officers from San Diego, Detroit, Connecticut and Tucson attend Collective Bargaining Course

ICG bargaining 2015 

Aaron Mathison, Sue Lamie and James Lensen-Callas visit State Department Headquarters

Phillip Snodgrass 

Phil Snodgrass - Associate NFFE Counsel fell victim to fatal accident

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Romano arbitration

Gil Yap and Mike Romano with NFFE Counsel Phil Snodgrass at San Francisco arbitration hearing

 

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