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Collective Bargaining Agreement between Passport Services &
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Ex-Peace Corps BUE Withholding Errors Fixed

January 21, 2016:  After considerable discussion between the Union and Management, retirement withholdings for dozens of employees were altered to the correct amount.  The Agency has yet to pay back the sums incorrectly collected from ex-Peace Corps hires, but has pledged to make all employees whole.

 

IAM Offers Scholarship Opportunity

January 12, 2016:  IAMAW is encouraging applications for its 2016 college scholarships that is open to NFFE 1998 members and their college-age children.  The deadline is February 26th.  Details about the scholarship can be found here.

 

WPC Seating Agreement Updated

December 29, 2015:  Local Union and Management officials in Tucson successfully concluded negotiations on a new office seating agreement.

 

Improper Drug Test Grieved

December 3, 2015In reaction to a grievance concerning HRPT-clearance employees improperly subjected to drug tests due to agency error, the two sides negogiated a mutually-acceptable settlement and path forward.

 

AWOL Charge Challenged

November 27, 2015The Union filed a grievance on behalf of an NPC employee.  The employee was absent for medical reasons (which were documented by the employee's physician), yet the Agency still docked the employee's pay, charging the time as AWOL.

 

Union Responds to Agency Info Request Charge

November 2, 2015NFFE 1998 responded to a Step one Agency grievance, stating that the Agency's allegations were inaccurate and hypocritical.

 

Comprehensive Insurance Resource Available

November 10, 2015NFFE 1998 Dues-paying members have access to the Consumers Checkbook website during health insurance open season.  The site rates over 200 health plans for federal employees.  Union members can sign in here, using their member number as the userid, and "healthplans" as the password.

 

Deciding Official Grievance Answered  

November 3, 2015:  The Union replied to a Management grievance, responding that the Agency routinely commits the same alleged violation when issuing letters of suspension to passport employees. 

 

Agency Grants QSI's to Employees

November 1, 2015:  Twenty five passport employees were given Quality Step Increases (QSI's) in November as a result of an arbitration.   The arbitrator determined last year that Passport Management had given an unfairly high proportion of QSI's to members of Passport Management. 

 

Union Allowed To Brief Employees on SKEs

October 29, 2015 Union meetings took place concerning a new Agency method of appealing errors that deviated from the version drafted by Arbitrator Strongin.  The Union was initially denied the ability to provide background information when the Agency was promoting its version of the appeals panel.  The settlement of FLRA case WA-CA-15-0237 acknowledged the right of Union officers to advise employees during such Agency meetings.

 

Congress Seeks Hiring Changes at State

October 28, 2015:  Members of the House of Representatives proposed legislation which would require the Department of State achieve greater gender and ethnic diversity in hiring.  The proposed FAIR Act would also mandate periodic reports to Congress on steps taken to improve.

 

Arbitrator Issues Split Ruling on Official Time

September 25, 2015:  Arbitrator Timothy Brown issued a decision on an Agency grievance.  He ruled that a NFFE 1998 Steward had inappropriately sent two representational emals during work time.  Brown found the majority of Management's allegations to be without merit.

 

NFFE Protests Internal Controls Reprimand

September 21, 2015:  The Union filed a grievance debating alleged internal controls infractions.  Recognizing a potential conflict of interest, a Passport Specialist declined to adjudicate the passport application of an acquaintance, and so informed the colleague they passed the case to.  Yet the employee was still disciplined because local Management was not notified in writing .

 

Union Replies to Agency Charges

September 3, 2015:  Vice President James Lensen-Callas responded to two Agency grievances against the Union.  One response concerned Agency claims the Union President wronged the Agency by being the official who responded to a grievance the Agency had addressed to him.

 

San Francisco ADR Produces Agreement

August 28, 2015:  An Alternative Dispute Resolution agreement brought a dispute concerning employee breaks to a close.  The Union had objected to the Agency unilerally outlawing employees attaching their break to the end of the lunch period.

 

Union Requests Fix on Former Peace Corps Retirement

August 9, 2015:  Passport Management has pledged to investigate a possible error that causing ex-Peace Corps employees to be incorrectly charged a higher retirement contribution on each paycheck.  Peace Corps work as of December 31, 2012 should serve as an exemption to the mandated higher retirement contributions.

 

Local 1998 Starts Nationwide Petition

July 30, 2015:  Local 1998 began a nationwide petition, addressed to Secretary of State Kerry, objecting to the Agency's decision to ban cell phones in Agency workspace.

 

Union and Management Bargain Names Procedures

July 24, 2015:  A Union bargaining team led by Secretary-Treasurer Amanda Booher concluded bargaining with Management today.  The agreement concerned 7 FAM Appendix C, dictating the rules by which name changes are adjudicated.

                                   
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NFFE President Dougan leads meeting discussion at IAMAW's Training Center

SanFranArbitration

James Lensen-Callas, Rob Arnold, Steve Flory and Robert Speed during bargaining on the arbitration process 

Winpisinger Center 

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

 

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ICG bargaining 2015

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

 

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