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FLRA: No Wrongdoing by NFFE in San Juan Bargaining
January 16, 2015: The Washington region of the Federal Labor Relations Authority determined that an Agency Unfair Labor Practice charge against NFFE 1998 was without merit. The Agency had filed the ULP when Union brought a bargaining team of three to a negotiation session over San Juan office layout. The Agency unsuccessfully argued that the CBA gave it the right to determine the size of bargaining teams.
Arbitrator Hears Arguments About Official Time Use
January 21, 2015: Passport Services took NFFE 1998 to arbitration today over a grievance, claiming that Union officers at the Law Enforcement Liaison (LE) office misused official time by attempting to set up meetings when not on official time. The allegations started once a different arbitrator ruled LE Management had improperly denied union time requests.
Failure to Bargain Office Layout Goes to Arbitration
January 7, 2015: Well-known arbitrator Norm Abrams will settle a dispute concerning the San Juan Passport Agency. The Agency had failed to respond to a Union request for floor plans, then completed construction in Puerto Rico without involving the employees. Continuing, inadequate space for adjudicators, along with refusals of the agency to negotiate prompted the Union involve a third party.
Common Sense Approach to Notations Prevails
December 3, 2014: The FLRA's Collaboration and Alternative Dispute Resolution Office helped guide Union and Management to an agreement that affects how Passport Specialists are charged errors. The agreement concluded a longstanding dispute over Agency implementation of 7 FAM 1340.
Poor Treatment of Detroit Employees Addressed
November 26, 2014: Yet another employee came forward to protest disrespectful treatment by Detroit Passport Agency Management, as well as unfair performance ratings. Local 1998 assisted in the filing of a step one grievance.
Arbitrator Gives Employees Huge Awards Win
November 24, 2014: Arbitrator Jerome Ross determined the remedy for awards being skewed towards passport managers in 2010 and 2011. Rejecting arguments that the penalty should be limited to $20,000 Ross decreed that employees must be collectively receive an additional $125,000 and that 25 more employees must receive Quality Step Increases. The decision may prove to the biggest monetary victory in the 30-year history of the Local.
Local Offers Federal Guide to Health Plans to Members
November 24, 2014: NFFE 1998 purchased priviledges for all its members to the Consumer's Checkbook Guide to Federal Health Plans. Through health insurance open season, members can access the guide by entering their union member number as the sign-in ID and "healthplans" for the password.
Employee Dismissal Prompts 2nd San Fran Arbitration
November 18, 2014: A second Passport Specialist dismissed from the San Francisco Passport Agency was argued at arbitration today. The two-day hearing delved into the wording in the Foreign Affairs Manual and subjectivity of knowledge errors.
Union Fights for Employee's Job
October 22, 2014: The dismissal of a Passport Specialist was taken before an arbitrator today. The Union argued that the Knowledge of Adjudication critical element that the agency cited as the basis for dismissal was already ruled unreasonable in prior proceedings.
ULP over PRC Card Retention Resolved
October 10, 2014: The Agency and Union came to terms on a settlement to resolve an Unfair Labor Practice Charge. The charge concerned the Agency's iexpansion of its Permanent Resident Alien Card retention program.
Agency Agrees to Negotiate Acquisition Review Panel
September 24, 2014: An Unfair Labor Practice charge was settled, with the agency agreeing to a public announcement. The ULP was filed by Local 1998 after the Agency instituted changes to its procedures on adjudicating cases where the passport applicant is born overseas, but acquires citizenship at birth based upon U.S. citizenship of a biological parent.
Arbitrability Debated Through Written Arguments
September 15, 2014: NFFE President Rob Arnold and Pasport Attorney Robert E. Murphy submitted briefs to Arbitrator Roger Abrams; at issue is whether or not the Union's grievance on the Agency's failure to bargain the office layout of the San Juan is suitable for arbiration.
Passport Day Set for September 13th
Members of the public in Atlanta and Minnesota needing passports can apply (with no appointment needed) on Saturday, September 13, 2014. Detroit's Passport Day will be one week earlier, September 6th.
Awards Statistics Disputed
August 27, 2014: NFFE General Counsel Stefan Sutich and Passport Services Attorney Robert E. Murphy submitted briefs to Arbitrator Jerome H. Ross concerning appropriate amount of reimbursement for bargaining unit employees harmed by the Agency's failure to provide equitable award amounts in 2010 and 2011.
Settlement Reached on Foreign Affairs Manual Update
July 23 2014: Labor and Management reached agreement on a plan to provide NFFE 1998 an opportunity to bargain over revisions to the S.O.P. concerning two-parent consent procedures.