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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 Comp time, a bargain for taxpayers compared to the alternative of overtime pay rates, was withdrawn as an option for employees at various regional passport offices.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.
Dates Decided for Critical Upcoming Rallies
We encourages all government workers near to the DC-area to consider committing a few hours of free time to two important upcoming events: February 10th, Noon, Senate Upper Park -The intent of the "Government Works for America" rally is to end the sequester and fully fund government. March 4, 2015 - Employees can help with "Stop Fast Track Lobby Day" by arranging visits to their representatives on Capitol Hill. Necessitating the meetings are ill-advised plans to fast-track the Trans Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement endangering thousands of jobs.
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.