Home - News & Information
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 statedSan 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.
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.
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.