News Archive: 2009
Management Addresses Error Rates for 2009
December 28, 2009: Management responded to the Union's November 13th grievance by arguing against the merits of the Union's arguments but nevertheless agreeing to not apply the error rates for 2009.
Invoked re: Termination of 4/10 CWS at
the Chicago Passport Agency
Employees Entitled to Respect & Dignity
December 4, 2009: The Union filed two Step 2 grievances with HQ, alleging that employees in 2 offices were being treated unprofessionally.
Adjudicators Want Enough Time to Do the Job Right
November 20, 2009: NFFE Local 1998 forwarded input from Passport Specialists gathered during a survey in advance of production standards being developed by Management for 2010.
Grievance Filed over Error Rates for 2009
November 13, 2009: The Union filed a Step 2/Final Step grievance with Passport Services HQ, alleging that the error rates introduced in September were not fair and reasonable, nor were they being applied consistently on a nationwide basis.
Grievance Filed re: Termination of 4/10 CWS at the Chicago Passport Agency
October 13, 2009: The Union filed a grievance over the unilateral termination of the 4/10 Compressed Work Schedule (CWS) at the Chicago Passport Agency. Twenty-two employees working the 4/10 CWS were forced to work 8-hour or 5/4-9 CWS schedules on the day shift, in violation of the Flexible and Compressed Work Schedules Act of 1982.
|Thirty NFFE Local
1998 Union Reps attend training class at the Winpisinger
October 2, 2009: 30 NFFE Local 1998 Union representatives from all across Passport Services attended a special week-long class at the IAMAW's Winpisinger Center from September 26 through October 2, 2009. The class focused on grievances and bargaining. This was the first ever FL 1998-only class at the Winpisinger Center and the Union Reps were greatly appreciative of that.
|Managers & Union
Reps receive joint training on the new CBA
September 25, 2009: 25 NFFE Local 1998 Union Reps attended joint training on the new contract with about 40 Management officials. The training was graciously hosted by Passport Services HQ officials. Department of State Chief Labor Management Negotiator Steve Polson and NFFE Local 1998 Union President conducted the training and answered questions on the new contract. This marked the first time that joint training had ever been done on the collective bargaining agreement.
NFFE Local 1998: More than 400 members strong!
September 10, 2009: For the first time ever, NFFE Local 1998 has over 400 dues-paying Union members! Just two years earlier, Local 1998 reached a milestone with its 240th member. Our members are the foundation and strength of our Union. To join NFFE Local 1998, complete an SF-1187 Dues Deduction Form - http://nffe1998.org/misc_documents/nffe-1187.pdf - and send it to: NFFE Local 1998, PO Box 2221, Seattle, WA 98111.
New job element
implementation date pushed back as a result of new CBA
Special Edition of
bargaining agreement goes into effect
|NFFE Local 1998
receives recognition in IAMAW Newsletter contest
August 20, 2009: The IAMAW announced the winner of its newsletter and website contest and NFFE Local 1998 was recognized for three awards for our newsletter - One Voice, Union Strong. Local 1998 won 3rd place for General Excellence and received honorable mention for Best Layout and Design and Best Feature. Secretary-Treasurer Jennifer Gile serves as the editor of the newsletter, Union President Colin Walle serves as the publisher, and PPT/WN Union Steward Tanika Jenkins wrote the article that received Honorable mention for Best Feature. The NFFE National newsletter - The Federal Employee - also received a number of awards.
Arbitrator rules for the Union
July 30, 2009: Arbitrator Sean P. Rogers ruled for the Union in the case of whether admonishments are excluded from the negotiated grievance procedure. The parties had attended an arbitration hearing on May 21, 2009. This issue was important not only for the employees affected but also to reaffirm the principle that the exclusions to the grievance process are only determined by law and collective bargaining - Management cannot unilaterally exclude an issue from coverage by the grievance procedure.
|New CBA goes into
July 20, 2009: The new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between Passport Services and NFFE Local 1998 went into effect. However, Management disputed that the CBA was in effect.
NFFE mourns passing of Union President Richard N. Brown
July 1, 2009: Friends and members of the National Federation of Federal Employees mourned the passing of Union President Richard N. Brown on June 30th. President Brown had led NFFE for over a decade and was a strong champion for justice in the federal workplace. Local 1998 appreciates and remembers all that President Brown did over the years in support of the bargaining unit employees of Passport Services, and we mourn his passing.
NFFE Press Release
negotiations finally completed!
June 19, 2009: NFFE Local 1998 and Passport Services concluded bargaining on a successor collective bargaining agreement on June 12th. The Agency has a 30-day review period, which the parties agreed to start on June 19th, to ensure that no provisions conflict with law. The Union negotiators were Chief Negotiator Steve Flory from NFFE along with Local 1998's President Colin Walle, Vice President Rob Arnold, Secretary-Treasurer Jennifer Gile, and Washington Passport Agency Senior Steward Melissa Toby.
hearing held re: exclusions from the grievance process
Union reps make
|IAMAW holds 2009
Legislative Conference in Washington, DC
May 15, 2009: NFFE Local 1998 President Colin Walle attended the IAMAW's Legislative Conference held from May 11-14, 2009. Union members heard speeches from members of Congress and also visited Capitol Hill to advocate on behalf of worker issues. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), Rep. George Miller (D-CA), Rep. Norm Dicks (D-WA), and Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis were in attendance, among others.
|Union reps attend
Senate Committee hearing on stopping passport fraud
May 5, 2009: The Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland Security held a hearing titled, "The Passport Issuance Process: Closing the Door to Fraud", chaired by Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD). Five Local 1998 reps attended, along with NFFE Legislative Director Randy Erwin, to hear testimony by Passport Services DAS Brenda Sprague and GAO International Affairs & Trade Director Jess T. Ford. <SEE Statement by Senator Feinstein (D-CA)> <SEE "Passport Integrity" HOT TOPIC>
|NFFE submits written
testimony to Senate hearing re: passport fraud
May 5, 2009: The National Federation of Federal Employees submitted a written statement to be included as part of the record for the Subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland Security's hearing about passport vulnerabilities. NFFE also issued a press release regarding the submission. <SEE "Passport Integrity" HOT TOPIC>
|Latest edition of
April 28, 2009: The April 2009 edition of the Local 1998 newsletter, "One Voice, Union Strong", was published today.
release: don't blame employees; Passport Services
accepts responsibility for "systemic problem"
initiates proceedings to the FSIP to terminate
compressed work schedule on night shift
employees in promotions
will resume in June
Department of State
blames employees for GAO test results
Discussion held over
grievance regarding the passport application notational
policy and error rate
ordered for all employees
integrity of passport issuance process: 4 passports
fraudulently obtained out of 4 attempts
again state that more focus needed on quality work;
quotas need to be lowered to catch frauds
Union asks Management
to amend collective bargaining agreement: add fraud
prevention and quality awards
FLSA Grievance filed
on behalf of employees
Union thanks DAS
for taking positive steps
included in Passport Services bargaining unit per
Union Seeks Response on Numerical Standards
membership drive held at SIA
invoked over grievance exclusions and Warnings for passport file
ULP filed in response to
implementation of internal controls guidelines
|Local 1998 newsletter
renamed and latest edition issued
January 29, 2009: The NFFE Local 1998 newsletter was renamed "One Voice, Union Strong" by a vote of the dues-paying Union members. The latest edition was issued in late January 2009.
asks that production quotas be lowered so that passport fraud can be
January 13, 2009: NFFE Local 1998 Union President Colin Walle requested that Brenda Sprague, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Passport Services, lower the adjudication quotas so that Passport Specialist would have more time to scrutinize the applications and prevent/detect passport fraud. Walle stated that with more time to diligently adjudicate fewer passports would be issued in error to frauds, citing as one small example the work of Operation Deathmatch, which has uncovered numerous passports obtained by criminals: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/09/17/BAVV12VO5L.DTL
<SEE "Passport Integrity" HOT TOPIC>