News Archive: 2016

Local Officer Election Results Announced

December 28, 2016:  1998's Election Committee announced the results of officer elections.  With the exception of promoted VP James Lensen-Callas, the 2016 national officer lineup had little turnover.  The new three-year term begins January, 2017.

 

Cell Phone Ban Dispute Concludes with Agreement

December 12, 2016:  Management and the Union resolved their differences over a ban on cell phones in the workplace.  Employees will be able to view incoming cell phone content and plug headphones into the phones, but will be required to keep them locked in clear cases.

 

Decision: Cell Phone Ban Violates Law and Contract

Novmber 15, 2016:  Aribtrator Miller issued her findings on the Agency's cell phone ban.  She determined the Agency was obligated to comeplete bargaining before moving ahead with the ban.  She ordered the ban temporarily lifted until negotiations were properly concluded. 

 

Philadelphia Schedules Deal Debuts

November 10, 2016:  The Agency and Union reached resolution on negotiations for a Philadelphia alternate work schedule agreement.

 

Arbitrator Rules on CPC Parking

November 9, 2016:  Arbitrator Clark ruled that Charleston Passport Management was not required to bargain in changes to employee parking.  The changes reduced the more desirable parking, but retained parking free for all employees.  The Agency owed the arbitrator's per diem fees, since it failed to respond to the initial grievance.

 

Union Helps Employee Receive Within-Grade Increase

November 7, 2016:  Vice President James Lensen-Callas and Senior Steward Lynette Frowner presented a convincing case for an Passport employee receiving their Within Grade Increase.  Passport Management reconsidered its original decision and granted the WGI.

 

Employees Contacted for FLSA Reimbursement

November 3, 2016:  Announcements went out to over two thousand individuals affected by the 2009 FLSA grievance and 2016 settlement.  Those covered under the six million dollar settlement were contacted by the Class Action Implementation Group, along with instructions for claiming their compensation.

 

1998 President Re-Elected to NFFE Executive Board

September 28, 2016:  The 50th Convention of the National Federation of Federal Employees saw the election of a new President (Randy Erwin) and seven Vice-Presidents, including 1998 President Rob Arnold

 

SSN Proposals Mostly Negotiable Finds FLRA

September 28, 2016:  The Federal Labor Relations Authority ruled that three out of four Union proposals were negotiable.  The decision continued the streak of Passport Specialists prevailing in legal arguments before the FLRA.

 

Union Prevails in Negotiability Appeal

September 26, 2016:  The FLRA Authority rejected a variety of technical arguments from Passport Management that the Union surrendered the right to bargain over the process by which employees are used in after hours Duty Officer cases.  The Authority ruled that the majority of the Union's proposals were negotiable.

 

Union Prevails in Grievance Filed by Agency

  September 21, 2016:  Arbitrator Mitchell Goldberg concluded that NFFE 1998 did not violate the contract by CPC Senior Steward involving an FMCS mediator in a bargaining stalemate.  The Agency unsuccsessfully sought rulings that the Union is barred from contacting FMCS on issues that Management refuses to bargain, and that Management's assignment of employee seating at CPC constituted a past  practice.

 

Union Grieves Disparity in Overtime Opportunity

September 7, 2016:  1998 President Rob Arnold filed a complaint with the Agency over its curtailment of 2016 overtime overtime opportuntes for bargaining unit employees.  The Agency continued an operation in the basement of Passport Headquarters in which managers recevie overtime pay to perform the same work (adjudicating passport applications).

 

Union Disputes Lack of Job-Applying Opportunity

August 30, 2016:  NFFE 1998 filed a grievance concerning job vacancies within the bargaining unit.  The Agency not only set the application deadline shorter than the contract allows, but also set a limit of 100 applications to be considered.  The vacancies were billed as alternatives to hiring fairs that required applicants from hundreds of miles away appear in person to be considered.

 

Arbitrator Rules Suspension Taken Without Just Cause

July 26, 2016:  Agreeing with Union arguments that discipline must be progressive in nature, Arbitrator Sergent reduced an employee suspension from five days to none, deciding a reprimand was more appropriate.  Sergent determined the Agency's reaction to a supervisor/employee disagreement over issuance procedure was not taken with the intent of correcting behavior.

 

Arbitrator Determines 2014 Awards Fairly Distributed

July 18, 2016:  Arbitrator Frankiewicz issued a decision on awards fairness for 2014.  Dismissing multiple Agency arguments that the grievance couldn't go to arbitration, Frankiewicz ruled that awards issued in 2014 met the criteria of a fair distribution between managers and employees.  He found each side sometimes correct and sometimes not in the meaning of contract language.

 

Desk-Sharing Agreement Reached in Connecticut

July 7, 2016:  With a number of new hires anticipated to soon arrive, Union and Management at the Connecticut office negotiated an agreement governing the likely advent of desk-sharing for some employees.

 

Job Applicants May Question Grade Level

July 5, 2016:  Following several complaints about the pay rates of new Passport Specialists, NFFE 1998 inquired about that Agency decision-making process.  Applicants for Passport Specialist positions can and should question Human Resources if they think the grade level they are being offered does not square with the OPM guidelines.

 

 

July Offers Break From Mandatory OT

July 1, 2016:  Boston and San Francisco employees were thankful to learn this would be the first in numerous months that required no specified level of mandatory overtime work.  This marks the second month in a row without mandatory overtime for Charleston.

 

Reasonable Accomodation Grievance Filed

June 25, 2016: Local 1998 filed a grievance on behalf of an employee.  She had requested a reasonable accommodation for less formal footwear to address back problems in the wake of a car accident.  Local Management would not allow the change, despite receiving medical documentation, until it received an okay weeks later from the reasonable accommodation unit.

 

WPC Seating Agreement Updated

June 16, 2106:  A Union grievance was resolved by a settlement agreement.  The grievance was filed when Agency refused to  meet with the Union about the Acquisition Review Panel.

 

Delegates to NFFE Convention to be Elected

May 28, 2016:  Nominations and elections for delegates to the NFFE convention will occurr between now and the end of July.  Two delegates will represent Local 1998 in voting for new NFFE officers (President, Secretary-Treasurer and Vice Presidents) as well as bylaws changes.

 

Agreement Reached on System Downtime Procedures

May 27, 2016 Local 1998 reached agreement with Passport Services on an MOU concerning computer operational issues.  Henceforth, when computer systems fail to operate properly, employees will generally be promptly notified whether their production for the day is measurable.

 

Record Total Concludes FLSA Settlement  

May 26, 2016 Local 1998 reached agreement with Passports Services on a 2009 grievance over suffered and permitted overtime compelled with the agency.  The Agency agreed to pay a total of 6.5 million dollars to resolve the grievance.  The money will go towards reimbursing affected employees.

 

Overtime Payment Delays Addressed

May 13, 2016:  San Francisco officers filed a grievance over delays in payments to employees for overtime.  The matter came to amicable resolution with the signing of the settlement that allowed employees time to review their earnings statements so far this year for errors.

 

Union Admits Fault in Agency's Grievance

April 26 2016:  NFFE 1998 issued an apology to Miami Management for a local Union presentation that ran long.  The presentations were a result of a ULP settlement negotiated earlier in the year.

 

Local Officers Converge on Maryland

April 20 2016 Over 30 officers of the Local met in Placid Harbor, MD for a weeklong training session.  Topics included investigative interviews, combating PIPs, and bargaining office moves.  NFFE Vice President John Obst helped run a training program that featured largely new material.

 

Union Responds to Agency Grievance

January 25, 2016 Local President Arnold replied to another Agency grievance.  In it, the Agency alleged that the Union's request for informatinon by a certain date was tantamount to lying.

 

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.

   

Arbitrator Determines 2014 Awards Fairly Distributed

July 18, 2016:  Arbitrator Frankiewicz issued a decision on awards fairness for 2014.  Dismissing multiple Agency arguments that the grievance couldn't go to arbitration, Frankiewicz ruled that awards issued in 2014 met the criteria of a fair distribution between managers and employees.  He found each side sometimes correct and sometimes not in the meaning of contract language.

Desk-Sharing Agreement Reached in Connecticut

July 7, 2016:  With a number of new hires anticipated to soon arrive, Union and Management at the Connecticut office negotiated an agreement governing the likely advent of desk-sharing for some employees.

Job Applicants May Question Grade Level

July 5, 2016:  Following several complaints about the pay rates of new Passport Specialists, NFFE 1998 inquired about that Agency decision-making process.  Applicants for Passport Specialist positions can and should question Human Resources if they think the grade level they are being offered does not square with the OPM guidelines.


 

July Offers Break From Mandatory OT

July 1, 2016:  Boston and San Francisco employees were thankful to learn this would be the first in numerous months that required no specified level of mandatory overtime work.  This marks the second month in a row without mandatory overtime for Charleston.

FL 1998 only class
 

Reasonable Accomodation Grievance Filed

June 25, 2016: Local 1998 filed a grievance on behalf of an employee.  She had requested a reasonable accommodation for less formal footwear to address back problems in the wake of a car accident.  Local Management would not allow the change, despite receiving medical documentation, until it received an okay weeks later from the reasonable accommodation unit.

WPC Seating Agreement Updated

June 16, 2106:  A Union grievance was resolved by a settlement agreement.  The grievance was filed when Agency refused to  meet with the Union about the Acquisition Review Panel.

2009-09-25 JT
 

  

Delegates to NFFE Convention to be Elected

May 28, 2016:  Nominations and elections for delegates to the NFFE convention will occurr between now and the end of July.  Two delegates will represent Local 1998 in voting for new NFFE officers (President, Secretary-Treasurer and Vice Presidents) as well as bylaws changes.   

Agreement Reached on System Downtime Procedures

May 27, 2016 Local 1998 reached agreement with Passport Services on an MOU concerning computer operational issues.  Henceforth, when computer systems fail to operate properly, employees will generally be promptly notified whether their production for the day is measurable.

 

  


 

Record Total Concludes FLSA Settlement  

May 26, 2016Local 1998 reached agreement with Passports Services on a 2009 grievance over suffered and permitted overtime compelled with the agency.  The Agency agreed to pay a total of 6.5 million dollars to resolve the grievance.  The money will go towards reimbursing affected employees.


 

Overtime Payment Delays Addressed

May 13, 2016:  San Francisco officers filed a grievance over delays in payments to employees for overtime.  The matter came to amicable resolution with the signing of the settlement that allowed employees time to review their earnings statements so far this year for errors.


 

 

 Union Admits Fault in Agency's Grievance

April 26 2016:  NFFE 1998 issued an apology to Miami Management for a local Union presentation that ran long.  The presentations were a result of a ULP settlement negotiated earlier in the year.

Local Officers Converge on Maryland

April 20 2016 Over 30 officers of the Local met in Placid Harbor, MD for a weeklong training session.  Topics included investigative interviews, combating PIPs, and bargaining office moves.  NFFE Vice President John Obst helped run a training program that featured largely new material.

   

Union Responds to Agency Grievance

January 25, 2016 Local President Arnold replied to another Agency grievance.  In it, the Agency alleged that the Union's request for informatinon by a certain date was tantamount to lying.

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.

FSIP Session Produces Transfer Agreement

December 21, 2015:  Member Johnson of the Federal Service Impasses Panel presided over a late-night meeting that produced an agreement between Management and the Union on competitive opportunities for transfers.

 

Former Peace Corps BUE Retirement Codes Corrected

January 21, 2016:  Following several months of discussion between the Union and Management, the Agency has corrected employee retirement withholdings to reflect the correct amount.  Dozens of employees from the Peace Corps were subjected to impropoerly high withholding amounts.  The Agency has yet to pay back the sums incorrectly collected in previous months, but has pledged to make all employees whole.