History

Links to related history sites: Passport History Book - to be linked at a later time
NFFE National History

IAMAW History

U.S. Department of State History
History of the Federal Labor Relations Statute
Passport History (to be linked in the future)

Scroll down for a brief history of NFFE Local 1998 and also for a year-by-year chronology of some events in the local's history.  

 NFFE Local 1998 History


NFFE Local 1998 came into official existence on October 19, 1981 when it was recognized as the exclusive representative of Passport Services’ bargaining unit employees by the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) in Case No. 3-RO-98. NFFE Local 1998 was again certified as the exclusive Union representative for the bargaining unit employees on April 22, 1983 (FLRA Case No. 3-RO-20016) and on September 10, 1985 (FLRA Case No. 3-UC-50003). 

During the 1980's, NFFE Local 1998 negotiated three collective bargaining agreements (contracts) with Passport Services Management (1983, 1985, and 1986).  Management made an attempt to decertify NFFE Local 1998 as the exclusive representative in 1989. Management’s alleged to the FLRA that because the Union had not prosecuted many grievances, invoked arbitration, or responded to Management initiatives, it had not done its job as a Union. Local 1998 prevailed in 1990.  In 1991, the Union negotiated another collective bargaining agreement with Management.  During the 1990's, NFFE Local 1998 filed grievances and Unfair Labor Practice charges on health conditions, respect shown to employees, reprimands issued to employees, promotions, evaluations, union dues deductions, and employees' addresses.  

In late 1993, the Union initiated discussions with Management to create a Partnership, based on the Executive Order signed by President Clinton.  The parties met in 1994 and again in 1995, finalizing an agreement.  

In 1998, NFFE Local 1998 issued its first newsletter in years, and created this website.  

In 1999, the National Federation of Federal Employees voted to affiliate with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW).  NFFE Local 1998 voted for this decision, which has greatly strengthened the ability of the Union to represent the employees.  

In 2001, the Union and Management completed their fifth collective bargaining agreement.  During the next few years, NFFE Local 1998 has negotiated via traditional bargaining and through partnership with Management on a number of issues (e.g., work schedules, dress code, and a new job element).  The Union has also filed grievances and Unfair Labor Practice charges on work schedules, promotions, evaluations, performance standards, leave, official time, facilities, dignified treatment for employees, disciplinary actions, dues deductions, overtime, and the Fair Labor Standards Act.  

In 2003, NFFE Local 1998 reluctantly took an unprecedented step in the history of the local by organizing a letter-writing, email-sending, and office-visit campaign to members of Congress around the nation over concerns with the integrity of the passport issuance process, including strict quotas for adjudication of passport applications.  The Congress asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate the issue.  The GAO and the OIG issued critical reports and the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee held a hearing on the issue.  As a result of the Union's efforts, a major vulnerability in the passport issuance process was closed.  

In 2006, the Union and Management commenced negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement on January 24th.  On October 19th, NFFE marked its 25-year anniversary of the FLRA certifying the local as the exclusive representative of Passport Services bargaining unit employees.  

In 2008, NFFE Local 1998 was one of six NFFE locals to receive an Organizing Award for membership increases since 2004.  The membership in NFFE Local 1998 had grown from 33 members in 1998 to over 335 members in 2008.  

NFFE Local 1998 Chronology
 
2008    
October 6 Convention: Rick Brown was reelected for the fourth time as President of the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE) at the Union's 48th convention held in Milwaukee, WI.  Secretary-Treasurer Bill Dougan was also reelected to his position.  Highlights of the convention included addresses by Congressman Danny Davis (D-IL) and IAMAW International President Tom Buffenbarger.  The attendees made numerous changes to the NFFE bylaws, voted for officers, heard a number of informative and moving speeches, and received one day of representational training by NFFE staff.  Local 1998 Union President Colin Walle and Local 1998 Union Steward Claude Scott (Chicago) attended the convention as delegates.  Local 1998 was one of six locals to receive an "Organizing Award" for membership increases since 2004.  Elected as NFFE National Vice Presidents were: John Obst, Joe Drozdowski, Patricia LaSala, Kolleen McGrath, Tim Ostrowski, Debbie Ransom, and Colin Walle (the first time someone from Local 1998 has been elected to a NFFE National position).  


Rick Brown, re-elected as President of NFFE, stands with Local 1998 Union Steward Claude Scott 


Congressman Danny Davis (D-IL) addresses the 2008 NFFE convention 


Organizing Award presented to Local 1998 at the NFFE convention in Milwaukee, WI on October 6, 2008 

September 7 Convention: NFFE Local 1998 Union President Colin Walle served as a delegate to the 2008 IAMAW convention in Orlando, FL.  The delegates voted on scores of proposed amendments to the IAMAW Constitution as well as dozens of proposed resolutions, along with an increase in dues.  The convention had for its theme the "Four Freedoms" speech by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, given in his 1941 Inaugural Address.  Each day of the convention, the attendees watched a short video presentation and then heard speakers and a panel discussion on the topics.  President Roosevelt once famously remarked, "If I went to work in a factory, the first thing I'd do is join a union".  President Roosevelt's grandson, James Roosevelt (President and CEO of Tufts Health Plan), addressed the convention, as did Congresswoman Corrine Brown (D-FL), Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), former Governor Mike Huckabee (R-AR), AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Arlene Holt Baker, and AFSCME Union President Gerald McEntee.  Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) addressed the convention and thanked the IAMAW for its endorsement during the Democratic Party Primary.  IAMAW Chairman Tom Buffenbarger announced that Senator Clinton is now an honorary IAMAW member, only the third such person to receive the honor in the last 60 years.  As a new member, Sister Hillary made a motion that the IAMAW endorse Senator Barack Obama for President of the United States.  The Convention approved the motion on a unanimous vote. 


IAMAW President Tom Buffenbarger addresses the 2008 convention 

Senator Barack Obama (D-IL), candidate for President, addressed the 2008 IAMAW convention by live video feed.  The Senator's remarks were prefaced by a warm introduction by International President Tom Buffenbarger, and a raucous greeting by approximately two thousand Union members waving Obama-Biden placards.  The members all wore bright orange hunting vests, titled "IAM TNT", in keeping with IP President Buffenbarger's call to hunt for votes on November 4th.  The "TNT" acronym stands for "The November 4th Team".  The IAMAW gave a full-throated endorsement to Senator Obama on September 8th.
Click here to see the address (view only at home):
  
PART A  PART B  PART C  PART D

NFFE delegates to the IAMAW convention: Joe Drozdowski (FL 2086), Colin Walle (FL 1998), John Obst (FL 276), and Rick Brown (NFFE President) 


Newest IAMAW member Senator Hillary Clinton speaks to the 2008 IAMAW Convention

August 22 Negotiations: The Union and Management concluded bargaining on a Memorandum of Understanding that addressed a new program in which Management officials in each office would audit searches by employees of passport files to ensure that they were done for legitimate purposes.  The parties agreed that the privacy of passport applicants must be respected.  Bargaining focused on the manner in which employees would record their searches and the time necessary for searches and recording.  In addition, the parties emphasized that employees investigated for the reasons for a passport file search possessed their full Weingarten Rights.  Other than the Weingarten Rights aspect, the MOU does not address the ramifications of ongoing investigations by the Office of Inspector General, the Passport Monitor Unit, and Passport Services HQ regarding searches done of "high profile" individuals two to six years earlier.  The Union is still communicating to Management regarding that issue.  
July 29 FAIR Act Challenge: July 29, 2008: National Federation of Federal Employees President Rick Brown submitted a challenge, or appeal, to the Department of State concerning the use of non-governmental contractor employees for the job of accepting and executing passport applications.  The job involves identifying the passport applicant, administering the oath, helping to prevent passport fraud, and other functions.  Prior to June 2007, it had been Department of State and Passport Services policy that only government workers could perform this function, but while under pressure from the public, the media, and the Congress to address the nearly 3,000,000 (three million) passport application backlog, this policy was reversed.  The challenge was filed in accordance with the FAIR Act. 
June 3 Newsletter: The Union published the 14th edition of Local 1998 News.  Topics included the settlement of the night shift grievance, the new adjudication performance standards, and the Union's endorsement of H.R. 5752.  
May 22 Grievance: The Union and Management settled the Grievance initially filed on October 29, 2007 after Management at the Washington (DC) Passport Agency (PPT/WN) forced new employees to move to the night shift.  The Union had invoked arbitration on February 15, 2008, but the hearing has been cancelled.  NFFE Local 1998 Union President Colin Walle and Vice President Mike Garofano signed a Settlement Agreement with Department of State and Passport Services officials.  As a result of the settlement, 9 employees at PPT/WN were moved to the day shift, effective Monday, May 26th and employees on the night/second shift anywhere in Passport Services nationwide who were not given fair notice of the requirement to work the night shift prior to be hiring, or who had volunteered for night (assuming they could return to day shift), had until 8:00 PM local time on June 13th to email their supervisors that they desire to return to day shift.  Moving from night shift to day shift (and day shift to night shift) is henceforth governed by an amendment (a new Article 38) added to the collective bargaining agreement as part of the settlement. 


Union Chief Steward Karen Proctor-Adams with PPT/WN employee Tanika Jenkins

March 26 Newsletter: The thirteenth edition of Local 1998 News was published.  Stories covered in the newsletter included Management's appeal of Arbitrator Jerome H. Ross' ruling in the overtime performance measurement grievance, an upcoming arbitration hearing regarding work schedules, the change in policy regarding "S&R" notations, and the so-called enhanced driver's license. 
February 7 Meeting: Rick Brown, President of the National Federation of Federal Employees, visited Local 1998 Union members who work at the National Passport Center.  President Brown met with Union members at lunch and also met with the Union representatives to discuss issues affecting bargaining unit employees. 

Pictured at right: Local 1998 Union Stewards Helen Bechard, Local 1998 Union Steward Sarah Cote, NFFE President Rick Brown, NFFE ADBR Bill Fenaughty, Local 1998 Senior Steward Chuck Black, and Local 1998 Union Steward Nathan Tortora. 

January 15 Grievance: NFFE Local 1998 filed a Step 3 Grievance with Passport Services HQ regarding the decision to force new employees to work a 4/10 Compressed Work Schedule on the night shift at the Washington, DC Passport Agency.  
2007    
December 26 Officers: NFFE Local 1998 Election Committee members Nathan Tortora and Bernadet Smith announced the winners of the election for Union officers.  Colin Walle was reelected as Union President, Mike Garofano was reelected as Vice President, Pat Caron was reelected as Recording Secretary, and Rob Arnold was reelected as Secretary-Treasurer.  Carissa Guilmette, Ronda Humphries, and Robert Posey were elected as the three Trustees.  The terms of office begin on January 1, 2008 and end on December 31, 2010.  
November Training: NFFE Local 1998 VP Mike Garofano and Secretary-Treasurer Rob Arnold attended a class on arbitrations at the IAMAW's Winpisinger Education and Technology Center. 
October Newsletter: The 12th edition of Local 1998 News is published. Topics covered included two arbitration hearings and the upcoming election of officers.  
 
September 30 News: CNN reports on passport delays and policy changes in a story titled "Tougher Passport Rules."  The story includes a brief interview with Local 1998 President Colin Walle (photo used with permission). 
September 17 Arbitration: Arbitrator Jerome H. Ross ruled for NFFE Local 1998 in a grievance filed April 13th over a violation of Article 28 of the collective bargaining agreement.  The grievance concerned a provision that allows one employee to be excused from mandatory overtime provided that another qualified employee (or employees) perform additional voluntary overtime in an amount sufficient to cover the mandatory overtime requirement for the first employee.  
September 14 Negotiations: Passport Services Headquarters Management and NFFE Local 1998 Union representatives completed a week of collective bargaining.  The parties had postponed bargaining sessions originally scheduled for April and May due to the overwhelming workload.  

Representational training on September 14, 2007. Pictured (L to R): PPT/WN Steward Melissa Toby, NFFE Business Rep Steve Flory, PPT/TO Senior Steward Paulette Brent, Local 1998 President Colin Walle (kneeling), Chief Steward Karen Proctor-Adams, PPT/TO Steward Kamaria Blandford.  

August 10 Arbitration: NFFE Local 1998 and Passport Services concluded two days of grievance arbitration hearings covering two different grievances.  The arbitrator was Jerome H. Ross, who previously decided a case for the parties in 2001.  The first grievance concerns the measurement of desk adjudication performance on overtime.  The Union alleges that Management violated Article 18 of the collective bargaining agreement by not accounting for so-called non-productive tasks during overtime (such as logging in/out of the computer, locking/unlocking desks and cabinets, obtaining and moving work, reading email policies and instructions, and safeguarding or shredding sensitive documents and materials).  The Union argued that this was not fair or reasonable, and also that Passport Services should look to the positive example set by the National Passport Center, which both performs the most overtime and the most work, but also measures employees' performance the same on overtime as on regular work days.  The second grievance contests the refusal of Management to excuse employees from mandatory overtime, provided that other qualified volunteers perform addition hours in place of the employee seeking to be excused.  This is a requirement of Article 28 of our collective bargaining agreement.  The deadline for submitting post-hearing briefs for the second grievance is September 10th, while the deadline for the first grievance has been extended.  
July 6

News: A story in the Christian Science Monitor, Are new passport rules making the US safer?, written by Zoe Tillman addressed the passport backlog and also the numerical adjudication standards.  

June 19 News: The Red Tape Chronicles, a featured blog/column on MNSBC.com written by reporter Bob Sullivan, had a story titled': "Worker Dearth, Citi Blamed in Passport Mess" which explored the reasons for the passport backlog and discussed the adjudication quotas.  
June 12 ULP: NFFE Local 1998 filed an Unfair Labor Practice charge after Passport Services Management refused to honor the Union's request to negotiate over a plan to have non-governmental contractor workers accept passport applications at the Philadelphia and Boston Passport Agencies.  Accepting an application involves identifying the applicant, ensuring that he/she is who he/she claims to be, recording evidence, taking fees, administering the oath, witnessing the signature, signing the application, and entering it into the computer.  This has always been considered an "inherently governmental function" by both employees and Management, and this change appears to conflict with Department of State and Passport Services written policy.  Because Management implemented the change without bargaining with the Union, the Union feels that Management committed an unfair labor practice (a violation of 5 U.S.C. 7116).  This story was covered by the Federal Daily in the June 20, 2007 online edition.  
April 13 Grievance: The Union filed a Grievance Between the Parties with HQ challenging HQ's refusal to allow employees to be excused from mandatory overtime if qualified employees volunteered for the work.  The Union cited Article 28, Section 2 of the contract, which states "In the event an employee does not desire to work overtime, the Employer shall make an effort to accommodate the employee's request to be excused from overtime work, provided that another qualified employee, who normally performs the work, is available for the overtime." 
March 30 Grievance: NFFE Local 1998 filed a Grievance Between the Parties challenging the system of measuring performance during overtime hours. While GS-9 and GS-11 Passport Specialists must adjudicate, on average, 156 applications every 8 hours normally, on overtime they are required to produce 180 applications. The Union believes that the measuring system is unfair because it does not provide any time for the non-productive tasks (e.g., logging in, locking up, obtaining work and supplies) that is accounted for in a normal day. The Union is also concerned that requiring already-strained workers to produce at an even faster pace will only result in more fatigued workers, more repetitive motion injuries, hurt retention efforts, and further undermine the integrity of the passport issuance process by requiring workers to spend an average of 2 minutes and 10 seconds adjudicating each application rather than the normal 2 minutes and 30 seconds (which is already viewed by employees and the Union as insufficient time - see story about petition above). Click here to read the grievance: 2007-03-30 GRIEVANCE.  
March 30 Petition: NFFE Local 1998 sent a petition signed by 327 Passport Specialists from 16 offices around the country asking Headquarters to lower the numerical performance requirements ("quotas") "because the current numerical standards do not give us sufficient time to diligently scrutinize the applications and evidence for fraud". The petition was gathered between late January and early March. Only non-probationary employees were invited to sign (probationary employees have few rights to contest terminations, and some expressed concerns about retaliation). Of 383 non-probationary employees asked to sign the petition, 327 chose to sign their names - which is an overwhelming 85% participation rate. Virtually all of the Senior Passport Specialists (GS-11's) signed the petition. Click here to read the petition cover letter, including the wording of the petition: 2007 ADJ PETITION
March 15 Congress: Three NFFE Local 1998 Union representatives, accompanied by the National Federation of Federal Employees' Legislative Director and the head of the IAMAW's federal employees department, met with Congressional staff members to express opposition to the use of a so-called "Enhanced Border Crossing Driver's License" in place of a U.S. passport for travel to and from Canada. The Union expressed vehement opposition to the notion that citizenship could be determined based on viewing scanned images of birth certificates and other documents electronically transmitted to the Department of State.  
March 9 Mandatory OT: Passport Services HQ instituted nationwide mandatory overtime for all employees, supervisors, and managers to deal with an unprecedented backlog brought on by the implementation of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.  This is the first time that mandatory overtime has been ordered on a nationwide basis.  
2006    
December 22 Grievance: Management at PPT/LA granted the Union's requested relief in a Step 1 Formal Grievance filed the day before and did not suspend the compressed work schedule for the holidays. 
December 15 Grievance: The Union and Management amicably settled the dispute over the career ladder promotion of a GS-5 employee to GS-6. The Employee received her promotion, and that promotion was made retroactive by two pay periods, with back pay. The settlement terminated the grievance and cancelled the arbitration hearing that had been scheduled for January. 
November 22 Grievance: Management and the Union at PPT/CPC resolved the Union's grievance filed over a change in past practice regarding the granting of administrative leave to attend the Combined Federal Campaign's Day of Caring. Almost 20 employees each had 4 to 6 hours of annual leave restored as a result of the amicable settlement.
October 19 (through November 3) Anniversary: NFFE Local 1998 celebrates the 25-year anniversary of the FLRA's October 19, 1981 certification of the local as the exclusive representative of Passport Services bargaining unit employees.  Various offices marked the anniversary on the 19th and on other dates, up until November 3.  Combined with mini-membership drives ran by NFFE Business Rep Jim Davis in September and the 25 Year Anniversary events in October and the first days of November, over 25 employees nationwide joined the Union.   

25 Year Anniversary of NFFE Local 1998

25 Year Anniversary cake enjoyed by employees at PPT/NPC 

All members received a "NFFE-IAM" lapel pin and a "NFFE-IAM" lanyard.  

Photos from 25-year anniversary event at PPT/NPC, held on November 2, 2006:
 

 

<---NPC 1st shift employees mark the occasion 

 

 

<---NPC 2nd shift employees enjoy pizza & soda

Photos from 25-year anniversary event at PPT/SE, held on October 19, 2006:

Members brought fruit, chips, cookies, and more . . .   

Union Rep Jennifer awards emergency 
supply kit prize to Wanthida 

Time to eat and drink 

Union member Debbie wins a gift certificate 

Pizza, soda, cookies, and Union newsletters! 

Newest Union recruit (Cameron)
Photo from the 25-year anniversary event at PPT/WN: 

PPT/WN Steward Brykyta Shelton, Assistant to NFFE President Cassie Kerner, Local 1998 Chief Steward Karen Proctor-Adams, and NFFE Legislative Director Randy Erwin.

 

All bargaining unit employees received this invitation to join the Union.  

October 16 Newsletter: The 11th edition of Local 1998 News is published. Topics covered included the 25 year anniversary of NFFE Local 1998, the National Union/Management Council meeting, a grievance update, a report on where the awards money and quality step increases go, ergonomics information, adjudication quotas, and the 2006 training report.  
October 12 Grievance: CPC Senior Steward James Jarmon filed a Step 1 Formal Grievance after managers changed the past practice of granting a full day of administrative leave to the participants in the CFC's Day of Caring.  
September 25 - October 5 Negotiations: The Union and Management complete their 3rd two-week session of face-to-face bargaining over a new collective bargaining agreement ("contract" or "CBA").  The earlier two sessions were from August 14 to 25 and from April 25 to May 4.  
August Newsletter: NFFE Local 1998's bargaining team is featured on page 11 of The Federal Employee, NFFE National's newsletter.  The headline of the article reads, "Local 1998 Moves Forward in Contract Negotiations".  

The article quotes NFFE National President Rick Brown: 
"I am proud of Local 1998's commitment to reaching a sound contract," said NFFE President/DBR Richard N. Brown.  "Their continued dedication, particularly as the months drag on, will ensure that the Passport workers get an agreement that works for employees and helps the agency operate more effectively."  

August 1 Arbitration: The Union invoked arbitration in the grievance filed for a GS-5 employee seeking her career ladder promotion to GS-6. 
July 28 Grievance: NFFE Local 1998 Secretary-Treasurer Rob Arnold filed a Step 3 Formal Grievance with HQ regarding the career ladder promotion for a GS-9 employee and the correction of the employee's 2005 appraisal for Element 2.  
July 21 Grievance: The Union filed a Step 3 Formal Grievance with Passport Services HQ regarding the 2005 evaluation for a GS-11 employee who worked at the Boston Passport Agency after Management rejected the Union's Step 2 grievance on June 30th.  
July 21 Mediation: Seattle Senior Steward Nathaniel Miller, Seattle Steward Jennifer Gile, and Local 1998 President Colin Walle attended an Alternate Dispute Resolution with Seattle Management regarding the career ladder promotion of a Passport Specialist.  The parties were eventually able to reach an amicable settlement of the dispute.   
May 4 Negotiations: Union and Management negotiators met for two weeks in Washington, DC to bargain over a new contract.  The Union negotiators were: Chief Negotiator Steve Flory (NFFE Business Representative), Rob Arnold (Secretary-Treasurer), Karen Proctor-Adams (Chief Steward), Mike Garofano (Vice President), Keacha Medley (PPT/WN Senior Steward - present for the first week), and Colin Walle (Local President - present for the second week).  The tone of the negotiations was positive and the parties made some progress.  The parties will meet again for two weeks in August.  

In the photo, from left to right: Mike Garofano, Rob Arnold, Colin Walle, Karen Proctor-Adams, and Steve Flory

May 3

Thank you: Local 1999 Vice President Mike Garofano - along with Union President Colin Walle, Secretary-Treasurer Rob Arnold, and Chief Steward Karen Proctor-Adams - presented a plaque to NFFE National President Rick Brown as a token of thanks for all of the hard work that NFFE National has done on behalf of Passport Services employees, and federal employees in general. The plaque is a bona fide New Hampshire License Plate reading "NFFE". 

In the photo, from left to right: Colin Walle, NFFE S/T John Paolino, NFFE President Rick Brown, NFFE Historian Abe Orlofsky, Mike Garofano, Karen Proctor-Adams, Rob Arnold, and NFFE Business Representative Steve Flory

April 21 Grievance: New Orleans Union Steward Debra Reese-Jolly filed a Step 3 Grievance regarding unilateral changes in desk assignments.  
March 21 Grievance Settlement: Almost sixteen months after the event that caused the grievance, the Union and Management finally settled the dispute over the manner in which administrative leave was granted on December 23, 2004. The Union had filed the grievance on January 20, 2005, arguing that Management had retaliated against the Union and specifically for the FLSA Overtime grievance by unilaterally changing the past practice on how administrative leave was granted.  As part of the settlement, Management affirmed that there was no connection between the Union's grievance and the actions that Management took prior to the Christmas 2004 holiday, and that neither the Union nor the grievance are to blame for what happened.  Management committed to abiding by past practices and to only seeking changes via applicable legal authorities.  Employees who served on the "skeleton crew" in Washington DC, San Francisco, Seattle, Honolulu, and Houston on December 23, 2004 will now receive administrative leave in the same amounts as those who were granted early dismissal, in accordance with the past practice on this subject.  In addition, in a gesture of goodwill that is much appreciated by the Union and the employees, Management is granting 3 hours of administrative leave to over 20 employees in Miami.  
March 20 Training: An unprecedented nine Union Representatives from Local 1998 attended the weeklong Federal Employees Seminar together at the IAMAW's Winpisinger Center in Placid Harbor, Maryland. Leah Anderson, Rob Arnold, Mike Garofano, Eric Handy, Mirna Lopez, Elisabeth Lucchese, Two Feathers Neal, Debra Reese-Jolly, and Colin Walle traveled from Seattle, New Orleans, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Portsmouth (NH) to learn about grievances, arbitration, ULP's, prohibited personnel practices, Hatch Act rules, A-76 contracting out, and other representational issues. In addition to the regular coursework, the Local 1998 reps met for four evening sessions to discuss problems affecting Passport Services employees in their respective offices. The group also developed a Strategic Plan for Local 1998. 
January 30 Survey: The Union compiled some of the results of the first comprehensive survey of bargaining unit employees and informed Management that on the issue of the adjudication performance standards, the Passport Specialists spoke loudly and clearly, with the overwhelming majority agreeing with the following statement: "The numerical performance standards do NOT provide me with sufficient time to diligently adjudicate passport applications (without taking shortcuts) and carefully scrutinize the evidence/application/tools for fraud indicators.”  Out of the 368 employees who indicated a firm response, 248 said they “Strongly Agreed” and 98 said they “Agreed” with that statement – an overwhelming 94% of Passport Specialists (there were 58 employees - mostly new hires - who indicated they were "Neutral", left the question blank, or wrote "N/A", and 23 employees combined who “Disagreed” or “Strongly Disagreed”). In addition, 97% of employees indicating a response said that the focus in adjudication is on quantity instead of quality, employees listed the "integrity of the passport issuance process" as their # 1 issue out of 10 options, and out of 228 written comments that were received 112 focused on the numerical adjudication standards (111 - 99% - took the time to argue that they should be lowered and that we need to focus more on quality).  Almost every Passport Specialist who was present during the week of the survey participated. 
January 13 Grievance: Los Angeles Passport Agency Senior Steward Cathy Prince filed a Step 1 Formal Grievance on behalf of six employees who were prevented from working during an overtime period when the office was not opened.  Management and the Union amicably resolved the grievance and the employees received compensation.
2005  
November 30 Grievance: Management at the Connecticut Passport Agency amicably and swiftly responded to an Informal Grievance filed by Union Steward Wanda Murillo regarding sick leave policy during the holiday season. Management agreed to abide by the sick leave provisions in the contract and to issue a clarifying email. 
November 25 Grievance: Union President Colin Walle filed a Step 1 Formal Grievance with HQ alleging retaliation for the previous hostile treatment grievance at the Boston Passport Agency, including a unilateral change in lunchroom policy.  
October 24 Grievance: Union President Colin Walle filed a Step 1 Formal Grievance with HQ regarding the failure to provide the Union with a sole-use office.  The grievance was temporarily settled.  
September 8 Grievance: The Union and Management agreed to settle the grievance regarding the use of official time at the Boston Passport Agency that was filed on April 22, 2005.
August 15 Newsletter: The 10th edition of Local 1998 News is published.  
August 4 Inspector General OIG: The Union's May 2005 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to have portions of the Office of Inspector General's (OIG) November 2004 review of passport fraud efforts was partially approved, focusing on the decision to eliminate the Assistant Fraud Program Manager (AFPM) position. The released portions reveal that "DS agents working with passport fraud, CA/FPP officers, and all passport agency FPMs" were not "consulted prior to the announcement of the decision to abolish the assistant FPM position in late 2003", adding that "[a]ll of the stakeholders claimed they would have opposed this personnel policy had they been consulted". The report mentioned the fact that the "union had expressed concerns about the effect that the elimination of this position would have on detection of passport fraud". As a result of the elimination of the AFPM's, "[s]everal of the FPMs said they are now spending more time training staff, are involved in a never-ending training mode, and have less time to devote to operational work, case development, and analysis". The OIG formally recommended that the AFPM positions be reestablished. Click here to read more.
July 28 Grievance: Union Chief Steward Rob Arnold filed an Informal Grievance regarding the promotion of a GS-9 Passport Specialist at the Seattle Passport Agency to GS-11.  
July 1 Newsletter: A Special Edition of Local 1998 News was published - the 9th edition issued since 1998. The July edition focuses solely on the subject of the integrity of the passport issuance process. Click here for newsletter. 
June 16

Grievance: Passport Services HQ granted the Union's requested relief in the grievance filed by Senior Steward Karen Proctor-Adams against the unfair overtime policy at the Washington (DC) Passport Agency. Management's response stated that, "Effective immediately, management at the Washington Passport Agency will discontinue the practice of requiring that employees meet their daily or cumulative desk or counter adjudication standards to work overtime".

June 29 Congress: The Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report titled "Improvements Needed to Strengthen U.S. Passport Fraud Detection Efforts" which criticized the Department of State's efforts to detect and prevent passport fraud. The U.S. Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee held a hearing titled "Vulnerabilities in the U.S. Passport System Can Be Exploited by Criminals and Terrorists", which addressed the GAO's report on this issue. Four NFFE Local 1998 Union representatives attended the hearing along with a NFFE National official and an IAMAW official. The GAO made six recommendations: 1) consider way to improve interagency information sharing; 2) establish a centralized and up-to-date fraud prevention library; 3) consider augmenting fraud prevention staffing; 4) assess the extent to which interoffice workload transfers may hinder fraud prevention; 5) strengthen fraud prevention training; and 6) strengthen fraud prevention oversight.
May Newsletter: Local 1998 is featured on page 12 of NFFE's newsletter, The Federal Employee.  The title of the "Local Spotlight" read "Local 1998 Represents Members Well Despite Being Dispersed".  

The article highlights the victory by the Union, represented by Attorney Mike Snider, in the grievance that challenged and corrected the FLSA status of bargaining unit employees.  The article noted that Local 1998 representatives from around the country worked together with Union President Colin Walle and Attorney Snider to make the grievance a success.  NFFE National President Rick Brown commented that "Local 1998's success proves how much a group of dedicated individuals can accomplish by working together".  

May 10  Grievance: Union President Colin Walle filed a Step 2 Formal Grievance challenging the year-end appraisal given to a GS-11 Senior Passport Specialist at the Boston Passport Agency. That employee had been rated "Outstanding" overall for many years, and had been rated "Outstanding" overall in an interim evaluation given on October 27, 2004, yet that rating was reduced to "Excellent" overall for the year-end rating. The grievance challenges the overemphasis on the quantity of the employee's work at the expense of ignoring her accomplishments in the quality aspects of the job. 
March 16 Newsletter: The latest edition of Local 1998 News was distributed to all bargaining units in each of our 17 locations. Topics included the FLSA grievance, the official time grievance, work schedules disputes, and why employees should consider joining the Union.
Click here for newsletter
March 11 Grievance: The Union filed a grievance regarding the application of the Security Awareness Element at PPT/IML. Employees who had not made any errors in this element were being incorrectly rated Fully Successful, instead of Outstanding. The grievance was successful, and as a result 19 employees had their ratings of record corrected.
March 4 Grievance: PPT/WN Senior Steward Karen Proctor-Adams files a grievance on behalf of a PPT/IML employee regarding her Appraisal for 2004. The grievance was successful, and the employee's rating is adjusted from Fully Successful to Excellent.
February 11 Grievance: The Grievance filed by the Union, represented by Attorney Michael Snider, on April 20, 2004 to correct the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) status of unit employees was finally settled. This grievance has resulted in the largest financial benefit ever achieved by Local 1998 on behalf of the employees it represents in the 24 year history of the local (as far as can be determined). As part of the settlement, employees were already reclassified as Non-Exempt from the FLSA on August 28, 2004. This means that employees will no longer be artificially capped at the GS-10, Step 1 rate of pay for overtime work, but will instead receive true time-and-one-half their pay. Back pay with liquidated (double) damages plus interest, along with compensation for suffered and permitted overtime, and compensatory time earned between April 20, 2002 and August 28, 2004, was paid to employees by May 26, 2005 and totaled $306,401.09.
Click here for Settlement Agreement and additional FLSA information


Colin Walle, Carol Aguilar, Mike Garofano, Paula Carter, and Attorney Michael Snider after signing the Settlement Agreement

February 10

Mediation: The Union and Management participated in a mediation session in order to resolve the Official Time Grievance filed on May 13, 2004. A mediator from FMCS facilitated the ADR, which was conducted pursuant to Article 21 of the Agreement. The Union and Management have amicably agreed to the settlement. 

February 8 Meeting: The Union and Management held their annual partnership meeting in Washington, DC. Topics included: contract negotiations, amendments to the contract, notification to Union Reps of changes in working conditions, computer privacy, emergency supplies and plans, award delays, ergonomic issues, and rotations through details. NFFE Local 1998 was represented by NFFE National Secretary-Treasurer John Paolino as well as Local President Colin Walle, Vice President Mike Garofano, Secretary-Treasurer Carol Aguilar, Recording Secretary Paula Carter.
January 20 Grievance: The Union filed a Grievance Between the Parties concerning the changes from past practice, inequitable treatment, and retaliation for the FLSA grievance, that occurred with Administrative leave on December 23, 2004. Click here for Grievance
January 3 Officers: The NFFE Local 1998 Election Committee - Tom Grasso, Beth Pompano, and Alice Freeman - announced the results of the recent election of Union Officers.  Colin Walle was elected President, Mike Garofano was elected Vice President, Carol Aguilar was elected Secretary-Treasurer, and Paula Carter was elected Recording Secretary.  The three members elected to the new position of Trustee are: Rob Arnold, Bill Beardall, and Mike Darcy.  The proposed revisions to the Bylaws, which were mandated by the affiliation with the IAMAW, were approved.  All of the officers will serve for a three-year term that ends on December 31, 2007.
 2004
November 8 Grievance: National Passport Center (NPC) Union Steward Beth Pompano filed a grievance regarding the use of official time. 
October Convention: Local 1998 Vice President Michael Garofano attended the 47th NFFE National Convention in Las Vegas. President Richard Brown and Secretary/Treasurer John Paolino were both reelected. Additional business was conducted.  Click here for Brother Garofano's report 
October 18

Training: Local 1998 webmasters Bill Beardall and Mike Garofano attend a week-long training course at the IAMAW's Winpisinger Center in Placid Harbor, Maryland. The course, IAM Advanced Website Development, is designed to assist web stewards fully develop local websites for the benefit of the membership.

September 23 Grievance: Union President Colin Walle filed an Informal Grievance with HQ after an employee was issued a Letter of Reprimand after his name stamp went missing and he reported it to appropriate authorities.  
August 23 ULP: The Federal Labor Relations Authority informed the Union that it is going to dismiss the ULP charge filed against the Philadelphia Passport Agency.  The Union had filed the ULP on the basis that formal, written notification of the change was not provided, but the FLRA found that the Management had provided sufficient verbal notification to the Union representatives in advance of the change.  The Union is considering other options to attempt to help the employees return to their original schedules.
Click here for Decision 
August 17 Negotiability Appeal: The Federal Labor Relations Authority ruled on August 17th that the Union's proposals, including the proposal to "maintain the status quo", are negotiable and that Management is obligated to bargain with the Union.  The Union's proposals were submitted in response to Management's plan to terminate three of eight compressed work schedule options at the Seattle Passport Agency.  Click here for more on work schedules & Click here for Decision & Order
July 13 Grievance: Union President Colin Walle filed a grievance regarding a two-week suspension imposed on an employee.  
June 25

Officers: The Local 1998 Executive Board confirmed Paula Carter as the Union Vice President at the Special Issuance Agency in Washington, DC. This is a major milestone as it appears that this is the first time Local 1998 has had representation in each of the seventeen Passport agencies. 

May 24 Grievance: Union President Colin Walle filed a grievance regarding a Letter of Reprimand given to an employee.  
May 20

ULP: Local 1998 ffiles an Unfair Labor Practice charge (ULP) against Management for changing the arrival times of fifteen current bargaining unit employees at the Philadelphia Passport Agency in January of this year.  ULP Charge 

May 13 Grievance: Union President Colin Walle filed a grievance regarding the use of official time at the National Passport Center (NPC) and the Seattle Passport Agency, and procedures for obtaining official time at other offices, including the New York Passport Agency, the New Orleans Passport Agency, the Houston Passport Agency, and the National Passport Center.  
May

Congress: The General Accounting Office (GAO) is asked by the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee to investigate the concerns about the passport integrity process raised by NFFE Local 1998.  The GAO begins by interviewing Management officials at Passport Services Headquarters and at the Washington, DC, Passport Agency.  Subsequently the GAO visits the Seattle Passport Agency and the Los Angeles Passport Agency. 

April 29 Officers: Colin Walle is confirmed as Union President when all other nominees decline to run.  Carol Aguilar continues as Union Secretary-Treasurer. 
April 26 Grievance: Union President Colin Walle filed a Step 1 Formal Grievance at the Office of Information Management and Liaison in Washington, DC regarding a Letter of Counseling given to an employee. 
April 21 Grievance: Los Angeles Passport Agency Senior Steward Cathy Prince files a Step 1 Formal Grievance regarding the promotion of a Passport Specialist from GS-7 to GS-9.  
April 20

Grievance: Local 1998 files a grievance over the misclassification of over 300 bargaining unit employees as exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act.  Among other things, this means that these employees were not paid true time-and-one-half for overtime work.
Grievance 

April 8 Grievance: Local 1998 files a grievance over the elimination of the Assistant Fraud Program Manager and Assistant Customer Service Manager positions in response to Management's refusal to bargain with the Union over this issue.
Grievance
April 8

Grievance: Los Angeles Passport Agency Steward Leah Anderson filed a Step 1 Formal Grievance regarding the promotion of a Passport Specialist from GS-9 to GS-11. 

March Newsletter: Local 1998's Passport Integrity Concern is featured on page 6 of NFFE's newsletter, The Federal Employee
Jan 30 Grievance: Local 1998 files a grievance arguing that the 2004 nationwide Adjudication Performance Standards are not fair or reasonable, are inconsistent with the duties listed in the position description, and do not contribute to maintaining and enhancing the integrity of the passport issuance process. Grievance
Jan 27 ULP: Local 1998 files two Unfair Labor Practice charges against Passport Services for implementing adjudication performance standards changes without negotiating with the Union, and for failing for provide requested information. 
 2003
Dec 12 Grievance: The Union files a grievance at the Chicago Passport Agency concerning AWOL incorrectly charged to bargaining unit employees.  The grievance is satisfactorily resolved.  Grievance
Dec 2 Congress: Local 1998 takes the unprecedented step of contacting Congress for help with the employees’ concerns over the integrity of the passport issuance process.  For an extensive chronology of the Union’s efforts on this issue, go to Integrity of U.S. Passport - Chronology.
Dec 1-2

Meeting: Karen Proctor-Adams, Mike Garofano, Carole Lopez, and Colin Walle participate in the annual meeting with Management in Washington, DC. 

Nov 19 Officers: Colin Walle becomes the interim Union President when Alex Allen steps down after being selected for a supervisory position.  Carol Aguilar becomes the interim Secretary-Treasurer. 
Oct 24 Negotiations: Local 1998 makes 62 proposals in response to Management's plan to institute nationwide Adjudication Performance Standards in 2004.  Most of these proposals are rejected or ignored.  Union Proposals
Oct 23 Grievance: The Union filed a Step 1 Formal Grievance with HQ regarding a 5 day suspension imposed on an employee.  
Oct 10 Grievance: Union President Alex Allen filed a Step 1 Formal Grievance with HQ regarding the sick leave issues and a leave of absence for an employee at the New Orleans Passport Agency. 
Sep 16 Grievance: Local 1998 files a grievance in response to the denial of official time to conduct a study of the proposed performance standards.  Grievance 
Aug 6 Meeting: Passport Services Management meets with Local 1998 representatives Alex Allen, Colin Walle, Carole Lopez, and Karen Proctor-Adams to explain the proposed 2004 Adjudication Performance Standards.  Meeting Minutes
Jul 25 Grievance: Local 1998 files a grievance over unilateral change in work schedules at the Seattle Passport Agency.  This grievance affects bargaining unit employees in all offices.  Grievance
Jul 23 Negotiability Appeal: The Union files a Negotiability Appeal with the Federal Labor Relations Authority after Management at the Seattle Passport Agency declares the Union’s proposals relating to Alternate Work Schedules to be non-negotiable. 
 2002
Dec 20 Grievance: The Union files a grievance over the delay in the promotion of a GS-9 employee to the GS-11 grade at the National Passport Center.  The employee was subsequently promoted retroactive to the requested dated. Grievance
Dec 17

Grievance: Local 1998 submits a formal grievance on behalf of an employee whose promotion from GS-9 to GS-11 was improperly delayed.  The grievance is resolved after Management agrees to promote the employee retroactively to the correct date. 

Dec 10

Grievance: Local 1998 submits an informal grievance via email over the failure to increase the dues deductions to the proper amount.  The matter is concluded after Management pays the Union the $821.34 owed.

Dec 3-4 Meeting: National UMC Meeting attended by Alex Allen, Donna Ward, Mike Garofano, and Colin Walle.
Minutes from UMC Meeting
Jul 25 Grievance: Local 1998 files a grievance over the improper termination of Union dues.  Management agrees to settle the case and pay the Union the $70.62 owed. 
Jun 25 Grievance: Boston Passport Agency Union Vice President Dan Egan files a Step 1 Formal Grievance regarding the use of a bulletin board for the union as required by the contract.  
Jun 11

Grievance: Union President Alex Allen filed a Step 1 Formal Grievance regarding a 5 day suspension imposed on an employee. 

Jun 1 Officers: Alex Allen is elected President, and Colin Walle is re-elected Secretary-Treasurer of Local 1998.
Apr 30 Grievance: Chicago Passport Agency Union Vice President Eva Brumfield submitted an Informal Grievance regarding the narrative statement in an employee's 2001 annual appraisal.
Apr 23 Negotiations: Union President Bill Beardall requested negotiations over the proposed new nationwide Adjudication Performance Standards.  This request is rejected. Request for Negotiations 
Jan 28 Grievance: The Union filed a grievance over the delay in the promotion of a GS-7 employee to the GS-9 grade at the New Orleans Passport Agency.  The employee was subsequently promoted retroactive to the correct date. Grievance
 2001
Nov 9 Grievance: The Union files a grievance over the denial of a promotion from GS-4 to GS-5 for an employee at the Information Management and Liaison (IML) in Washington, DC.  The employee was subsequently promoted.  Grievance
Oct 9

Grievance: Local 1998 files a grievance over violations of the Compressed Work Schedule (CWS) plan being drafted for the Houston Passport Agency.  The plan is corrected as a result, and employees are allowed to participate in CWS.

Sep 25 Meeting: National UMC Meeting attended by Bill Beardall, Vanessa Fields, Mike Garofano, and Colin Walle.  Minutes from UMC Meeting
Aug

Newsletter: Local 1998 publishes two editions of Local 1998 News – Volume 1, Issue 6 and Issue 7.

Jul 3 Contract: The current collective bargaining agreement goes into effect: Agreement Between Passport Services and the National Federation of Federal Employees—Local 1998.  This is the fourth collective bargaining agreement negotiated by the parties, and the first since September 23, 1991. The Union negotiating team was made up of NFFE Chief Negotiator Robbie Exley, Local 1998 President Bill Beardall, Barbara Kennedy, and Colin Walle.
Signature Page
Jun 22 Arbitration: An arbitration hearing is conducted in the case of an employee at the National Passport Center whose promotion from GS-9 to GS-11 was improperly delayed.  Unfortunately, the Union does not prevail in this case.
Jun 13 ULP: Local 1998 files an Unfair Labor Practice charge against Passport Services for failing to properly deduce Union dues for 12 employees.  The ULP is settled after Management agrees to transmit the biweekly listing of dues-paying members to the Union. 
May 24 ULP: Union President Bill Beardall filed an Unfair Labor Practice after Management at the New Orleans Passport Agency unilaterally terminated a telecommuting program. 
May Newsletter: Local 1998 publishes Local 1998 News, Volume 1, Issue 5
Jan-Oct

Negotiations: Local 1998 negotiates with Management over the impact and implementation of a new Security Awareness Element for Passport Services' employees. 

 2000
Nov 9

Grievance: Union President Bill Beardall filed a Step 3 Formal Grievance with HQ regarding a Letter of Warning issued to an employee at the Boston Passport Agency. 

Nov 2 Grievance: Union President Bill Beardall filed a Step 3 Formal Grievance with HQ regarding sick leave and an office renovation at the Boston Passport Agency.  
Aug 30 ULP: The Union and Management settled an Unfair Labor Practice filed against the National Passport Center regarding an employee’s annual appraisal for 1999.  Management agreed to correct that employee’s rating from “Fully Successful” to “Excellent” and to sign a posting.  
Aug 21 Convention: Four delegates from Local 1998 attend the NFFE National Convention. 
Jul Newsletter: Local 1998 publishes Local 1998 News, Volume 1, Issue 4.
Jan 24 Meeting: Bill Beardall and Colin Walle participate in the annual meeting with Management in Washington, DC. 
Jun 1 Officers: Bill Beardall and Colin Walle are re-elected as President and Secretary-Treasurer, respectively, of Local 1998. 
Jan 2000 -
Jul 2001
Negotiations: Passport Services and NFFE Local 1998 negotiate a new CBA.  The parties meet for four sessions in Washington, DC, totaling seven weeks of face-to-face negotiations.  The parties also engage in numerous email and telephone bargaining sessions. 
NFFE Local 1998 President Bill Beardall - trudging through the snow to NFFE HQ in January 2000 to prepare for contract negotiations on a day when the government was shut down due to the weather 

NFFE Chief Negotiator Robbie Exley, Local 1998 President Bill Beardall, Local 1998 negotiator Barbara Kennedy, and Local 1998 Secretary-Treasurer Colin Walle 
 

Robbie Exley, Bill Beardall, and Barbara Kenney - negotiating through rain, sleet, and snow.... 
 1999
Nov 22

Grievance: Local 1998 files a grievance over the delay in promotion for two Passport Specialists in Seattle from GS-9 to GS-11.  The recommendations for promotion were submitted on September 10, 1999 and the promotions were effective on October 24, 1999.  The Step 1 and Step 2 replies from Management note that there is no requirement for an effective date for career ladder promotions in the contract.  The grievance is resolved on January 6, 2000 after Passport Services Management agrees to make the promotions retroactive to October 10, 1999.

Nov Newsletter: Local 1998 publishes Local 1998 News, Volume 1, Issue 3.
Jul 9 Affiliation: NFFE National affiliates with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, thus making NFFE part of the AFL-CIO as well: Affiliation Agreement.
Jun 10

ULP: Local 1998 files an Unfair Labor Practice charge against Passport Services for failing to properly deduct Union dues for 10 employees.  The ULP is settled after Management pays the Union the $842.42 that was owed. 

May Training: Union and management representatives from all Passport Services offices participate in joint partnership training conducted by the FMCS at the National Foreign Affairs Training Center in Rosslyn, Virginia.  Additional training was held for union representatives at NFFE headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Apr Newsletter: Local 1998 publishes Local 1998 News, Volume 1, Issue 2.
 1998
Nov 2-3

Meeting: Bill Beardall and Colin Walle participate in the annual meeting with Management in Washington, DC.

Oct Newsletter: Local 1998 publishes Local 1998 News, Volume 1, Issue 1 – its first newsletter since March 1990. 
Jun 1 Grievance: Union President Bill Beardall filed a Step 1 Formal Grievance regarding the interim evaluation given to an employee at the Los Angeles Passport Agency. 
May 28 Officers: Bill Beardall is elected President, and Colin Walle is elected Secretary-Treasurer of Local 1998. 

Grievance: Local 1998 files a grievance over the wording of an interim performance review and the treatment of the employee being reviewed. 

 1997
 1996
 1995
Aug 27 Contracting Out: Interim Union President Leah Anderson and PPT/LA Acting Union Steward Colin Walle meet with Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Ken Hunter during his visit to the Los Angeles Passport Agency.  DAS Hunter assures the Union representatives that the recommendation to contract out the passport adjudication function was overruled.  He states that Passport Services and the Bureau of Consular Affairs will not be contracting out passport adjudication as Management agrees that it is an inherently governmental function.  18 of the 19 SMI proposals were rejected; the only one being considered was the proposal to run Passport Services on a fee basis.  
May 1 Contracting Out: Virtually every single adjudicator (and some supervisors/managers) at the Los Angeles Passport Agency signed a petition to Mr. Moose, Undersecretary of State for Management, in opposition to the Strategic Management Initiative plan to contract out the adjudication of passport applications.  The petition was coordinated by Union representatives.  The employees argued that contracting out this function would harm the integrity of the U.S. passport and would lead to more criminals successfully obtaining fraudulent passports.  Instead, the employees called for "reinventing, not replacing, government", including obtaining modern equipment for information retrieval and clearance, redesigning the passport application forms, and allocating a percentage of the expedite fee to pay for improvements.  
Apr 12 Contracting Out: Acting Passport Services Managing Director William Camp forwards a memo regarding "Proposed Consular Innovations", as part of the "Strategic Management Initiative" (SMI), to all Passport Agencies that include 19 recommendations from Bureau of Consular Affairs staff for reinventing the bureau.  Recommendation # 6: "Contracting the Examination of certain passport applications."  Specifically, the recommendation stated: "1. CA/PPT should seroiusly explore the feasibility of contracting out the examination of routine DSP-11 passport applications. 2. Allow contract personnel to review and approve DSP-82 ad routine DSP-11 applications. The approval of such applications should not be considered an inherently governmental function. 3. Government employees, i.e., passport specialists, would have oversight for contract personnel. Random audits of contractor work would be conducted for internal control purposes and to ensure quality performance. 4. The issuance of passports based on DSP-82 and routine DSP-11 applications should remain centralized at the National Passport Center since the Center already has sufficient contract personnel to perform this work." Recommendation # 2: "Privatize the production of U.S. passports."  This second recommendation called for opening bidding for blank passport production to private firms instead of solely relying on the GPO.  The recommendation noted, "Several firms, some of which now produce current for other nations, are capable of providing the requisite security for production and transportation of the blank books."  
Apr 6 Meeting/Partnership: Interim Union President Leah Anderson, along with Claude Scott, Veraneice Knotten, and Bill Beardall, sign the first partnership agreement with Passport Services management and participate in joint partnership training.
 1994
Officers: Leah Anderson becomes the acting Union President when David Speer steps down after being selected for a supervisory position. Claude Scott continues as Secretary-Treasurer. 
Apr 14 Worker’s Comp: Union President David Speer assisted a Miami Passport Agency employee in her worker’s compensation claim. 
Mar 3

Meeting: Leah Anderson, Claude Scott, Lisa Bohannon, and David Speer attend the annual meeting with Management in Washington, DC. 

Feb 4 Negotiations: Union President David Speer submitted a request to negotiate over the implementation of a “Total Quality Management” (TQM) system in Passport Services. 
 1993
Dec 8 Exception: The Federal Labor Relations Authority rules that Passport Services’ exceptions to an arbitrator’s award are moot since NFFE Local 1998 withdrew the grievance: 48 FLRA No. 117
Dec 7 Partnership: Union President David Speer submitted a proposal for an Interim Partnership Agreement, two months after U.S. President Bill Clinton issued Executive Order No. 12871.
Aug 18

Grievance: Union President David Speer filed an Informal Grievance regarding a Letter of Reprimand issued to an employee at the Stamford (Connecticut) Passport Agency. 

Apr 15 Grievance: Union President David Speer filed a Step 2 Formal Grievance at the Miami Passport Agency, arguing that an employee was not treated with “mutual respect and dignity” and that the employee was admonished publicly in violation of the contract.
 1991
Nov 27 ULP: The Federal Labor Relations Authority rules for NFFE Local 1998 in upholding the Unfair Labor Practice charge against Passport Services for refusing to provide the names and addresses of bargaining unit employees: 43 FLRA No. 36.
Sep 23 Contract: The parties negotiate their fourth collective bargaining agreement. The Union negotiating team was made up of NFFE Chief Negotiator Charles Bernhardt, Local 1998 President David Speer, Joyce Lester, and Gilbert Lewis.
1991 Agreement  
Signature Page

 
 1990
May 30 Certification: The Federal Labor Relations Authority rules for NFFE Local 1998 in dismissing Passport Services attempt to decertify the Union: 35 FLRA No. 129.
Mar 1 Newsletter: Union President David Speer publishes a Union Newsletter.
Officers: David Speer continues as President of Local 1998, and Joyce Lester continues as Secretary-Treasurer. Claude Scott, Gilbert Lewis, Dorothy Burks, and Diane Dillon serve as Vice Presidents. (Source: LM-3 Form signed October 3, 1991 for 7-1-90 to 6-30-91 Fiscal Year)
Feb 9

Grievance: San Francisco Passport Agency Union Vice President Dorothy Burks filed a grievance regarding insufficient time provided to employees to review annual appraisals.   

 Feb 7 Grievance: San Francisco Passport Agency Union Vice President Dorothy Burks filed a grievance regarding health conditions in the office.
Jan Officers: David Speer is elected President, and Joyce Lester is elected Secretary-Treasurer of Local 1998.
 1989
Oct 18

Meeting: The Union and Management hold their annual meeting in Washington, DC. 

May 24 Certification: Passport Service Management attempts to decertify Local 1998 as the exclusive representative of the bargaining unit employees by filing an RA (Representative Status) petition with the FLRA.
Management Petition 
  Officers: David Speer serves as President of Local 1998, and Joyce Lester continues as Secretary-Treasurer. Claude Scott, Gilbert Lewis, Dorothy Burks, and Diane Dillon serve as Vice Presidents. (Source: LM-3 Form signed October 3, 1991 for 7-1-89 to 6-30-90 Fiscal Year)
 1988
  Officers: Joyce Lester serves as Acting President and Secretary-Treasurer of Local 1998. Mamie Minor, Gilbert Lewis, Dorothy Burks, and David Speer serve as Vice Presidents. (Source: LM-3 Form signed August 21, 1989 for 7-1-88 to 6-30-89 Fiscal Year)
 1987
  Officers: Joyce Lester serves as Acting President and Secretary-Treasurer of Local 1998. Mamie Minor, Gilbert Lewis, Dorothy Burks, and David Speer serve as Vice Presidents. (Source: LM-3 Form signed August 21, 1989 for 7-1-87 to 6-30-88 Fiscal Year)
 1986
Jun 4 Contract: The third collective bargaining agreement goes into effect. The Union negotiating team was made up of NFFE Chief Negotiator Charlie Gaines, Local 1998 President Joyce Lester, Francis Headley, Carolyn Scott, and Gilbert Lewis.
Signature Page
  Officers: Joyce Lester serves as Acting President and Secretary-Treasurer of Local 1998. Mamie Minor, Gilbert Lewis, Dorothy Burks, David Speer, Brina Bond, Donald McManus, and Albred Abram serve as Vice Presidents. (Source: LM-3 Form signed August 21, 1989 for 7-1-86 to 6-30-87 Fiscal Year)
 1985
Sep 10 Certification: NFFE Local 1998 is certified as the exclusive Union representative for the bargaining unit employees of Passport Services: FLRA Case No. 3-UC-50003

Mar 11 Contract: The second collective bargaining agreement between Passport Services and NFFE Local 1998 goes into effect. The Union negotiating team was made up of NFFE Chief Negotiator Charlie Gaines, Francis Headley, Ann Barrett, Shirley Crawford, and Carolyn Scott.
Signature Page
  Officers: Terry Noel serves as President of Local 1998, and Joyce Lester continues as Secretary-Treasurer. Lillian Morrison, Mamie Minor, and Frank Headley serve as Vice Presidents. (Source: LM-3 Form signed August 21, 1989 for 7-1-85 to 6-30-86 Fiscal Year)
 1984
  Officers: Terry Noel serves as President of Local 1998, and Joyce Lester continues as Secretary-Treasurer. Lillian Morrison, Mamie Minor, and Frank Headley serve as Vice Presidents. (Source: LM-3 Form signed November 14, 1985 for 7-1-84 to 6-30-85 Fiscal Year)
 1983
Jun 8 Contract: The first collective bargaining agreement between Passport Services and NFFE Local 1998 goes into effect. The Union negotiating team was made up of NFFE Chief Negotiator Charlie Gaines, Local 1998 President Sara Tufo, Sheila McCoy, Lillian Morrison, Cindy Holderby, and Joyce Lester.
Apr 22 Certification: NFFE Local 1998 is certified as the exclusive Union representative for all Passport Services employees at the Washington, DC Headquarters: FLRA Case No. 3-RO-20016
  Officers: Sara Tufo serves as President of Local 1998, and Joyce Lester serves as Secretary-Treasurer.  Lillian Morrison, Sheila McCoy, Joseph Tufo, Regina Greene, Mary Quenzer, Arthur McDowell, Fred McSwiggen, Cinde Holderby, Eva Harris, Lois Cahn, Maritza Gonzalez, and Sharon Honore serve as Vice Presidents.  (Source: LM-3 Form signed November 14, 1985 for 7-1-83 to 6-30-84 Fiscal Year, and LM-1 Form signed April 21, 1983)
 1982
 1981
Oct 19 Certification: NFFE Local 1998 is certified as the exclusive Union representative for the bargaining unit employees of Passport Services (FLRA Case No. 3-RO-98).
 1979
May 1 Certification: The FLRA revoked the Certification of Representation issued to AFGE Local 3671 for a bargaining unit composed only of the Chicago Passport Agency. The Department of State filed a Petition for Review of the prior decision by the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Labor-Management Relations that had granted AFGE Local 3671 the Certification of Representation, and the FLRA ruled for the Department of State. FLRA Case No. 50-13100(RO)