|Contract Negotiations: bargaining for a new CBA|
NFFE Local 1998
& Passport Services engage in collective bargaining
The Union and Management jointly decided in 2005 to open the contract for bargaining. The current contract went into effect on July 3, 2001, after almost 18 months of bargaining (including 7 weeks of face-to-face bargaining in Washington, DC). After negotiating over ground rules in the Fall of 2005, the parties commenced trading proposals via email on January 24, 2006.
The Union is represented by NFFE Business Representative Steve Flory, who is serving as the Union Chief Negotiator. Other members of bargaining team (with location in parenthesis) are: Rob Arnold - Secretary-Treasurer (Seattle), Mike Garofano - Vice President (National Passport Center), Karen Proctor-Adams - Chief Steward (Washington), and Colin Patrick Walle - Union President (Seattle).
The first face-to-face bargaining session occurred during the last week of April and the first week of May, 2006, in Washington, DC. Washington Passport Agency Senior Steward Keacha Medley filled in for Colin Walle during the first week. The team is being assisted by bargaining committee members Mirna Lopez (New Orleans), Cheryl Murray (Boston), and Daryl Two Feathers Neal (New York). Cathy Prince (Los Angeles) was also on the bargaining committee, but was subsequently promoted.
The Union and Management negotiators met again in Washington, DC from August 14 to 25, 2006, and again in Washington, DC from September 25 to October 5, 2006. The parties then worked separately for the next few months and returned to the table on February 5, 2007 for a two-week bargaining session generously hosted by the San Francisco Passport Agency. Amha Gezahegn (San Francisco) replaced Chief Steward Karen Proctor-Adams for the bargaining in San Francisco. Due to massive workload and backlogs, Management proposed - and the Union accepted - a postponement of the scheduled April and May bargaining sessions until the Fall of 2007.
parties met again from September 10-14, 2007 for another week of
bargaining. The parties met from November 5-9, 2007 for an
additional week of bargaining facilities by a mediator from the Federal
Mediation and Conciliation Service. Washington Passport Agency
Union Steward Lisa Anderson served on the Union negotiation team during
this period. Per the parties' ground rules, while the parties did
have help from a mediator, that meeting did not constitute formal
mediation as the parties had not yet finished discussing each article
Priority of the Bargaining Unit
One significant result of that survey was that the NUMBER 1 issue that employees would like the Union to address is the "integrity of the passport issuance process". This beat out other traditional concerns such as promotions, work schedules, evaluations, safety and health, and other issues.
Passport Specialists: We need more time for dilligent adjudication
Passport Specialists overwhelmingly indicated that there were significant and worrisome problems with the current numerical adjudication standards.
424 Passport Specialists responded to the survey question which asked whether they agreed or disagreed with the 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.” Of the 368 who indicated a firm response (meaning that 58 - mostly new employees - who left the response blank or checked the "Neutral" box), 248 said they "strongly agreed" and 98 said they "agreed" with that statement.
Contract negotiations resume after
Contract Negotiations Continue
Contract Negotiations Making
Information sought for contract
Contract Negotiations in DC
Passport Specialists: We don't have enough time for
diligent adjudication and fraud detection, Survey says
Contract Negotiations Begin
Union Surveys all Passport Services Employees