Tag Archives: NTEU

Federal Civilian Pay Raise

civilian

President Trump has issued a pay plan for federal civilian employees, officially giving workers, a 1.9 percent raise in 2018. This includes a base increase of 1.4 percent and a 0.5 percent locality pay raise.

The president had until midnight August 31st to announce a pay raise. If he had not informed Congress of an alternative pay plan, a formula based increase automatically kicks in, in accordance with the 1990 Federal Employee Pay Comparability Act. Under this act, the base raise is determined by the change in Employment Cost Index minus 0.5 percent, which for 2018 would’ve been about 1.9 percent. This is also the amount President Trump proposed in his budget for next year.

According to the White House, the locality pay increase, as mandated by FEPCA, would’ve averaged 26.16 percent, and would’ve cost the government $26 billion. In Trump’s letter to Congress, he wrote, “A pay increase of this magnitude isn’t warranted, and federal agency budgets could not accommodate such an increase while still maintaining support for key federal priorities such as those that advance safety and security of the American people.”

Union Reactions

The president of the National Treasury Employees Union, Tony Reardon, said this pay raise isn’t enough and supports legislation in Congress to give employees a 3.2 percent pay raise in 2018. “NTEU believes this figure is too low especially because federal law calls for a 1.9 percent across-the-board raise and private sector wages are growing at an even faster rate,” he said. “Add to that, current proposals attacking the federal retirement system would result in a pay cut for federal workers.”

The president of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, Richard Thissen, applauded the pay raise but said NARFE would continue to push for Congress to approve a larger increase next year. “While federal employees appreciate the raise, an average increase of 1.9 percent is the minimum required to prevent federal pay from declining further, and more rapidly, below market than the current 35 percent wage disparity between public- and private-sector wages,” he said. “Both Congress and the president should work together to pursue a more robust pay increase to maintain the highly qualified workforce needed to run an efficient federal government.”

Ultimately, Congress has the final say on how much federal employees will earn in 2018.

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Can Unions Protect Members During an Agency Reform?

unionsThe Office of Management and Budget has directed agencies to submit a “near final” version of their reform plans by June 30. Included in this is a progress report on workforce reduction and a proposal to “maximize employee performance”. Then in September, agencies will submit their final reform plans and long-term strategies for workforce cuts. This is part of their budget requests for FY2019.

Union representatives remain hopeful that agency leaders will consult them in the workforce reduction plans; however, agencies don’t have to do this. Unions may be able to protect their members during the reorganization by lobbying Congress.

American Federation of Government Employees

The AFGE represents close to 700,000 federal workers. Policy director, Jacque Simon, said the first step of streamlining an agency is to talk with the rank and file. “There are some good ideas in this guidance, and ideally [leadership] would sit down and talk to front line workers about their ideas for how to save money, where resources should go and kinds of needs they’ve been made aware of through the course of their work. That’s how it ought to work.”

He did, however, express concern that agencies’ approaches will differ depending on the administrations’ opinion of their missions and leadership. Administration officials don’t have to bargain with unions until they plan to implement changes that would alter union members’ terms of employment, including relocation, changes to workday or workspace, reductions-in-force, or layoffs.

National Treasury Employees Union

The NTEU has a similar stance. The president of NTEU, Tony Reardon, said, “No effective reorganization of government is possible without the ideas and recommendations of front-line employees who have dedicated their careers to serving the public.”

NTEU believes Congress will see the harm deep cuts to agencies would do. Ultimately, the final word comes from Congress on how the government gets structured and funded. If RIF’s occur, NTEU plans to push for ways to help those affected find new federal positions or secure financial compensation or early retirement. “NTEU would work to safeguard employees. In the case of RIF’s, NTEU would work to ensure priority placements, early outs or buyouts and use other mitigation tools as provided under current law to protect employees.”

Another thing to consider during this time is federal disability retirement. If you think you may qualify for this benefit please give us a call at 877-226-2723. The consultation is always FREE. You can also fill out this INQUIRY form. We would love the opportunity to speak with you.

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Is Federal Employee Morale Declining?

morale

The National Treasury Employees Union took a survey of 877 federal employees recently and found that 81 percent said morale has been declining since the hiring freeze. About 58 percent say their workload has increased, and 78 percent say they and their co-workers worry about job security. Many more worry about possible cuts to retirement programs and pay and benefits.

NTEU represents about 150,000 employees in 31 agencies. They are trying to make a case to lawmakers that a “well-resourced, happy, engaged federal workforce leads to better outcomes for American taxpayers”.

NTEU president Tony Reardon said the severe budget cuts surprised him. They were especially severe in the IRS, EPA, and State Department. The IRS already has experienced budget cuts recently, losing about $1 billion in funding and 17,000 full-time employees since 2010. NTEU represents about 75,000 IRS workers.

“When you know about the IRS budget and the impact it’s had, for example since 2010—the $1 billion cut in funding—and you know the impact it’s had on employees, you know the impact it’s had on the IRS’s ability to function, and then you hear about 2018, a 14 percent cut that’s going to result in about a $1 billion hit in one year?” Reardon said.

Securing fair pay, protecting retirement and healthcare benefits, and achieving agency missions are NTEU’s top priorities in 2017. They also plan on defending merit systems principles and rights.

NTEU has been working with Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), ranking member of Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management, on a bill to improve training operations for federal managers. The IRS, for example, has seen an 85 percent cut to its training budget in recent years.

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Member of a Union?

Here at Harris Federal Law Firm, we help countless federal workers who are members of a union. Additionally, we offer discounts to those who are affiliated with one. A couple of the unions we work with are The Air Marshal Association (AMA) and the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU).

union
AMA

The AMA solely represents Federal Air Marshals (FAMS). More than 65 percent of Air Marshals are members. They represent all levels of discipline for Air Marshals.

 

NTEUunion

This is the largest independent union of federal employees. It covers 150,000 employees in 31 departments or agencies. Some of the employees the NTEU represent are Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs), cyber-security experts, scientists, and attorneys. Members of the NTEU include bank examiners, park rangers, revenue officers, and much more. NTEU prides itself on fighting for fair pay, improving working conditions and helping improve the working lives of federal employees.

Pay

This is their top priority. They support locality pay and emphasize that federal pay is far behind private sector pay. One of their missions is to fight for a proper overtime pay as well.

Retirement

The NTEU worked with Congress to create the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) and the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP).

To learn more about these unions and how we can help you, click the link below.

Member of a Union and Seeking Federal Disability Retirement?

If you have been hurt or developed an illness during your federal service, please give us a call at 877-226-2723, or fill out this inquiry form. Furthermore, please let us know if you are a member of a union. We want to help you in any way we can.

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