If you saw the story we posted yesterday, you know that EPA planned to shut off the water to EPA's Potomac Yard building for half a day for nearly 1000 employees. No drinking water, no toilets, no sprinkler system to suppress fires, and no sinks to clean up dirty dishes. EPA was refusing to close the building and place employees without telework agreements on administrative leave, something they're required to do.
When NTEU 280 learned from a member of this not-well-thought-out idea, we sprung into action and sent a strongly-worded email to facilities management informing them that they were violating Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rules and the EPA-NTEU Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). We said.... Read More
NTEU learned yesterday through one of its members that EPA planned to turn off the water in the Potomac Yard building for four hours on Friday depriving all employees of bathroom facilities, drinking water, and dish-washing capability. While no formal notice was provided to EPA's headquarters unions, employees at Potomac Yard received the following cursory notice from the building manager...... Read More
The EPA Inspector General investigates fraud, waste, and abuse, and defines "waste" as "extravagant, careless or needless expenditure of government funds, or the consumption of government property that results from deficient practices, systems, controls or decisions." The Office of Chief Financial Officer's roll-out of the latest PeoplePlus "upgrade" certainly qualifies. This new system caused thousands of wasted employee hours to accomplish what was previously being done in only a few minutes.
Our informal surveys of employees revealed dozens of hours of wasted time per employee just trying to accurately input time. We learned that many employees on flexible schedules were taking up to two hours to get time certified every two weeks. Assuming 20% of employees are on flexible schedules, that is approximately 5,800 wasted hours each pay period..... Read More
We've learned that some managers are erroneously telling their employees that they need to take annual leave when they are actually entitled to administrative leave as a result of the recent wind-related closure. We've also learned that some employees were told to telework, even though they did not have or want a telework agreement.
Read on to learn your rights and find out how to code your time sheet..... Read More
There are only a couple legislative days until the House recesses. Given that, another CR is likely. There doesn't seem to be much appetite for another shutdown, however. There does seem to be more movement toward an actual budget deal though, so it remains possible. Here is our latest update from our Hill colleague.... Read More
Unless you were on another planet, you know by now that another short-term continuing resolution (CR) was passed to keep the government open. This CR expires at midnight on February 8, 2018, which means that if a budget deal is not reached in Congress by then and signed by the President, the government will again shut down.
EPA announced before the last shutdown that it had funds to operate for about a week. Assuming that's true, and knowing that we've used one of those days of funds while the rest of the government was shut down, it is likely that EPA will be able to operate through February 14 or 15 before needing to shutter the doors.
NTEU National was on the Hill fighting for us and obtained two large victories.... Read More
Here's the latest from our Capitol Hill budget contact.... Read More
If you haven't paid attention, we are actually getting a small cost of living adjustment this year, after many years of freeze or smaller-than-the-cost-of-living increases. While private sector professionals have been seeing significant pay increases since 2008, government employees have been burdened with pay freezes or, after calculating inflation, reductions.
But, surprisingly, the Trump Administration let the cost of living increases go into effect this year, while simultaneously threatening a future pay freeze. Here's the new salary table for the Washington, DC area.... Read More
From our government budget and politics contact. Looks like a game of chicken is unfolding. Democrats and Republicans are both saying that a government shutdown will hurt the other guys more than their side. As a result, it's looking more likely that January 19 will roll around without a budget or continuing resolution (CR). Hopefully cooler heads will prevail. Read on for more detail from our budget contact.... Read More
The Environmental Integrity Project sent an open letter to EPA employees yesterday praising us for our work. The letter, which is signed by 2125 people, is pasted, in its entirety (minus the signatures), below. The letter remains open for signature here. Read More
As feared, House leaders today kept their promise to conservatives and defense hawks by releasing a strange cromnibus (combination of CR & Omnibus) designed keep the federal government operating after December 22nd and provide full-year FY 2018 funding only for the military. This bill is H.J. Res. 124 (113).
This bill provides.... Read More
In case you missed it, EPA is yet again changing it's password requirements. This attempt to strengthen security will ultimately reduce security.
As noted security expert Bruce Schneier notes, the National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently published its four-volume SP800-63b Digital Identity Guidelines. As Bruce notes, the document "makes three important suggestions when it comes to passwords: Read More
After EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt wrongfully accused EPA's attorneys of colluding with outside parties, NTEU Chapter 280 came to their defense with a strongly-worded rebuke of the Administrator's improper accusations..... Read More
In case you needed another reason to join NTEU as a member, all NTEU members are automatically covered by a $1,000 Accidental Death & Dismemberment Policy -- Free! There is no premium to be paid; the only requirement is that they remain an NTEU member in good standing.
Members can get basic policy information.... Read More
On December 8th, the current Continuing Resolution (CR) funding the federal government for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 expires and the temporary debt limit suspension in place will be lifted. To date, none of the FY 2018 appropriations bills have been enacted and there remains no agreement on the so-called spending caps (sequestration).
On December 8th, funding for federal agencies expires and the temporary debt limit suspension will be lifted. Congress must vote before then to pass a CR, an omnibus appropriations bill, or some combination thereof to keep the government open..... Read More
Dr. Francesca Grifo, the Scientific Integrity Official at EPA, is undergoing treatment for a serious illness. She is expected to be away from work until January 1, 2018. Her accumulated annual and sick leave, and leave bank hours are exhausted. Please consider donating annual leave to help her out. Dr. Grifo has been instrumental in helping our employees with Scientific-Integrity issues and we need her back.
Dr. Grifo is a member of the EPA leave bank. You may transfer your leave to Francesca by completing.... Read More