June 2016 update on various matters.
NTEU 245 has several members currently Beta Testing TMNG and working with the Office to address defects and to improve the user interface and functions. We anticipate that this will continue for some time. NTEU 245 is committed to making sure that the TMNG is not deployed to more employees until it is performing well and without significant issues.
Law office 122, which started recently, is being trained only on TMNG. We have been meeting with the Office and closely monitoring that situation to make sure it doesn’t compromise their ability to meet their PAP goals.
Law office 112 is likely going to be the first office to be trained to use TMNG. However, there are a number of major issues—at least 20–that need to be resolved before TMNG can be rolled out to 112 and a very spirited discussion was held last week with the Trademark Public Advisory Committee (TPAC). Our beta testers are working very closely with Trademark management and the CIO’s office to eliminate the bugs, but it seems the system still has a way to go.
NTEU 245 was very surprised and disappointed with the way Trademark management handled 4th Qtr. Telework Pilot Program deployments. Management decided to keep a cap of 48 slots for GS-12s and GS-13/14s who wish to work from home for a limited number of hours per bi-week. Their action—which occurred while they were sitting on our proposals to make this program permanent with no ceiling on the number–resulted in some of our GS-12s being denied the ability to work at home for a limited number of hours per bi-week. We can only assume they took this action because the Office is now concerned about office space as we continue to grow and wants to use this issue as a bargaining chip in negotiations. We will keep you posted.
When we were made aware of this development we asked them to reconsider their decision to hold the cap firm at 48 slots and allow those few extra applicants to participate in the program. Through our joint efforts we have been able to get more GS-12s the ability to apply for the program.
We do want to point out that this does not impact those who work, or want to work, from home full-time.
C. METRO SAFETRACK
You may have seen the recent guidance issued on the impact of this maintenance program of the Metrorail system. We encourage those of you who work at home part-time to talk to your manager about increasing your hours at home. From the discussions we had in partnership, you should be given this flexibility, whether you do or do not take metro, in view of the impact this program will have on traffic.
D. NTEU NATIONAL LITIGATION AND CONGRESSIONAL MATTERS
On June 3, NTEU amended its lawsuit against the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) arising out of the data breaches that OPM announced last June. NTEU amended its complaint to add an additional individual plaintiff and to include information that has been made available since the filing of the original complaint. NTEU’s lawsuit continues to allege a single claim: a breach of NTEU members’ constitutional right to informational privacy. And it continues to request the same relief, which includes lifetime credit monitoring and identity theft protection for any NTEU member who received a notice concerning either of the breaches that OPM announced last June. You can find a copy of the amended complaint, as well as periodic updates on the lawsuit, on NTEU’s web site at www.nteu.org/members/opmlawsuit.aspx.
This week, NTEU is launching a campaign on Facebook supporting paid parental leave for federal employees. There are pending bills in the House and the Senate that would provide six weeks of paid parental leave and Father’s Day provides an opportunity to push for additional support for the legislation.
Watch the NTEU Facebook page (www.facebook.com/NTEUnational) for the posts this week. All the posts will link to the NTEU legislative action center where federal employees, when off duty, can send an email to their members of Congress asking for their support.
E. OTHER MATTERS
We are involved in a number of other matters these days, including the innovation challenge, the ombudsman program, a bicycle commuter reimbursement program, computer downtime, phased retirement, shared services, extension of the Telework Enhancement Pilot Program (TEAPP), the PTO wellness committee, a quality evidence group, the Trademark and Patent Public Advisory Committees (TPAC and PPAC), the Department of Commerce and PTO labor management forums, the customer experience at the PTO, and other matters as we strive to improve your working conditions.
Our Summer Campaign is underway. If you join as a new member at this time, you will receive $100 cash back. Please speak to any EBoard member if you would like to join today.
Let us know if you would like any additional information on any of these initiatives.