1:10 pm, April 27, 2015

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  • Why WE needed a union
    Lisa Lisa
    While you are correct in that Congress sets most of our benefits and so these things are a non-issue for the most part in regards to federal unions. AFGE was a HUGE presence in NSPS. I came in to DoD at the onset of NSPS. I was bamboozled upon hiring as to what my pay was supposed to be. DoD put out its job announcement that said GS-12. After the interview, I was offered the job. I gladly accepted. One week before I started, I get the official letter which stated $10K less than what I applied for. That was outrageous. Unfortunately, I had to accept because I was working nights and at the time had a 1 yr old-which mom needed the sleep more than the money. Needless to say, it put a bad taste in my mouth. I thought to myself, ok, I will work here until something else comes along back in the GS pay scale and thats exactly what I did. While at DoD, I paid a LOT of attention to AFGE's battle with NSPS. Thank god it was eventually overturned, but I left DoD before returning back to GS. At my current workplace, we have a mix of white and blue collar. Why we needed a union was because senior management has no knowledge of federal rules and regulations. Our HR sides with management. It was that combo that we got a union-to keep management honest in day to day issues. Congress doesnt mandate that before someone becomes a GS-14 or higher, that they go to leadership classes and personnel policy classes. Many of them cant write a proper annual evaluation-which always is a sore subject. A lot of management that comes in to government came from some corporation or business where they wave their magic wand and be darn on the little people. Disciplinary processes are also a big issue. Many times management would not properly seek the issues or circumstances but to rely on that manager for what happened and take their word as the truth. There was no Judge Judy around to set it straight, so the union was there to ensure fairness. We also wanted to have a say in policy changes. Before the union, they would just create some new personnel policies that had little or no reflection for federal laws as it pertained to personnel. OPM's website was clearly not saved in managements "favorites" on their computer. If Congress, like the military, would mandatorily require a series of leadershop classes, maybe just maybe we as well as countless other agencies, wouldnt have such a battle with management. It is because management lacks the knowledge of federal regualtions and until Congress opens their eyes to this-unions are for sure here to stay to protect the rights of employees from unsavory managers.
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  • DoD never followe NSPS Regs
    deployed decoy
    And the unions failed us all, as did DOD CPMS and every HR labor relations offical across DOD. Read these examples: "§ 9901.314 National security compensation comparability. (a) To the maximum extent practicable, for fiscal years 2004 through 2012, the overall amount allocated for compensation of the DoD civilian employees who are included in the NSPS may not be less than the amount that would have been allocated for compensation of such employees for such fiscal years if they had not been converted to the NSPS… (b) To the maximum extent practicable, implementing issuances will provide a formula for calculating the overall amount to be allocated for fiscal years beyond fiscal year 2012 for compensation of the civilian employees included in the NSPS. The formula will ensure that, in the aggregate, employees are not disadvantaged in terms of the overall amount of compensation available as a result of conversion to the NSPS, while providing flexibility to accommodate changes in the function of the organization and other changed circumstances that might impact compensation levels." "(c) For the purpose of this section, ‘‘compensation’’ for civilian employees means adjusted salary, taking into account any applicable locality payment under 5 U.S.C. 5304, special rate supplement under 5 U.S.C. 5305, local market supplement under § 9901.332, or equivalent supplement under other legal authority." Now I am just a simple minded decoy. But the way I read this is OPM needs to order DOD to go back and conduct a pay day by pay day comparison. I know in all specail rate positions overseas they will owe many of us around $17k (what I figure I lost as a valued NSPS emploee) in back basic pay. This would also give any employee that made less then the old step increase a back pay due, plus interest. Then factor in converting back out they (HR folks that cherry picked words in these same regulations) used adjusted salary as the final GS pay, instead of the required BASIC PAY. Direct violations of "5 CFR "(f) Comparison of rates of basic pay. For the purpose of determining whether the conversion or movement out of NSPS under this section is an adverse action for reduction of pay under 5 U.S.C. chapter 75, subchapter II (dealing with adverse actions), an employee’s rate of basic pay includes any applicable locality payment under 5 U.S.C. 5304, special rate supplement under 5 U.S.C. 5305, local market supplement under § 9901.332, or equivalent supplement under other legal authority. This comparison is made before any pay-related action (e.g., geographic movement) under the gaining system that takes effect on the date of conversion or movement." and "5 USC CHAPTER 75 - ADVERSE ACTIONS 02/01/2010 (4) "pay" means the rate of basic pay fixed by law or administrative action for the position held by an employee". My vote, every federal official military or DOD Civ who was a pay pool manager/member, PRA, agency member of NSPS HR staff and all the commading officers over said employees, be placed in leave without pay until all adverse actions are fully funded. We could only hope OPM also demands DOD halt all HR business, funding OPM to do this function as DOD has proven they cannot manage people.
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  • They also get in the way
    deployed decoy
    Being overseas, or for that matter in 30 plus years of federal service, never in an agency with a union. Unions can get in the way. When I a month ago started a MSPB appeal, had I been in a union, I could not have taken that action. In the past when our group went to OPM as the USDI was not following FLSA and not paying full overtime to our BLM team, while the Forest Service was on the same interagency mission. The union would have again prevented us from going direct to OPM and getting 7 years of back OT plus interest. That I will note extended to the GS14 level as long as the supervisor was performing duties other than supervision. Say she was dispatched to a national incident as the communications leader. She then earned full OT on those 18 hour days assigned to such things as wild fires, hurricanes, special weather in panama while DoD took Noriega down or space shuttle recovery. Course those DoD folks in Panama never got any of this as DoD has never extend basic human rights to their employees let alone follow US labor laws on everything from FLSA to NSPS. And without unions overseas and protections offered to Americans on US soil, most of us that just transitioned out of NSPS are going to be forced to go to OPM Merritt Oversight and Protections as DoD refuses to follow the written word covering NSPS, that they wrote and MSPB is backing away from the entire NSPS mess.
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  • Federal Unions
    Bud
    I'm retired now, but spent 36 years with IRS. I was a manager for 28 years and dealt with NTEU for that time span. NTEU was a major obstacle to any efficiency or innovative thinking. NTEU was successful at eliminating quality/quantity standards for performance measurements on employees. I always perceived NTEU's function as trying to keep people who should be fired from being fired. I'm sure this posting will generate howls of disagreement but that's my opinion.
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  • Firing employees
    contrarian
    Everyone's entitled to due process, and if Bud is right, then eventually he's going to win. Unfortunately there's a lot of gray area in "who should be fired." As we all know there are managers who are arbitrary and capricious. Moreover, government jobs aren't comparable to private sector metrics where "quantity and quality" are easily measured. It's easy to know how many cars a factory worker build or how many life insurance policies a salesman sells. But how do you measure the quantity of a border patrol agent, or the quality of bankruptcy clerk? It's not as obvious as you think. If Bud thinks that government service should be "employment at will" then he should have started his own private sector government where he could be dictator. We are a country of laws and the laws all support unions if the employees want them.
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  • Firing Employees
    redduke
    border patrol agent measurement: How many illegals get through his territory during his patrol. Second how many illegals he stopped during his patrol; ratio of above is a prime measure. Secondary measures number of complaints registered against him. Leadership ability. Completion of paperwork. Level of Safety. Bankruptcy Clerk measurement: Number of bankruptcies processed against errors committed during those bankruptcies versus time. Or number of successfully adjudged bankruptcies. That was easy. I'm sure if I knew more about the jobs it would be even easier but in the non-union private sector we all have to perform. The difference is when we are exposed to the peter principle we search for another job until a good bos comes along. The Union makes longevity rather than performance such a virtue that you put up will all sorts of incompetence at the supervisory and management levels.
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  • Get real!
    contrarian
    you really think all those metrics are at the control of the border patrol agent?
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  • Reply to Bud
    Moderate
    First I will acknowledge that if you were a front line manager, you had one of the toughest jobs. You had to deal with problems coming from your subordinates (may or may not be their fault) and from your bosses. This creates a great deal of conflict. You may or may not have been a good supervisor. One of the jobs of the Union is to defend (they say protect the rights) of the people in your group. This means making sure everything was done properly. Thus, if the manager did not do something correctly, then the underling should not be disciplined or have a lesser action taken against him or her. You should not criticize the union for doing this. It is the union's job. That job protects both bad and good workers. It also protects the worker from a less than good manager or a manager who has it out for a particular individual. There has always been quality and/or quantity standards for work depending on the job. The union tries to negotiate the issue so that management does not run amok with the standards. It does not raise obstacles to reasonable standards. Finally, there are good and bad non management people who are retained. There are also good and bad management people who are retained. It is not isolated to one type of employee.
    worker
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  • Federal Unions
    redduke
    That's the problem with ALL Unions. They are the biggest impediment to successful organizations.
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  • Not So Fast
    Rob
    Pay parity didn't happen last year nor will it happen next year mainly because the Dems control both the White House and Congress. It's a fact! You can blame the economy as the reason and that's exactly what the Dems are doing but the bottom line is if McCain was President he would have rejected pay parity as well, but the Dems would have still controlled Congress and the Dems would have made pay parity an issue just to stick it to McCain and the GOP. THAT'S A FACT!!!!
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  • Pay Parity and the Dems?
    Moderate
    Are you for real? Are you really blaming the Dems for the lack of pay parity? The repubs controlled Congress, for the most part, since 1995. A few times the Dems got temporary control, but that was rare. The Repubs got the Presidency from 2001-2008. The Repubs gave us no pay parity, but lots of tax cuts for the wealthy on a per capita basis. Please get your facts straight. You have expressed your opinion, but not the facts. And your opinion is slanted heavily against the Dems.
    worker
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  • Pay Parity and the Dems?
    Rob
    Earth to Stuart - the Dems have total control over pay parity. In case you've been asleep the Dems have had huge majorities in both the House and Senate the last 2 years, yet no pay parity in '10 and not in '11 either. Yes, Stuart I am blaming the Dems for no pay parity last year and for 2011 as well. Who would you like to blame? Oh yeah, it's Bush's fault. And don't forget, Congress controls the purse strings and the Dems have been running Congress since 2006. Do you care to dispute those facts?
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  • A Bigger question
    redduke
    The real question is why, the organization that creates and enforces work-place laws has the largest unions and the private sector employees do not want unions. Another good question is why does SEIU employees have their own union? Why do workers need protection and a voice to those entrusted to protect everyone else? Maybe we should privatize the Government.
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