NTEU Chapter 296
National Park Service
  • Brown Bag Lunch - May 18, 2022
    Updated On: May 17, 2022

    When:    Wednesday, May 18th, Noon Eastern Time 

    Where:   Using Teams from Your Computer or Home/Work Phone

    Call-in:   We will use TEAMS for this meeting.  Be sure to disconnect from VPN/Pulse mode.  Then click on the link below.  See below for information on the call-in telephone option.  If you are unable to join the TEAMS meeting at Noon Eastern Time, don't worry, we will provide meeting notes.  Assuming that you are successful in joining the meeting, to avoid too much clutter on our screens, please turn off your camera.  Also please mute your microphone/telephone (if it is not muted already) unless you are speaking.  Please make use of the chat function.

    Microsoft Teams meeting

    Join on your computer or mobile app

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    +1 202-640-1187,,846491163#   United States, Washington DC

    Phone Conference ID: 846 491 163#

    What's On The Agenda: ​

    *   COVID Infections in WASO Facilities --  Growing Concern
    *   Return To The Office -- How Is The Process Going? Office Space Survey Explanation
    *   Backlog On Processing Remote Work and Reasonable Accommodation Applications -- A Brief Report
    *   Negotiating Our Next Contract -- Status Report
    *   Issues From Meeting Attendees -- What Do You Want to Know About/Talk About?
    *   Performance Evaluation Progress Reports  --  Successes and Tips For Getting Prepared
    *   Security Transformation -- McAfee to BitLocker -- A Brief Status Report
    *   OPM Data Breach Settlement -- A Brief Report
    *   No Interview Requirements for Job Vacancies or Details -- Rules and Practices
    *   IRS Form W-2C -- What Is It?  Whom Does It Affect? 
    *   Public Service Accolades and Time Off --  Deadline Reminder
    *   FLRA (Federal Labor Relations Authority) Nominee Confirmation -- Why You Should Care.
    *   Bison Bistro Status -- What is it?  When Will It Re-Open?
    *   Stopping Union Dues When Leaving the Bargaining Unit -- WASO SHRO's New System
    *   Other Topics


    At the mid-point of the Union's brown bag lunch meeting, we will ask for your issues or concerns or suggestions about anything that is on your mind.  This could include COVID-19 vaccination status of officemates, facility air quality, teleworking, the potential for and consequences of hoteling, etc.  

    Union members in NPS-WASO have access to speak with our talented and experienced NTEU labor lawyers.  Sarah Riger located in DC (sarah.riger@nteu.org) and Arathi Premkumar located in Colorado (arathi.premkumar@nteu.org) - are available to advise you. Sarah Riger plans to attend the meeting.

    Since we last met, your Chapter 296 leaders have been busy on your behalf.  We have learned a lot, we have represented your interests in several settings, and we have a lot to report to you on a wide range of issues.  This is true every month.  

    COVID Infections in WASO Facilities --  Growing Concern --  In recent weeks, the Union has received multiple reports of COVID infections at some WASO facilities.  At the meeting, we will share what we have learned regarding this topic.

    Safe Return to the Office -- Is it working? --  Office Space Survey Explanation  --  On March 25, 2022, the Union and WASO Management agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding  how the return to the office would work for WASO.  The Union has posted the MOU on the Chapter 296 website:  www.NTEUChapter296.org.  During the meeting, we ill share and solicit information on how the return to the office is working so far.  This discussion will include what we have learned about the Office Space Survey that is going on in some WASO facilities.

    Backlog on processing Remote Work and Reasonable Accommodations -- A Brief Report --  As a part of the end of maximum telework (which the Union objected to), Management offered the options of Remote Work and COVID-related Reasonable Accommodations.  Reasonable accommodations have always been an option for other kinds of conditions.  Recently, the Union has heard about significant backlogs in processing applications for both Remote Work and Reasonable Accommodations.  During the meeting, the Union will share what we learned at the most recent Labor Management Relations Committee meeting.

    Negotiating Our Next Contract -- A Brief Description of the Process --  The Union and NPS Management have reached an agreement to consolidate the Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs) for all of the NTEU Chapters in NPS.  This consolidation of CBAs does not mean that the Chapters will be consolidated.  At the Brown Bag lunch, we will explain how this process will work. We will also explain who can participate in this process and how.  We will explain what we have done since the last Brown Bag Lunch.

    Performance Evaluation Progress Reports  --  Successes and Tips For Getting Prepared  -- The time has arrived (May 18th) for all of us to prepare for our performance evaluation progress reports . At the meeting, we will describe some of the benefits that Article 36 of our CBA provides for WASO employees.  We will also share some tips that that the Union has learned through its years of experience in dealing with performance evaluation issues.  Finally, we will let you know about some recent successes that we have in resolving performance evaluation issues. 

    Security Transformation -- McAfee to BitLocker -- A Brief Status Report --  We will remind you about the process which is still on-going.

    OPM Data Breach Settlement -- A Brief Report --  In 2015, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) had a huge data breach that exposed personally identifiable information for millions of Federal employees.  Federal unions, including ours, brought a class action suit against the Administration's proposed solution.  Seven years later a settlement agreement has been reached.  We will explain.

    No Interview Requirements for Job Vacancies or Details  -- We will let you know about the current rules and practice regarding interviews for job vacancies and details. 

    IRS Form W-2C -- What Is It?  Whom Does It Affect?  --  We will explain our understanding of why most people who receive IRS Form W-2C don't have to worry about it.

    Public Service Accolades and Time Off --  Deadline Reminder  --  We will explain why the Secretary's recent time-off notice was appropriate, welcome, and different than most other early release notices.

    FLRA (Federal Labor Relations Authority) Nominee Confirmation -- Why You Should Care.

    --  Last week, the Senate confirmed by a 51 to 49 vote a new member of the FLRA.  We will explain why this is a big deal. 

    Bison Bistro Status -- What is it?  When Will It Re-Open? --  The Bison Bistro is the cafeteria in the Main Interior Building.  Ironically, it closed at the end of March, just when employees were about to return to the office.  We will explain what happened and the Bistro's current status.

    Stopping Union Dues When Leaving the Bargaining Unit -- WASO SHRO's New System --  Only members of the NPS WASO Bargaining Unit (BU) -- the staff that the Union represents -- can be regular Union members.  When a Union member leaves the BU (through retirement, getting a job outside of NPS WASO, becoming a supervisor, etc.) Union dues should stop automatically and immediately.  After years of discussion with the Union, the WASO SHRO has implemented a new system to confirm that this process takes place.  We will explain why this an important development.

    All WASO staff members are welcome!  Please join us.  Enjoy lunch with your co-workers while you learn the latest news from Chapter 296.

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