January Brown Bag Lunch; Thursday, January 18, 2018

Happy New Year to you from your Union; NTEU Chapter 296!!!

If you are a WASO employee and are not a supervisor, a management official, or a "confidential" employee, this message is for you.  If you are a supervisor, a management official, or a confidential employee or you don't work in WASO, we share the following information with you as a matter of courtesy.

We cordially invite you as a WASO staff person to join your fellow employees at the Monthly NTEU Brown Bag Lunch for January 2018.  

What: NTEU-sponsored lunch presentations regarding the following topics:
*   Union Accomplishments -- Just What Does the Union Do for You?
*   Reorganizations and Moves -- Big and Small
*   Issues Raised by Meeting Attendees
*   FY 2018 Appropriations -- Another Continuing Resolution?
*   Other Hot Issues
*   Union Elections 
*   Much more

When: Thursday, January 18, 2018
Noon, Eastern Standard Time. 

Where: North Penthouse, Large Conference Room,  Main Interior Building. NOTE THE ROOM LOCATION. 

The North Penthouse is a very elegant space. It is worthwhile seeing.  You can get to the North Penthouse via the dedicated elevator near the 7500 West hallway on the 7th floor, close to the E Street side of MIB. You can also get there via the 7500 West wing stairs.  Look for the NTEU signs. 
If you are planning to participate in January's Third Thursday Brown Bag Lunch by telephone, here is the information that you need to know.

Call in: 877-958-6756
Passcode: 8296505

One of the factors in having a successful meeting is how well folks who call in can hear what we say.  If you do call in, after the meeting please let us know if you can't clearly hear the speakers.

Since last we met in November, your Chapter 296 leaders have been very 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.  What is special about the January meeting is that it will be the first meeting of 2018.  We think that this is an appropriate time 1) to reflect on what the Union did for you during 2017, 2) to let you know the status of current hot issues, and 3) to find out your ideas on where the Union should focus its efforts during 2018.

We will continue our recent approach of asking meeting attendees for their questions and concerns in the middle of the meeting rather than saving that for the end.  Please think about what issues or topics you would like to discuss or learn about.  Where do you think the Union should focus its efforts during 2018? All of us would like to hear what the hot topics are in your office/facility.  Are there things that the Union could do to make your participation in the Union easier?  For example, should we occasionally schedule our brown bag lunches later in the day to make participation easier for our colleagues in other time zones to participate?

Our periodic Labor Management Relations Committee (LMRC) meeting will take place immediately prior to the January brown bag lunch.  The LMRC meeting agenda includes topics such as the status of printing the new Union contract, the status of the new round of VERA/VSIP (Voluntary Early Retirement Authority/Voluntary Separation Incentive Payment), and other hot topics.  We will share with you what we learn at that meeting.

The current Continuing Resolution for FY 2018 Appropriations ends on January 19, 2018.  What happens next?  We will let you know what we have heard.

There are a series of pending reorganizations and moves.  We will give you a status report on all of those. 

Recently, we have taken a few cases to arbitration.  We will let you know the issues involved in those cases (but not the names or programs involved) as well as the criteria that the Union uses to decide whether to go to arbitration.

Elections for Chapter 296 officers are coming up quickly.  We will let you know the status of nominations, who is eligible to vote, how the voting process works, and when the new (?) officers start their terms.

If there is time, we will provide updates on other topics.  As always, we will provide plenty of time for both 1) your questions and answers and 2) your comments and suggestions.

Our talented Union Field Representative and labor lawyer extraordinaire Sarah Riger will not be able to attend the January Third Thursday Brown Bag Lunch.  If you would like some private time with an experienced labor lawyer, it can be arranged to  meet with her either face-to-face or by telephone.
Because this meeting is designed for WASO staff only, we will monitor the call-ins.

All WASO staff members are welcome! Please join us.  Bring a friend or listen in with one!  Enjoy lunch with your co-workers while you learn the latest news from Chapter 296.

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