Monthly Brown Bag Lunch for November 2019 - Thursday, Nov 21

NTEU Monthly Brown Bag Lunch for November 2019 - Thursday, Nov 21.  

When:   Thursday, November 21, 2019,  Noon Eastern Standard Time

Where:  North Penthouse - Main Interior Building

Call-in:   877-958-6756  Passcode: 8296505 (FYI: Because this meeting is designed for WASO staff members only, we will monitor the call-ins.)

What's On The Agenda:
*    FY 2020 Funding and Pay Outlook  -- The Latest News and Predictions
*    "Use or Lose" Restoration and End of Year Leave -- Protect Yourself
*    Performance Appraisal Check-in  -- The Performance Award Connection
*    FY 2020 Performance Plan Automation -- To Whom Does It Apply?  The Union Role
*    Issues from Meeting Attendees 
*    Telework Implementation Guidance Development -- The Union Update
*    Servicewide vs. WASO Requirements/Guidance  --  New Agreement on Boilerplate Language
*    Google--> MS Office Transition News  -- The Union Update
*    Health Care Costs -- Take Advantage of the Open Season and Related Union Services
*    Lactation Space  --  A Reminder for Nursing Moms
*    Sick Leave/Health Issues  --  A Privacy Reminder
*    Transit Subsidy  -- Time for Applications/Renewals
*    Union Communications  -- A Plan for Improvement
*    Much More

At the mid-point of the “brown bag lunch” meeting, we will ask for your input about what issues or topics you would like to discuss or learn about  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? 

Whether you call in or attend -- there are high quality NTEU staff members available to Union members. Union members have access to speak/meet with our talented and experienced NTEU labor lawyers.  Sarah Riger located in DC ( and Arathi Premkumar located in Colorado ( - are available to advise you by phone or in a face-to-face meeting. 

Since we last met, 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. 

For offices/programs depending upon FY 2020 funding to continue operations, this is an important week.   The current Continuing Resolution lasts through Thursday, November 21, 2019; our Brown Bag Lunch day.  We will let you know the latest that the Union has heard about funding our programs, a proposed FY 2020  pay increase, etc.

This is also an important week if you have "Use or Lose" Annual Leave to plan for.  We will explain why this week is important and how you can plan for the restoration of any leave that you might lose. Some of the Servicewide guidance is a little bit misleading.  We will correct any misconceptions on that front too.  Even if "Use or Lose"  leave is not a problem for you, it is still smart to make your year-end leave requests now.  We will explain why.

The FY 2019 performance appraisal season should be near completion   We will explain why November is an important month for the performance appraisal process and what to do if you haven't had your FY appraisal yet. 

The Department and the NPS have Plans to automate the Performance Plan process.  They are doing a partial roll-out now.  What does it all mean?  To whom does it apply?  What is the Union role?  What has been your experience so far? 

With regard to telework, anything in the Department's new policy that is contrary to our Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) does not apply to anyone covered by the CBA.  We will give you an update on what the Union is doing to help develop the guidance to implement this policy.  Until we get this guidance, any implementation of new rules is premature.  Some WASO offices have moved forward regardless of the fact that Workforce and Inclusion (a.k.a., Human Resources) has not yet issued guidance for WASO.  We will let you know how to work your way through this confusion if it has happened to you.

Workforce and Inclusion has informed the Union that it agrees to a Union proposal to reduce confusion concerning how Servicewide policy applies to WASO. We will explain this approach at the meeting.

We will let you know if we learn anything more of interest on the transition from Google to MS Office. 

We will share with you what we know about health care costs for 2020.  The Union provides information that can be helpful for your decision-making process.  We will let you know all about this service.

Our Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) has provisions that help nursing mothers.  We will remind you what those provisions are.  On a related issue, we will also remind you about appropriate privacy regarding employee sick leave and health issues.

If you are interested in receiving a transit subsidy, now is the time to renew your training and application.  Remember that your supervisor must complete her/his certification before you can complete your process.

In recent weeks, the Union has given serious consideration regarding how we can improve our communication with you. We will share with you some of our ideas on this topic.

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.

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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