NTEU NPS WASO: NOTICE -- December Brown Bag Lunch; Thursday, December 19, 2019

Dear Colleague,

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 NTEU Monthly Brown Bag Lunch for December 2019.   For this Brown Bag Lunch, the Union is providing LUNCH for people in attendance.

When:   Thursday, December 19, 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:
*    LUNCH for people in attendance.
*    FY 2020 Funding and Pay Outlook  -- The Latest News and Predictions
*    "Use or Lose" Restoration and End of Year Leave -- Protect Yourself
*    Holiday Bonuses From the Union
*    FY 2020 Performance Plan Automation -- To Whom Does It Apply?  The Union Role
*    Issues from Meeting Attendees 
*    Telework Implementation Guidance Development -- Recent Developments
*    Google--> MS Office Transition News  -- The Union Update
*    Paid Parental Leave -- The Latest Statutory Developments
*    Union Communications  -- A Plan for Improvement
*    Main Interior Building (MIB) News -- The Latest From the Office of Facilities and Administrative Services (OFAS)
*    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 (sarah.riger@nteu.org) and Arathi Premkumar located in Colorado (arathi.premkumar@nteu.org) - are available to advise you by phone or in a face-to-face meeting.  Sarah Riger is planning to attend the meeting.  Please give her a warm welcome when you see her.

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, next week is an important week.   The current Continuing Resolution lasts through Friday, December 20, 2019; the day after 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.

The Union plans to provide a little holiday cheer by providing LUNCH -- in addition to the usual treats -- to all in attendance at the meeting at MIB,  We will provide more details on this in our reminder message next week. To provide further holiday cheer, we will announce new substantial financial incentives for those who join the Union during the holidays and for those who recruit them.

There is still some confusion for folks who have "Use or Lose" Annual Leave to plan for.  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 Department and the NPS have plans to automate the Performance Plan process for FY 2020.  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?  We will explain what to do if you don't yet have your FY 2020 Performance Plan. 

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.
Since our last gathering, there have been developments

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

By the time of the brown bag lunch, it is likely that there will be a new law creating paid parental leave.  The Union will provide the latest legislative update and let you know about the process for implementing such a law, should it pass.

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.

On Tuesday, December 10, 2019, the Main Interior Building (MIB) Office of Facilities and Administrative Services (OFAS) held its quarterly Customer Communication Forum.  A Union leader attended on your behalf.  He asked a lot of questions.  We will let you know the interesting things that came out during that meeting.

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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