October Brown Bag Lunch; Thursday, October 17, 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 September 2019.  

When:   Thursday, October 17, 2019,  Noon Eastern Daylight Saving 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:
*    Preparing for Your Performance Appraisal -- Myths, Tips, and Adjustments
*    FY 2020 Performance Plan Automation -- To Whom Does It Apply?  The Union Role
*    Performance Plans, Appraisals, and Your Electronic Official Personnel File (EOPF)  -- Missing Documents
*    Year End Annual Leave Requests  -- Consider Placing Them Now
*    Issues from Meeting Attendees 
*    Headquarters Organization Chart and DOI Regions -- A New Chart
*    Google--> MS Office Transition News  -- The Union Update
*    Pay and Health Insurance Cost Increases in 2020  -- Both Going Up?
*    Telework Implementation Guidance Development -- The Union Update
*    Core Hours (Outside of DC) and Maxiflex  --  What are the Issues?
*    Is Union News Getting to You and Your Colleagues?
*    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 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. 

The FY 2019 performance appraisal season has begun.  We want you to be prepared.  This year, we all will have to consider the affect of the government shut-down on our accomplishments.  The Union will also provide some tips on what to do if you have an acting supervisor now or have had multiple supervisors during the course of the year.  Despite the clear language in Article 36 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), there are a lot of myths in some parts of WASO concerning what is allowable or not as a part of the annual performance appraisal.  As is our tradition, we will identify and lampoon some of the more ridiculous (yet believed) myths.  On the more serious side, we will get you ready do deal with questions such as as the following.  Can the rating be based on anything that is not a part of the Performance Plan?  Can the Performance Plan be adjusted at the time of the appraisal?  How doe the appeals/reconsideration process work?  In sum, we hope to help you make your appraisal go more smoothly.  So you have gotten a good rating on your FY 2019 Appraisal.  Would it surprise you to know that not every appraisal makes it into the employee's EOPF?  We will let you know what you need to do to document your success. 

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? 

We will share with you what we know about the pay raise and health care costs for 2020.  We will also recommend that you take some steps to prepare for the end of the year.

We will let you know if we learn anything of interest on the personnel front.  We do have some information on  the transition from Google to MS Office.  We do have a new WASO organization chart which we will share with you.

Recently, the Union has become aware of issues relating to core hours and maxiflex.  What are the core hours, especially outside of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area?  What are the options if someone on a maxiflex schedule has to miss a little or a lot of time out of the core hours on a day when the employee plans to work?  We will let you know what the issues and options are.  Any information that you can share with the Union on this topic also would be helpful.

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.   

From time to time the Union discovers that certain WASO offices are not receiving Union messages.  If you or someone that you know are not getting Union messages, that means that you are not on the WASO All Employees email list because that is how we send out these general notices.  This also means that that you are not receiving all employee messages that anyone else (such as the Director) is sending.  Please let us know if you are aware of anyone who is not receiving Union messages.  This is a problem that can be fixed easily.

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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