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Union Continues Fight Against Furloughs
A Message from Local 476 President Ashaki Robinson Johns
Eddie Eitches, President of Council of HUD Locals 222 filed a grievance challenging the furloughs imposed by management. HUD had agreed to use all available money to reduce furlough days, but it appears that they are doing the exact opposite.
As you know, HUD has announced a massive reorganization of our Multifamily Office, as well the closure of 16 field offices. They are spending money on buy-outs, relocations and field office reconfigurations, while they are furloughing employees. This is a violation of our Memorandum of Understanding. We have demanded that all employees be repaid for the salary lost as a result of furloughs. We continue to fight for your rights. See below and read our Furlough page for more information.
Union to HUD: Stop the Multifamily Reorganization and Small Office Closures!
HUD proposes to spend $80 million or more while your pay is reduced by 10% this summer!
The Multi-family Reorganization...
Closure of the Small Offices Makes No Sense
Listen to Council President Eddie Eitches speaking about the planned office closures on Federal News Radio.
Council 222 filed Demands to Bargain in an effort to protect employees who work in offices affected by HUD's planned Multifamily Office Reorganization, which affects over 1,100 bargaining unit employees across the country, and those affected by HUD's proposed closure of 16 "small" offices. See the Multifamily Reorganization Demand to Bargain. The Union has also conducted surveys to identify what issues are most important to the affected employees. The Union will use the survey responses to negotiate with management and lobby Congress on behalf of the workers.
In a March 2013 report to Congress, GAO noted that HUD has not created incentives or accountability for staff to report accurate workload data. Citing a June 2012 OPM review, GAO stated, "HUD’s human capital and workforce planning activities did not always follow key principles for planning, implementing, and evaluating the results of human capital management policies and practices." GAO concluded that "HUD continues to lack consistent, analytically-based data generated from an effective resource management system...management may not have complete information upon which to make effective resource estimation and allocation decisions." Read the GAO report.
For information about furloughs at HUD, see the Memorandum of Understanding that the Union signed with HUD, which provides several protections in response to concerns voiced by employees:
OPM provides information about furloughs at Administrative Furlough Guidance.
Regarding holiday pay, OPM states "Employees who are in a non-pay status for the workdays immediately before and after a holiday may not receive compensation for that holiday." Generally, employees will be paid for holidays as long as the furlough day is either before or after a holiday.
The Employee Assistance Program has issued a flyer on ways the EAP can help if you experience problems or have concerns related to sequestration and impending furloughs. The EAP is a professional service that provides information, counseling, resource identification, and support to all employees. You can call the EAP 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, 365 days a year at 1-800-222-0364 (TTY: 888-262-7848).
You Pay Your Share of Taxes...Does HUD?
A HUD Inspector General's report found that HUD's Office of Labor Relations failed pay the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) more than $200,000 in taxes that were withheld from employee wage restitution payments. Employees do not need to be concerned as the tax withholding was credited to each employee affected. See the report.
James Counts Early
Speaks at AFGE Local 476
International Workers Day
“We Are One” Luncheon
On May 1, at Local 476's annual "We Are One" luncheon celebrating HUD support staff and International Workers Day, James Counts Early spoke to the local's membership. Mr. Early is the cultural heritage policy director at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. He spoke about the ways labor has celebrated itself in the past, and how such celebrations can help morale in times of economic difficulties and the challenges faced by federal workers today. Mr. Early also shared recordings from the Smithsonian Folkways Collection of the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage that celebrate working people and occupational culture. Read James Counts Early's summary of his remarks.
More Money in Your Pocket
HUD agreed to increase the transit subsidy for employees to $245 per month, the current maximum monthly transit benefit that can be provided tax-free. The announcement followed many weeks of effort by Council 222 President Eddie Eitches. The increase was effective April 1, 2013. The transit subsidy increase applies to employees across the country. See the Council's E-Alert for more information.
The Union continues to aggressively pursue authorization to allow transit subsidy money for parking at Metro or commuter lots on official workdays.
Did you know that Union members can save money on travel, shopping, insurance, education and health benefits, even financial and legal services? From computers to cars, amusement parks to real estate...your membership pays you back in many ways. Check out the details on our Benefits page and start saving today!
Fill out Form 1187 to join now! Get the benefits you want and need as a federal employee:
A voice in workplace changes
Representation with workplace issues
And look at the members-only benefits you'll enjoy once you're an active part of your Union.
Just stop by Room 3143 with your form today!
Have you received a poor performance evaluation? Has your supervisor mentioned that a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) is being considered as part of an evaluation of your individual work performance? Beware! In the Union's experience, the use of a PIP is often the beginning of the removal or demotion process. If you have been placed on a PIP, or have just received a poor performance evaluation, contact the Union immediately! Read more.