Be sure to check out our Major Topics page for information on performance matters, teleworking, Metro parking benefits, and other current issues.
General Membership Meeting
Brooke-Mondale Auditorium Salon C
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Why attend the membership meeting? So you can learn more about issues that affect you. At our last meeting, President Ashaki Robinson Johns spoke about New Core, HUD’s effort to modernize financial systems and share services with the Bureau of Public Debt. Did you know that most of the 212 employees that will be affected are in Local 476? See our Meetings & Minutes page for minutes of past meetings.
Enjoying Your Membership Benefits:
Spring Luncheon 2014 Photos Online
Click either photo to see our Spring Luncheon 2014 album. AFGE Local 476 holds two free, great luncheons for members only every year. Join today to receive all the benefits of membership in Local 476.
OPM 2013 Report to Congress: Status of Telework
in the Federal Government
The two most common barriers to telework in the federal government are management resistence and information technology/security, according to OPM's report. Sixty-four percent (64%) of nonsupervisory employees do not telework because of a barrier such as management resistence.
Read OPM's Status of Telework in the Federal Government. Search for "Housing and Urban Development" or scan for highlighted sections to see HUD's data.
OPM's report is based on voluntary agency responses to a data call and the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey. While much of the report provides cumulative data without attributing specific issues to a particular agency, it does offer a few specific details about HUD:
Based on the report, it appears that 5,283 HUD employees have telework agreements, and 2,655 engaged in situational telework in FY 2012. HUD reported only two denials of requests to telework in 2012.
OPM estimated that each employee that teleworks three days per week can save 6,500 miles of commuting travel per year, as well as the corresponding fuel costs, wear and tear on the car, traffic delays, and stress. Telework is good for employees, good for HUD, good for the metro area, and good for the environment. The Union agrees with the report's conclusion that management attitudes are our biggest barrier to implementing telework more effectively.
Situational and emergency telework is good for continuity of operations but it does not respond to the need for regular telework for all eligible employees. Local 476 is working to improve telework benefits for our employees.
HUD's Employee Satisfaction Rate Declines for Third Straight Year
See the full report of the 2013 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey results.
You Said It: "HUD is the Worst Place to Work"
Employee Viewpoint Survey Shows HUD Tied for Last Place among Federal Agencies
Local 476 President Ashaki Robinson Johns Addresses Survey Findings
The evidence is in. HUD ranks (once again) as one of the worst places to work in the Federal Government. This is not news as most of us are aware of morale’s downward spiral across the Department in the past few years. As federal employees, we are assaulted on many fronts; conservatives don’t see the utility of federal service and liberals don’t think that we do enough to service our customers. Sadly, it seems as if we are also being attacked from within our agency by upper management that is constantly “transforming” the way that we do business.
We have been told to “identify core values” as if we did not possess a collective moral compass that drives us to do our best. Bumper stickers and tote bags are emblazoned with “I believe in HUD” as if WE needed to be reminded of the importance of our jobs and expertise.
Now there is a video running on HUDTV with the trite business fiction, “Who Moved My Cheese,” where humans are encouraged to act as mice behave when cheese is moved within a maze. The video asks “Which mouse are you? Are you the mouse that quickly adapts to change or are you the victim who asks “why” the cheese was moved?” To think that those of us who have made careers out of knowing what works best in housing are likened to those who whine and complain with every change is insulting. I truly wonder which core value that thought represents.
There is value in asking about the timing and utility of implementing a haphazard, all-encompassing, and extremely expensive New Core shared services agreement in a time of sequestration and cutbacks to our programs.
I encourage each of you to continue to ask the questions. Talk to your colleagues. Question the changes. Offer solutions to work in partnership with management.
Active participation in our Union has never been more important. Join the Union today so your voice can be heard!
Union to HUD: Stop the Multifamily Reorganization and Small Office Closures!
The Multifamily Reorganization and Small Office Closures involve significant front-end costs.
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. Read more.
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.
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.
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.