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Letter from the Editor: Baby it's cold outside ..but the heat is getting turned up. HUD Council 222 has been busy this past fall/early winter continuing to fight for your rights. The E:News brings you the short scoop quarterly, and the full story can always be found on our website at http://afgecouncil222.tripod.com.
We want to thank everyone for their responses to the FAIR Act Special Bulletin in October 2002 and apologize for the inconvenience many experienced when the web site crashed. Your overwhelming response literally brought us to our knees. Our web master, Patty Petry, has been doing a great job keeping the site up to date. Our Chairman, Glenn Brown, is diligently working to provide a server for the Council web site. When he is successful, the types of crashes we experienced in October will be a thing of the past. Copies of past Council E-Newsletters can be found at http://afgecouncil222.tripod.com/enews.html.
We understand that not everyone that receives this message is a union member, and some may not support the union in any way. But we want you to understand that the purpose of this E-newsletter is to keep you informed as to the issues that are currently being faced, or ones that are coming. If you disagree with the stance that is being taken, good. It's that kind of diversity that makes us strong. You should let your opinions be heard. It may be your voice that changes the outlook of the many. We encourage you to get more involved. Let us know what you think. Your input is valued, and valuable, to help us provide information that can encourage, enlighten, and enrich.
"Every person must decide for themselves whether they will walk in the light of creative altruism or the darkness of destructive selfishness. This is the judgement you must make. Life's most persistent question is: What are you doing for others?". --- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Grade parity: In October, the Council filed a grievance of the parties (copy on the website--Failure to Treat Employees Fair and Equitably). Writing for Management, Norman Mesewicz, Deputy Director of Labor and Employee Relations, denied our grievance on January 17. This denial did not respond to our allegations of unfair or inequitable treatment, but rather, was a "blanket" denial stating that the matter could not be grieved. The Council Executive Board will vote on arbitration at its February 6 meeting. (read more on our home page at http://afgecouncil222.tripod.com and our resources page).
Internal Posting for Promotions: As part of the agreement regarding the redeployment of the Community Builders in March (Supplement 35 HUD-AFGE Contract), Management agreed to advertise 50% of all bargaining unit positions with promotion potential at or above GS-13 exclusively to current HUD employees. Council Communication Committee member Patty Petry closely monitored the vacancy announcements as part of the 9/30 hiring initiative. She provided the Council with the basic data to demonstrate that a minimum of 100 positions with potential to or above GS-13 should be advertised for internal applicants only. Since Management failed to do this, a grievance of the parties was filed. It is hoped that a settlement will be reached shortly that results in the advertisement of additional internal promotions.
Contracting Out: The Council thanks you for your responses to the October 25, 2002 E-News Special Bulletin regarding the FAIR Act and contracting out. Many of you sent in letters challenging the proposed contracting out of your jobs. Based on this information, the Council filed these FAIR Act challenges. Unfortunately, Management denied them by letters dated January 6 through 9 and the Council appealed. Copies of the denial letters and appeal can be found on our web site at http://afgecouncil222.tripod.com/resources.html.
At the bargaining table: Current bargaining issues include: Reasonable Accommodation; the reorganization of the Field Environmental staff; the proposed change in E-Mail policy; the COOP handbook; Student Loan repayment; pilot project for early (6:00AM) start times; and others. If you have ideas for any of these, please contact your AFGE representative. We are providing a list of these persons on the web site in the "Locals" section (http://afgecouncil222.tripod.com/locals.html)
Names and Faces: And the winner is .. Regional Vice President Perry Casper, of the Oregon Office, received "The HUD Staff Person of the Year 2002" award from the Affordable Housing Management Association (AHMA), Oregon Chapter. Congratulations to Perry on winning this prestigious award from AHMA.
The new Council Legislative Committee chairman is Larry Hirsch, of the New York office. Larry has hit the ground running and is a great addition to the team. We look forward to hearing from him after the AFGE 2003 Legislative and Grassroots Mobilization Conference in Washington DC on February 9-13, 2003. Council Committee information can be found on our web site athttp://afgecouncil222.tripod.com/committees.html.
Congratulations to Jenny Parsley of the Oklahoma City office on her retirement. Jenny may not be present in the HUD workplace, but has not gone far. She is continuing her duties as President of the Local 3138 and as the Alternate Regional Vice President.
.Speak out: Do you have an opinion? An Idea? Do you like to
write? Let us know what it is, or better yet, volunteer your time and become
a "reporter" for your local. Write articles, take pictures, and
showcase the work your local is doing. We will place your information on
a web page that will be available on our web site. To volunteer, talk to
your local president or email us.