home > enews > January 2002 enewsletter
Check out this first e:newsletter, brought to you by the National Council of HUD Locals 222 President, Carolyn Federoff and the Councils "Communications Committee". This newsletter will be furnished to all bargaining unit employees and will function as a "heads-up" for timely issues and to alert you to new information residing on the Council website. In the future you will find copies of all e:newsletters on the Council website (the website is in the development process). The Communications Committee is in the process of developing the bargaining unit employee mailing list.
Council 222 Communication Committee
Welcome to our first e:newsletter. For several years now, HUD employees have seen the daily focus message--a decidedly management focus. The Council e:news is intended to focus on HUD employees: our working conditions, our concerns, our point of view. The e:news will be short and concise, but will include links to a new Council website so that HUD employees can get the fuller story.
The first e:news is being sent to Local Presidents who we hope will share it with their members. In the near future, however, we hope to send the e:news directly to HUD bargaining unit employees on a quarterly basis. Breaking news stories can als be sent as needed.
The Council's Communication Committee is central to the success of this venture. I want to thank Glenn Brown, Patty Petry and Bill Loftus for their work and creativity. Suggestions for the e:news should be sent to Patty Petry. Brickbats and complaints should be sent to me.
2. Council Pursues National Child Care Tuition Assistance Program
In discussions with Management, the Council is pursuing a national Child Care Tuition Assistance Program. The national program would be modeled on a pilot program negotiated for Headquarters and DC employees by AFGE Local 476. The pilot program was based upon a statutory pilot program that was recently made permanent by Congress. It provides lower income employees a subsidy for a percentage of their child care expenses. The amount of assistance depends on a family's total annual income and the amount paid for child care and is based on the total cost of child care not the cost per child.
Although the terms of the national program are still under discussion, the current Headquarters and DC program provides tuition assistance for: 1) Employees at Headquarters and the DC Field office whose total family income is less than $60,000 annually and who have one or more children 13 years of age or younger; 2) Employees at Headquarters and the DC Field Offfice with one or more disabled children 18 years of age or younger. A disabled child is one that has been determined by a physician or licensed or certified psychologist to be unable to either physically or mentally care for himself or herself; 3) Any biological, adopted, step or foster child living with the HUD employee; 4) Any child for whom a judicial determination of support has been obtained or any child whose support the HUD employee as parent guardian makes regular and substantial contributions; and 5) Children enrolled in summer care programs and part-time programs.
To read the OPM Guide for implementing Child Care legislation, go to http://www.opm.gov/wrkfam/html/cldguide.htm
3. Deadline for the 2002 Union Plus Scholarship Program is January 31, 2002!
The deadline for AFGE applicants to apply for the 2002 Union Plus Scholarship Program is Jan 31, 2002. Union members, their spouses and dependent children are eligible to apply. To download the application from the Union Privilege Web site go to www.unionprivilege.org. You can also request an application by sending a postcard with your name, return address, telephone number and international union affiliation to: Union Plus Scholarship Program, P.O. Box 34800, Washington, D.C. 20043-4800.
Awards are based on academic achievement and potential, character, leadership, social awareness, career goals and financial need. Applications are judged by a committee of impartial post-secondary educators. Remember, your application must be postmarked no later than January 31, 2002, in order to be considered. Winners will be announced May 31, 2002. Due to the high volume of applications, only winners will receive notification
4. Congress Approves 4.6% Pay Raise
Congress has approved, and the President has signed, the Treasury-Postal Appropriations bill, which includes a 4.6 percent pay increase for General Schedule (GS) federal employees in January 2002. In his budget proposals earlier this year, President Bush proposed a 3.6 percent increase for federal workers while pushing for a 4.6 percent increase for military personnel. Throughout the year, Bush remained adamant that federal employees should receive only a 3.6 percent raise in 2002, claiming that "...civilian employees are already benefiting from several recent enhancements to their compensation package."
AFGE, with help from its friends on Capital Hill, lobbied hard for pay parity between federal and military employees, noting that in many instances the two groups work side-by-side.
The 4.6 percent increase will be divided
between an across-the-board increase and locality-based increases. Based
on past practice, federal employees will likely receive a 3.6 percent across-the-board
increase. The remaining one percent would go to locality-based increases.
Depending upon where you work, (high-priced labor markets vs rural locations/smaller
metropolitan areas) your 2002 increase will be slightly higher or lower
than the 4.6 percent average.
5. Council 222 Files Brief Relating To Telework Policy
Council 222 recently filed a preliminary
brief in a national parties grievance on management's failure to implement
a fair and equitable telework policy in accordance with Supplement 3 of
the HUD/AFGE agreement. Stay tuned...
According to the Boston Globe, 55% of all unionized companies offered paid holiday leave this season, while only 36% of non-union firms paid workers for holiday shutdowns. (Boston Globe, 12/23/01) UNIONS MAKE A DIFFERENCE!