COUNCIL 222 ENEWS
August 2005  
 
 

Council files Grievance of the Parties on delays in awards
HUD announces 2005 Student Loan Repayment program
Did I see you in at 6:00am?
HIHRTS DO's and DON'T's

Council files Grievance of the Parties on delays in awards
Citing chronic delays in the distribution of EPPES awards, the Council has filed a national Grievance of the Parties. "We recognize that implementation of HIHRTS would result in delays, but we are now more than six pay periods from the date HIHRTS came on line--more than twice the time Management agreed upon for awards processing in the HUD/AFGE Agreement," said Carolyn Federoff, Council President.

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated event. A review of Council records reveals that the Council has frequently complained of delays in awards in the past few years. The Council's attorney has filed the grievance seeking back pay for delayed awards for the past six years. To see a copy of the Grievance, go to: http://afgecouncil222.com/grievances.html

HUD announces 2005 Student Loan Repayment program
Huge and positive changes have been made in this year's Student Loan Repayment program. Last year the application was five pages long, and very confusing; this year's application is one page. Last year, more than 50% of applications were rejected as incomplete, but applicants didn't know why and had no opportunity to cure; this year, OHR will advise if and why an application is incomplete within one week of application submission, and applicants can cure the problem provided they submit the application by the deadline. Last year applicants from the field had to submit their applications via mail almost a week early to ensure that the application arrived timely; this year, mailed applications need only be post-marked by the application deadline.

Volunteer members from AFGE Local 476 in Headquarters were central to these substantive changes. Moreover, Deputy Secretary Bernardi was central to their acceptance by the Office of Administration. Applications are due by August 8. To apply, go to http://hudatwork.hud.gov/po/arh/studentloanrepay.cfm.

Did I see you in at 6:00am?
Just in time for summer, the 6:00am pilot program has been extended to all offices. There are a couple glitches--unexpected costs in a couple offices need to be considered, and without the right to grieve, some managers aren't taking the program seriously. Denials, though, must include written reasons. The Council is developing an informal grievance form and is asking members to provide their Local with copies of any written denials.

Additionally, the Council stressed at the recent national Labor Management meeting that we expect managers to act in good faith. The Office of Public Housing agreed to send an electronic mail to all field managers advising of the success of the pilot program in HQ. To view the 6:00am Supplement, go to http://www.afgecouncil222.com/consupp.html and click on Supplement 67.

HIHRTS DO's and DON'T's
  * DO check HIHRTS to ensure that your "Employment" data is correct, such as service computation date and position.

  * DO check HIHRTS to ensure that your "Performance" record is accurate.
(Eventually this section will include three years of Performance records. The data will be entered starting in 2005; past performance history will not be input.

  * THINK about entering Emergency Contact Information.

  * THINK TWICE about entering information on your outside training or education. Management can't use this information for promotions or details. But if you made an error, Management can pursue disciplinary action. For example, your college required 21 units in a subject to declare it a major, but HUD requires 24. If you don't know HUD's standard, don't enter the data.

  * THINK TWICE before requesting retirement information through HIHRTS. The system sends an automatic e-mail to your supervisor. You can continue to contact the ESC directly for this information.

  * KNOW that any changes made in HIHRTS will not change your information in Employee Express. You must still use Employee Express to change federal/state tax withholdings, health benefits, direct deposit, etc.

To view the full recommendations of the Council's bargaining team, go to the bargaining notes at : http://afgecouncil222.com/bargaining.html.

Council works on Capitol Hill to preserve CDBG, Non-Section 8 PBCAs at HUD
As part of it's ongoing efforts to protect HUD work for HUD employees, Council President Carolyn Federoff and St. Louis Local President Barbara Rellmann met with Senator Bond and his Legislative Director, Brian Klippenstein. We thanked Senator Bond for his support of the CDBG program, and talked at length with Mr. Klippenstein about the need to keep Non-Section 8 PBCA work at HUD.

Federoff has met on several occasions with Senate and House Appropriation staff on issues of concern to HUD employees, including lack of travel monies and inadequate staffing levels. To see copies of our white papers on CDBG, Non-Section 8 PBCAs, and HUD's Salaries and Expense (S&E) budget, go to: http://afgecouncil222.tripod.com/legislative.html and look in the left column.

- This issue written and edited by Carolyn Federoff, President -