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April 2004

In This Issue:

Are you registered to vote?
Contracting out Multifamily Housing
April Fools Day redux: One year later, 50% federal employees lose rights
Hiring procedures that drive HUD employees mad!
At the bargaining table

Are you registered to vote?
If you think there's the slightest chance that you may not be registered because of an address or name change, for example, or that a family member may not be registered, go to the Federal Elections Commission website or AFGE's website to register now! You can find the correct page at http://www.fec.gov/votregis/vr.htm or https://ssl.capwiz.com/afge/e4/nvra/?action=form&state=.

Contracting out Multifamily Housing
     As part of its effort to put out for privatization 850,000 federal jobs, the Administration has announced an A-76 competition in the Office of Multifamily Housing. If a contractor is successful, HUD estimates 60-80 FTE's would be affected. Contracting out through an A-76 competition would permit the agency to RIF the equivalent number of FTEs. HUD has permission from OMB to conduct contracting in studies to review the cost of some of the $1 billion in contracts for which HUD employees were not allowed to compete. Nonetheless, the Administration chose to consider yet more work for contracting out. For more information, go to our website at https://afgecouncil222.tripod.com/a76.html.

April Fools Day Redux: One year later, 50% federal employees lose rights
      Last year, the Council E:News featured an April Fools Day edition that announced the suspension of HUD employee collective bargaining and civil service rights. (See April 2003 Special Edition in our enews page, https://afgecouncil222.tripod.com/enews.html). We received several complaints from people who thought the joke went too far. However, since that edition, Congress and the Administration have gone farther still; as of today, 50% of federal employees no longer have guaranteed collective bargaining or civil service rights. 50% of federal employees - encompassing civilian defense (DoD) and Homeleand Security employees - no longer have the right to a neutral third party review of disciplinary
or performance based actions. These employees no longer have the right to take bargaining disputes to a neutral third party for review and adjudication. Once current contacts expire in DoD, they will not be renegotiated or renewed. What's next? Well, there are already calls on Capitol Hill to have the rest of the civil service similarly "reformed". Imagine a HUD where current benefits such as flextime, credit hours and telework are not enforceable and where cronyism and favoritism is unchallengeable. Don't be an April Fool! Ask your Local President what you can do to fight for your rights? Keep tuned to http://afge.org.

Hiring procedures that drive HUD employees mad!
With the announcement that HUD plans to hire approximately 600 staff before the end of the fiscal year, the Council presented to Secretary Alphonso Jackson and his staff a list of hiring problems that drive HUD employees mad and which could be fixed before the next round of hiring begins. The list includes: 1) Grade inequities, with jobs being advertised externally with greater promotion potential than current staff have; 2) Advertising senior or expert positions to non-HUD employees; 3) Failure to provide upward mobility positions; and 4) Failure to advertise positions to include the lowest entry level possible.
     This is not the first time the Council has raised problems with the merit staffing process, including the filing of grievances. For a copy of this latest memorandum, go to our homepage at http://afgecouncil222.tripod.com.

At the bargaining table
The Council is preparing to bargain nationally on several items, including changes to the HUD Travel Management System. We're still in discussions with Management on the Hardship Transfer Policy and Student Loan Subsidy program. Additionally, we recently completed bargaining on the Admin Services Handbook 2200.01 and the COOP. For information on bargaining, go to https://afgecouncil222.tripod.com/bargaining.html. Look for the Red arrows to identify the newest issues.

Giving more:
Do you have an opinion? Want to make your voice heard?? Let us know what it is, or better yet, contact your local. Nearly every local is looking for people willing to get involved. For more information on how you can help, talk to your local officers. Contact information for them can be found at: https://afgecouncil222.tripod.com/locals.html, or email us.

e:mail comments or suggestions to: AFGE COUNCIL 222/ADMIN/RIC/HUD@hud.gov
in the subject of your e:mail type: Attn: Tim Oravec (E:News Editor)