Home - News & Information
Local Officer Election Results Announced
December 28, 2016: 1998's Election Committee announced the results of officer elections. With the exception of promoted VP James Lensen-Callas, the 2016 national officer lineup had little turnover. The new three-year term begins January, 2017.
Cell Phone Ban Dispute Concludes with Agreement
December 12, 2016: Management and the Union resolved their differences over a ban on cell phones in the workplace. Employees will be able to view incoming cell phone content and plug headphones into the phones, but will be required to keep them locked in clear cases.
Decision: Cell Phone Ban Violates Law and Contract
Novmber 15, 2016: Aribtrator Miller issued her findings on the Agency's cell phone ban. She determined the Agency was obligated to complete bargaining before moving ahead with the ban. She ordered the ban temporarily lifted until negotiations were properly concluded.
Philadelphia Schedules Deal Debuts
Novmber 10, 2016: The Agency and Union reached resolution on negotiations for a Philadelphia alternate work schedule agreement.
Arbitrator Rules on CPC Parking
November 9, 2016: Arbitrator Clark ruled that Charleston Passport Management was not required to bargain in changes to employee parking. The changes reduced the more desirable parking, but retained parking free for all employees. The Agency owed the arbitrator's per diem fees, since it failed to respond to the initial grievance.
Union Helps Employee Receive Within-Grade Increase
November 7, 2016: Vice President James Lensen-Callas and Senior Steward Lynette Frowner presented a convincing case for an Passport employee receiving their Within Grade Increase. Passport Management reconsidered its original decision and granted the WGI.
Employees Contacted for FLSA Reimbursement
November 3, 2016: Announcements went out to over two thousand individuals affected by the 2009 FLSA grievance and 2016 settlement. Those covered under the six million dollar settlement were contacted by the Class Action Implementation Group, along with instructions for claiming their compensation.
1998 President Re-Elected to NFFE Executive Board
September 28, 2016: The 50th Convention of the National Federation of Federal Employees saw the election of a new President (Randy Erwin) and seven Vice-Presidents, including 1998 President Rob Arnold
SSN Proposals Mostly Negotiable Finds FLRA
September 28, 2016: The Federal Labor Relations Authority ruled that three out of four Union proposals were negotiable. The decision continued the streak of Passport Specialists prevailing in legal arguments before the FLRA.
Union Prevails in Negotiability Appeal
September 26, 2016: The FLRA Authority rejected a variety of technical arguments from Passport Management that the Union surrendered the right to bargain over the process by which employees are used in after hours Duty Officer cases. The Authority ruled that the majority of the Union's proposals were negotiable.
Union Prevails in Grievance Filed by Agency
September 21, 2016: Arbitrator Mitchell Goldberg concluded that NFFE 1998 did not violate the contract by CPC Senior Steward involving an FMCS mediator in a bargaining stalemate. The Agency unsuccsessfully sought rulings that the Union is barred from contacting FMCS on issues that Management refuses to bargain, and that Management's assignment of employee seating at CPC constituted a past practice.
Union Grieves Disparity in Overtime Opportunity
September 7, 2016: 1998 President Rob Arnold filed a complaint with the Agency over its curtailment of 2016 overtime overtime opportuntes for bargaining unit employees. The Agency continued an operation in the basement of Passport Headquarters in which managers recevie overtime pay to perform the same work (adjudicating passport applications).
Union Disputes Lack of Job-Applying Opportunity
August 30, 2016: NFFE 1998 filed a grievance concerning job vacancies within the bargaining unit. The Agency not only set the application deadline shorter than the contract allows, but also set a limit of 100 applications to be considered. The vacancies were billed as alternatives to hiring fairs that required applicants from hundreds of miles away appear in person to be considered.
Arbitrator Rules Suspension Taken Without Just Cause
July 26, 2016: Agreeing with Union arguments that discipline must be progressive in nature, Arbitrator Sergent reduced an employee suspension from five days to none, deciding a reprimand was more appropriate. Sergent determined the Agency's reaction to a supervisor/employee disagreement over issuance procedure was not taken with the intent of correcting behavior.
Arbitrator Determines 2014 Awards Fairly Distributed
July 18, 2016: Arbitrator Frankiewicz issued a decision on awards fairness for 2014. Dismissing multiple Agency arguments that the grievance couldn't go to arbitration, Frankiewiczruled that awards issued in 2014 met the criteria of a fair distribution between managers and employees. He found each side sometimes correct and sometimes not in the meaning of contract language.
Desk-Sharing Agreement Reached in Connecticut
July 7, 2016: With a number of new hires anticipated to soon arrive, Union and Management at the Connecticut office negotiated an agreement governing the likely advent of desk-sharing for some employees.
Job Applicants May Question Grade Level
July 5, 2016: Following several complaints about the pay rates of new Passport Specialists, NFFE 1998 inquired about that Agency decision-making process. Applicants for Passport Specialist positions can and should question Human Resources if they think the grade level they are being offered does not square with the OPM guidelines.