Good day to one and all,
I can say without hesitation that it has been a roller coaster ride for those of us who started our return to the office on June 11, 2020. For many of us, the last month and a half has felt like a year, and unfortunately, we know there is much more to come in. I know that it has also not be easy for those out of the office due to limited communication and the daily news. Please know that we think of all of you each day and look forward to your return when the time is right.
NFFE1998 is working daily to make sure you have all the information you need to make informed choices regarding your health and safety while at work. Part of the work we are pursuing is our new status as Mission Critical Employees. We have been in conversation with management working on the how and why of our new employment status. This is going to be a long and arduous road. An easy answer will not be had in the short term, but we are working to rectify this issue.
Also, we recently posted to our local NFFE1998.org website general information regarding possible EEO accommodations regarding Covid-19. Please take a moment to review the information and determine if anything works for you. I am sure many of you have been following events on our website since March, if not before. We have made every attempt to post the most important and up to date information as it becomes available for everyone to see. This is and will remain our major communication location.
Whether you are in the office or thinking about returning to your office, there are a couple of items that are available from your local steward or in the Department Announcements. The first item is entitled “Guidance on Leave for Quarantine and Isolation Scenarios”. This was created by HR/DGHR (Office of Human Resources) and was sent out to all BUE on March 26, 2020. It spells out the basic scenarios on leave and quarantine just as the name says.
The second item is the Covid-19 Scenarios document which was prepared by A/OEM (Administration/Office of Emergency Management). It lays out the steps that should be taken by management if a confirmed positive, or potentially positive COVID-19 case is discovered in
Representing the bargaining unit employees of Passport Services, a division of the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs
an office. If it is unclear about what is going on or if you are not getting clear communication
this is the document that will help guide each of us to make sure we are all safely cared for by
the Department of State.
For any of this to work, we are asking that each one of you take part in assisting management,
your local steward, and the NFFE1998 National Officers to help maintain a safe working
Like they say on trains and planes, if you see something that is not right, please say something.
This, like any other day in our lives, is the part that we all need to play for the workplace to be
safe for everyone.
We all must be vigilant each day as we work with one another. We cannot stress enough to
socially distance, wear gloves if needed, and most of all wear a mask.
Whether you are in the office or not, we want you to know you can always reach the National
Officers or your local steward at one of the e-mail addresses listed in the attached Officers
Email List. If you do not see an e-mail address for your office, please reach out to one of the
National Officers for assistance.
In closing, I just want to say this is not about us vs. them. This is about everyone looking out for one another. So please, “look out for one another” as we navigate these interesting and
turbulent waters today, tomorrow, and in the future.
Lee Wentz, President & Your NFFE National Officers