Presidential Executive Orders
The May 2018 orders that limited official time and union representative capabilities are still in effect. Read more here and here. Official time was reduced to a 25% capacity, which affects every POPA representative and officer individually, not as a whole. No representative or officer works 100% official union time.
The OPM issued a regulation that has eliminated oral warnings and safety zones. Unfortunately, since this is an OPM regulation, it will take a longer process to overturn than just passing a new executive order.
POPA met with management over complications regarding maximum telework, including issues with equipment, building access, and EADC. POPA filed a grievance over ineffeciency in providing proper equipment to teleworkers. Headsets are available again on request; if an employee has requested a headset but did not receive one, contact email@example.com, using the subject line 'equipment.'
The PTO has not engaged in Stage Three of returning to the office yet, and there is no forecast yet as to when maximum telework will end. POPA is continuing to work on behalf of teleworking conditions that will follow the end of maximum telework orders.
TRP (Time Routing PAP)
Two years ago, PTO management gave POPA only three months to review the proposed updates to TRP, which was an unprecendented short timeline, and it limited POPA's ability to ensure the best program. POPA continues to bring up issues as they are discovered either on our own or through examiner feedback.
POPA is working with management to address the system outage on Saturday November 28, and to improve the Saturday count system.
End of the Year Rewards
OHR has stated that employees should expect end of the year rewards in their mid-December paycheck.
The new SEARCH tool is being test run by a voluntary early adopter program, which examiners can still sign up to join. It will deactivate access to East and West tool after 90 days, but an examiner can opt out at any point. POPA and management are collecting user feedback, so that bugs can be fixed before necessary rollout.
POPA is in excellent financial health. There was an increased number of bargaining unit members, and POPA concluded its year with a reserve balance. POPA also hired an administrative assistant back in February 2019, as an improvement to internal operations.
Richard Hirn Legal Report
- When the executive order restricted bargaining rights, PTO management re-opened ground rule negotiations with POPA, but tried to waive POPA bargaining rights. Management demanded the ability to re-negotiate only select portions of a disapproved agreement. The case was heard by the Federal Servive Impasses Panel, which dismissed the PTO's request, and PTO has since rescinded their illegal proposal. POPA prefers to re-engage in negotiation after President-Elect Biden's inauguration, as Biden intends to overturn those relevant executive orders.
- The executive order also banned the use of official time to lobby Congress. However, after accepting comments on the matter, the FLRA decided to uphold a union representative's right to use official time to speak to Congress on behalf of worker's issues.
- Congress is closing out the National Defense Administration Act budget, in which Virginia Congressman Gerry Connolly has included an amendment that would make TEEAP permanent. However, the legislation would likely be vetoed by President Trump unless it includes a provision that ends protection for social media.
- Recently, the National Labor Relations Board has ruled that the National Right To Work Foundation does not qualify as an association that can petition the NLRB. Only unions, agencies, and interested associations can petition the NLRB.