POPA Annual Meeting
Our annual meeting will be held starting at 3:00 pm ET on Thursday, December 14, 2023. The meeting will be held virtually and we will provide the link to the meeting earlier that week.
Time continues to be available for getting a COVID vaccination, taking a family member to get a COVID vaccination and recovery time, if needed. The best and most up-to-date information is available here: https://ptoweb.uspto.gov/article/updated-covid-19-vaccine-now-recommended-children-and-adults
Leave Year 2023
This year the leave year ends on January 13, 2024. This means there are 27 biweeks in this leave year which leads to additional use/lose annual leave and an extra biweek as far as TSP. Make sure you carefully plan for the end of the year.
If you end up with extra annual leave that you can’t use, donate it, don’t lose it! You can donate to a specific person using the Leave Transfer Program. Here you can find current recipients and instructions on donating leave: https://ptoweb.uspto.gov/ptointranet/ohr/employees/benefits/leave_recipients.htm
You can also join the Voluntary Leave Bank Program and donate any extra leave to the bank. Here is more information on that: https://ptoweb.uspto.gov/announcement/voluntary-leave-bank-program-open-enrollment
With either program don’t wait until the last moment or there may not be time to transfer the leave.
When Moving (your working/living location)
In addition to changing your address in epp and your telework agreement, if you have one, employees need to make sure they take a look at their tax forms and obligations and adjust as needed for their new location. This is relevant if you are just changing your primary telework location where you work 50%+ from and the new primary location is in another tax area. OHR will not get overpaid taxes back for you. You will be responsible for doing that UNLESS OHR made a mistake and did not properly process a form.
Collective Bargaining Agreement
POPA is trying to get through all of the articles a second time by Thanksgiving. There is still only one article which has been agreed to. We are getting close on more articles.
Management has reorganized their TRP team. We are working with management on analyzing the timing pilot data and determining additional work that needs to be done and the next steps. As far as routing, the team is working on developing a routing pilot to get applications to the correct examiners. If an examiner is in a low docket area, the algorithm looks for applications for that examiner and if it can’t find any examiners are finding that they are getting applications way out of their field.
Management has informed us that any examiner whose performance may warrant being placed on an performance improvement period (PIP) may discuss with their supervisor or TC Director about any personal/medical/work-related hardships that may have affected their performance. Management may reconsider issuance of the PIP (determine that the evaluation period is not a suitable evaluation period.)