AFGE Council 171 Newsletter

July 2003

DFAS Council News

Vol. 1, No. 2

Council 171 Wins Three Unfair Labor Practices

The Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) has found that DFAS violated Title V U.S.C Federal Service Labor Relations Statute by refusing to negotiate with Council 171 on EBIZ Time Keeping, Career Learning Centers and Electronic Document Management (EDM) prior to implementation. The FLRA will be prosecuting DFAS in court 18-20 November 2003. DFAS could be required to return to status quo on these items which means turning off EBiz time keeping, restoring and rebuilding the Career Learning Centers, etc. The lesson here is that the agency must honor the Council's demands to bargain on behalf of DFAS employees. The FLRA decisions will be posted to the Council web site as soon as possible.

Meeting with Dr. David Chu Under Secretary DoD and Mark McDonald, President AFGE Local 2040 (Denver) I had an opportunity to meet with Dr. Chu for an hour on 15 July 2003. I found Dr. Chu to be sincere in his belief that the broad authority DoD is asking Congress for to be in the best interests of DoD. He stated that DoD wants to strengthen the Civil Service making it something people will want to be part of thereby reducing dependence on contractors. Dr. Chu noted and shared some of my concerns with pay banding, management accountability, management and employee training, propagandizing employees and the need to build managerial accountability into the new DoD regulations. We did not agree on all issues but had an open, honest dialog.

Accounting Business Line (AF) Excludes Union: Twice the agency has extended a invitation for the Council to participate in the Executive Offsite for Air Force Accounting in Denver. Twice the Union representative was denied TDY funds to attend by DFAS effectively making it impossible for the Council representative to attend. The Council has filed a Unfair Labor Practice (ULP).

Negotiations for National Contract: The Council met in Kansas City to negotiate Ground Rules to be used in the upcoming National Labor Contract Negotiations. Unfortunately no agreement was reached other than to meet again in August or September to continue negotiations.

National Negotiations: 16-26 July 2003 Council Negotiation team was in Washington DC to participate in negotiations with DFAS. Items on the agenda were: Electronic Leave and Earning Statements (ELES), eW2ís, the CAC "smart" cards, Corporation Resources Restructure, PAL, Consolidation of Systems Support, Resumex, Debt Collection Module, IT Webwatcher, Eportal, Defense Travel System, Entry Level Professional Accountant (ELPA) Survey, Government Travel Card (BOA), Growth & Learning, Re-alignment of Security Assistance, EBiz Time Sheet Issue, Center of Excellence for Reserve Component, Academic Degree Program.

Thanks to the team and to Mark Gibson from AFGE National for working hard to make negotiations a success.

The Union meeting notes, Monday through Thursday, are at te www.afge171.org/MINUTES.HTM. Fridaysí notes will be posted as soon as possible.

 

eW2: The agreement allows DFAS to run a program on 1 September 2003 that will set the hard copy (print) option of your W2 to no print for all DFAS employees that have a MyPay PIN. This voluntary program will allow DFAS to save printing and postage costs for your W2. If you still want to receive a printed W2 in the mail you may go to the MyPay web site (www.mypay.gov) after September 2nd 2003 but before 30 November 2003 and change the print selection to hard copy. If you haven't looked at MyPay you should. The signed agreement is available for viewing and printing at http://www.afge171.org/agreements/eW2-1.jpg

ELES: DFAS proposed to make turning off print and mailing of your Leave and Earnings Statement (LES) mandatory for all DFAS employees. After spending considerable time identifying and discussing issues, DFAS withdrew its proposal. Printing of your LES is still your choice. DFAS calculates savings of about $1.12 for every LES not printed so there is a good financial reason why you should consider turning off your LES print.

RESUMEX: Discussed Council concerns and problems found with policies surrounding the use of RESUMEX. Council asked for training and discussion time with staffers that actually use the system. DFAS agreed to provide the training and meeting with staffers.

Debt Collection Module: DFAS proposed providing notification of "routine" debt they collect from you on your LES. Currently if DFAS deducts a debt from your pay you get a letter on DFAS letter head explaining why and what you can do about it. After protracted discussion management declared that we could not come to agreement which means that DFAS must contact the FMCS to begin mediation and determination if DFAS and the Council are at impasse.

Consolidation of Systems Support: Proposal was withdrawn by DFAS as DFAS is not ready.

PAL: DFAS has agreed to meet with a Council Negotiation team to resolve the ULP on PAL and negotiate the DFAS-wide PAL program. A Council Team will meet in Kansas City with DFAS the week of 4 August to negotiate this program.

All other items on the agenda have been postponed pending either resolution of outstanding Unfair Labor Practices (ULP's) or rescheduling to bring the bargaining teams together and finish negotiations on the outstanding items. It was agreed that the Co-Chairs, Mr. McNamara (DFAS) and Ms Dull (Council 171 President) will schedule the next meeting. Meanwhile, all of those issues are on hold.

DoD Management Reforms: Have you been following this? If not you should. DoD's on-going push in Congress to get almost unfettered power over the lives of its employees is history making and will effect all of us in DFAS.

Some employees have said it does not matter what DoD does, current employees will be "grandfathered" in the old system. Absolutely wrong! All DoD Civilian employees will be under the new system, if passed.

Regardless of how you feel about the proposed changes, change is going to come and most likely, this is just the first of round of many efforts DoD will make at changing the Civil Service. The Civil Service has provided the stability needed to weather constant political change that occurs in our country. Hopefully our Lawmakers will not allow the changes to the Civil Service to destabilize the government potentially wiping out over one hundred years of civil and worker rights progress.

Some employees have asked how AFGE could allow this to occur? This is NOT the fault of AFGE. What is happening is the direct result of federal employees not voting, failing to vote for worker friendly candidates and do not bothering to join the Union. Congress and the Executive branch believe that if you don't care enough to join the only organization that fights for your pay and benefits then you must be happy with whatever Congress and the Executive Branch do to you. Through the silence of non-members, this has occurred. Decide to make a change. Join your Local now. Make your voice heard. JOIN THE UNION TODAY! Ask you coworkers to join!

Notice of Semi-Annual Council Meeting: The Council will hold its meeting Thursday night, August 21st, at the Mandalay Hotel. Meeting room will be announced at the convention/training meeting. Locals need to make sure their per capita payments are up-to-date. Payment history is available in the Members Only section at www.afge171.org .

Council 171 Web Site: AFGE Council 171 has a web site were you can find a copy of the Labor contract (MUMA) and other agreements between DFAS and you. You will also find links to news articles and AFGE documents. A new section containing documents for your Palm device has been added. If you are looking for news that impacts DFAS employees and Federal employees in general go to www.afge171.org .

 

 

AFGE Council 171 Officers

President: Kelley Dull (816) 926-7787

Exec VP: Constance Townes (407) 646-4133

Secretary: William Roach (843) 746-6703

Treasurer: Mark McDonald (303) 676-8214

Regional Vice Presidents

East - Mark Durinski (207) 328-1377

Locals 201, 294, 1402, 53

South - George Burt (850) 473-6002

Locals 508, 1960, 2510, 1022

Central - Victor Davis (216) 522-6820

Locals 1411, 3283, 1148, 606, 2302, 601

Mid Central - Robin Smith (309) 782-9710

Locals 2040, 904, 905, 15, 840, 2904

West - Charles Coates (510) 273-7453

Locals 1229, 1399, 1227, 1222, 1533