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NTEU at Work

The Month in Media

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NTEU Makes Headlines


Coverage of NTEU's position and work on behalf of federal employees was included in more than 20 media stories last month .


The Sources

Here are just some of the media that mention NTEU:

Washington Post

New York Times

Wall Street Journal

Boston Globe

Washington Times

Associated Press

Bloomberg News

Reuters

Federal News Radio

Federal Daily News

FedSmith

GovExec

Washington Post

Federal Times

USA Today

New York Times

New York Chief-Leader

The Hill

Federal Computer Week

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Tax Analysts

Tax Notes

National Journal

BNA/Government Employee Relations Report

Credit Union Times

Roll Call

Wall Street Journal

The Fiscal Times

CNNMoney

Associated Press

MSNBC.com

CNN

C-SPAN

CyberFEDS

Politico

Accounting Today

Marketplace

Reuters

NPR

Accounting Web

Bloomberg

Forbes

Washington Times

Huffington Post

Fiscal Times

UPI

Businessweek

Bloomberg Businessweek

"[We] will be doing everything we can to prevent these draconian cuts from resulting in hardship to frontline employees who provide vital services to taxpayers."

NTEU President Colleen M. Kelley
"IRS chief: Budget cuts to freeze hiring, cut enforcement"
Politico 
December 17, 2014 

NTEU was front and center in media coverage of the fiscal 2015 spending bill that contained drastic funding cuts to a number of federal agencies, such as the Internal Revenue Service and Environmental Protection Agency. The union's position on federal pay was also covered by many publications.

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December Headlines

• In a letter to the editor, President Colleen M. Kelley warns that IRS taxpayer services will only worsen as the result of ongoing budget cuts. Read the clips »

• NTEU slams the latest round of IRS budget cuts, which chip away another 3 percent of the agency's funding. Read the clips »


• Congress passes legislation providing retroactive parity in the mass-transit benefit for workers. Read the clips »


• While NTEU welcomed the first federal pay raise in years, NTEU beleives federal workers deserve a higher increase to keep pace with living costs. Read the clips »

• A new survey shows morale in the federal workplace has plummeted, and NTEU is not surprised.
Read the clips
»


Letter to the Editor




Letter to the editor: IRS cuts trickle down (Published in Washington Post)
By NTEU President Colleen M. Kelley

The worst is yet to come. Catherine Rampell's Dec. 16 op-ed column, "Cutting off the hand that pays," highlighted some of the dire consequences we face as Congress insists on "aggressively defunding the nation's main revenue collection agency, and continuing to complicate and Swiss-cheese-ify the tax code."

As Ms. Rampell noted, the most damaging cuts in the just-passed 2015 government spending bill are those to the Internal Revenue Service budget that further degrade the agency's capabilities. Already, taxpayers from seniors to small-business owners cannot get the assistance they need to navigate the complex tax code.

Between fiscal 2009 and 2014, the number of IRS employees answering the phones fell by 26 percent. This filing season, the IRS says only half of all taxpayer calls will get answered. The IRS has lost 13,000 employees since 2010, and that number will only increase. Those left are doing their best, but they will not be able to keep up with demand for their help. Waits at walk-in centers stretch for hours, and some centers have only one or two employees to help hundreds of taxpayers a day. It will only get worse.

Dec. 21, 2014

IRS Funding Cut



Congress Slashes IRS Budget Another 3 Percent (Accounting Today)
Congress has cut the Internal Revenue Service's budget once again, reducing the tax agency's fiscal year 2015 budget by 3 percent compared to this year's funding level.

"This budget hurts everyone in our country by further eroding the IRS' ability to provide tax assistance to millions of Americans, curb tax fraud and collect the taxes owed that finance vital programs and services and reduce the federal deficit," said NTEU national president Colleen M. Kelley. "Millions of taxpayers try calling the IRS each year to get answers to basic tax questions so they can pay what they owe on time. This is crucial to the integrity of the tax system, which relies on voluntary compliance."

"These continuing cuts are crippling the IRS and costing the government billions of dollars in lost revenue," said Kelley. "This is short-sighted, politically driven budgeting and it needs to end."

Dec. 10, 2014

Winners and Losers From the Deal to Avoid a Shutdown (GovExec)

Federal employees can take a deep sigh of relief, as it appears likely a government shutdown will be avoided.

Internal Revenue Service: The IRS once again would see major cuts to its budget.

"These continuing cuts are crippling the IRS and costing the government billions of dollars in lost revenue. This is short-sighted, politically-driven budgeting and it needs to end," said Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union.

Dec. 10, 2014

Coming at you in fiscal 2015: Highlights of the omnibus (Federal News Radio)

The $1.014 trillion omnibus legislation that the House is expected to vote on Thursday, and the Senate soon after, will fund the government through next September.

The IRS, too, suffers under this bill. Its budget would be cut by roughly 3 percent to $10.9 billion. The IRS already has felt the fury of Republican lawmakers upset about the agency's alleged targeting of conservative groups. Its budget has been cut by nearly 10 percent since fiscal 2010. Staffing levels are 26 percent below the number of employees the agency had 18 years ago, according to NTEU.

"These continuing cuts are crippling the IRS and costing the government billions of dollars in lost revenue," said NTEU President Colleen Kelley in a written statement. "This is short-sighted, politically driven budgeting."

Dec. 11, 2014 

As Government Shutdown Looms, House to Vote on Spending Bill (Tax Notes)
The House on December 11 plans to vote on a $1.014 trillion fiscal 2015 omnibus spending bill that would cut IRS funding and place modest restrictions on awarding federal contracts to companies that move their headquarters to the Caribbean to avoid U.S. taxation.

The 3 percent cut in IRS funding ran afoul of some tax industry experts and the National Treasury Employees Union. "This budget hurts everyone in our country by further eroding the IRS' ability to provide tax assistance to millions of Americans, curb tax fraud, and collect the taxes owed that finance vital programs and services and reduce the federal deficit," NTEU President Colleen M. Kelley said in a statement 2014 TNT 238-43: Washington Roundup.

Dec. 11, 2014

IRS chief: Budget cuts to freeze hiring, cut enforcement (Politico)

The IRS will freeze hiring and stop overtime as a result of the budget cuts just passed by Congress, according to an email obtained by POLITICO.

Union president Colleen M. Kelley said in a statement that NTEU "will be doing everything we can to prevent these draconian cuts from resulting in hardship to frontline employees who provide vital services to taxpayers."

Dec. 17, 2014

IRS commissioner: Budget cuts could delay tax refunds, hurt services during filing season (Associated Press)
Budget cuts at the IRS could delay tax refunds, reduce taxpayer services and hurt enforcement efforts, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said Thursday.

The National Treasury Employees Union represents IRS workers. Union President Colleen M. Kelley said waits at IRS walk-in centers will stretch for hours and "correspondence will continue to pile up and taxpayers will wait longer and longer for a response."

"Starving the IRS hurts more than just the agency's workforce, it hurts all taxpayers," Kelley said.

Dec. 18, 2014

Lines Will Be Long At Tax-Filing Centers (WBND-ABC57-TV Indiana)
Your tax refund could be coming in later than usual this filing season.

The National Treasury Employees Union says lines at walk-in centers could be long, stretching into hours. And if you opt to call in, you may not even get through to a representative.

Dec. 19, 2014

 Possible Furlough Days Coming to IRS Employees (GovExec)
The Internal Revenue Service may furlough employees in 2015 due to the drastic budget cuts it will face next year, according to the agency's chief.

NTEU National President Colleen Kelley said the IRS budget is at its lowest point since 2007, "despite many more taxpayers and increased responsibilities," such as enforcement of key Affordable Care Act provisions.

"I am very concerned about the impact that IRS budget cuts will have on the workforce and the agency's mission," Kelley said. "We will do everything we can to prevent these draconian cuts from resulting in hardship to frontline employees who provide vital services to taxpayers. Starving the IRS hurts more than just the agency's workforce, it hurts all taxpayers."

Dec. 19, 2014

Transit Subsidy


House passes retroactive mass-transit benefit for workers (Federal News Radio)
Federal employees and all American workers could get the higher mass-transit benefit they've been waiting for, provided the Senate passes a broad package of temporary special-interest tax breaks.

"Restoring transit parity would encourage more employees to use public transportation, easing traffic congestion, reducing pollution and conserving energy," Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, said in an emailed statement.

Kelley said the union is working to make the commuter subsidy a sure thing year-to-year.

"We believe the bill would give NTEU time to work with the 114th Congress to make it permanent," she said. "NTEU will work to ensure agencies pay employees retroactive subsidies."

Dec. 4, 2014

Agency funding, federal employee pay decisions go down to the wire (Washington Post)

Several pieces of business important to federal employees remain on the plate for Congress as it pushes toward a planned adjournment this week.

Foremost among them is the need to enact a spending bill to keep agencies funded beyond when the current stopgap funding measure expires Thursday. That is needed to avoid a partial government shutdown like the one that occurred in
October 2013.

Many agencies pay those subsidies in the form of direct payments or transit passes, in some cases under terms of union contracts.

Colleen M. Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, said in a statement that the union will work with the new Congress to make the boost permanent. "In the meantime, NTEU strongly believes that employees, including federal workers, are entitled to the difference between the current and the enhanced transit benefit going as far back as [the bill's] retroactivity provision allows. NTEU will work to ensure agencies pay employees retroactive subsidies."

Dec. 8, 2014

Senate passes retroactive mass-transit benefit for workers (Federal News Radio)
Federal employees and all American workers can expect a higher mass-transit benefit-- but not for long.

"Restoring transit parity would encourage more employees to use public transportation, easing traffic congestion, reducing pollution and conserving energy," Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, said in an emailed statement.

But the subsidy will lapse back to $130 per month again starting in 2015, unless Congress passes another bill to extend it.

Kelley said the union is working to make the commuter subsidy a sure thing year-to-year.

"We believe the bill would give NTEU time to work with the 114th Congress to make it permanent," she said. "NTEU will work to ensure agencies pay employees retroactive subsidies."

Dec. 17, 2014

Obama approves retroactive mass-transit benefit for workers (Federal News Radio)

President Barack Obama signed into law a broad $41.6 billion program of tax breaks on Friday that will, among many other things, retroactively raise the monthly mass-transit subsidy to $250 per month for 2014, restoring it to the level of the unaffected monthly parking subsidy.

"Restoring transit parity would encourage more employees to use public transportation, easing traffic congestion, reducing pollution and conserving energy," Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, said in an emailed statement.

Dec. 22, 2014

Back to top


Federal Pay



Feds, Troops Still On Track for a 1 Percent Pay Raise in 2015 (GovExec)

Federal civilian employees and military service members would receive a 1 percent pay raise next year under the long-term spending package congressional appropriators unveiled late on Tuesday.

Some agencies took a significant hit in funding for fiscal 2015. The Internal Revenue Service received $10.9 billion â€" a reduction of $345.6 million below fiscal 2014 and $1.5 billion below Obama's request. It brings the agency below its fiscal 2008 total.

"This budget hurts everyone in our country by further eroding the IRS' ability to provide tax assistance to millions of Americans, curb tax fraud and collect the taxes owed that finance vital programs and services and reduce the federal deficit," said Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, calling the cuts "short-sighted, politically driven budgeting."

Dec. 10, 2014

Obama gives federal workers a 2015 pay raise (Washington Post)

President Obama on Friday ordered a 1-percent pay raise for federal employees, giving them only their second mandatory wage increase in the past five years.

In a statement on Friday, National Treasury Employees Union Colleen M. Kelley described the last two increases as "inadequate to keep pace with rising costs."

Kelley vowed to fight for a greater increase for 2016. "A fair pay raise would benefit federal agencies in their efforts to recruit and retain talented employees," she said.

Dec. 19, 2014

Obama Makes it Official: 1 Percent Pay Raise For 2015 (GovExec)
President Obama issued an executive order Friday implementing a 1 percent across the board pay increase for federal employees under the General Schedule in 2014.

"I am pleased that federal employees will be receiving a pay raise in January," said National Treasury Employees Union President Colleen Kelley. "Though the workforce deserves and appreciates this raise, I remain concerned about the widening gap between federal and private-sector pay."

Dec. 19, 2014

Hill military and civilians getting 2015 pay hikes (Standard Examiner-Utah)

The National Treasury Employees Union released a statement on the pay raises, saying it is pleased federal employees will be receiving raises in 2015, but still have concerns about "the widening gap between federal and private-sector pay." The statement says "1 percent raises in 2014 and 2015 are inadequate to keep pace with rising costs."

Dec. 24, 2014

Back to top

Other News



Government helps feds repay their student loans less often (Washington Post)
The federal government is allowed to help its employees pay off student loans as a way to attract workers with specialized knowledge and skills, but agencies are doing less of that these days because of budget constraints.
Last year, 30 percent fewer federal employees received student-loan repayments from the

National Treasury Employees Union president Colleen M. Kelley said loan-repayment programs can "make the difference between a candidate deciding to come to work for the government or a federal employee deciding to remain in the workforce once trained for the job."

Dec. 5, 2014

2014 Best Places to Work list reflects feds' sagging morale (Federal News Radio)

Overall federal employees' satisfaction on the job has plummeted to the lowest point in the rankings' 11-year history.

"Sadly, this is unsurprising given the difficult environment federal employees have faced for the past several years," said National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) National President Colleen M. Kelley, in a press release. "Low morale hurts the current workforce and will also hamper future recruitment efforts by making talented candidates think twice before taking federal jobs. Lack of adequate funding has led to hiring freezes, staffing shortages, growing workloads, cuts in performance-based awards and training, and diminished opportunities for career advancement."

"Budget cuts, sequestration, the government shutdown, ongoing fiscal brinksmanship and the gap between federal and private-sector pay are all problems that take a toll on employee morale," Kelley said. "Employees remain committed to their jobs and are willing to go the extra mile, but they are constantly being asked to do more with less."
Dec. 9, 2014

Job satisfaction among feds falls to all­time low (FedScoop)

An annual federal workforce survey found that overall federal employee satisfaction fell to its lowest levels since the poll launched in 2003.

The president of one of the largest federal employee unions, National Treasury Employees Union, said the results were no shock.

"Low morale hurts the current workforce and will also hamper future recruitment efforts by making talented candidates think twice before taking federal jobs," said NTEU National President Colleen Kelley. "Lack of adequate funding has led to hiring freezes, staffing shortages, growing workloads, cuts in performance­based awards and training, and diminished opportunities for career advancement."

Dec. 9, 2014

Federal workers welcome extra day off (Baltimore Sun )
Colleen M. Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, said that wasn't the point.

"I believe the president is well aware of the sacrifices federal employees have been forced to endure in recent years due to pay freezes, unpaid furlough days and the government shutdown," Kelley said. "Those considerations may have impacted his decision, but I do not think the intent was to make up for those things."

Dec. 21, 2014

 




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