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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 nearly 25 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

“Millions of individual taxpayers and businesses will bear the brunt of the severe impacts of these cuts for an agency which already has lost 10,000 employees from reduced funding over the past four years.”

NTEU President Colleen M. Kelley
“House panel slashes IRS budget to lowest level in 5 years”
Federal Times | June 19, 2014

The media continues to turn to NTEU as a key source for the perspective of federal employees and for the union’s position on important matters affecting federal workers. In June and July, the media covered NTEU's response to a House Appropriation Subcommittee vote to slash IRS's budget for fiscal year 2015. Several news articles mentioned NTEU’s stance against a proposed requirement for IRS to use private tax collectors and the union’s support of the president’s executive order on discrimination.

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June-July Headlines

Colleen M. Kelley
 
Image of distant US Capitol
 
Private Tax Collection
 
IRS Building

• In interviews, President Colleen M. Kelley talks about the IRS budget, a remarkable NTEU member at the SEC, and efforts at CFPB. Read the clips »


• As lawmakers threaten to cut the IRS budget by more than $1 billion, NTEU comes out strong advocating for proper funding for this vital agency. Read the clips »


• A bad idea is back. Once again, NTEU slams a proposal to use private contractors to collect tax debts. Read the clips »


• NTEU responds to reports that the federal government is shrinking by underscoring the importance of looking at the federal worker-to-population ratio. Read the clips »


• NTEU voices support for executive orders protecting gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender federal contractors and employees from workplace discrimination. Read the clips »


• Other news stories include phased retirement and NTEU’s work to ensure the privacy of federal employee information following an attempted hack. Read the clips »



Interviews




Interview with Colleen Kelley, President, National Treasury Employees Union, IRS Budget (Federal News Radio)
In early House version appropriations language for 2015 would bring the IRS budget below sequestration levels in fiscal 2015. Earlier this week, the Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government approved funding levels that are more than $300 million below what the agency has to spend this year. IRS officials have been adamant that even that level is far too low. The bill comes right after warnings from the Government Accountability Office for the IRS to make some long term budget plans to better deal with an uncertain financial future. Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, is looking at what the cuts would mean for agency operations and the workforce. She tells In Depth with Francis Rose these cuts go too far.

June 20, 2014

Interview with Colleen Kelley, President, National Treasury Employee Union, CFPB (
Federal News Radio)
Following complaints of discrimination, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is giving some employees retroactive pay. And it’s overhauling the way it evaluates employees. To make an analogy, it’s dropping letter grades and going to pass-fail system. The National Treasury Employees Union negotiated the changes on behalf of agency employees. Union President Colleen Kelley joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to discuss some of the complaints they were hearing from employees.

May 30, 2014

Interview with Sofia Hussain, Member, Chapter 293-NTEU (Washington, DC), Forensic Accounting (Federal News Radio)
Have you seen the "CSI" TV shows where forensic scientists use sophisticated technology to unravel the secrets hidden in a crime scene?

Sofia Hussain, 32, users similar skills as a forensic accountant for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to crack sophisticated securities fraud cases.

Instead of test tubes and chemistry, Hussain uses data analytics to catch the bad guys looking to rip off millions of dollars through market manipulation, accounting fraud and securities violations.

June 6, 2014

Interview with Colleen Kelley, President, National Treasury Employees Union, IRS Funding (America’s Workforce Radio)
In this 10-minute interview with America’s Workforce Radio and host Ed Ference, President Kelley discusses the Internal Revenue Service budget and touches on some related matters.

July 28, 2014

IRS Budget



Budget pressures threatening IRS operations and modernization, GAO says (FedScoop)
Taxpayer services and major IT modernization efforts at the Internal Revenue Service could be in jeopardy if the agency does not receive the increase in funding proposed in President Barack Obama’s fiscal year 2015 budget, according to a new report.

In a release, the National Treasury Employees Union, which represents 150,000 federal employees across 31 agencies and departments, said the outlook for the nation’s tax compliance system is bleak.

June 13, 2104

Subcommittee slashes 2015 IRS budget (Fedscoop.com)
House lawmakers Wednesday moved to slash funding for the Internal Revenue Service to its lowest level in years, putting key IT and modernization efforts in jeopardy.

Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, called the bill punishment, not to the IRS, but instead to the taxpayers.

“Essentially, the message of this bill is: We don’t care how long you have to wait on hold or whether you can get your tax questions or your correspondence answered,“ Kelley said in a release. “This bill punishes the 150 million individual taxpayers and the 10 million business entity taxpayers who are trying to comply with the tax laws and cannot get the help they need.”

June 18, 2014

House Bill Would Cut IRS Budget by 3 Percent in Fiscal 2015 (Tax Notes Today.com)
The House Appropriations Committee on June 17 released legislation that would fund the IRS in fiscal 2015 at $10.95 billion -- a 3 percent cut to the $11.3 billion budget enacted for fiscal 2014 under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014, and about 13 percent less than President Obama’s proposed fiscal 2015 IRS budget of $12.5 billion.

Similarly, Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, said in a release that the bill would result in substandard service for taxpayers. “Essentially, the message of this bill is: we don’t care how long you have to wait on hold or whether you can get your tax questions or your correspondence answered,” Kelley said.

June 18, 2014

Ander Crenshaw Leads the Charge to Gut the IRS (Sunshine State News.com)
From his perch as chairman of the congressional committee that oversees funding the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), U.S. Rep. Ander Crenshaw has become one of the Republicans’ point men in trying to cut the agency’s funding, ensure it never targets political groups again and reduce its role in President Barack Obama’s federal health-care law.

“This bill punishes the 150 million individual taxpayers and the 10 million business entity taxpayers who are trying to comply with the tax laws and cannot get the help they need,” said Colleen Kelley, the national president of the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), this week. “Essentially, the message of this bill is: We don’t care how long you have to wait on hold or whether you can get your tax questions or your correspondence answered. ”

June 19, 2014

House panel slashes IRS budget to lowest level in 5 years (Federal Times)
The IRS budget would be slashed to its lowest levels in more than 5 years, under legislation passed by the House Appropriations subcommittee on financial services June 17.

Colleen Kelley, the president of the National Treasury Employees Union, which represents IRS workers, said she was disappointed by the bill.

“Millions of individual taxpayers and businesses will bear the brunt of the severe impacts of these cuts for an agency which already has lost 10,000 employees from reduced funding over the past four years,” she said.

June 19, 2014

IRS targeted for cuts (Federal Soup)
The House Appropriations Committee this week released a fiscal 2015 appropriations bill that slashes funding for the Internal Revenue Service.

Colleen Kelley, national president of the National Treasury Employees Union, said the public will suffer as a result of the legislation.

“This bill punishes the 150 million individual taxpayers and the 10 million business entity taxpayers who are trying to comply with the tax laws and cannot get the help they need,” she said. “Essentially, the message of this bill is: We don’t care how long you have to wait on hold or whether you can get your tax questions or your correspondence answered,” Kelley said.

June 19, 2014

Alice In Washington Wonderland (Federal News Radio)
One definition of the “law” of unintended consequences is that whatever you do may turn out to produce a very different and unforeseen outcome from what you had intended. Congress, which thinks the solution to every problem is a new law, does it all the time.

The IRS lost about 5,900 employees in 2013 primarily because of automatic sequestration cuts. IRS workers were also furloughed at a time of greater workload and higher potential revenue. NTEU President Colleen Kelley warned the agency was “at risk,” and National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson said customer service has slumped and many telephone calls for help to the IRS go unanswered.

June 23, 2014

Pound-Foolish in D.C.: Cuts to IRS Budget Hurt Service, Revenue (The New York Chief-Leader)
Budget cuts have hampered the Internal Revenue Service’s ability to conduct audits and help taxpayers, the Government Accountability Office concluded June 12 in a report applauded by the National Treasury Employees Union.

“The GAO report is a clear call for this vital agency to be provided with the resources it needs to educate and help taxpayers voluntarily meet their tax obligations, as well as to perform the necessary enforcement steps to ensure compliance with our nation’s tax laws,” said Colleen M. Kelley, the president of the National Treasury Employees Union.

June 23, 2014

House bill raises tension with IRS, lowers funding (Federal News Radio)
The proposed budget for the Internal Revenue Service adds fuel to the fire between the agency and Congress.

“It would be a disaster for taxpayers,” said Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employee Union, in an interview on In Depth with Francis Rose. “The services that they expect, that they need from the IRS in order to file their tax returns and be compliant with the law — those services cannot be provided at the level the taxpayers need.”

June 24, 2014

Federal Dispatches: Bills address raises, funding for IRS (Washington Post)
The Senate has started to advance a spending bill that keeps the road clear for a 1 percent federal employee raise in January while boosting available funds for the IRS and several other agencies above levels favored by the House.

The counterpart House bill would allot just under $11 billion for the IRS — a level that the National Treasury Employees Union, which represents many IRS employees, said would further erode the agency’s ability to collect taxes and answer taxpayer questions.

June 24, 2014

House to take up two bipartisan bills affecting federal employees (Washington Post)
We now interrupt the regularly scheduled bickering over the federal government for a moment of bipartisanship. The House plans to vote as soon Monday on two bills that, while limited in scope, show that the two parties can agree on some issues involving the federal workforce.

The National Treasury Employees Union, which represents many IRS workers, said Monday that the lowered amount would hamper the agency’s ability to collect taxes and provide customer service.

July 14, 2014

IRS Budget Sliced 13% as U.S. House Constraints Tax Agency (Bloomberg)
The U.S. House of Representatives voted to cut the Internal Revenue Service’s budget by $1.14 billion in another blow to the tax agency.

“In the past four fiscal years, the IRS budget already has been cut by $1 billion, leading to the loss of 10,000 employees and sharply reduced services to taxpayers,” Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, said in a statement today.

July15, 2014

House spending bill calls for deep cuts to IRS budget (Federal News Radio)
The House has approved a massive spending bill that would slash funding for the Internal Revenue Service by more than $1 billion next year.

Tightened budgets over the years have eroded customer service and employee morale at the agency, according to Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, which represents IRS workers.

July 16, 2014

House OKs Bill Allowing 1 Percent Pay Raise, Despite Obama Veto Threat (Government Executive)
A spending bill that would pave the way for a 1 percent, across-the-board pay raise for federal employees, but would also dramatically slash funding for the Internal Revenue Service and other agencies, cleared the House Wednesday in a mostly party-line vote.

The National Treasury Employees Union echoed the general funding concerns, noting Congress has cut IRS funding by $1 billion over the last four years, forcing the agency to shed 10,000 employees.

July 16, 2014

IRS budget sliced 13 percent as House seeks to rein in tax agency (Bloomberg)
WASHINGTON—The House has voted to cut the Internal Revenue Service’s budget by $1.14 billion in another blow to the tax agency.

“In the past four fiscal years, the IRS budget already has been cut by $1 billion, leading to the loss of 10,000 employees and sharply reduced services to taxpayers,” Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, said in a statement today.

July 16, 2014

NTEU slams proposed cuts to IRS funding (Federal Soup)
The National Treasury Employees Union slammed cuts to the IRS budget proposed in a bill that passed the House July 16.

The union described the proposed reduction as “massive.” The initial bill proposed $341 million less than the current fiscal year, reducing IRS funding to the same level as 2008. But amendments to the bill would take it down yet another $1.1-plus billion.

July 22, 2014

Union Calls for More Funding for the IRS (The Chief Leader)
The National Treasury Employees Union July 16 applauded a report by an independent watchdog calling for a bigger IRS budget, as the U.S. House of Representatives the same day voted to sharply cut its funding.

July 21, 2014


Back to top

Private Tax Collectors


FedSmith.com Users Overwhelmingly Reject Use of Private Tax Collectors (FedSmith.com)
In a recent poll, we asked our users what their thoughts were about the Internal Revenue Service using private tax collection firms. We presented the poll in light of news that Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) sponsored an amendment that would require the IRS to reinstate the use of the private tax collectors.

The National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) came out strongly against the idea, saying that using private companies had been tried before and had failed.

June 4, 2014

Back as a Pay-For, Private Debt Collection Still Controversial (Tax Notes Today)
Political support for implementing an IRS private debt collection program is back again, driven by its potential as a revenue raiser.

But the National Treasury Employees Union, which represents most IRS workers, finds that argument unpersuasive and opposes the provision. NTEU President Colleen Kelley said she doubts the program would raise the estimated revenue given the 2006 program net losses, and she predicted there would be little money left over to hire new employees.

July 3, 2014

Back to top

Government Shrinking




Obama government shrinking after period of rapid growth (Washington Post)

Is the federal government too large or too small? It’s a debate that never seems to fade.

Of course, federal employment numbers mean little outside the context of population growth. Public-employee unions such as the American Federation of Government Employees and the National Treasury Employees Union contend that the worker-to-population ratio is the most important figure to consider when determining whether the government is staffed at an appropriate level.

July 2, 2014

Federal Workforce Will Shrink For The Next Nine Years (Daily Caller)

After a rapid expansion in the federal government workforce during President Barack Obama’s first term, the size of the workforce is slowly beginning to shrink, the Washington Post reports.

Public employee unions remain opposed to the cuts, pointing out that the demand on government to provide essential services is greater than ever. Concerned about misrepresentation of data, the American Federation of Government Employees and the National Treasury of Employees Union argue that the metric of worker-to-population ratio is the best way to see if the government is appropriately staffed.

July 2, 2014

Back to top

Order Banning Bias




Obama Signs Executive Orders Protecting LGBT Feds and Contractors (GovExec.com)

President Obama on Monday signed two executive orders to protect gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender federal contractors and employees from workplace discrimination.

The National Treasury Employees Union said it supported the measures, as it represented a step forward in making the federal government a “model employer.”

July 21, 2014

Obama Issues Order Banning LGBT Bias, Declines Call to Expand Religious Exemption (Bloomberg BNA)
President Barack Obama July 21 issued an executive order banning sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination by federal contractors, while resisting calls to carve out an exemption for religion-affiliated employers.

The National Treasury Employees Union issued a statement in support of the move shortly after the president signed the order. “NTEU has long believed that the federal government should be a model employer, and this action by the White House is another step in that direction,” union president Colleen M. Kelley said.

July 24, 2014

Obama signs order banning discrimination of LGBT contractors (Federal Times)
President Obama has issued an executive order forbidding discrimination against GLBT contractor employees.

President Obama signed an executive order July 21 barring federal contractors from discriminating against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees. Nearly 200 lawmakers had signed a March 18 letter to the White House urging the administration to take action on its own after legislation stalled in the House.

Colleen Kelley, the president of the National Treasury Employees Union, said in a statement the union supported the executive order.

July 21, 2014

Back to top

Other Stories

 


Supreme Court labor ruling doesn’t impact federal unions, and here’s why (Washington Post)

The Supreme Court's ruling Monday regarding public-sector unions doesn't impact federal government labor organizations and employees. Here’s why:

While the 5 to 4 decision covers a segment of public workers, federal workers and their representatives such as the American Federation of Government Employees and the National Treasury Employees Union are regulated by the 1978 Civil Service Reform Act.

NTEU’s National President Colleen Kelley explained it all this way: “Harris v. Quinn pertains to the “agency shop” or “fair share“ concept, under which members of a bargaining unit who do not wish to join the union are nevertheless required to pay dues.”

June 30, 2014

The Fed Page/Lawmakers press OPM to finally begin phased retirement for federal workers (Washington Post)
Lawmakers from both parties are pressuring the Office of Personnel Management to finalize long-delayed rules for a phased-retirement program that Congress approved for federal employees two years ago.

The National Treasury Employees Union, one of largest labor groups for federal workers, commended the lawmakers for their letter and their “efforts in making phased retirement a reality.”

July 8, 2014

Experts: Latest China hack OK under U.S. rules (Politico)
China’s alleged efforts to hack into a trove of personal information about U.S. federal government employees seeking security clearances shows a brazen disregard for American sovereignty.

“Data security, particularly in an era of rising incidence of identity theft, is an increasingly important matter,” said Colleen M. Kelley, national president of federal employees union NTEU. “All federal employees have a right to expect that their personal and financial information will be protected and secure.”

Kelley said she would seek a briefing from OPM to get “further information about the breach and what steps are being taken to ensure the privacy of employee information.”

July 10, 2014

House takes punitive action against all IRS executives regardless of guilt (Washington Post)

The House wants to spread its noxious notion of mass punishment for Senior Executive Service members from the Department of Veterans Affairs to the Internal Revenue Service.

But Crenshaw didn’t cite IRS legal and contractual obligations to pay bonuses for worthy service. He didn’t mention that only $1.9 million goes to the department’s senior executives. Nor did he say that the IRS unionized workforce, which does not include SES members, agreed to take less bonus money than was called for in the National Treasury Employees Union contract. And he neglected to note an IRS letter to him that said under reduced funding approved by Crenshaw’s subcommittee “the 2015 filing season would get much worse for taxpayers.”

July 22, 2014

Council looks to make labor-management forums more effective (cyberFEDS.com)
At the first meeting of the National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations in four months, members focused on the need to measure and improve the effectiveness of labor-management forums. Temple Wilson, senior dispute resolution specialist with the Federal Labor Relations Authority and chairman of the council’s metrics working group, reminded members that agency metrics reports, which provide information on forum results, are due in December.

There are agencies that have been able to tie forum performance to agency accomplishments, said Wilson, citing the Patent and Trademark Office and the National Treasury Employees Union’s forum, which helped reduce costs by $5 million by promoting telework, as well as the forum by the Agriculture Department and the American Federation of Government Employees, which worked together to develop strategies to reduce call hold times at its rural development servicing center by 46 percent.

July 23, 2014

Obama Signs Order Boosting Federal Contract Worker Rights (Government Executive)
Continuing his “year of action” to work around a stymied Congress, President Obama on Thursday signed an executive order to force prospective federal contractors to disclose any labor law violations. Agencies, in turn, must give greater consideration to such violations in contract awards.

Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, said Obama’s order takes important steps in protecting the pay, benefits and rights of contractor employees. NTEU strongly agrees that the government should not do business with contractors that disregard employee rights or put their safety at risk.

July 31, 2014




 




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