NTEU e-Bulletin

Today's Featured Stories:

NTEU Celebrates Independence Day
Administrative Leave for Vaccinations Expanded for Small Children
OPM Releases FAQs on Sick Leave for Travel for Medical Care
Update on Legal Challenge to Vaccine Mandate


NTEU Celebrates Independence Day

July Fourth is a time to celebrate America —including the federal employees who helped our country reach 246 years old. Thank you for your contributions!

Administrative Leave for Vaccinations Expanded for Small Children

The requirement that federal agencies grant administrative leave to federal employees accompanying children to get the COVID-19 vaccine now applies to those ages 6 months through 5 years.

memo from the Office of Personnel Management directs agencies to grant employees up to four hours of administrative leave per dose for each family member the employee accompanies. For example, an employee may be granted a total of 12 hours of leave for each family member they accompany receiving three doses. Employees should obtain advance leave approval from their supervisor.

Agencies must also offer employees up to two days of administrative leave for employees to help a family member recover from any adverse reactions related to a COVID-19 dose.

OPM Releases FAQs on Sick Leave for Travel for Medical Care

The Office of Personnel Management released FAQs making clear that federal employees may use sick leave to travel for medical care or to accompany family members to obtain care.

In many instances, an employee’s self-certification is sufficient “administratively acceptable evidence” for the use of sick leave. Even where a medical certificate is necessary, a written statement signed by a physician or other practitioner certifying the employee received an examination or treatment is enough. It need not contain details about the examination or treatment.

Visit OPM’s website for more information about sick leave and other forms of leave available to federal employees and their family members for healthcare needs. Be sure to review your contract and consult with your chapter for specific procedures for requesting sick leave, advanced sick leave, etc.

Update on Legal Challenge to Vaccine Mandate

A federal appeals court yesterday agreed to reconsider an April ruling dismissing a challenge to the federal employee vaccine mandate. The announcement has no immediate impact on the federal workforce. While the full Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals rehears the case, agencies are still prohibited from enforcing the mandate or processing requests for reasonable accommodation.

NTEU will keep you updated on developments in the case.


Happening at NTEU

June is Pride Month. Download our flier.
The IRS Successfully Tackles 2021 Tax Return Backlog
UPDATE: The NTEU Office Depot Member Benefits Program is now ODP Business Solutions

NTEU Remembers Oklahoma City Bombing Victims

Today marks the 27th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing. On April 19, 1995, 168 people—federal workers, members of the public and children—were killed in an attack against our government and those who proudly serve. As we remember those who lost their lives and their families, we also remember those who carry on their work. 

 


Guidance Continues Push to Educate Employees on Collective Bargaining

The Office of Personnel Management issued additional guidance last week outlining several ways agencies should make employees more aware of their collective bargaining rights. The first round of guidance was issued in October following the Executive Order on Worker Organizing and Empowerment.

Agencies are strongly encouraged to improve the ability of unions to communicate with employees by allowing them access to agency bulletin boards, websites and the intranet for educational material. OPM is also encouraging agencies to periodically invite union officials to town hall meetings to educate employees about their workplace rights.

“We believe these are basic processes that respect the rights of federal unions and allow employees who wish to join their unions to do so simply and efficiently,” said National President Tony Reardon. “This guidance understands that strong unions improve the workplace by providing employees with the opportunity to join with their coworkers and share their collective ideas for improving their federal agencies.”

NTEU Stops Agency from Eliminating AWS

NTEU recently won an important victory preventing the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC) from terminating alternative work schedules (AWS) at a Maryland training location represented by Chapter 338.

Management at FLETC Cheltenham (Md.) claimed that AWS was causing increased costs and decreased productivity, although the work schedules had been in place for 17 years. After two unsuccessful bargaining sessions over the AWS article in the NTEU contract, the dispute went to the Federal Service Impasses Panel (FSIP). Management had to prove that AWS was having an “adverse agency impact.” NTEU countered this argument by demonstrating that AWS had actually saved FLETC money and productivity did not decline.

NTEU won the case and employees were able to keep their AWS schedules. But this is not the first case of its kind the union has won. This victory follows similar union wins on behalf of Customs and Border Protection employees at ports where management sought to terminate AWS schedules. 

NTEU Remembers Oklahoma City Bombing Victims

Today marks the 27th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing. On April 19, 1995, 168 people—federal workers, members of the public and children—were killed in an attack against our government and those who proudly serve. As we remember those who lost their lives and their families, we also remember those who carry on their work. 

 


Guidance Continues Push to Educate Employees on Collective Bargaining

The Office of Personnel Management issued additional guidance last week outlining several ways agencies should make employees more aware of their collective bargaining rights. The first round of guidance was issued in October following the Executive Order on Worker Organizing and Empowerment.

Agencies are strongly encouraged to improve the ability of unions to communicate with employees by allowing them access to agency bulletin boards, websites and the intranet for educational material. OPM is also encouraging agencies to periodically invite union officials to town hall meetings to educate employees about their workplace rights.

“We believe these are basic processes that respect the rights of federal unions and allow employees who wish to join their unions to do so simply and efficiently,” said National President Tony Reardon. “This guidance understands that strong unions improve the workplace by providing employees with the opportunity to join with their coworkers and share their collective ideas for improving their federal agencies.”

NTEU Stops Agency from Eliminating AWS

NTEU recently won an important victory preventing the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC) from terminating alternative work schedules (AWS) at a Maryland training location represented by Chapter 338.

Management at FLETC Cheltenham (Md.) claimed that AWS was causing increased costs and decreased productivity, although the work schedules had been in place for 17 years. After two unsuccessful bargaining sessions over the AWS article in the NTEU contract, the dispute went to the Federal Service Impasses Panel (FSIP). Management had to prove that AWS was having an “adverse agency impact.” NTEU countered this argument by demonstrating that AWS had actually saved FLETC money and productivity did not decline.

NTEU won the case and employees were able to keep their AWS schedules. But this is not the first case of its kind the union has won. This victory follows similar union wins on behalf of Customs and Border Protection employees at ports where management sought to terminate AWS schedules.