January 28, 2011

I am asking you to consider joining the NTEU.  There has been no better time to join than NOW.  As you know, we WILL be getting a raise this year and next year when a lot of other government agencies will not.  There is one simple reason – there is a negotiated COMPENSATION AGREEMENT in place that supersedes the President’s pay freeze.  For those of you who say “we would have received our raise with or without the NTEU and the Compensation Agreement”, you are mistaken.

Our compensation and benefits have NEVER been better and I attribute that largely in part to the tireless efforts by the NTEU to negotiate your compensation and benefits.  Let’s be honest, management does not give us our pay raises and benefits out of the goodness of their hearts. Compensation and benefits have been fought for at the bargaining table.  Without the NTEU, our pay would be much less and our benefits would be far fewer.  Here are a few questions I would like you to consider…

Raises – Are you happy to be receiving a raise in 2011 and 2012?  The vast majority of government employees will not receive a raise for the next two years.

$15 Meal stipend – Have you ever claimed this?  If you claim the meal stipend a couple of times a month you would pay for your NTEU dues.  Think of your dues as an investment.  NTEU is an investment in your working future.  You don’t know when you will need it but you don’t wait until your house is on fire to buy fire insurance.

Telework – Do you ever take advantage of this perk?  We have one of the most liberal telework programs in the government.

Part time – Have you ever taken advantage of the part time option?  I remember back 10 years ago part time was not even an option.  Now more employees than ever work part time.

401K – Do you enjoy having two 401Ks? Not many agencies do.  Every time NTEU and FDIC sit down at the bargaining table, FDIC wants to eliminate one of our 401Ks.  NTEU has been successful in keeping our second 401K at every negotiation.

Health premiums – Do you enjoy having to pay a smaller portion of the premium than other government workers do?

Flexible work hours – Do you start your workday earlier than 8:00?  Do you work a compressed work schedule? We used to have to work 8:00 to 4:30 Monday thru Friday.  Now we have flexible work hours and work schedules.

If you answered YES to any of these questions you need to join the NTEU today!  No one gets it for free.  All who benefit should share the expense.  Your colleagues who are union members are paying your share of the tab…. I am asking you to step up and do the same.

Here are a couple of other things to consider….The FDIC will get criticized in the press for receiving raises in 2011 and 2012 when other agencies will not.  This will likely force President Obama to appoint a new chairman to FDIC who will not be as employee-friendly and not as willing to negotiate with the NTEU. Recent OPM guidance told agencies to “keep the pay freeze in mind next time you negotiate contracts.” In addition, there was a bill introduced a few weeks ago in the House mandating a 10 percent cut in the federal workforce and a three-year freeze on civilian salaries.  Government employees will clearly be on the defense for the next few years.  I am asking you to join the NTEU because the compensation and benefits that you enjoy every day are due in large part to the efforts of the NTEU.  In addition, I am asking you to join the NTEU because we will need to be strong and stand together when it comes time to re-negotiate the agreement with management in 2012.  It will be one of the hardest negotiations we’ve ever had to work through.

Best regards,

Gerard S. (Jerry) Parnacott