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Minutes for July 15, 2015 Forum Meeting

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Labor-Management Forum

July 15, 2015

1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Room 4830

Washington, DC 20230

Meeting called by:

Labor-Management Forum

Type of meeting:

Quarterly Meeting of the Forum

Program Manager:

Mr. Frank Milman

Note Taker:

Ms. Mary O’Connor

Attendees:

Renee Desrosiers (NOAA), Vonda Bell (Census), Mitch Macdonald (NWSEO-NOAA), Mary Saunders (NIST), and Harold Ross (NTEU-POPA) called in. See sign-in sheet for participants in attendance.

Documents:

Minutes from the May meeting of the Forum, E-Gov Travel System 2 (Power Point), FR Notice of May 8, 2015 (SORN), FR Notice of June 29, 2015 (Extending Comment Period for SORN), Copy of Forum’s Charter (2010), and EO 13522

Minutes

Agenda

Item:

Introductions/Approval of May Minutes

Presenter:

Mr. Fred Stephens

Discussion:

A motion was made to adopt minutes taken on May 20, 2015, and minutes were approved without any amendments. Fred Steckler was introduced as the new management representative for USPTO.

Agenda item:

Shared Services Presentation

Presenter:

Mr. Ken Kukovich

Discussion:

The member stated he assumed there would be a working group for Shared Services and the subject would be on the agenda for every meeting.

The member reported that he had talked to NIST (finance) and NTIS (IT consolidation) regarding their shared service initiatives and found out they have partnered with NOAA, the Social Security Administration, Department of Education, and external contractors. He asked why this is being done and why this is considered a best model. The member stated that prior to the next meeting, when he has a good example; he’d like to send it out to the Forum for a concrete discussion in the future. He also renewed his request for the information requested at the last meeting – what were the numbers before and after (vacancies and the number of FTE’s) for all the examples listed.

Management asked if there were any conclusions on how labor would like to get involved in the shared services initiative and stated that there has been no further movement on the management side aside from speaking with Deloitte to continue their partnership in the second phase.

The Labor Co-chair indicated that he would like to see this subject discussed at every meeting; that the Forum needs to be as active as possible on this topic. He also emphasized that the bottom line is the concern for jobs. He addressed a question to the Forum – how does Management see Labor participating in the policy decisions involving Shared Services, i.e., what is to be Labor’s roll? The Co-chair also expressed an interest in looking to AFGE to learn from best practices in other agencies, and if this topic has come up at the National Labor Council.

A management member stated that this topic would be on the agenda for all future meetings of the Forum; however, it may be too early to have a formal working group assigned There was no knowledge of Commerce being discussed at the National Labor Council; however, shared services in general has been a point of interest over the last decade.

The management member and the Labor Co-chair stated that the Forum needed to consider if there was support for having a Shared Services Working Group.

Action items

Person responsible

Deadline

ü Find out National Labor Council involvement

Frank Milman

TBD



Agenda Item:
Status of Prior Action Items Presenter: Ms. Jamesa Moone

Ms. Jamesa Moone was introduced as the new Coordinator for the Forum, the “go to” person who would responsible for keeping the Forum operating by addressing the questions and needs of the Forum. She will hold the Forum responsible for action items determined in the minutes.

    • Meeting with OPM on FEVS. Ms. Moone announced that Dr. Kimya Lee has a new role within OPM and Kim Wells will be taking her place working on the FEVS. She stated that she is hoping for a commitment on a discussion with OPM as soon as possible. Mr. Mahoney noted that Commerce had a 57.5% response rate to the FEVS, which is slightly higher than last year, and that results should come out in late August. Harold Ross volunteered that he would also like to be part of the discussion with OPM.

    • President’s Management Advisory Board (Valerie Smith). OMB plans to have union representation on the Board. The Labor Co-chair recommended that the Department ask OMB to consider selecting a union representative from the labor members of the Department’s Forum given the success of the Forum; management agreed to take as a recommendation.

    • NOAA’s current councils/committees (Renee Desrosiers). NOAA has issued invitations to each union of its bargaining units that do not currently have a council/committee at the level of recognition to join management in beginning a council. Nine bargaining units responded that they were interested. Renee will provide Frank Milman and Jamesa Moone by Friday, July 17, with a copy of the invitation, a list of each union /unit that was invited, and the union’s response. Mr. Milman, in turn, will distribute that information to the members of the Forum.

    • A member expressed that this has been a reoccurring item of concern and tied up with the Department’s efforts to be #1. Labor representatives noted, with management representative acknowledgement, that agreements had been made at the April Forum for an initial NOAA-level labor management forum with facilitation to have occurred by now. Labor representatives from both NWSEO (National Weather Service) and IFPTE (representing NOAA Fisheries) noted the importance of a Labor-Management Forum at the NOAA level. Some LMF’s have been in place at the level of recognition for several years but are unable to address many important workplace issues because the level of management control is at corporate NOAA. A recommendation was made to organize an initial NOAA LMF in September or October 2015. Mr. Mahoney will follow up with Ellen Herbst on a meeting with NOAA. He will provide the Labor Co-chair with information by the end of the month.

    • Phased Retirement (Valerie Smith). The National Finance Center (NFC) has been ready since PP6, March 2015. The phased retirement policy is currently under review within the Office of Human Resources Management. Ms. Smith will circulate the draft policy to the Principal Human Resources Managers (PHRMs) and the Forum concurrently for comment. The comment period is planned to be approximately three weeks.

    • The members of the Phased Retirement Working Group include Valerie Smith, Laurie Schwede, Andy Baldus, Mitch Macdonald, Denise Yaag, Sandy Thompson, David Reip and Shannon Fitzgerald. A management member of the working group suggested a hard date for the roll out of the phased retirement program, and it was agreed that date would be October 1, 2015.

    • A management member asked if any of the labor members are going back to their organizations to discuss what is going on in the Forum. Census said yes, and USPTO responded that they have discussed phased retirement previously. A labor member appreciated the work done on phased retirement and mentioned this might be a way to publicize the good work of the Forum. The member also indicated that the news media is anxious for any news on phased retirement. A management member and the Labor Co-chair said they would pursue this matter with their respective organizations. The Labor Co-chair asked if the Forum would want to have a contact person to respond to questions about phased retirement. A management member suggested having Ms. Smith and Ms. Schwede report to the DMC and to keep this subject on the Forum’s agenda for the near future

    • A labor member asked how the success of the mentoring program in phased retirement will be measured. How many people apply and how many are approved can be measured through the SHROs. Ms. Smith stated that feedback could be delivered through OHRM to the working group by the feedback from the bureaus after implementing. It was suggested by the Labor Co-Chair to keep this as an action item for the next few meetings of the Forum.

Action items

Person responsible

Deadline

ü Recommend Forum participation on PMAB

Kevin Mahoney?

TBD

ü Distribute information on NOAA Councils to Forum

Frank Milman

July 17, 2015

ü Distribute draft phased retirement policy

Valerie Smith

ASAP

ü Roll out of phased retirement policy

Valerie Smith

Oct. 1, 2015


Agenda Item: ETS2 Presenter: Gay Schrum

GSA mandated every agency to have an electronic travel system by 2006. The Department is not in compliance with that requirement. The Electronic Travel System 2 (ETS2) will be the Department’s electronic travel system. USPTO is not included in ETS2 as they already have an ETS.

GSA is leading the contract acquisition process, and the ETS has been narrowed down to two vendors. The Economic Development Administration and Minority Business Development Administration will be the first bureaus to go live with ETS2, which should occur in January 2016. A considerable amount of time is being spent on change management in the implementation of ETS2. A labor member asked if ETS2 would cover everything from making reservations to submitting receipts, and Ms. Shrum confirmed that it would.


Agenda Item: Cyber Security Presenter: Kevin Mahoney

OPM had two data breaches, the first impacted 4.2 million people, and the second, close to 22 million people who have applied for security clearances. There is an overlap of approximately 3.5 million people between breaches. With the first breach, OPM has provided 18 months of ID theft insurance and credit monitoring through CSID. CSID reports a 20% sign up rate for those who have been contacted; other breaches usually have a 5% sign up rate. The wait time at CSID has dropped to about two minutes do to the addition of additional staff. The second breach will have 3 years of coverage; however, a service provider is still being determined. The OPM FAQ site is the best place for the most up-to-date information, and Commerce has established an inbox for this subject to pull together themes and trends of what people are concerned about. OMB is seriously considering making theft and ID protection a lifetime benefit for Federal employees. OMB is currently working with Congress on this issue.

A labor member asked if there were any thoughts on administrative time to take care of breach related problems, and management stated that administrative leave on this is left to the bureaus to determine.


Agenda Item: SORN (System of Records Notice) Presenter: Catrina Purvis

The comment period has been extended to the end of July. The Forum expressed an interest about the Federal Register notice and Catrina Purvis provided an informational session.

Why is there a need for SORN? The Privacy Act permits the collection of information using a specific identifier, e.g., name or SSN. On May 8, 2015, the Department proposed to amend its regulations regarding applicable exemptions to the Privacy Act to reflect new Department wide systems of records notices published since the last time the regulations were updated. The SORN was looking at collection of information already in place. The Department determined that certain systems that were considered to be covered by a SORN were not sufficient, hence the need for “Department 25,” the new SORN. Department 25 expands categories to put the Department further in compliance with the privacy act, and more in line with the business done at the Department.

One labor member expressed his concern that the Privacy Act was written before the problem with breaching of cyber data became as extensive as it is today. He is very concerned about the safety of date given the ability to breach the safeguards and access the information.

A union member asked how the agency verifies the accuracy of data that is being released to a legitimate user. Privacy Act permits excluding notifying employees about who is getting their data in certain situations. What are the employee’s rights or protections?

Ms. Purvis stated that in terms of the Privacy Act, an individual can access records about themselves, but they have to know what records they have, so they know how to ask for it. A member stated that there needs to be more education on this topic, and more needs to be done to protect the Department and its employees.

The Labor Co-chair indicated that labor is opposed to the SORN and wants its withdrawn.

A management member indicated he would get back to the Labor Co-chair by Friday.

A labor member said nothing in the notice requires proving the person receiving the data can protect it.

Action items

Person responsible

Deadline

ü Management to get back to labor with position on withdrawing the notice

Kevin Mahoney

July 17, 2015


Agenda Item: Metric for National Council Presenter: Frank Milman

The Forum’s report to the National Council on Labor-Management Relations on the use of its metric is due by September 30, 2015. A request was made to change from the current metric to one measuring how well the Forum is meeting its requirement to implement councils/committees at the level of recognition. In light of the presentation by NOAA, the Forum has data to show significant gains in this area. The area of focus will be assisting NIST and its six locals. Both Co-chairs agreed to the change.

Action items

Person responsible

Deadline

ü Report to the National Council of the use of metrics by Census, USPTO, EDA, NOAA, NIST and the DOC Forum

Frank Milman

Dec. 31, 2015




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