Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA)
Fair Pay Raises, Higher Employer Contributions to FEHBP
On December 6, 2013, OCC NTEU members voted overwhelmingly to approve the CBA. Despite the challenging economic environment, NTEU secured contract improvements for employees at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) that will ensure fair pay increases in 2014 and 2015 and provide higher employer contributions to health benefits and boost travel stipends. NTEU also protected important benefits that employees currently enjoy.
NTEU fought hard to win the right to bargain over compensation. What we originally ratified as a compensation addendum to the CBA is now formally Article 39 in our agreement. In the coming weeks and months, NTEU will work to ensure that the new compensation elements, as well as changes in 17 other articles, are properly implemented. Moreover, we will look ahead to protecting and building upon these gains.
The list below is a cliffsnotes view of changes. On our HOME page here, you will see another link (immediately below the link to this page): Collective Bargaining Agreement (December 6, 2013) Changes. This will outline changes made, article by article.
Here are highlights of the changes to your NTEU-OCC contract:
Fair and reasonable pay increases for 2014 and 2015
- Funding for merit salary increases in 2014 and 2015 has been set at 3.1 percent of employees’ salaries for each pay pool, with individual employee pay increases tied to the matrix negotiated in 2011.
- The OCC base salary structure will be increased by 2 percent each year in 2014 and 2015.
- Overall funding for merit bonuses has been set at 0.9 percent of employees’ salaries in each pay pool for 2014 and 2015, including mandatory bonuses, with a minimum of 1 percent for employees rated as “4,” and 0.5 percent for those rated as “3 high.”
- The OCC must use any unspent money from funding for special increases on either merit increases or merit bonuses, with a minimum of 50 percent of unspent special increase funds directed to merit increases.
- NTEU and OCC will continue the joint workgroups to study and develop findings and recommendations on improvements to the performance management system currently used to determine employees’ merit pay. The workgroups will explore establishing clearer connection between performance objectives and skills, validating, eliminating and/or weighting various job skill elements, and clarifying the nexus between pay and performance.
Enhanced and protected benefits
- The OCC will continue its automatic annual contribution of $1,000 to each employee’s 401k plan, plus its automatic contribution of 4 percent of salary each pay period, in addition to the 1 percent matching contribution.
- Employees will continue to receive payments from their “life cycle account” of $1,000.
- Premium subsidies of the bi-weekly Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) will increase to $65 per pay period.
- Beginning with travel in fiscal 2015, payments under the Travel Stipend Program will begin at $40 on the 55th night and increase to $50 on the 81st night.
- During the term of the agreement, the OCC will also seek to increase employee life insurance and dental coverage (upon expiration of the current vendor agreements).
Improved performance evaluation procedures
- Employees will receive more timely and meaningful feedback on their performance. During the interim review, employees will be informed if the rating official has identified a change in their performance that would result in a reduction in their summary or element rating from that assigned in the prior year.
Improved promotions procedures
- Inclusion of advancement to Step 2 under merit promotion procedures.
- Clarification regarding the use of screening panels during the promotion process, and clearer requirements to ensure the fair consideration of all best qualified candidates during the interview process.
- Clearer identification of what an employee must do to meet the requirements for a career ladder promotion.
- Clearer standards for when an employee will be eligible for a temporary promotion for performing duties at a higher band level.
Clearer assignment of work procedures
- The contract clarifies the procedures for examiners to volunteer and be selected for open examination assignments.
Confidential medical documentation
- New procedures for maintaining confidentiality of employee medical documentation submitted with requests for leave or medical telework.
Credit Hours, compensatory time and telework
- Both credit hours and comp time may now be earned and used in 15-minute increments. There will be a new procedure for requesting pay for comp time that cannot be used within the 26 pay period limit because of business exigencies.
- Language clarifies appropriate tasks and procedures for approval of telework requests.
OCC Bargaining Update | News from the National Treasury Employees Union | www.nteu.org