More than 2,000 federal workers to benefit from new contract
WASHINGTON, Jan. 31, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Federation of Government Employees and the Small Business Administration have reached agreement on a new labor contract covering more than 2,000 federal employees.
Officials from SBA and AFGE plan to sign the new contract today during a ceremony that will be streamed live to employees throughout the agency.
"This new agreement has many benefits for both the agency and the SBA employees, and it is a result of committed leadership," AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. said. "I commend SBA Administrator Karen Mills for her personal support of an agreement and hope that we will see many more labor agreements at other federal agencies settled in the next few months."
The new master agreement extends a number of benefits to SBA employees who are represented by AFGE Council 228, Council President Elaine Powell-Belnavis said.
"The signing of this contract signifies a positive shift in the relationship between AFGE and SBA and will help improve employee morale and the effectiveness of SBA in fulfilling the mission of the agency," Powell-Belnavis said.
Highlights of the new contract include:
- A new flexible work schedule that lets employees work four days a week at 10 hours a day;
- A streamlined process making it easier for employees to obtain approval for telework;
- A series of awards that recognize employees who suggest ways to improve the agency, who have worked for 5 years at a time or whose performance deserves appreciation and commendation;
- Expanded transit subsidies for all employees;
- An expedited arbitration process for employees who receive unfair performance appraisal ratings or are denied within-grade increases.
The new contract takes effect immediately and lasts for three years. The previous contract was ratified in 1999. The new agreement also stipulates that managers, employees and union officials will be trained jointly on the contract.
The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 670,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.
SOURCE American Federation of Government Employees