McWatters Blasts CBA Negotiating Process
An NCUA board member expressed his disappointment in a collective bargaining agreement signed on Tuesday between the regulator and National Treasury Employee Union.
J. Mark McWatters said he doesn’t know if he can support the terms of the CBA because, as of late Wednesday afternoon, he had not received a copy of it.
“As is typical with NCUA these days, the lack of transparency concerning the negotiation and execution of the collective bargaining agreement with the National Treasury Employees Union is disappointing,” McWatters told CU Times. “I was not provided with draft copies of the bargaining agreement, was not afforded the opportunity to comment on the agreement during the negotiation process, and the final agreement was not presented to the Board for vetting nor for approval or rejection.”
McWatters said he was displeased with the way the collective bargaining agreement was handled.
“This action demonstrates why budget hearings are critical to the transparent and fully accountable operations of NCUA. While wages constitute the largest line item in NCUA's budget, the Board (or at least my office) was precluded from exercising effective oversight in negotiating the new collective bargaining agreement. At an absolute minimum, the Chair should have consulted with the Board before consenting to bind the Agency for an unprecedented five-year term of the contract. Interestingly, I have not yet received a copy of the final executed agreement.
McWatters wasn’t the only one concerned with the process. CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle said CUNA officials have consistently called for greater transparency in NCUA’s budget process.
“The credit union system, which funds almost all of NCUA’s activities, has no input into or influence over collective bargaining agreements; therefore, we expect that NCUA will negotiate a deal in the best interest of credit unions,” Nussle said.
The new five-year agreement was hailed as fiscally responsibly by NCUA Communication Specialist Ben Hardaway.
The agreement spelled out a long list of negotiating terms, including reimbursement for all employees for the cost of professional licenses required as part of their position, larger relocation sums for employees moving to Washington, continued reimbursement for lodging for family members during relocation travel and an increase in pay raises.