ALEXANDRIA, Va.-In the face of credit unions urging reductions in staffing and budget levels every year, NCUA employees are concerned about the security of their jobs. Some employees at the agency have contacted the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) for guidance on organizing a union. NTEU President Colleen M. Kelley confirmed that agency employees have been in contact with the organization that has helped develop unions for several government agency employees, including the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), the Internal Revenue Service, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and many others. NTEU filed the petition for an election for Office of the Comptroller of the Currency employees nationwide in July. A few years ago, the NTEU won $12 million in back pay for FDIC employees through arbitration. Of the reasons for NCUA employees' interest in forming a union Kelley said, "I would say they are interests and concerns rather than complaints." She listed pay and benefits, reduction in force (RIFs), fairness and arbitrary treatment in promotions, and unpaid overtime as some of the issues the employees have brought to NTEU. Contact between the two groups had been sporadic over the last few years, but within the last six months the frequency grew, Kelley said. Currently, NTEU is in the process of discovering the level of interest among NCUA employees to bring a petition. If there is sufficient evidence of interest, Kelley said, NTEU will petition for an election; then the petition is filed with the Federal Labor Relations Authority. When enough interest is revealed through the petition, employees will have the opportunity to vote on creating a union, which is later certified by the FLRA. The entire process, if it does not hit any snags, which Kelley said she does not anticipate, should take between six to nine months. Who is eligible to join the union is based upon the level of the employee. Management officials cannot join a union by statute, Kelley explained. Confidential employees, such as a senior official's assistant, is a gray area. "It really is a duty specific, job specific test," she said. Mainly she clarified that "frontline employees"-technology specialists, accountants, support staff, and others-would be eligible for membership. In operation since 1938, NTEU represents approximately 155,000 employees in 24 government agencies. Its mission is "to organize federal employees to work together to ensure that every federal employee is treated with dignity and respect." NCUA Executive Director Len Skiles declined to comment prior to consulting with the Office of General Counsel. Chairman Dennis Dollar was in-flight at deadline and unavailable for comment. [email protected]

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