Posts tagged remote work
Teachers’ union boss blames math test slide on COVID — after fighting to keep remote learning
December 6, 2023 // The leader of the second-largest teachers’ union in the US linked the worldwide drop in math scores on a key international test to the COVID-19 pandemic — during which she had lobbied against a full return to in-person learning. American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten issued a statement that said remote learning was to blame for the drop in the 2022 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) math evaluation after scores were released Tuesday.
City Workers Ditch Unions, Skip Dues, Following Supreme Court Ruling
November 2, 2023 // Pre-Janus, public sector employees had the option to explicitly opt out of union membership thanks to an earlier Supreme Court decision but still had to pay “agency fees” out of their paychecks to the unions. Union leaders, including New York City’s Municipal Labor Committee, warned before the decision of potentially large declines in union membership if signing up became optional. Any dramatic loss of dues-paying union members could threaten unions’ operations or even their ability to exist – a possibility on the horizon in some so-called “right to work” states.
NYC expands work from home pilot program to non-union workers
October 30, 2023 // Mayor Eric Adams' administration announced Monday they will now extend its remote work pilot to city workers not represented by unions. The pilot expansion will be offered to approximately 16,500 non-union employees allowing those eligible to work up to two days a week remotely depending on their job performance and specific duties.
OPM reminds agencies of new telework reporting requirements
October 9, 2023 // Those transmissions followed a series of updates to OPM’s data requirements related to telework and remote work, issued last March, which included tracking instances in which employees log into their work remotely, as well as how many hours federal workers spend on telework. OPM Director Kiran Ahuja on Wednesday sent a memo to agency heads reminding them of these new requirements and offering some additional tips to help them comply. Beginning last month, agencies are now required to report to OPM on the number of remote work and telework agreements they have signed with employees. Additionally, agency supervisors and managers should periodically review employees’ eligibility to participate in telework as it is recorded in their HR or time and attendance software to ensure its accuracy, as well as to ensure that only those eligible to participate in the workplace flexibilities are actually doing so. Agencies should also ensure that employees “diligently” record their time on telework, and that they do so using the correct codes—situational or routine—within their time and attendance software. And supervisors should verify the accuracy of that data when approving timesheets, as well as ensure that employees’ usage of telework aligns with their telework agreements.
GAO union employees keep flexible work options in new contract
September 22, 2023 // Under the contract, which serves as an addendum to the full collective bargaining agreement, employees approved for routine telework are required to report onsite a minimum of four times per month. Under the hybrid option, workers may only report as needed depending on their job tasks, and others still may work fully remotely.
Op-ed: Will COVID-era work-from-home flexibility disappear?
September 19, 2023 // Telford points out the irony that even Zoom – the company that made remote work possible for millions, has recently instructed its own employees who live within 50 miles of a Zoom office to start coming in at least twice a week. Mark Zuckerberg has informed Meta employees that they could face termination if they do not come in at least three days a week starting this month. The sources quoted in the Post story seem to all be pointing toward the long schlep back to the office as being inevitable. Venture capitalist Matt Cohen said “During the pandemic, a lot of salespeople were taking calls from the top of mountains on hiking trips. That’s not working anymore.” Of course, all of this exists only within the world of the office worker. The remote work debate is largely a moot point for anyone who works in a warehouse, a restaurant, or on a road crew. It’s rather difficult, after all, to give a client a work-from-home pedicure. In so far as we’re supposed to be most worried about the outcomes of those least well off, there are probably plenty of employment issues that should be far higher up on our priority list.
Federal agencies face off with unions over remote work
August 11, 2023 // AFGE’s statement about the agreement did not mention remote work at all but emphasized the creation of a joint labor union-management council to improve working conditions. Yet AFGE Council 220 President Jessica LaPointe mentioned to the media that the union will continue to look for ways to implement more remote work at SSA, such as making the SSA’s teleservice center fully remote and proposing a decade-long field study to add more remote work options to encourage employee retention. Overall, LaPointe suggested the union will push for remote work at SSA because “employees will go elsewhere where telework is offered,” she said.
GPO vacates regional offices, embraces 100% telework for all eligible employees
August 4, 2023 // In contrast to GPO’s latest decision, many executive branch agencies have started announcing upcoming increases to their requirements for employees to work in the office. Federal News Network has compiled a running list of what we know so far about agencies’ return-to-office plans. GPO is unlike other federal agencies, Somerset told Federal News Network. Consequently, the Office of Management and Budget memo from April does not apply to GPO. Still, the agency is continuing to measure productivity in its workforce, similar to executive branch agencies. “GPO runs as a business, so our primary measurement of productivity is revenue,” Somerset said in an email.
NSF announces return-to-office changes before finishing negotiations, drawing union ire
July 18, 2023 // Starting in October, all telework-eligible NSF employees and Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) employees stationed at agency headquarters will have to work in the office at least four days per two-week pay period, NSF leaders said in an all-staff email, obtained by Federal News Network. The changes do not apply to employees eligible for remote work or those with an approved remote work agreement. “We want to strengthen the NSF culture by increasing our time in person, while meeting our business needs and maintaining workplace flexibility,” NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan and Chief Operating Officer Karen Marrongelle said in the email.
Insider Reaches Strike Resolution With $65,000 Minimum Salary
June 15, 2023 // Kayla Cobb Wed, June 14, 2023 at 2:14 PM CDT·3 min read Insider and its union have reached a resolution. “We have a tentative agreement on a contract that will give our members more money and job protections and resolve our ULP,” a tweet from the Insider Union account reads. The strike is now over and workers will return to the office tomorrow. “Insider is pleased to have reached an agreement with its newsroom union on a Collective Bargaining Agreement. The CBA formalizes many of the company’s existing practices, policies and benefits, including top of the market competitive pay, freedom to work from anywhere in the U.S., 16 weeks of parental leave and many successful DEI initiatives. With this contract, we will continue to offer pay and benefits at the high-end of our industry,” a spokesperson for Insider told TheWrap. This tentative agreement on a new contract includes a $65,000 minimum salary for employees, on par with such publications as The New York Times. It also includes a just cause clause, a layoff moratorium through the end of the year, raises of over 10% during the term of the contract and over $400,000 in healthcare reimbursements. It also includes $2,200 in tax-free cash for employees to spend on mental health and prescriptions as well as a revised raise structure.