By Rick Riley, President, NTEU73
As we announced earlier this week, we have signed the initial Agreement with management on the closing of our Submission Processing Center. Now that this Agreement has been signed, the real work begins. Last week’s Force Alert contains an overview of the Agreement, along with specifics and timelines. This article discusses the next steps for NTEU members.
The first thing that will happen will be briefings on the Agreement. At the meetings, every employee will receive a copy of the Ramp Down Agreement and will get an hour with the Union afterwards. We are working on a frequently asked questions document to go with the Agreement. Mike McAuley or William Igoe and I will be at these briefings to answer questions. Also, you will be receiving a 20 page letter explaining your rights during the RIF. It is very important that you read this letter and keep a copy until the end. There will be briefings, probably in August, to explain everything in the letter to you.
If you are looking at taking the buyout and retiring, you need to start the process of retiring now. Get all the information you can before you are offered a buyout, and/or early retirement. Go to the Government Retirement Benefits platform (GRB) on ERC and put in a ticket. On the ticket put that you are an affected employee of the Submission Processing closing. You will receive priority and a BEST Specialist should call you within 2 business days.
For those of you seeking another job at the IRS, you will receive a Reassignment Preference Notice (RPN) within 90 days. See Exhibit 19-2 on page 193 of NA 2016. The RPN will come with your Reduction in Force (RIF) notice. This will put you to the front of the line for an IRS job you qualify for. Additionally, during the open windows for the VERA/VSIP (they will be open for 21 days) you may job swap with someone who is not impacted. Say you are a clerk in Submission and there is a clerk in Accounts Management, you may be able to swap. You will get their job, and they will be eligible for early retirement and/or the buyout.
I will be working to make sure there is work for those who want it. The Collaboration Section of the Agreement, allows us to work with the IRS to find different work and jobs to bring here. We will be working with the Workload Redistribution Team from the IRS on this. Also, I will also be lobbying Congress and networking with the Deputy Commissioners to find work to move here. In the past 5 Ramp Downs of Submission, other programs were brought in to give the employees the opportunity to continue their careers with the IRS. I will be looking for as many jobs as I can get here. Even though you would have to compete for the jobs, it is an opportunity that you wouldn’t have had if we had not worked on that. My goal, and that of the Director, Jim Fish, is to have no one left without a job or retirement.
Further, NTEU73 has been working on the Outplacement Services since January. There will be classes on USAJOBS, resume writing for government positions and outside employers included. One other item is a document showing an employee how to get qualified for another position, a Crosswalk document for all different positions.
I need you to do your part. Start now, prepare for you future, retirement or to continue working. Take the classes or continue your education. In two years you can easily get the 6 hours of accounting, or an associate’s degree, or finish your bachelors or get a Masters. Whatever you choose to do, start now! NTEU73 is here to help. Please stop by the office and Room 111A which is the resource center for the employees during the consolidation.