Union Challenges HUD’s Planned Sequestration Furloughs, Closures

Francesco Corticchia/Shutterstock.com

A federal employee union is challenging the Housing and Urban Development Department’s plan to shut down for seven days and furlough all of its employees.

The union expected to begin negotiations with HUD officials on Tuesday, according to Eddie Eitches, president of the American Federation of Government Employees Council 222.

AFGE is seeking furlough day flexibility, reduced workload expectations, transit benefit assurance, and an arrangement to allow senior executives to donate voluntary furlough savings to ordinary feds, Eitches told Government Executive.

HUD was planning to furlough employees on “discontinuous days” in separate pay periods to “minimize hardship to employees,” the department’s acting Chief Human Capital Officer Karen Newton Cole said in a letter to Eitches dated Feb. 26.

The proposed furlough dates are May 10; May 24; June 14; July 5; July 22; Aug. 16; and Aug. 30, Cole wrote. “As a result, all HUD offices will be closed on the above listed dates and all full-time and part-time employees will be furloughed on those dates,” Cole wrote.

A HUD official on Monday reconfirmed the planned closures and furloughs, Federal Times reported.

In a letter sent to Cole on March 1, Eitches demanded that employees be given flexibility to schedule preferred furlough days.  He also said HUD needed to adjust its performance standards “in response to employees’ reduced ability to meet workload requirements.”

“Assuming our staffing levels do not have any surplus, HUD will not meet its workload unless the department expects employees to work more for less pay,” Eitches wrote.

In negotiations Tuesday, the union also aimed to protect the transit subsidy and discuss a proposal that has been floated to have members of the Senior Executive Service contribute funding from voluntary furlough days to lower-ranking employees.

According to AFGE, HUD faces $3.6 billion in cuts because of sequestration. Cole said that the 5 percent cut to salaries and expenses would amount to savings of $66.6 million by the end of fiscal 2013.

HUD spokesman Jerry Brown told Federal Times that the department held a town hall on Feb. 28 to discuss furlough plans. Earlier in February, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan told the Senate Appropriations Committee that his department was expecting furloughs. He also said that budget cuts would severely constrict HUD’s mission to help poorer communities and urban recovery. 

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.