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NTEU ACTION CENTER

RECENT NEWS:

* Please contact NTEU Chapter 67 at 801-620-6511 with any questions you may have.

Tuesday
Jan152019

 

Thousands of Employees Called Back

IRS Releases New Filing Season Plan

The IRS today issued an updated tax filing season contingency plan that has been approved by the Treasury Department and the Office of Management and Budget. Under the plan, the IRS indicated that it will recall 36,000 more employees to prepare for the tax filing season.

Once again, the IRS is using the “call tree” process to contact employees. The IRS will begin contacting employees as early as today to return to work. Employees who receive a call are obligated to return to work as directed.

NTEU understands this recall will add to the anger and frustration that you already rightfully feel. Many of you were forced to stay home or work without pay, and now thousands more employees will be on the job without a paycheck. On top of this, some employees previously dealt with the chaos of being called back to work one day and told to stay home the next.

Last week, NTEU filed a lawsuit alleging that the executive branch can’t continue to force more employees to work in exchange for a promise they will be paid later. NTEU was in court today arguing our case and asking for an immediate temporary restraining order to stop the administration from obligating funds to federal employee salaries that Congress has not yet appropriated. While a judge denied NTEU's request for a temporary restraining order, he did set a court date later this month for our request for a preliminary injunction.

The union also is moving forward with a separate lawsuit challenging the administration’s authority to force thousands of federal employees to work without pay. If processing tax returns is an essential government service that should not be suspended during a shutdown, then the employees who provide that service should be compensated on their regular pay day, as required by law.  

The IRS needs to get ready for the impending filing season, and employees want to work. But the bottom line is, you need a paycheck now. We will continue to drive home this message to Congress and the administration and tell your story to the media and the American public. NTEU is in close contact with the IRS, and we will continue to voice your concerns and get your questions answered on this transition.

Despite this stressful and uncertain time, you remain committed to your job and the American people, and we thank you.

Unemployment Benefits

Employees who are recalled but still seeking unemployment benefits should be aware that some states allow residents to receive unemployment benefits if they are working but not receiving a paycheck. Laws vary by state and more information is available here. You may need to provide a completed SF-8 form and a furlough letter from the agency. NTEU has received reports that the IRS is not providing timely salary information to state unemployment offices. The union has contacted the agency to fix this problem.

Hardships

The IRS must consider an employee's request not to work due to a hardship. While hardships are not defined in the agreement, they could be financial in nature. Employees seeking a hardship exemption should provide as much detail as possible. Beyond hardships, employees cannot simply refuse to come into work. 

 

 Contingency plan can be found here https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/266/IRS-Lapse-in-Appropriations-Contingency-Plan_Filing-Season_2019-01-15.pdf

Monday
Jan142019

Thursday
Jan102019

 

The Office of Personnel Management issued a new memorandum regarding the restoration of annual leave for employees affected by the government shutdown.

 

Today the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued a new memorandum in response to questions as to whether properly scheduled use-or-lose annual leave that was unable to be used due the shutdown may be restored to both employees required to work and those furloughed.

 

As you know, during a lapse in appropriations, all paid leave or other paid time off is cancelled.  Under 5 U.S.C. 6304(d)(1), annual leave in excess of an employee’s annual leave ceiling is to be restored if it is forfeited because of “exigencies of the public business” when the leave was scheduled in advance.  Under 5 CFR 630.308(a), this means the leave had to be scheduled before the start of the third biweekly pay period prior to the end of the leave year.  

 

Before the shutdown commenced OPM and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) determined that a lapse in appropriation qualifies as an exigency of the public business for purposes of annual leave restoration.  Therefore, according to OPM, as long as the leave was properly scheduled in writing no later than November 24, 2018, agencies must restore any annual leave that was forfeited because of the lapse in appropriations—regardless of whether the affected employees were furloughed or excepted from the furlough.  However, OPM noted that any previously restored annual leave that was due to expire at the end of the 2018 leave year and was subsequently forfeited, may not be restored again even if the forfeiture was due to the lapse in appropriations.

 

As this shutdown continues, we will provide additional updates as they become available.

 

 

 

Wednesday
Jan092019

https://kslnewsradio.com/category/podcast_player/?a=35554&sid=2017&n=The+Jaymac+News+Show

Wednesday
Jan092019

Tuesday
Jan082019

Additional unemployment information

 

 

As always, we want to encourage employees to first go to IRS.gov and type in the words “Employee Emergency” for continuing information on the furlough. The Employee Resource Center (ERC) help line 866-743-5748, option 1 is also available to assist employees with questions after they have reviewed the IRS.gov “Employee Emergency” page.

 

Below is additional information received from the Utah Unemployment Claims Center with tips to help expedite filing  unemployment claims due to the shutdown.   

 

1. A claim can be filed online at jobs.utah.gov

 

2. Claimants are NOT required to supply pay stubs for monetary eligibility. With the government shutdown, there is a backlog of employees filing for claims, so government agencies are taking longer to get back to the Unemployment Claims Center with wages. In an effort to try and determine monetary eligibility faster, the Unemployment  Claims Center is asking all federally employed claimants to send pays stubs for their base period, which for most is the time period of July 1st 2017 - December 31 2018. Again, it is not required, but they are trying to do what they can to speed up the process. 

 

3. If a claimant is able and chooses to send pay stubs, they can fax it to 801-526-9394. They just need to list their first and last name and the last four digits of their social security number so the Unemployment  Claims Center can attach the fax to their claim. Claimants can use the fax machines at the Workforce Services Employment Centers for free.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday
Jan082019

Shelly Carver’s interview with Access Public Radio is available here. 

 https://www.upr.org/post/government-shutdowns-impact-utah-tuesdays-access-utah

Tuesday
Jan082019

 

Monday
Jan072019

Ogden featured in Washington Post article 

Friday
Jan042019

IRS NTEU staff featured in Standard Examiner article 

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