December 13, 2004
GAO Still Investigating EEOC
GAO continues to investigate EEOC. GAO sent notice that it visited the Chicago office last week. GAO is attempting to visit another office. Once again, I requested advance notice. Since we did not get advance notice of the Chicago, I want to remind employees to be vigilant about GAO visiting your office and making sure our message gets to them. Reorganization efforts continue with the move of the Milwaukee district under the jurisdiction of Chicago, the Milwaukee Director transferred to Phoenix and rumors of Denver and El Paso transferring to the Phoenix Mega Office. The call center is not useful because there will not be employees to handle the volume transferred. EEOC plans to contract out more work to the call center than just call because there are not enough calls for information on location or requests for posters to justify paying the call center costs. There field offices do not have the technology to handle the volume of calls transferred to offices, as EEOC refuses to address this issue. The call center will merely discourage many people from filing. We should remind GAO that it would behoove the organization to conduct an independent audit of the call centers, like the one it conducted for Medicare.
Performance Management Development Team
Levi Morrow, the Chief Negotiator and I met in Headquarters last week to work on the performance management system. Later this week, you will receive an update letter from the workgroup. I wanted to give you details about where we are in the process and next steps.
At this stage, we are reviewing the draft Investigator plans for how to incorporate many of the comments, especially those dealing with issues involving managing workload. We also drafted plans for Program Analysts, Trial Attorneys, Paralegals; Mediators; Program Assistants; Office Automation Assistants, Clerks, including Control Clerks, Legal Clerks and Legal Technicians, Attorney-Examiners and General Attorneys. As with investigator plans, we will circulate these recently drafted plans for comments. I must let you know that the workgroup does not want to deal with the volume of responses it is likely to receive from people in the various positions. As a result, the plan will be sent directly only to a random sampling of employees in each position. I will send the plans to all of the local presidents for distribution to employees. Please take a look at your plan, as well as the plan of those paraprofessional and support employees with whom you work. Please send comments to Levi Morrow or me, so we can ensure that your comments see the light of day. Please understand that while many people ask that the plans reflect that work that people actually perform, you will not see this in every case. Reasons for not including many of the tasks are that those tasks are not the primary purpose of your job and can result in employees being downgraded We reviewed the position descriptions as to what work employees should be performing and put into the plans, those major and grade sustaining duties.
The Contact Center
As you all know, EEOC is intent on opening the call center. We will continue to oppose putting money into such a sinkhole. The Council continues to work with constituent groups and members of Congress on this issue. I learned that Phoenix, Dallas and San Francisco (offices with Directors either who are on board with the call center or who want to make a name for them) will be pilot offices. We know that EEOC is paying large sums of money to the call center staff to figure out if they can make the call center work. We also know that there is not enough work coming from the 800 numbers – both the one that transfers calls to offices and the one that handles poster request. We will focus efforts on those pilot offices. After the pilot, as the call center handles calls for additional offices, we will focus efforts as those offices, as well. So if you know of local constituent groups, let me know and I will be in touch with them.
The Legislative Conference
The Council Presidents will be attending the AFGE Legislative Conference in February to lobby members of Congress and inform them about our plight. Once again, the Council will have included in the attendees’ packets, information about issues facing EEOC employees.
In addition to your local president, as your local sees fit, other members of your local may attend. When we return, we always ask members to make appointments and meet with their members of Congress. This time will be no exception.
If you have questions in the meantime, you can contact me. My direct dial is 303.866.1337.