SB/SE Joint Workload Committee

The IRS, SB/SE has provided a response to NTEU’s recommendations based on
the work of the SB/SE Joint Workload Committee.

The SB/SE Joint Workload Committee was formed pursuant to Article 25, Section 1B of the 2016 National Agreement (now the 2019 National Agreement) to address workload management issues for Revenue Agents and Bankruptcy Specialists/Advisors. The NTEU team was comprised of David Carrone (President, Chapter 6), Susan Lathrop (Chapter 40), and Theresa Smith (Chapter 92). They were assisted by NTEU National Negotiator Anna Gnadt.

In Article 25, the parties agreed that they would jointly examine the current inventory assignment processes, practices and trends for Revenue Agents, Bankruptcy Specialists and Advisors. The committee’s charge was to examine relevant data and discuss the experiences of the team members regarding inventory assignments as well as concerns bargaining unit employees have about how inventory is assigned. The committee was to then work together to prepare joint recommendations that would ultimately be submitted to the BOD Directors and to the NTEU National President. The committee held meetings at various times from March 2016 through July 2018. At the inception, the committee was not provided the necessary case assignment and inventory data required for the committee to review. The NTEU team found that the management representatives from Examination were uncooperative. Those factors caused unnecessary delays in the process. At the conclusion of the meetings, the parties were to draft recommendations on the Joint Committee’s findings that would be submitted to SB/SE and NTEU. To that end, the NTEU team prepared draft recommendations and submitted them to the full committee for discussion, with the expectation that the team would work to reach a consensus for submission of final recommendations. The parties discussed the draft recommendations during the last committee meeting in July 2018, but the management team never provided a response to NTEU’s proposed draft recommendations or its own recommendations for NTEU to review.

SB/SE recently provided NTEU with the attached response to the NTEU team’s draft recommendations. As you will note, most of the NTEU recommendations were rejected, summarily at times, or not specifically addressed, instead getting boilerplate responses or references to management’s rights. The responses that were made do not address the issues and concerns that our members have raised about their workload; and they certainly do not get the parties any closer to purpose of the work of the committees, which was to “explore whether there is a different way to distribute the work among employees at the same grade, in the same position, and with the same position title who are equally qualified.”

I am extremely disappointed that SB/SE was not committed to working with the NTEU team through this process to seek to address workload issues which we believe should be of mutual concern. We are considering other options to address the concerns identified as part of this process. Despite SB/SE’s superficial responses, I want to thank our team for their hard work and advocacy throughout this process. I will keep you apprised of any future actions we determine to take to address these issues.

Tony Reardon, NTEU National President