HR Headline Roundup for October 28-November 1, 2019

Chicago Teachers Strike Ends After Students Miss 11 Days, WBEZ

The Chicago Teachers Union and mayor’s office on Oct. 31, 2019, reached a tentative agreement on a 5-year labor contract that guarantees salary increases and restricts the growth of health insurance contributions. The new contract, which is expected to be ratified within 10 days, also calls for placing a nurse and a social worker in each public school, adding specialized staff such as homeless coordinators and special education case managers, and providing higher stipends for coaches. Teachers did not secure an extra 30 minutes of paid prep time.


Telework Canceled for All Social Security Employees, Government Executive

Around 12,000 SSA employees received notice on Oct. 28, 2019, that teleworking arrangements would become void on November 8. Management interpreted a provision in the new union contract imposed by an arbitration panel that grants “discretion” on setting schedules to mean they could eliminate programs that have allowed roughly one-quarter of staff to work remotely at least one day each week.


Federal Land Management Workers Face Growing Numbers of Physical Threats From Members of the Public, Government Executive

Field personnel for the Bureau of Land Management, the Forest Service, the National Park Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service officially reported 360 assaults, threats and acts of vandalism between 2013 and 2017. This is considered a large undercount, as the total does not include verbal harassment and sabotage that federal workers have come to view as “part of the job” or incidents handled exclusively by local law enforcement. Antigovernment rhetoric, including by some elected officials, is seen as a major contributor to the problem. Staff cuts also leave many field workers on their own and unsupported by members of other agencies like Homeland Security.


Lessons Learned From the Ransomware Attack on 23 Texas Localities, Nextgov

Developing a cyber incident response plan that includes provisions for activating computer specialists from the National Guard proved key to protecting affected systems and stopping the attack in its tracks.

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