For the health and safety of their employees, National Credit Union Administration officials should not set an arbitrary date for workers to return to their offices as the pandemic subsides, the president of the union representing agency employees said Friday
National Treasury Employees Union National President Tony Reardon told Washington Credit Union Daily that “NTEU strongly believes that no employee who is currently teleworking should be directed to return to an office based on an arbitrary date but rather on certain safety metrics, similar to the ones NCUA is already tracking.”
In an email, Reardon responded to questions, following comments by NCUA board member Rodney Hood during the agency’s board meeting on Nov. 18.
“With the agency now enforcing a vaccine mandate, I am now, for the second time, calling on the agency to bring back NCUA employees onsite,” Hood said. “We should move to normal operations in this ‘new normal’ environment as soon as practicable but definitely by the First Quarter of next year.”
Hood added that when he spoke to the “head of our union,” many examiners have expressed a desire to return onsite now. “They have felt this way for months.”
Hood did not identify the union official with whom he had spoken. He said that many credit unions want examiners back onsite rather than on video chats. Hood also said that if the agency does not move to normal operations soon, he fears that the agency will miss fraud and other safety and soundness issues that will not be discovered on the telephone or video conferences.
Reardon said his union has negotiated an agreement with the NCUA under which employees may volunteer to return to their offices once certain safety conditions are met. He said the NCUA has not set a date for a mandatory return and that he expects union officials to discuss that with the agency before it occurs.
“The NCUA staff has performed extraordinarily well in the telework environment, as NCUA management has acknowledged,” Reardon said, adding that some credit union examiners are mobile workers with no permanent offices.
“While they have been conducting virtual exams throughout the pandemic, many of them are eager to return to on-site examinations with an option for examiners to voluntarily choose to continue with remote exams,” Reardon added.