Hanscom's best kept secret

  • Published
  • By Lisa Smith
  • National Association of Government Employees
If you're a civilian working alongside the military, you're used to secrets. You may have a security clearance. But the best-kept secret at Hanscom doesn't require a clearance or a background check. It shouldn't even be a secret at all, so here it is:

The National Association of Government Employees, or NAGE, Local R1-08 is here to help you.

"It might be one of the best-kept secrets that does not need to be secret," said Marla Levenson, president of NAGE Local R1-08, a union representing Hanscom workers. "We are here to help our bargaining unit employees so that they can keep helping our men and women in uniform."

The basics

NAGE Local R1-08 represents a bargaining unit of more than 1,000 members who are non-supervisory wage grade employees (WG and WL) and all non-supervisory, non-professional General Schedule employees serviced by the Central Civilian Personnel Office at Hanscom as well as those employees assigned to New Boston Air Station in N.H. While many bargaining unit employees work at these locations, others work in Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New York, as well.

NAGE Local R1-08's mission is to protect the rights of bargaining unit employees, improve working conditions, promote dignity and respect in the workforce and ensure compliance with the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, otherwise known as "the CBA," between the employer and NAGE R1-08.

The CBA, said Levenson, is the rulebook that regulates the way managers and workers perform their jobs and interact. She cited Article 13, Employee Performance, of the CBA, as an example of positive cooperation.

"Performance evaluation discussions will be held on a quarterly basis," said Levenson. "The formal evaluation happens annually, but by requiring supervisors to have these discussions with employees more frequently, we find we can identify issues much earlier, when they're easier to resolve."

According to Levenson, areas of concern could be individual performance issues or a sign of systemic problems; early identification gives each bargaining unit employee a better opportunity to succeed.

Team effort

Levenson said the recognition goes to the members of her executive board and the union stewards who handle questions and issues on the front lines.

"The whole idea of a union is that we are stronger together, that we can do more good things when we do them together," said Levenson. "The more active our bargaining unit employees are, the more we can do as a team."

To learn more about NAGE Local R1-08, contact Levenson or Italia Minchello at 781-225-6644 or 781-225-6645. NAGE R1-08 is located in Building 1605, Room 110.

NAGE Local R1-08 is scheduled to hold its first quarterly meeting for 2014 Jan. 28 at the Minuteman Commons Heritage room at 11:45 a.m. The meeting is expected to run for one hour. Bargaining unit employees are invited to attend this informational meeting. This initial meeting is a meet and greet as well as to address any questions and concerns.