Gary Karibian has been the NTEU Chapter 68 president since 2013, and he wants all employees to know what NTEU does for the Andover Campus and the country. Locally, NTEU helps employees get answers to many work-related issues, such as leave issues, annual appraisals, approval for telework, and requests for Family Medical Leave Act.
Gary said, “NTEU works with the 2016 National Agreement (contract) daily, and we pride ourselves on being experts in knowing the contract language.”
Nationally, NTEU works with professional staffers on legislation and negotiation. Former National President Colleen Kelley always said, “Everything in the life of a federal employee is decided by those who are elected.” The current National President Tony Reardon stands by those words as he fights for employee’s rights by regularly testifying in front of Congress. Gary said, “NTEU works tirelessly on the legislative front, and National NTEU is also where the contract is negotiated and decisions on a national scale are decided.”
NTEU stewards are the eyes and ears on the floor and can sometimes be an employee’s first contact should an issue arise. Gary said, “Stewards are vitally important to our chapter. Our stewards file grievances, handle informal discussions with management and represent NTEU in 7114 meetings.”
NTEU Chapter 68’s full-time stewards are Noelia Batista and Robert Harrington who work with day-shift employees along with Gary. Robert MacFarlane is the full- time steward working on the night shift.
There are 30 floor stewards; 19 day-shift, 10 night-shift, and one in the Lowell Build- ing. You can identify a floor steward from the NTEU flag on top of their desk. Gary believes that there are enough stewards on both day and night shifts to handle the myriad of issues that arise, but he said, “The chapter is always looking for strong individuals who want to make a difference.”
Employees can go to the NTEU Facebook page for more in- formation. The chapter also has a newsletter, The Guardian, full of information about both local and national issues and ways to get involved. Gary said, “The chapter is available for questions through email and phone calls, and although we, as employees, may be out on vacation or sick time, there is always someone monitoring office email if you need assistance.”