What is NFFE 1998?

About IAMAW, FD1, NFFE Local 1998

NFFE Local 1998 is a federal employees union that represents about 1300 bargaining unit members of Passport Services, which is part of the Department of State‘s Bureau of Consular Affairs. We are the “exclusive representative” of the employees, which means that we are the only labor union that can speak on their behalf. We are limited to only representing members of the bargaining unit – employees such as Passport Specialists, Contact Representatives, Processors and Operations Officers – and cannot represent Management officials or confidential employees, such as a Director’s secretary, or contractor employees. NFFE Local 1998 represents the employees in every Passport Services office – 28 offices in cities across the nation (and growing).

Local 1998 is one of approximately 200 locals that make up the National Federation of Federal Employees, which is the oldest Union representing federal workers. NFFE Came into existence in 1917. NFFE’s motto is “We Work For America Everday”. In 1999, NFFE affiliated with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW), and thus became a part of the AFL-CIO. IAMAW members are sometimes called “the fighting machinists” because in the late 19th century the IAMAW was the first union to negotiate nine hour days for its members (down from the ten hour workdays standard at that time). The IAMAW is part of the American Federation of Labor – Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO).

Local 1998 is committed to representing its members and the employees of Passport Services. The Local 1998 Bylaws state that the goal of the Union is “to promote the social and economic welfare and education of Local members and to work toward the perfection of systems that will make for greater efficiency in the various services of the Government.“

Where is NFFE 1998 Located?

NFFE 1998 is everywhere! NFFE Local 1998 is a “local” in name only. Local 1998 is one of a very small number of NFFE locals that are not geographically local, but rather spread across multiple locations. Local 1998 represents the bargaining unit employees in all Passport Services offices – 29 offices total in 26 cities. They include the Paralegals in Legal’s Law Enforcement Office, a variety of positions at the Office of Technology Operations and the Special Issuance Agency in Washington, DC, as well as the Passport Agencies and Centers in: Vermont, Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Charleston, SC; Connecticut; Dallas, TX; Detroit, MI; Honolulu, HI; Houston, TX; Los Angeles, CA; Minneapolis, MN; Aurora, CO; San Francisco, CA; Seattle, WA; New Orleans, LA; Miami, FL; New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; Portsmouth, NH; Tucson, AZ; San Diego, CA, Buffalo, NY, El Paso, TX, Atlanta, GA and Washington, DC.

NFFE Local 1998 History

NFFE Local 1998 came into official existence on October 19, 1981 when it was recognized as the exclusive representative of Passport Services’ bargaining unit employees by the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) in Case No. 3-RO-98. During the 1980’s, Local 1998 negotiated three collective bargaining agreements (CBA’s) with Passport Services Management (1983, 1985, and 1986). Management attempted to decertify Local 1998 in 1989, but the Union prevailed in 1990.

In 1991, the Union negotiated another CBA with Management. During the 1990’s, NFFE Local 1998 filed grievances and Unfair Labor Practice charges on health conditions, respect shown to employees, reprimands issued to employees, promotions, evaluations, union dues deductions, and employees’ addresses. In late 1993, the Union initiated discussions with Management to create a Partnership, based on the Executive Order signed by President Clinton. The parties met in 1994 and again in 1995, finalizing an agreement. In 1998, Local 1998 resumed newsletter distribution, and created this website. In 1999, Local 1998 voted for NFFE to affiliate with the IAMAW.

In 2001, the Union and Management completed their 5th CBA. During the remainder of the decade, Local 1998 negotiated via traditional bargaining and through partnership with Management, and filed grievances and Unfair Labor Practice charges, on work schedules, promotions, evaluations, performance standards, leave, official time, facilities, dignified treatment for employees, disciplinary actions, dues deductions, overtime, and the Fair Labor Standards Act.

In 2003, Local 1998 reluctantly took the unprecedented step in the history of the local by contacting Congress over concerns with the integrity of the passport issuance process, including strict passport adjudication quotas. The GAO and the OIG issued critical reports and the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee held a hearing on the issue. As a result of the Union’s efforts, a major vulnerability in the passport issuance process was closed. Local 1998 also supported legislation requiring passport book security features be manufactured within the US as a security best practice. On July 20, 2009 the Union and Management completed their 6th CBA.

Colin Walle became the first Local 1998 rep to be elected a national Vice President of the National Federation of Federal Employees. NFFE 1998 submitted written testimony for the 2010 Senate hearings that followed a second GAO fraud detection.


Who Represents NFFE Local 1998?

PresidentVice PresidentSecretary TreasurerRecording SecretaryChief Steward
Rob Arnold National Vice President PicRob Arnold
Passport Specialist
Seattle, WA
Prior to becoming the Local Lodge President in 2009, Rob Arnold has held the titles of Vice President, Secretary-Treasurer, and Senior Steward.  He is also currently a Vice President on the NFFE National Executive Council.  He has 20 years of experience at the Department of State as a Passport Specialist.
Vice President James Lensen-CallasJames Lensen-Callas
Passport Specialist
San Francisco, CA
James is a former Peace Corps Volunteer and served in Peru for three years prior to becoming a Passport Specialist in 2011, a Union Steward in 2012, and the NFFE 1998 Vice President in 2015.  He is also currently enrolled at San Francisco State University while working on an MBA in Sustainable Business.
Secretary Treasurer Amanda BooherAmanda Booher
Passport Specialist
Seattle, WA
Amanda began her career as a Passport Specialist in 2007 at the National Passport Center in Portsmouth, NH and has since worked at the Atlanta and Seattle Passport Agencies, respectively.  After holding the positions of Steward and Trustee, she became the Secretary-Treasurer in 2014.  She is currently working on a Master’s Degree in Labor Policy at SUNY Empire State College.

Recording Secretary Josue Trinidad-PerezJosue Trinidad-Perez
Passport Specialist
Washington, DC
Josue stepped into the role of Recording Secretary in 2014, following five years as a Union Steward.  He has been employed as a Passport Specialist since 2007 at both the Washington DC and New Orleans Passport Agencies.  He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Puerto Rico in 2004.

Chief Steward Gil YapGil Yap
Passport Specialist
San Francisco
Gil became the NFFE 1998 Chief Steward in 2015 after serving 5 years as the Senior Steward at the San Francisco Passport Agency where he has been a Passport Specialist since 2007. In 2015 he graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a Master of Science degree in Labor Studies.


NFFE 1998 © 2015