COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ARTICLE 1 NATIONAL AGREEMENT.......................... 1
ARTICLE 2 AUTHORITY......................................... 1
ARTICLE 3 EXCLUSIVE RECOGNITION AND COVERAGE OF THE AGREEMENT................................................... 1
ARTICLE 4 DATE AND DURATION OF AGREEMENT........ 2
ARTICLE 5 EMPLOYEE RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES .. 4
ARTICLE 6 EMPLOYER-UNION RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES.................................................. 6
ARTICLE 7 LABOR MANAGEMENT LEADERSHIP COUNCIL 9
ARTICLE 8 LABOR-MANAGEMENT NEGOTIATING PROCEDURES...................................... 10
ARTICLE 9 USE OF OFFICIAL FACILITIES.................. 11
ARTICLE 10 UNION REPRESENTATION AND OFFICIAL TIME 12
ARTICLE 11 VOLUNTARY DEDUCTION OF UNION DUES.. 15
ARTICLE 12 DISTRIBUTION AND COMMUNICATION....... 16
ARTICLE 13 EMPLOYEE DEBTS................................ 18
ARTICLE 14 EMPLOYEE CLAIMS FOR PERSONAL PROPERTY DAMAGE 18
ARTICLE 15 FILLING OF VACANCIES AND MERIT PROMOTION 18
ARTICLE 16 REASSIGNMENTS, DETAILS AND TEMPORARY PROMOTIONS 25
ARTICLE 17 CAREER-LADDER PROMOTIONS................ 26
ARTICLE 18 EMPLOYEE EDUCATION, DEVELOPMENT AND TRAINING 27
ARTICLE 19 WITHIN-GRADE INCREASES.................... 32
ARTICLE 20 POSITION DESCRIPTION AND CLASSIFICATION. 36
ARTICLE 21 PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL SYSTEM.......... 37
ARTICLE 22 EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY......... 38
ARTICLE 23 REORGANIZATION................................ 38
ARTICLE 24 REDUCTION-IN-FORCE AND
TRANSFER OF FUNCTION PROCEDURES.. 39
ARTICLE 25 EMPLOYEE PERSONNEL FILES.................. 44
ARTICLE 26 SAFETY AND HEALTH............................ 47
ARTICLE 27 ON-THE-JOB INJURY............................. 49
ARTICLE 28 LEAVE.............................................. 51
ARTICLE 29 PART-TIME CAREER EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM 58
ARTICLE 30 HOURS OF WORK................................. 58
ARTICLE 31 OVERTIME......................................... 61
ARTICLE 32 REST PERIODS.................................... 62
ARTICLE 33 TRAVEL............................................. 62
ARTICLE 34 TELECOMMUTING PROGRAM.................. 64
ARTICLE 35 CHARITY DRIVES................................. 68
ARTICLE 36 EATING FACILITIES.............................. 69
ARTICLE 37 AUTO PARKING, BICYCLE RACKS, AND TRANSIT SUBSIDIES............................................... 69
ARTICLE 38 DISCIPLINARY ACTION........................... 70
ARTICLE 39 ADVERSE ACTION................................ 70
ARTICLE 40 REDUCTION-IN-GRADE AND REMOVALS
BASED ON UNACCEPTABLE PERFORMANCE 72
ARTICLE 41 NEGOTIATED GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES..... 75
ARTICLE 42 ARBITRATION..................................... 80
ARTICLE 43 OUTSIDE EMPLOYMENT AND ACTIVITIES..... 83
ARTICLE 44 ELECTRONIC MONITORING..................... 85
ARTICLE 45 SPECIAL SKILLS.................................... 85
ARTICLE 46 OUTSOURCING..................................... 85
ARTICLE 47 ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION ......... 86
APPENDIX I......................................................... A1
WHEREAS the Congress of the United States has found that the right of public employees to organize, bargain collectively and participate through labor organizations of their own choosing in decisions which affect them, safeguards the public interest, contributes to the effective conduct of public business and facilitates and encourages the amicable settlement of disputes between employees and their employers involving conditions of employment; and
WHEREAS the public interest demands the highest standards of employee and EMPLOYER performance and the continued development and implementation of modern and progressive work practices to facilitate and improve employee/employer performance and the efficient accomplishment of the operations of the Government; and
WHEREAS the well being of employees and efficient administration of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) are benefitted when employees, through the labor organizations of their choice, and employers participate jointly in the formulation and implementation of personnel policies and practices affecting employee conditions of employment; and
WHEREAS the public interest is best served through the maintenance of constructive and cooperative relationships that are based on mutual respect between labor organizations and management officials; and
WHEREAS subject to law and the paramount requirements of public service, effective labor management relations within the Federal service require a clear statement of respective rights and obligations of all Parties;
NOW, THEREFORE, consistent with the requirements of the Civil Service Reform Act (CSRA) by virtue of the following, the Parties have set forth their agreements governing the rights, duties and obligations of the EEOC, the UNION and EEOC employees.
It is agreed that this National Agreement and any Local Agreements as may be executed hereunder from time to time constitute a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) by and between the National Council of EEOC Locals No. 216, American Federation of Government Employees, AFL‑CIO, consisting of its affiliate Locals, hereinafter referred to as the UNION, and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, hereinafter referred to as the EMPLOYER, pursuant to the letter and spirit of Public Law 95‑454, dated October 13, 1978, otherwise identified as Title VII of Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, 5 U.S.C. §§ 7101 et seq. (CSRA).
The Parties enter into this Agreement under the authority granted in Title VII of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, 5 U.S.C. §§ 7101 et seq., and the Certification of Representative in Case No. 22-07926 (RO), dated April 20, 1978, from the Area Administrator, Labor Management Services Administration, Washington, D.C. Office. As certified, the UNION has the sole authority and is the exclusive representative of all EEOC bargaining unit employees nationwide.
Section 3.01 The EMPLOYER recognizes the UNION, consisting of its affiliate Locals, as the exclusive representative of all employees in the unit as defined in Section 3.02 of this Article. As long as the UNION is the sole and exclusive representative, the EMPLOYER agrees that it will not meet or negotiate with any other employee organization or association concerning any matters affecting personnel policies, practices, or terms and conditions of employment.
Section 3.02 This Agreement applies to all employees in the unit, which includes all professional and nonprofessional general schedule employees, including Schedule A and wage employees of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission nationwide. Excluded are all:
(a) management officials as defined in 5 U.S.C. § 7103(a)(11);
(b) supervisors as defined in 5 U.S.C. § 7103(a)(10);
(c) confidential employees as defined in 5 U.S.C. § 7103(a)(13);
(d) employees engaged in administering Title VII of the CSRA, as stated in 5 U.S.C. § 7112(c);
(e) employees engaged in Federal personnel work other than in a purely clerical capacity in accordance with 5 U.S.C. § 7112(b)(3); and
(f) employees as defined in 5 U.S.C. § 7112(b)(7), whose duties primarily involve investigative or audit functions (directly relating to the internal security of the Agency) which are undertaken to ensure that those who are being investigated or audited are acting honestly and with integrity.
Section 3.03 Certain provisions of this Agreement do not apply to all bargaining unit employees, as specifically denoted throughout the Agreement in those provisions.
Section 3.04 If the EMPLOYER makes the decision to exclude any position from the existing bargaining unit other than those defined in Section 3.02 above, it must notify the UNION in writing as soon as the decision is made.
Section 4.00 Date and Duration of Agreement
Section 4.01 This Agreement shall take effect on September 2, 2002.
Section 4.02 The EMPLOYER and the UNION agree that this Agreement shall serve as the Master Agreement between the Parties for all EEOC facilities. Local Agreements may be negotiated between the District Office or Headquarters Office(s) and their respective Local and shall cover all employees in the bargaining unit at the facility or office covered. Local negotiations shall be conducted for those issues which only affect one (1) District Office (including Area and Local Offices) or one (1) Headquarters Office. Issues which affect only the Washington Field Office will be negotiated by the Field Office Director and the appropriate Local President. District Office Directors and Local Presidents are encouraged to use creativity and innovation to minimize such expenses. District Office Directors may, at their option, elect to pay all, part or none of the UNION expenses incurred for Local negotiations.
Local Agreements shall not delete, be in conflict with, or otherwise nullify any provision, policy or procedure in this Agreement or any government-wide or Agency-wide rule, regulation or procedure. All Local Agreements shall be subject to the terms and enforceability of this Agreement, but shall not be effective until reviewed for conformity with this Agreement, the law and regulations by EEOC and the National Council of EEOC Locals No. 216. This review, and if necessary any modifications, shall be completed within 30 calendar days of submission.
National negotiations shall be conducted for those issues which affect more than one District Office and/or Headquarters Office or which involve reorganizations, reductions-in-force, furloughs, freezes on hiring and promotion or changes concerning the elements and standards of the Agency's performance appraisal system.
Section 4.03 This Agreement shall remain in effect for three (3) years from its effective date. It shall be automatically extended for one (1) year unless terminated by either Party giving the other a written notice of its intention to terminate this Agreement in whole or in part no less than 60 nor more than 105 calendar days prior to its expiration date. The Parties expressly agree that the statutory procedures provided at 5 U.S.C. §7119 shall be used to resolve any dispute concerning the negotiation of ground rules, irrespective of any notice to abrogate Article 8.00 or notice to terminate the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Within 90 days from the effective date of this CBA, the Director, Office of Human Resources (OHR) and the National Council President (or their designees) shall meet and jointly review all national MOUs and local MOUs and agreements negotiated prior to January 1, 2002 to determine whether these agreements are consistent with the terms of this CBA. Within 90 days following the completion, the Director, OHR and the National Council President will issue determinations to local UNIONs and Field offices regarding the approval of reviewed
agreements. National and local agreements and MOUs determined to be not consistent with this CBA will be required to be modified or rescinded within 30 days of the determination issued by the Director, OHR and the National Council President.
Section 4.04 In the event that a Party decides to terminate this Agreement as provided for in Section 4.03, the following procedures shall apply:
(a) Within 10 work days of notification, the Parties shall meet to negotiate ground rules for renegotiation of the CBA. The time limit may be extended by mutual consent of the Parties.
(b) Ground rule negotiations shall be held at a site agreed upon by both Parties.
(a) Each Party will designate a Chief Negotiator who will have appropriate collective bargaining authority.
Section 4.05 The provisions of this Agreement shall remain in full force and effect and unchanged, except in instances where the Parties mutually agree to amend, supplement or rescind provisions or in instances where regulation, law or provisions of this Agreement necessitate or authorize modification.
Section 4.06 Upon the expiration of this Agreement, the EMPLOYER shall be free to modify its personnel policies, practices and general conditions of employment in accordance with Title VII of the Civil Service Reform Act, to conform to changes in government‑wide rules or regulations that occurred during the contract term.
Section 4.07 The EMPLOYER and the UNION recognize that an effective relationship between the Parties requires the Parties to meet as mutually agreed and to discuss various issues or problems without surrendering or abrogating their respective rights guaranteed by this Agreement or Title VII of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978. Any waiver of rights by either Party, and/or any waiver or amendment to this Agreement, must be in writing and must be a clear and unmistakable waiver.
Article 5.00 Employee Rights and Responsibilities
Section 5.01 All employees shall have employment rights consistent with the merit system principles set forth in 5 U.S.C. §§ 2301-2302.
Section 5.02 Each employee shall have the right to form, join or assist any labor organization or to refrain from such activity, freely and without fear of penalty or reprisal, and each employee shall be protected in the exercise of this right. Such right includes the right to:
(a) act for a labor organization in the capacity of a duly authorized representative; and
(b) through authorized representatives or officers, engage in collective bargaining in accordance with the provisions of the law and this Agreement.
Section 5.03 Employees may join and participate in any organizations or associations, without fear of penalty or reprisal, and be active therein provided such participation is not prohibited by law or government-wide rules or regulations or does not create or give the appearance of a conflict of interest.
(a) Bargaining unit employees have the right to UNION representation at:
(1) any formal discussion between one or more representatives of the EMPLOYER and one or more employees concerning any grievance or any personnel policy or practice or other general condition of employment; or
(2) any examination of an employee in the unit by a representative of the EMPLOYER in connection with an investigation if:
(A) the employee reasonably believes that the meeting may result in disciplinary action against the employee; and
(B) the employee requests UNION representation.
Further examination of the employee at that meeting shall be suspended until a UNION Representative is given an opportunity to be present.
(b) The EMPLOYER shall inform its employees annually of their rights under this Section and provide copies of the notice to new employees upon entering on duty.
Section 5.05 Upon request from either Party, the employee or the EMPLOYER has the right to be informed of pending subjects of discussion between them.
Section 5.06 Each employee shall have the right to bring work-related matters of personal concern to the attention of appropriate officials of the EMPLOYER and/or the UNION. The Parties agree an employee will be granted a reasonable amount of official duty time for these purposes. The Parties further agree that supervisory clearance will be obtained and that such official duty time will not be abused. The employee should schedule such meetings for times which do not unduly interfere with essential Agency functions.
Section 5.07 The employee has the right to request a UNION Representative to attend meetings with, or to represent the employee before, the EMPLOYER whenever the discussion involves a subject matter for which a contractual, regulatory or statutory right for UNION representation exists. The UNION shall be given an opportunity to be present.
Section 5.08 The EMPLOYER and the UNION agree to foster a work environment which is conducive to good Employer-Employee working relationships.
The prompt, orderly discussion and resolution of work-related problems are important facets of such working relationships. Therefore, when such problems and concerns arise, an employee is both free and encouraged to promptly discuss them with his/her immediate supervisor.
Section 5.09 No employee shall be required to disclose his/her religion, race, ethnic group, sexual orientation, age, disability or political affiliation, except as may be required in accordance with law.
Section 5.10 The EMPLOYER recognizes that employees should have appropriate workspace, tools and equipment to perform the duties of their positions. The EMPLOYER will work diligently to provide these things in a reasonable period of time.
Section 5.11 This Agreement and its provisions may not preclude an employee from exercising other grievance or appeal rights established by law, rule or regulation, except an employee waives such rights by election of the negotiated grievance procedure. Employees shall have the right to exercise any and all rights established by the provisions of this Agreement, law, rules and/or regulations without reprisal or fear thereof. The proper exercise of employee rights under this Agreement includes the requirement to follow the procedures established herein. Employees are expected to follow the procedures of applicable law, rules and regulations.
Article 6.00 EMPLOYER-UNION Rights and Responsibilities
(a) The EMPLOYER and the UNION subscribe to the principle that the right of employees to organize and bargain collectively through the UNION and thereby participate in decisions which exclusively affect them, serves to:
(1) safeguard the public interest;
(2) contribute to the effective conduct of public business;
(3) facilitate and encourage the amicable settlement of disputes between the EMPLOYER and its employees;
(4) contribute to the development of modern and progressive work practices to facilitate and improve employee performance and the efficient management of the operations of the Government; and
(5) create positive labor-management relationships which balance and protect the rights of the employees, the EMPLOYER and the UNION.
Therefore, collective bargaining is in the public interest and will serve the good of creating a more harmonious workplace.
(b) The Parties subscribe to the principle that the rights and reservations described by this Agreement vest each with the corresponding obligation to exercise its respective rights and responsibilities in a manner which promotes these goals. The EMPLOYER, the UNION and its Representatives, consonant with the provisions of this Agreement, pledge to work together harmoniously to pursue these goals.
Section 6.02 The Parties recognize that the right of Federal employees to bargain collectively through the UNION, as described in the provisions of this Agreement, is also subject to limitations imposed on both Parties by statute which reserves to the EMPLOYER, consistent with applicable law, rules and regulations and this Agreement, the right and authority to:
(a) determine the mission, budget, organization, number of employees and internal security practices of the Agency;
(b) hire, assign, direct, lay off and retain employees in the Agency, or suspend, remove, reduce in grade or pay, or take other disciplinary actions against such employees;
(c) assign work, make determinations with respect to contracting out and determine the personnel by which Agency operations shall be conducted;
(d) with respect to filling positions, to make selections for appointments from:
(1) among properly ranked and certified candidates for promotions, or
(2) any other appropriate source;
(e) take whatever actions may be necessary to carry out the Agency mission during emergencies;
(f) determine numbers, types and grades of employees or positions assigned to any organizational subdivision, work project or tour of duty; and
(g) determine the technology, methods and means of performing work.
Section 6.03 Nothing in this Article shall preclude the EMPLOYER and the UNION from negotiating procedures which Management Officials of the Agency will observe in exercising any authority under this Article, or appropriate arrangements for employees adversely affected by the exercise of any authority under this Article.
Section 6.04 Any election by the EMPLOYER to discuss a subject referred to in Section 6.02(f) and (g) shall not be a waiver of its rights as stated in Section 6.02. Moreover, the EMPLOYER expressly reserves the right to withdraw any subject referred to in Section 6.02 from discussion any time prior to agreement.
Section 6.05 The UNION and its designated Representative have the right, and shall be protected in the exercise of the right consistent with the provisions of the law and this Agreement, to:
(a) engage in collective bargaining;
(b) handle grievances and appeals;
(c) represent employees by being afforded the opportunity to be present at:
(1) any formal discussion between one or more representatives of the Agency and one or more employees in the bargaining unit or their representatives concerning any grievance or any personnel policy or practice or other general condition of employment, or
(2) any examination of an employee in the bargaining unit by a representative of the Agency in connection with an investigation if:
(A) the employee reasonably believes that examination may result in disciplinary action against the employee, and
(B) the employee requests representation.
Section 6.06 The EMPLOYER recognizes that in the lawful exercise of representational rights in accordance with statute and the terms and conditions of this Agreement, the UNION and its Officials shall be held free from penalty, restraint, retaliation or reprisal.
Section 6.07 The UNION and EMPLOYER further agree that their mutual and respective obligations to honor the terms and conditions of this Agreement include the obligation to fairly and factually represent and advise employees and managers as to their rights and responsibilities under this Agreement, statute or regulation.
Where disputes arise concerning the interpretation or application of this Agreement or of applicable law or regulation, or a breach thereof is alleged to have occurred, the Parties agree to discuss the allegations and attempt informal resolution before statutory recourse of any kind is invoked.
Section 6.08 The EMPLOYER agrees to notify the UNION, as appropriate, of any proposed new directives, notices, orders, regulations or rules affecting conditions of employment in the bargaining unit. Prior to implementation of proposals, the EMPLOYER and the UNION shall meet and confer, as appropriate, in accordance with the procedures established in Article 8.00, Labor-Management Negotiating Procedures. The EMPLOYER agrees not to make any substantive changes to any existing directives, orders, notices, regulations or rules affecting conditions of employment without notification to the UNION. Prior to implementation of changes, the EMPLOYER and UNION shall meet and confer on the changes, as appropriate, in accordance with the procedures established in Article 8.00, Labor-Management Negotiating Procedures.
Section 6.09 The UNION agrees not to interfere with the EMPLOYER's operation by calling, participating in or condoning activities such as a strike, work stoppage, slowdown or unlawful picketing in connection with a labor-management dispute or hindering an employee’s work performance or productivity.
Section 6.10 In exercising their respective rights or in fulfilling their respective obligations, the EMPLOYER and the UNION pledge to do so in a manner which:
(a) fosters a spirit of labor-management cooperation and mutual respect;
(b) recognizes the obligation as civil servants to prudently, judiciously, efficiently and with due regard to the need for economy, exercise the representational or managerial rights assigned herein;
(c) promotes effective and informed communication between supervisor and employees, which is essential to improve the Agency mission, develop human resources, enhance job satisfaction and promote amicable dispute resolution; and
(d) is consistent with the procedures, processes and provisions set out in the specific Articles of this Agreement.
Section 6.11 Upon written request, the EMPLOYER shall furnish to the UNION, to the extent not prohibited by law, data which is normally maintained by the EMPLOYER in the regular course of business; which is reasonably available and necessary for full and proper discussion, understanding and negotiation of subjects within the scope of collective bargaining; and which does not constitute guidance, advice, counsel or training provided for Management Officials or supervisors relating to collective bargaining.
Section 6.12 In keeping with the spirit of Public Employee Recognition during the month of May, managers and Local UNION officials are encouraged to recognize the achievements of our workforce. The EMPLOYER will make available a room at all of its facilities for use by the UNION to conduct recognition activities. Additionally, the EMPLOYER will provide all bargaining unit employees with one (1) hour of administrative leave to participate in organized recognition activities.
Section 7.01 The Parties acknowledge their mutual responsibility to work together to make the agency a model workplace. The Parties believe this can be best accomplished through the exchange of views on matters addressing conditions of employment to enhance the Agency’s efficiency so that it successfully carries out its mission.
Section 7.02 The Parties agree to develop a spirit of mutual trust and respect by supporting cooperative participation at the National level through a Labor Management Leadership Council. This Council will meet twice a year to discuss issues or problems without surrendering or abrogating their respective rights guaranteed by this Agreement or Title VII of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978. Meetings held under this Section are appropriate for negotiating issues of mutual concern and resolving issues of contract administration. The Parties may meet more frequently under this Article by mutual agreement and as needed.
Section 7.03 Such Council meetings shall be scheduled at mutually agreeable times. To facilitate the discussion and operation of the Council, either party may exchange agenda items no later than ten (10) workdays prior to the meeting, except by mutual agreement.
Section 7.04 The Council shall be composed of an equal number of members representing the UNION and the EMPLOYER. Specifically, there will be four (4) members on each side, four (4) appointed by the Chair and four (4) appointed by the National Council President.
Section 7.05 The EMPLOYER agrees to pay travel and per diem for two (2) UNION members.
Article 8.00 Labor-Management Negotiating Procedures
Section 8.01 This Collective Bargaining Agreement represents the full and complete agreement between the Parties. The UNION and the EMPLOYER agree to be bound by the terms of this Agreement without regard to geographical location or organizational component.
Section 8.02 Agency rules, regulations, orders or other directives which are inconsistent with this Agreement are modified and/or superseded as of the effective date of this Agreement, until amended by the EMPLOYER to conform to this Agreement.
Section 8.03 The Parties agree to negotiate, as appropriate, with respect to the impact and implementation of changes which would substantively alter conditions of employment resulting from:
(a) changes in law, government-wide rules and regulations or other formal directives to which the EEOC is subject;
(b) changes in formal EEOC directives, regulations or orders;
(c) changes resulting from the exercise of rights reserved to Management; or
(d) matters specifically designated for negotiation in other Articles of this Agreement.
Section 8.04 When there is an obligation to negotiate as a result of the matters listed in Section 8.03, the Parties agree that the procedures set forth in this Article shall constitute the sole procedure for such negotiations. Time frames within this Article may be waived by mutual consent of the Parties.
Section 8.05 Procedures for Negotiation
The Parties agree that the process cited below shall not be necessary if prior agreement is reached in consultation sessions.
(a) The EMPLOYER shall notify the UNION in a timely manner, in writing, of proposed changes as specified in Section 8.03. The EMPLOYER shall also inform the UNION of the proposed implementation date, the manner of implementation and schedule, if any.
(b) If the UNION wishes to negotiate on the proposed changes, it shall notify the EMPLOYER of the UNION's specific concerns within 10 work days following notification by forwarding written proposals on all matters it wishes to discuss further or negotiate. The time limits herein may be extended (e.g., for proposed reductions-in-force or reorganization, etc.) by mutual agreement.
(c) If a negotiating session is requested and such a meeting is scheduled, the EMPLOYER shall pay the travel and per diem of one (1) UNION negotiator.
(d) Agreements and understandings reached in these discussions shall, at the request of either Party, be promptly reduced to writing and signed by both Parties. Such agreements or understandings shall conclude discussions on such matters as have been agreed to by the Parties.
(e) If, after discussion of the proposals, agreement cannot be reached, either Party may inform the other Party in writing that it is initiating the statutory procedures provided at 5 U.S.C. §7119 and its implementing regulations.
Section 8.06 Local Negotiation Procedures
For Local negotiation disputes, the UNION shall proceed under the statutory procedures provided at 5 U.S.C. §7119 and its implementing regulations.
Article 9.00 Use of Official Facilities
Section 9.01 The EMPLOYER will make appropriate space available in each EMPLOYER facility for confidential employee-UNION consultation, upon request by the UNION as the need arises.
Section 9.02 Upon written request by the UNION, the EMPLOYER shall make available to the UNION, where possible, appropriate space for representational meetings with the employees involved, on an as needed basis. Such requests shall be made as far in advance as possible. The Parties agree that such requests and the duration of such meetings will be kept to a minimum.
Section 9.03 The EMPLOYER will make appropriate space available in each EMPLOYER facility for the purpose of UNION meetings upon request by the Local UNION, but normally not more than once each month. The UNION will inform the EMPLOYER in advance of its desire for space. The UNION agrees to exercise reasonable care in using such space and will leave it in the same condition as it was found. Employees attending meetings under this Section will do so only during non-duty hours or while they are in a leave status.
Section 9.04 The EMPLOYER will provide the UNION with private secured space at the Headquarters of the Council and at each facility to which a Local President is assigned. Should any Agency facility housing such space be relocated during the period of this Agreement, the EMPLOYER agrees to include a request for UNION office space in its space request to the General Services Administration.
Section 9.05 At those Agency facilities housing the Headquarters of the Council and each Local, the EMPLOYER shall provide the UNION with space, furniture, file cabinets, a telephone and equipment for use by the UNION in performing its duties.
UNION Representatives shall be permitted to use the Agency's facsimile equipment, computers (including printers), Personnet, E-mail, voicemail, BBS, WESTLAW or Lexis, copiers and the internal mail system when necessary in conducting labor-management activities. UNION Representatives shall notify the appropriate Management Official to obtain prior authorization before using the Agency's equipment. The UNION agrees that WESTLAW/Lexis usage will be limited to a reasonable number of hours during the fiscal year.
The UNION agrees that it will not use the Agency's equipment to conduct any internal UNION business.
Section 9.06 The EMPLOYER agrees to make reasonable efforts to ensure that mail, messages, communications, documents, packages or other articles addressed or forwarded to the UNION or a UNION Representative are delivered without being opened. Such UNION mail, messages, communications, documents, packages or other articles must be clearly identifiable or marked "Addressee Only."
Section 10.01 The EMPLOYER shall recognize and grant official time to all Representatives who have been properly designated by the UNION.
(a) UNION Representative shall mean any bargaining unit employee properly designated under this section by the UNION to receive reasonable official time to act as an agent for the UNION.
(b) Notification of designation must be sent to the Director, Partnership, Policy & Workforce Performance Team. The UNION shall specifically designate and name annually on or before October 31, the below listed UNION Representatives:
- four (4) National Representatives to exclusively perform representational activities;
- one (1) Local Representative for each District Office;
- one (1) Local Representative for the Washington Field Office;
- one (1) Local Representative for each Area Office;
- one (1) Local Representative for each Local Office;
- six (6) Representatives at Headquarters;
- eight (8) Local Presidents; and
- one (1) additional Representative for each Local UNION.
The UNION may designate an alternate for each District, Area, Local and Field Office and two (2) alternates for Headquarters to act in the absence or unavailability of the Local Representative. The alternate may not serve concurrently while the representative is on official time except in cases of immediate emergency. In case of a dispute, the procedures in Article 10.04(c) shall be utilized for this purpose.
(c) When a change of Representative becomes necessary, an e-mail notice to the Director, Partnership, Policy & Workforce Performance Team will suffice for immediate designation. A copy of the e-mail will also be sent to the appropriate Headquarters or Field director. The UNION will follow-up by written confirmation post marked within five (5) work days of the transmission of the e-mail. Delay in receipt of the mail confirmation will not adversely affect the e-mail designation. Failure to designate a representative by e-mail will result in the denial of official time. Where it becomes necessary to designate a UNION Representative orally, the UNION shall notify the Director, Partnership, Policy & Workforce Performance Team and shall confirm the designation in writing as set forth in this paragraph.
(a) Official time for representational duties shall be taken into account in making work assignments to UNION Representatives. Ordinary workload will not preclude the authorization of official time. If official time clearance cannot be granted, the EMPLOYER shall provide the reason(s) for denial and the approximate date and time that it will be approved.
(b) EMPLOYER evaluations of UNION Representatives must be based upon actual time spent on their officially assigned work, adjusting standards accordingly.
(c) Employees who exclusively perform representational activities shall be presumed to be performing at an acceptable level of competence for within-grade increases.
(a) Official time under this Article shall only be used to perform representational duties, and statutory functions. Upon the effective date of this Agreement, the EMPLOYER agrees to authorize the use of reasonable official time for UNION Representatives to carry out duties authorized by the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 and this Agreement.
(b) Representational functions shall not be performed by UNION Representatives during periods when they are working overtime except in those instances where incidents occur during periods of overtime work that require the immediate attention of the UNION Representative.
(a) UNION Representatives requesting clearance for the use of official time shall complete the appropriate portion of EEOC Form 551, Labor-Management Accountability Form, and submit it to their immediate supervisor or in his/her absence, to an appropriate Management Official, prior to using any official time. Upon return to his/her work station, the UNION Representative shall advise the immediate supervisor or in his/her absence, an appropriate Management Official, of his/her return and complete all additional portions of EEOC Form 551. Denials of official time shall be documented on EEOC Form 551. UNION Representatives will not be granted official time if they fail to complete and submit the Form 551 to their immediate supervisor or in his/ her absence, an appropriate Management Official.
(b) To assist the EMPLOYER in planning work assignments, the UNION Representative will determine with his/her immediate supervisor, a week ahead of time, the approximate number of hours in the next bi-weekly period that will be necessary to perform appropriate representational functions, in accordance with the provisions of Section 10.04(a).
(c) Any disputes regarding clearance for official time or the proper use of official time which cannot be resolved locally, may be referred to the Local President. If the dispute is not resolved by the Local President and the Office Director (Headquarters) or the District Director (Field office), the matter shall be referred to the Director, Partnership, Policy & Workforce Performance Team and the National Council President for resolution, or may be challenged pursuant to the parties’ negotiated grievance procedure or other appropriate third party procedure.
(d) UNION Representatives using official time to answer or place labor-management related phone calls, etc., at their work stations shall on a daily basis complete EEOC Form 551 to reflect this time and submit it to the immediate supervisor at the end of the two week period. UNION Representatives will not be granted official time if they fail to complete and submit Form 551 to their immediate supervisor or in his/her absence, an appropriate Management Official.
(e) The EMPLOYER and UNION will negotiate and develop a user friendly, electronic system for tracking the use of official time.
Section 10.05 Where an office has been assigned to the UNION in accordance with Article 9.00, Use of Official Facilities, all UNION activities shall be performed within the assigned space, unless specifically invited by the EMPLOYER to a manager's office, or where the UNION and the EMPLOYER agree otherwise. However, UNION Representatives may use minimal amounts of official time at their work station for phone calls, making appointments, etc.
Section 11.01 Payroll deductions for the payment of UNION dues shall be made from the pay of employees who voluntarily request such dues deduction.
Section 11.02 Employees desiring to have UNION dues deducted from their pay may at any time complete and sign the appropriate portions of AFGE Form 1187, Request and Authorization for Voluntary Allotment of Compensation for Payment of Employee Organization Dues. Section A of the form shall be completed and certified by the President or Treasurer of each Local who shall forward or deliver it to the American Federation of Government Employees.
Section 11.03 Authorized deductions will be made each bi-weekly pay period from the pay of an employee who has requested such allotment for dues in accordance with this Agreement. It is understood that no deduction for dues will be made by the EMPLOYER in any period for which
the employee's net earnings, after other deductions, are insufficient to cover the full amount of the allotment for dues.
Section 11.04 No fee will be charged by the EMPLOYER for services rendered in connection with the dues withholding program.
Section 11.05 Employees shall be entitled to revoke UNION membership once annually, on the anniversary date of their initial membership. An employee who has authorized the withholding of UNION dues may request revocation of such authorization by completion and submission to the Treasurer of the Local UNION, or its designee, of a Standard Form 1188, Revocation of Voluntary Authorization for Allotment of Compensation for Payment of Labor Organization Dues, normally 60 calendar days but no later than 30 calendar days prior to his/her anniversary date. The EMPLOYER shall promptly forward to the UNION any revocations received directly from employees.
Section 11.06 The UNION shall be responsible for ensuring that Standard Form 1187 is made available to its members and shall ensure that the forms are promptly completed and certified. The UNION recognizes its responsibility for assuring that its members are fully informed and educated concerning the program for payroll deduction of employee organization dues, its voluntary nature and the uses and availability of the required forms.
Section 11.07 All deductions of UNION dues provided for in this Article shall be automatically terminated in the event of loss of exclusive recognition by the UNION. Any individual allotment for dues withholding shall also be automatically terminated upon separation of the employee from the Agency, promotion or reassignment of the employee to a position outside of the bargaining unit or upon the suspension or expulsion of the employee from membership in the exclusive labor organization. The deduction will be revoked at the end of the first full pay period of the month following such action.
The EMPLOYER and the UNION agree that open communications will facilitate and promote maximum labor-management cooperation and minimize misunderstandings.
Section 12.01 A copy of Title 5 C.F.R. and related guidance, and all applicable government-wide rules and regulations and all EEOC directives and orders affecting conditions of employment will be maintained at Headquarters and in each District Office. Upon request, the EMPLOYER shall make these available to the UNION, in Headquarters and all District Offices. In its other facilities, the EMPLOYER shall make any portion of these available, upon request, to employees or the UNION.
Section 12.02 The EMPLOYER shall provide a copy of this Agreement to all employees in the unit and to each new bargaining unit employee, during new employee orientation. In addition, the EMPLOYER shall post this Agreement electronically on its internal website. The EMPLOYER shall invite the designated UNION Representative to attend orientation sessions conducted for new bargaining unit employees.
The EMPLOYER shall provide each Local President the name, position, grade level and expected reporting date of all individuals selected/hired to fill positions in the bargaining unit. Such notice shall be provided prior to the reporting date or effective date of the action, as appropriate.
Further, 100 copies of this Agreement shall be provided to the UNION and this Agreement shall be available on INSITE.
Section 12.03 One space (approximately 40" x 40") on each floor of any EMPLOYER facility shall be provided for exclusive use of the UNION, in an area easily accessible and visible to employees. The UNION agrees that such space shall be used exclusively for bulletin boards and that it will install such bulletin boards in accordance with Federal regulations. UNION bulletin boards will be identified as such. Upon mutual agreement of both Parties, the UNION may also post notices in common areas. In the absence of such an agreement, the EMPLOYER may request removal of the material.
The Parties agree that in the event that any material posted on the bulletin board(s) is considered objectionable by the EMPLOYER, the EMPLOYER shall inform the appropriate Local President or designated UNION Official. The EMPLOYER shall specify the objectionable material, the reason why it is deemed objectionable and may request its removal.
The UNION may remove challenged material from bulletin board space, pending resolution of the objectionable issue. Objectionable material means material, the publication of which violates Federal, State or local law, such as defamatory or false materials or materials which constitute an unlawful invasion of privacy.
The Parties understand that this Agreement does not constitute a waiver of any rights guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States.
Section 12.04 All written agreements entered into by the EMPLOYER and the UNION shall become effective upon the date mutually determined by both Parties. The EMPLOYER shall distribute the written agreements and documents pertaining thereto as mutually agreed upon during the negotiations of the agreement.
Section 12.05 The EMPLOYER and the UNION agree to inform each other regarding changes of UNION Officials, Representatives, Stewards and Management Officials and Supervisors in a timely manner.
Section 12.06 The locations, names and telephone numbers of the Council President and Local Presidents shall be included in the EMPLOYER's telephone directories upon publication and/or revision and electronically on its internal website. The UNION shall provide the above information to the EMPLOYER in a timely manner. At the request of the UNION, the EMPLOYER will update the UNION’s directory information on INSITE up to three times a year.
Section 12.07 The EMPLOYER shall inform each new employee upon entrance on duty of the UNION's exclusive recognition by providing a copy of this Agreement.
Section 12.08 The EMPLOYER shall in October of each year furnish to the UNION a list of bargaining unit employees including grade, series and location of each.
Section 12.09 A copy of each published merit promotion or vacancy announcement shall be distributed upon issuance to the President of the Local in which the vacancy occurs.
Section 12.10 Bargaining unit employees will be provided a reasonable amount of duty time to participate in UNION sponsored training on the new collective bargaining agreement.
Section 13.01 Employees shall satisfy in good faith their obligations as citizens, including all just financial obligations including, but not limited to, those recognized in Executive Order No. 12953 (Actions Required of all Executive Agencies to Facilitate the Payment of Child Support) and Federal, State, or local taxes that are imposed by law. For purposes of this Article, a just financial obligation includes any financial obligation reduced to judgment by a court or by a State agency authorized to issue income withholding notices pursuant to a State or local law. In good faith means an honest intention to fulfill any just financial obligation in a timely manner. In the event of a dispute between an employee and an alleged creditor, this Article does not require the Agency to determine the validity or amount of a disputed debt that has not been reduced to judgment or to collect a debt that has not been reduced to judgment on the alleged creditor's behalf.
Section 13.02 The Parties recognize that 5 C.F.R. Part 179-Claims Collection Standards, Part 581-Processing Garnishment Orders for Child Support and/or Alimony, Part 582-Commercial Garnishment of Federal Employees' Pay, and Part 835-Debt Collection, pertain to the garnishment of Federal employees’ pay for just financial obligations. Upon request, the appropriate regulations or EEOC Order will be made available to the employee.
All claims for loss or damage to personal property arising incident to employment shall be filed by, or on behalf of, the employee in accordance with the Military Personnel and Civilian Employees Claim Act of 1964, as amended, 31 U.S.C. §§ 3721 et seq., and the appropriate EEOC Order(s) (currently, EEOC Order No. 670.001). Upon request, the appropriate regulation and/or EEOC Order(s) will be made available to the employee.
Section 15.01 This Article gives bargaining unit employees an opportunity to receive fair and appropriate consideration for jobs in the bargaining unit in the competitive service.
Section 15.02 Hiring and promotions shall be effected only on the basis of merit and qualifications. Where appropriate, the EMPLOYER shall give due consideration to work-related experience that is qualifying for the announced position that is obtained from any source. Such experience may be gained as a result of an employee's official UNION duties.
Section 15.03 Where the EMPLOYER determines the need to consider applicants for bargaining unit positions from outside the Federal service, it will post those vacancies simultaneously in accordance with the appropriate Sections of this Article as it undertakes outside recruitment efforts. Merit promotion announcements shall be posted for ten (10) work days. At the request of the Selecting Official, the period of posting may be extended to a maximum of 20 work days.
Section 15.04 The area of consideration for positions at GS-13 and above, is EEOC-wide. For positions at GS-12 and below, EEOC Headquarters shall be the area of consideration for vacancies at Headquarters. In the Field, the area of consideration shall be the EEOC Offices (District, Area and Local) in the District where the vacancy occurs. When a vacancy is announced under the Merit Promotion Plan, the certificate of eligibles will be forwarded to the Selecting Official. The certificate shall include the names of at least three (3) qualified candidates when available. Where less than three (3) candidates are available, the area of consideration may be expanded.
Section 15.05 A promotion certificate will not have a life of more than 60 calendar days. The life of a certificate may be extended beyond 60 calendar days by the Director, Office of Human Resources.
Section 15.06 For at least the first year in which the EEOC on-line recruitment system is operational, applicants and employees will continue to be able to pursue job vacancies by submission of non-electronic, paper applications consistent with the Article. During this period, up-to-date announcements shall be maintained and made available in the appropriate personnel office. Also, copies of announcements will be posted electronically on the Agency’s internal computer network site, “INSITE” and through the internet. Applications will also be accepted through the Agency’s internal computer network site, “INSITE” and the internet. After one year of operation, the EMPLOYER and the UNION shall consult to determine whether paper submissions and postings should be eliminated. All announcements shall contain the following:
(a) name and address of issuing office; announcement number; opening and closing date; EEOC or Office of Personnel Management (OPM) title, series code and grade; salary range; organizational location; duty station and area of consideration;
(b) statement regarding civil service status;
(c) if consideration is to be restricted to EEOC employees, a statement to that effect;
(d) a succinct description of the major duties;
(e) a digest of the qualification requirements, including any selective factors;
(f) percentage of travel required or whether no travel is required;
(g) knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics (KSA's) and evaluation method;
(h) whether the position has known promotion potential and a subsequent career promotion from it is permissible without further competition;
(i) an equal employment opportunity statement;
(j) how to apply, including current mailing address and what forms to submit;
(k) a statement regarding the prohibition against the use of Government franked envelopes for mailing applications;
(l) the number of positions to be filled and their location;
(m) a statement on the availability of a Schedule A appointment for individuals with disabilities, where appropriate;
(n) whether or not the position is a bargaining unit position; and
(o) a statement that advises applicants that failure to provide the required information will result in an applicant not receiving consideration.
Section 15.07 Candidates for a position are all appropriate applicants who apply for the specific vacancy on or before the closing date of the announcement. Applications received after the closing date, but postmarked on or before the closing date, will also be accepted and considered.
Section 15.08 A qualification standard may not be modified after the promotion process is underway. If a qualification standard must be modified, the promotion process should be canceled and applicants notified.
Section 15.09 The EMPLOYER may not use a written test in promotion, transfers or other placement actions, including training, unless the test and testing procedures comply with the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures and OPM guidelines on how, when and by whom written tests may be used.
Section 15.10 To apply for a position, an employee must submit a completed copy of his/her Optional Application for Federal Employment (OF-612), Application for Federal Employment (SF-171), Resume Form (OF-510), or other approved format and EEOC Appraisal Form to the appropriate personnel office, identifying the position(s) for which he/she is applying. It is the responsibility of the employee applying for a specific vacancy to keep his/her record of training, experience, awards, etc., up to date by the closing date of the announcement. Finalists for vacancies at EEOC who have met all qualification requirements will be asked to complete OF-306, Declaration for Federal Employment, so that their suitability for the position being filled can be determined.
Section 15.11 Minimally qualified candidates will be those who meet the appropriate OPM Qualification Standards Handbook requirements contained in the vacancy announcement. Each qualified candidate will be evaluated against evaluation criteria specified in the vacancy announcement. Candidates referred for selection shall be listed in alphabetical order. Applicants found not qualified will be so notified.
Section 15.12 The evaluation process shall be based upon a comparison of the qualified candidates' qualifications against a set of job-related criteria that have been developed for the position to be filled.
When necessary, a crediting plan shall be developed by the EMPLOYER for the position to be filled. It shall specify how each of the knowledge, skills, abilities (KSA’s) and other characteristics will be measured and the crediting levels for each. The plan must equate the quality of candidates' possession of essential KSA's to specific credit levels.
Section 15.13 Selecting Officials may at their discretion interview candidates. However, if one (1) candidate on a certificate is interviewed, all other candidates on that certificate must be interviewed. Candidates in a different geographic location from the Selecting Official may be interviewed by telephone or by an authorized representative of the Selecting Official in the geographic area in which the candidate is located.
Section 15.14 Upon request, an employee not certified under a merit promotion announcement shall be informed by the personnel office as to the reason(s) for his/her non-certification. Upon request, an employee not selected will be informed by the Selecting Official of the specific reasons for his/her non-selection.
Section 15.15 An employee is entitled to see, upon his/her request, all documents relating to that employee which were used in the selection process.
Section 15.16 In evaluating candidates for certification, type and quality of experience and/or education, or a combination of both, must be considered.
Section 15.17 Employees selected shall be released as soon as possible from their positions, normally not later than three (3) weeks after final selection. A maximum of 30 calendar days may be permitted when mutual agreement is reached between the releasing and receiving office. If the employee must be held beyond the 30 calendar days, the EMPLOYER shall provide a written explanation to the employee as to the reason(s) why he/she will be held and when he/she will be released. Each employee is responsible for giving his/her supervisor at least a two (2) week notice of his/her intent to voluntarily vacate a position.
Section 15.18 Management will advise the successful applicant of his/her selection.
Section 15.19 Competitive placement procedures shall apply to the following types of personnel actions concerning bargaining unit positions:
(a) Promotions, unless excluded by Section 15.20;
(b) Temporary promotions for more than 120 calendar days. A temporary promotion may be made permanent without further competition, provided it was originally made under competitive procedures and all candidates were aware that it could lead to a permanent promotion;
(c) Term promotions to higher positions. A term promotion may be made permanent without any further competition provided the term promotion was originally made under competitive procedures and all candidates were aware that it could lead to a permanent promotion;
(d) Selection for details over 120 days to higher graded positions or to positions with known promotion potential greater than the employee's present position. Service during the preceding 12 months under all details to higher graded positions and temporary promotions is included when computing the 120-day period;
(e) Selection for formal training required for promotion. Selection for training must be competitive if the training is given to prepare an employee for advancement and is required for promotion;
(f) Reassignment or demotion to a position with greater promotion potential than the position previously held;
(g) Transfer to a higher graded position; and
(h) Reinstatement to a permanent or temporary position at a higher grade than the last grade held in a non-temporary position in the competitive service.
Section 15.20 Competitive procedures do not apply to the following personnel actions. However, these actions will be accomplished in accordance with the provisions of Section 15.02 of this Article:
(a) a promotion resulting from upgrading a position, without significant change in the duties and responsibilities, due to issuance of a new classification standard or the correction of an initial classification error;
(b) a position change permitted by reduction-in-force regulations 5 C.F.R. Part 351;
(c) career promotions:
(1) a promotion without current competition when at an earlier stage an employee was selected from a civil service register or under competitive procedures for an assignment intended to prepare the employee for the position being filled (the intent must be made a matter of record and career-ladders must be documented in the promotion file);
(2) a promotion resulting from an employee's position being reclassified at a higher grade because of added duties and responsibilities, provided the new position is clearly a successor to the former position and no additional position is created as a result of the promotion;
(3) a career-ladder promotion following non-competitive conversion of a cooperative education student, veterans readjustment appointee, Presidential Management Intern or other authorized program or action;
(d) a change from a position having known promotion potential to one having no higher potential than the potential of a position an employee currently holds or previously held on a permanent basis in the competitive service and did not lose because of performance or conduct reasons;
(e) details to a higher graded position or temporary promotions for up to 120 calendar days;
(f) repromotion to a grade or position from which an employee was involuntarily demoted without personal cause and not at his or her request;
(g) promotion of a candidate not given proper consideration in a competitive promotion action;
(h) promotion as a result of negotiated settlements of formal EEO complaints or grievances;
(i) persons with a disability condition converted to competitive status pursuant to Executive Order No. 12125;
(j) reinstatement to a permanent or temporary position at the same or lower grade with no greater promotion potential than the previous grade held in a non-temporary position in the competitive service; and
(k) any other exceptions provided by law, civil service rule or regulation found at Title 5 C.F.R.
Section 15.21 The EMPLOYER shall maintain a temporary record of each promotion or selection made under this Article and upon request, shall make the record available to the UNION. This record shall be maintained for two (2) years after the date of selection or two (2) years after the announcement closes if no selection is made. Files subject to EEO complaint investigations or to grievances must be maintained until the case is resolved. At a minimum, the record shall include the information below, where applicable:
(a) identification of the position;
(b) description of the method used to locate and identify candidates;
(c) qualification standards used;
(d) evaluation methods and system for combining evaluations to obtain final ratings;
(e) evaluations of the candidates (including supervisory appraisals, test scores, etc.);
(f) names of candidates as they appeared in the final ranking;
(g) names of candidates who were in the group from which selection was made; and
(h) names of employees selected.
Section 15.22 Although not covered by the other Sections of this Article, when necessary, bargaining unit Schedule A Attorney vacancies shall normally be posted for ten (10) work days. At the request of the Selecting Official, the period of posting may be extended. Announcements must receive sufficient publicity so that employees within the unit shall have an opportunity to learn of the vacancies and to apply. Applications received from employees within the unit shall receive impartial and appropriate consideration along with all other qualified applicants for vacancies and shall be referred to the Selecting Official in alphabetical order.
Section 16.01 A reassignment means a change of an employee, while serving continuously within the same agency, from one position to another without promotion or demotion.
Section 16.02 When an employee is reassigned to a position with a different performance plan, the employee shall be provided a copy of the new performance plan. The employee must perform under the new performance plan for at least 90 calendar days before he/she can be appraised.
Section 16.03 If an individual with a disability is reassigned, reasonable accommodations must be provided in the new work setting in accordance with Article 22.00 Equal Employment Opportunity.
Section 16.04 A detail is the temporary assignment of an employee to the duties of a different position or unclassified duties for a specified period of time, with the employee returning to his/her regular duties at the end of the detail.
Section 16.05 The EMPLOYER shall notify an employee in writing whenever possible prior to a detail or reassignment, except when details do not exceed five (5) consecutive work days. When a situation necessitates an emergency detail, such written notice shall be provided as soon as possible after the effective date of the detail. Upon request, the EMPLOYER shall meet with the employee and explain the reasons for the detail or reassignment.
Section 16.06 The EMPLOYER may use details when:
(a) a temporary shortage of personnel exists;
(b) the volume of work suddenly increases and interrupts the workflow;
(c) an employee is on extended leave or leave without pay;
(d) other conditions of a special need arise; or,
(e) requested by an employee.
Section 16.07 Details in excess of 30 calendar days shall be recorded on a SF-52, Request for Personnel Action. A copy of the SF-52, including a statement of the duties to which detailed, shall be furnished to the employee and a copy placed in the employee's Official Personnel Folder (OPF) and duplicate OPF held in the Field office.
Section 16.08 If an employee's detail exceeds 120 calendar days, the EMPLOYER shall furnish the employee with a copy of an accurate classified position description or a statement of unclassified duties.
Section 16.09 A temporary promotion is the change of an employee on a temporary or time-limited basis (1) to a position at a higher grade level within the same job classification system and pay schedule or (2) to a position with a higher rate of basic pay in a different job classification system and pay schedule.
Temporary promotions shall be effectuated in accordance with Article 15.00 Filling of Vacancies and Merit Promotion, and in accordance with applicable laws, rules and regulations.
Section 16.10 If the EMPLOYER requires the duties of a higher graded position to be performed for more than 120 calendar days, competitive merit promotion procedures will be used to temporarily promote the selected employee. Service during the preceding 12 months under all details to higher graded positions and temporary promotions is included when computing the 120-day period.
Section 16.11 The EMPLOYER agrees that any employee who is detailed or who is otherwise authorized or required by the EMPLOYER to perform the functions of any higher graded position for 60 calendar days or more shall be temporarily promoted to the position to which detailed and shall be paid at the rate of the higher graded position from the 61st to the 120th day.
Section 16.12 The EMPLOYER is responsible for controlling the duration of details and assuring that details do not compromise the principles of the merit system.
Section 16.13 Prior to mass reassignments in Headquarters, Washington Field Office, District, Area and/or Local Offices affecting the working conditions of employees, the EMPLOYER shall advise the UNION and provide the UNION with the opportunity to negotiate the impact and implementation of the change.
Section 17.01 A career-ladder is a series of levels of increasing difficulty in the same line of work through which an employee may progress from the entrance level to the level of full performance. Career advancement is the intent and expectation of the Career Ladder System. However, career ladder promotions are not automatic. Nothing in this Article shall be construed to require Management to promote, when in the EMPLOYER's sole discretion and in accordance with applicable law, rule, regulation or this Agreement, the circumstances do not warrant such action.
Section 17.02 In order to effect a career-ladder promotion of an employee, the supervisor must certify that:
(a) the employee has a "proficient" or higher rating of record;
(b) the employee has not received less than a "proficient" rating on a critical element that is also critical to the performance at the next higher grade;
(c) the employee meets the applicable qualifications requirements of the OPM Qualifications Standards Handbook, and if applicable, time-in-grade requirements;
(d) the employee has demonstrated the ability to perform at the next higher grade;
(e) the employee is performing at least at the “proficient” level at the time of his/her eligibility for a career ladder promotion.
Section 17.03 At least 90 days prior to an employee's eligibility date, if the supervisor determines that the employee is not going to be promoted, the supervisor will advise the employee of the reason(s) a promotion will not be recommended as set forth in Section 17.02. The supervisor will provide the employee with a copy of the position description for the higher graded duties. In addition, the supervisor will advise the employee what he/she must do to be recommended for a career-ladder promotion. A supervisor’s failure to provide such notice at least 90 days prior to the employee’s eligibility date shall not be a reason for granting a career ladder promotion.
A. Education, Development and Training
Section 18.01 The EMPLOYER and UNION agree that an investment in employee education, development, and training is of primary importance in creating a high performance Agency and enabling all employees to reach their full potential. The EMPLOYER and UNION further agree the principle objectives of such Education, Development and Training efforts will be to:
(a) provide individual and group training, retraining and developmental opportunities to enhance on‑the‑job skills and abilities of employees which lead to personal development;
(b) publish and disseminate information concerning skill training programs;
(c) promote the sharing and exchange of training materials, information and techniques; and
(d) inform employees of the training opportunities available within the broader Human/Civil Rights Community and to make available to employees the opportunity to participate in and gain the benefits of these training programs whenever practical or feasible.
Section 18.02 Each employee is responsible for applying reasonable effort, time and initiative to increase his/her career potential through self‑development and training.
Section 18.03 Employees are encouraged to take advantage of other types of training programs and are encouraged to present reasonable suggestions concerning training needs to their supervisors. If, at any time, during the performance appraisal cycle, the EMPLOYER determines that training directly related to the successful accomplishment of an employee's job is necessary, the EMPLOYER shall document this on the appropriate performance appraisal form, and consistent with its needs and resources, shall provide that employee with the appropriate training. This does not preclude serious consideration of training requests when such training would result in better organizational or individual performance.
Section 18.04 The EMPLOYER shall post on EEOC office bulletin boards, including, when received in computer compatible format, electronic mail, the EEOC on-line recruitment system, INSITE, Local Area Network Systems (LANS) and Wide Area Networks (WANS), information concerning training and educational programs as soon as possible after the EMPLOYER has been notified of such training. Where the EMPLOYER requires the employee to attend training courses or sessions, the employee shall be given reasonable notice, normally no less than two (2) weeks. Nomination and selection for training and career development programs and courses shall be made in a fair, impartial manner and consistent with the EMPLOYER's needs and resources.
Section 18.05 When the employee timely requests a training course via the appropriate format, the EMPLOYER shall make every attempt to notify the employee at least one (1) week prior to the start of the training whether or not the request is approved.
Section 18.06 An employee who has been approved for a long‑term training program (over 120 calendar days duration) shall normally be granted duty time to participate in the program. Long‑term training must be justified as contributing to the mission of EEOC and the justification must include the new or expanded duties the employee shall perform upon his/her return, as a result of training. Generally, long‑term training is used when:
(a) the needed set of knowledge or skills requires a comprehensive study program which could not be accomplished by a series of unconnected short courses;
(b) the time span for acquisition of the knowledge or skill is such that a concentrated long‑term program is most feasible; and,
(c) the set of knowledge or skills is so complex, new or unique that it could not be readily obtained on a short‑term basis from any available Agency or interagency or non‑government source.
Section 18.07 When the EMPLOYER pays for the employee's long‑term training in a non‑government facility, the employee must agree in writing to a continued service agreement pursuant to applicable laws and regulations.
Section 18.08 The EMPLOYER recognizes the need to provide continuous training for all of its employees. The EMPLOYER will provide training for each employee relating to the performance of his/her duties, normally a minimum of 40 hours each fiscal year. Training is not limited to formal class room training and may include on-the-job training, mentoring, and other informal methods.
Section 18.09 Supervisors will meet with employees to jointly develop an annual training and development plan. Training can include a combination of peer training, on‑the‑job training, mentoring, team leader development programs and classroom training.
Section 18.10 Each office shall develop, with employee input, an annual office training plan, which shall be reduced to writing.
(a) Training may include peer training, peer mentoring and team leader development programs and should be designed to support, develop and enhance the EEOC Mission and its delivery of services to the public.
(b) Employees are expected to take advantage of on‑the‑job training and to exercise initiative in taking advantage of other types of training programs, realizing that advancement depends on self‑development.
Section 18.11 Documentation of all formal training shall be maintained by the District or Headquarters office training officer or coordinator and reported to the Office of Human Resources on a periodic basis as required by agency reporting procedures. Employees are encouraged to maintain a record of training for his/her use when applying for other positions.
Section 18.12 The EMPLOYER shall grant official time, upon written request, to UNION Representatives to attend UNION‑sponsored labor relations training provided that the Parties will derive benefit from such training.
(a) Official time for attendance at UNION‑sponsored training shall be limited to 40 hours of training per UNION Representative per fiscal year. Such hours cannot be transferred among UNION Representatives.
(b) UNION Representatives shall submit requests for use of official time to attend UNION‑sponsored labor relations training to the appropriate District Director(s) or Headquarters Office Director(s), or Washington Field Office Director, at least 15 work days before the training is scheduled to begin. The UNION
Representative must also submit a copy of the training agenda and/or course description at the same time a request for use of official time is submitted. The UNION Representative is responsible for providing the appropriate director(s) with sufficient information concerning the training curriculum so that the appropriate director(s) can determine that the training relates to matters within the scope of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978. Any dispute concerning the use of official time for training will be resolved in accordance with Article 10, Section 10.04(c). The 15‑day notice requirement may be waived by mutual agreement of the Parties. The appropriate director(s) will respond to the request in writing within three work days following the date of receipt of the request.
(c) The UNION shall bear any and all costs associated with such UNION‑sponsored training.
Section 18.13 The EMPLOYER agrees to consider all employee requests for leaves of absence, up to one (1) year, for the purpose of professional development. Such requests shall be approved consistent with the EMPLOYER’s needs and resources, if it complies with applicable laws, rules and regulations, and if it is determined by the EMPLOYER to be in the interest of the Government.
Section 18.14 The EMPLOYER may excuse employees to attend relevant continuing legal education courses, conferences, or meetings with no charge to leave or pay when it is determined that attendance is in the interest of the EMPLOYER.
Section 18.15 The EMPLOYER will normally consider requests for training and development financial assistance. The EMPLOYER will consider reimbursing employees, who have received prior approval, for up to 50 percent of tuition costs for applicable study courses that are related to their job responsibilities. The approval and reimbursement of such requests are contingent upon the availability of funds.
B. Staff Development Enhancement Program
Section 18.16 The EMPLOYER and UNION agree that it is the policy of the EEOC to provide career development opportunities, and support services for the education, training and personal development for employees. The EEOC shall inaugurate a Staff Development Enhancement Program which empowers Commission staff to:
(a) take more responsibility for their performance and development;
(a) prepare and advance themselves to meet workforce changes resulting from the Commission's continuing technological advancements; and
(a) succeed and remain productive in a streamlined and re-engineered organization, with the concomitant organizational and operational realignments that may follow.
Section 18.17 The Staff Development Enhancement Program will offer six (6) slots a year for EEOC employees who demonstrate the potential to grow and assume more complex job responsibilities. The program will offer training and developmental opportunities designed to address the staffing needs of the EMPLOYER. Each year the career development opportunities will be determined based upon the Agency’s overall staffing needs. The parties agree to adopt and implement procedures to establish the Staff Development Enhancement Program. The Training and Employee Development Team will collect data and information to conduct an annual evaluation of the program.
Section 18.18 The Staff Development Enhancement Program will be used to fill positions in headquarters and the Field. Once identified, the staff development positions will be advertised nationally via INSITE and the EEOC on-line recruitment system. Qualification and selection criteria for participation in the Staff Development Enhancement Program will be developed by the Training and Employee Development Team in the Office of Human Resources. The candidate selection process will be made in collaboration with the UNION. If a selection requires geographic relocation, the selectee will bear all costs.
Section 18.19 Selectees under the Staff Development Enhancement Program will receive a two- year Individual Development Plan (IDP). The Office Director or District Director will be responsible for assuring the IDP and mentoring are effectively implemented. The IDP will identify the employee’s training and developmental needs in order to perform in the target position and will specifically identify developmental activities designed to meet those needs. Developmental activities may include e-learning, on the job training, mentoring and other formal training as appropriate. After the candidate has been placed in the target position, the second year of the IDP will include mentoring and continued developmental activities as appropriate.
C. E-Learning and the Virtual University
Section 18.20 The EMPLOYER and the UNION recognize that cutting edge technology available through partnership with the National Learning Center/Department of Transportation’s Virtual University will enable EEOC employees to access on-line training programs available to improve current job skills, as well as to provide developmental opportunities in support of career enhancement goals.
The Virtual University will allow EEOC employees 24 hour access to training courseware, but training required by an approved IDP will be scheduled during duty hours. Virtual University courses could lead to degree programs, and with prior management approval may serve as the basis for full or partial tuition assistance programs by the EEOC.
Section 18.21 The EMPLOYER and the UNION agree to meet and discuss bargaining unit participation in the implementation of the Virtual University, as well as program evaluation criteria, and the options for full implementation.
Section 19.01 Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 5335 and 5 C.F.R. § 531.404, an employee shall receive a within-grade increase subject to the following: (a) completion of the appropriate waiting period, (b) a determination that the employee's work is of an acceptable level of competence and (c) the employee has not received an equivalent increase during the waiting period.
Section 19.02 For within-grade increase purposes, "acceptable level of competence" means job performance at or above the "proficient" level.
Section 19.03 Employees shall be informed of the specific performance requirements that constitute an acceptable level of competence. The method of providing this information shall be the employee's performance plan.
Section 19.04 Basis of Determination
(a) The basis for a determination of acceptable level of competence shall be the employee's rating of record that was assigned no earlier than the most recently completed appraisal period.
(b) If the rating of record assigned no earlier than the most recently completed appraisal period is not consistent with the employee's current performance, a new rating of record shall be prepared for this purpose. Failure to provide a new rating of record prior to denying the WIGI shall not be a reason for granting the within-grade increase.
Section 19.05 Delay in Determination
(b) An acceptable level of competence determination must be delayed and the within-grade increase postponed when either of the following applies:
(1) the employee has not had 90 days to demonstrate acceptable performance because the employee has not served under his/her performance plan for at least 90 calendar days and has not received a performance rating in any position within 90 calendar days before the end of the waiting period; or
(2) the employee has been reduced in grade because of unacceptable performance to a position in which he/she is eligible for a within-grade increase or will become eligible for a within-grade increase within 90 calendar days of the effective date of the reduction-in-grade.
(c) When a within-grade increase is postponed under this Section, the employee shall be informed that the determination is delayed, that the rating period is extended and what the requirements are for "proficient" performance.
(d) If at the end of the extended rating period, the employee's performance is determined to be at an acceptable level, the within-grade increase must be granted retroactively.
Section 19.06 Notice of Positive Determination
An employee whose performance has been determined to be at an acceptable level of competence shall be notified of this determination by means of a Standard Form 50, Notification of Personnel Action, as soon as possible after completion of the requisite waiting period.
Section 19.07 Notice of Negative Determination
When the supervisor determines that the employee's work is not at an acceptable level of competence, the negative determination shall be communicated to the employee in writing as soon as possible after completion of the waiting period, and shall contain, at a minimum, the following:
(a) the reasons for the negative determination;
(c) the steps the employee must take to improve performance in order to be granted a within-grade increase; and
(d) a statement that the employee may request reconsideration of the negative determination by the District Director for Field employees, or the Program, Service Area or Office Director, as appropriate, for Headquarters employees, within 15 calendar days after receiving the notice of negative determination by filing, in writing, a request which states the specific reasons for contesting the negative determination and the factual evidence and documents supporting the reconsideration;
(e) a statement that the employee may have a UNION Representative assist in presenting the reconsideration request;
(f) a statement that the employee will be allowed a reasonable amount of duty time to prepare the request; and
(g) a statement that the employee and his/her Representative may examine and, upon request, obtain a copy of the negative determination file.
Section 19.08 Reconsideration File
When an employee files a request for reconsideration, the EMPLOYER shall establish an employee reconsideration file which shall contain all pertinent documents relating to the negative determination and the request for reconsideration, including copies of the following:
(a) the written negative determination and the basis therefor;
(b) the employee's written request for reconsideration;
(c) the report of investigation when an investigation is made;
(d) when appropriate, the written summary or transcript of any personal presentation made; and
(e) the EMPLOYER's decision on the request for reconsideration.
The file shall not contain any document that has not been made available to the employee or his/her Representative. Copies of any materials added to the file will be provided to the employee or his/her Representative.
Section 19.09 Reconsideration Decision
The decision whether a negative determination will be sustained or set aside will be made by the Director promptly after receipt of the request for reconsideration.
(a) Upon receipt of the employee's request for reconsideration, the Director shall request the complete file of the case from the supervisor.
(b) On the basis of the file, any evidence presented by the employee and/or Representative and information gathered from any inquiry or investigation, the Director shall sustain or set aside the negative determination.
(c) The Director shall notify the employee in writing of the decision.
(a) The written decision shall contain a statement that the earlier negative determination is either sustained or set aside with a summary of the reasons for the decision.
(b) If the negative decision is sustained, the written decision shall also contain a statement that the employee has the right to appeal this determination to the Merit Systems Protection Board.
(c) The CBA excludes from its grievance procedures the review of reconsideration determinations.
Section 19.10 If an employee has been previously notified of performance deficiencies and is currently performing under a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP), the employee's within-grade increase must be denied until the supervisor determines that the employee has achieved an acceptable level of competence.
Section 19.11 Effective Date
(a) Except as provided in 19.11(b) below, a within-grade increase shall be effective on the first day of the first pay period after the completion of the required waiting period and a determination has been made that the employee is performing at an acceptable level of competence.
(b) When an acceptable level of competence is achieved at some time after a negative determination, the effective date is the first day of the first pay period after the acceptable level of competence determination has been made.
(c) When a negative determination is changed as a result of reconsideration or appeal of a negative determination, the change supersedes the negative determination. The effective date of the within-grade increase is the date on which the increase would otherwise have been effected.
Section 19.12 Waiver of Requirement for Determination
An acceptable level of competence determination shall be waived and a within-grade increase granted when an employee has not served in any position for at least 90 calendar days during the final 52 calendar weeks of the waiting period for one (1) or more of the following reasons:
(a) because of absences that are creditable service in the computation of a waiting period under 5 C.F.R. § 531.406;
(b) because of paid leave;
(a) because the employee received credit under the back pay provisions at 5 C.F.R. Part 550;
(b) because of details to another agency or EMPLOYER for which no rating has been prepared; or
(a) because the employee has had insufficient time to demonstrate an acceptable level of competence due to authorized activities of official interest to the agency not subject to appraisal under 5 C.F.R. part 430; and serving as a representative of a labor organization under Chapter 71 of Title 5, United States Code; or
(b) because of long-term training.
In such a situation, there shall be a presumption that the employee would have performed at an acceptable level of competence had the employee perform the duties of his/her position of record for the minimum appraisal period under the applicable Agency performance appraisal system.
Section 19.13 Continuing Evaluation
When a within-grade increase has been withheld, a new determination may be made anytime after 30 calendar days, but no more than 52 calendar weeks, following the original eligibility date for the within-grade increase, and for as long as the within-grade increase continues to be denied, determinations shall be made no longer than every 52 calendar weeks.
Section 20.01 Each employee will be provided with a copy of his/her Official Position Description which accurately reflects the major duties and responsibilities of that position within 10 work days of assignment to the position. Employees are encouraged to discuss with their supervisors any discrepancies between their position descriptions and their actual duties assigned, and it shall be the responsibility of the EMPLOYER to make adjustments where appropriate. Employees may request a position description at any time.
Section 20.02 An employee who feels that his/her position is improperly classified is encouraged to first discuss the matter with his/her supervisor. If the matter cannot be informally resolved, the employee may submit a written request for a review of the classification (desk audit) of his/her position to the Director of the Personnel Operations Services Team (POST) and simultaneously serve a copy on his/her immediate supervisor. When the requested review (audit) is completed, the employee shall be furnished with the results of the classification review and information on his/her appeal rights and procedures as set forth in 5 C.F.R.§ 511.603. et seq. If the employee is dissatisfied with the results of the review, he/she has two options:
(a) the employee may file a classification appeal with the Agency. The employee shall set forth in the appeal the reason(s) why the results of the classification review are being questioned. Classification appeals filed with the Agency shall be submitted to the Assistant Director, Partnership, Policy and Workforce Performance Team (PP&WPT) with a copy to the employee’s immediate supervisor. If the employee is dissatisfied with the Agency’s decision on his/her classification appeal, he or she may continue the appeal process by appealing the decision to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), or
(a) the employee may submit a classification appeal request directly to OPM. However, if the employee chooses to bypass the Agency in the process of his/her classification appeal, the decision of OPM is final.
Employees may request assistance from UNION Representatives on classification appeals.
Section 20.03 Classification reviews, desk/job audits and/or surveys shall be performed by qualified personnel staff or OPM representatives. The EMPLOYER will inform the UNION of any changes as a result of surveys in a timely manner prior to implementation. The EMPLOYER will advise the UNION in advance of the scheduled visits of personnel staff members or OPM representatives to perform position classification surveys of bargaining unit positions, indicating the purpose and the organizational entity and positions(s) being studied. Copies of classification determinations concerning bargaining unit changes and the rationale shall be furnished to the UNION as a result of position classification surveys. The UNION shall be afforded an opportunity to comment on the results of the classification review.
Section 20.04 Current position descriptions and newly classified position descriptions shall not include such ambiguous phrases as “other duties as assigned,” however, may include phrases such as “other job-related duties as assigned.”
Section 20.05 Upon request of an employee or his/her Representative, Position Classification Standards for any occupation, where available in an office, shall be made accessible for review. In offices where Position Classification Standards are not maintained, the EMPLOYER shall make specific Position Classification Standards accessible for review upon request. Reasonable requests for copies of Position Classification Standards shall be honored on an as needed basis.
Section 20.06 In the event the EMPLOYER is assigned additional functions involving position classifications, the EMPLOYER shall initiate action to review the grade levels of any EEOC positions changed by the addition of duties. Where necessary, a new or amended position description will be issued.
Section 20.07 When the EMPLOYER becomes aware that the work assigned to an employee does not substantiate his/her present grade, the EMPLOYER shall make every reasonable effort to limit or eliminate any resultant adverse effect on such an employee.
The Parties agree that an objective performance appraisal system (a sub-component of the Agency's Performance Management System) is in the best interest of both the EMPLOYER and UNION. The performance appraisal/evaluation procedures agreed to by the Parties shall provide, to the maximum extent possible, an accurate and objective evaluation of job performance. The parties recognize that a Performance Appraisal System (PAS) is in place and agree to meet and confer in accordance with Article 8, if and when it needs to be changed and/or modified.
Section 22.01 The EMPLOYER and the UNION agree that in their respective policies and practices, they shall not discriminate against any employee on the basis of race, color, sex (including, but not limited to, sexual harassment), sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital status or political affiliation and shall promote a workplace free of harassment based on any of these prohibited factors.
Section 22.02 The EMPLOYER shall, pursuant to Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, 29 U.S.C. § 791 and applicable EEOC orders, survey its physical facilities, and bring them into compliance with applicable laws and regulations, employ individuals with disabilities and make reasonable accommodations for qualified persons with disabilities.
Section 22.03 The EMPLOYER and the UNION recognize that employees are adversely affected by harassment based on race, color, religion, sex (whether or not of a sexual nature), national origin, age, disability, and sexual orientation, and retaliatory harassment based on opposition to discrimination or participation in discrimination complaint proceedings. Unwelcome verbal or physical conduct based on race, color, religion, sex (whether or not of a sexual nature), national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, or retaliation constitutes prohibited harassment when the conduct can reasonably be considered to adversely affect the work environment, or an employment decision affecting the employee is based on the employee’s acceptance or rejection of such conduct.
Section 22.04 Where it is determined that a need exists, the EMPLOYER may make available materials in appropriate media and languages other than English.
Section 22.05 It is the duty of the EMPLOYER to reasonably accommodate the religious observances and/or practices of employees unless such accommodation would create an undue hardship for the EMPLOYER.
Section 22.06 The EMPLOYER shall designate appropriate representatives to carry out counseling and other Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) functions consistent with applicable law, regulations and other activities.
Section 22.07 The EMPLOYER agrees to provide information to the UNION concerning the EMPLOYER's Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) profile, Affirmative Employment Program, as well as the implementation of the EEO policies and practices. Such information shall be provided annually within 10 calendar days of completion.
Section 23.01 The EMPLOYER and the UNION jointly recognize the desirability of maintaining employment stability. It is also recognized that occasions may arise where adjustments of the work force may be necessary through such means as reorganization and/or realignment.
Section 23.02 A reorganization is defined as the planned elimination, addition or redistribution of functions or duties within an organizational component.
Section 23.03 A realignment is defined as the movement of an employee and his/her position when: (1) a transfer of function or an organizational change occurs, (2) the employee stays in the same Agency and (3) there is no change in the employee's position, grade or pay.
Section 23.04 For each organizational unit affected, the EMPLOYER shall simultaneously serve both the National Council of EEOC Locals No. 216 and the effected Local UNION with a proposed reorganization plan including statements of duties, projected effect on position classification, projected series and grade and relative placement of affected employees, mission and function statements, and the complete table of reorganization showing lines of authority, at least 30 calendar days prior to implementation of the reorganization.
Section 23.05 When a reorganization is the cause of a personnel action involving separation, furlough for more than 30 calendar days, change to lower grade or reassignment involving displacement of another employee, RIF procedures shall be followed and Article 24.00, Reduction-in-Force and Transfer of Function Procedures, shall apply.
Section 23.06 After a reorganization is completed and when the EMPLOYER becomes aware that the work assigned to an employee does not substantiate his/her present grade, the provisions of Article 20.00, Position Description and Classification, Section 20.07 shall apply.
Section 23.07 When the EMPLOYER determines it is necessary to detail employees as part of the implementation and/or transition of a reorganization and/or realignment, Article 16.00, Reassignments, Details and Temporary Promotions, shall apply.
Section 23.08 All employees whose duties are substantially different from those previously performed shall be provided necessary training in the new duties following their assignment to the new unit.
Section 24.01 The provisions of this Article establish or specify the procedures which apply to the implementation of any EMPLOYER decision that a reduction-in-force (RIF) is necessary, and specify actions the EMPLOYER will take to assist bargaining unit employees who are impacted as a consequence.
Section 24.02 A RIF occurs when the EMPLOYER releases an employee from his/her competitive level by furlough for more than 30 days, separation, demotion or reassignment requiring displacement, when the release is required because of lack of work, shortage of funds, insufficient personnel ceiling, reorganization, the exercise of re-employment rights or restoration rights, or reclassification of an employee’s position due to erosion of duties when such action will take effect after the EMPLOYER has formally announced a reduction in force in the employee’s competitive area and when the reduction in force will take effect within 180 days.
Section 24.03 Transfer of function is the transfer of the performance of a continuing function from one competitive area and its addition to one (1) or more other competitive areas, except when the function involved is virtually identical to functions already being performed in the other competitive area(s) affected; or the movement of the competitive area in which the function is performed to another commuting area.
Section 24.04 At the earliest practicable date, the EMPLOYER shall notify the UNION in writing of a pending RIF or transfer of function prior to informing employees. The notice to the UNION shall include the reasons for the RIF or transfer of function, the number and types of positions affected and the proposed date of the action. Prior to implementing a RIF or transfer of function, the EMPLOYER shall give the UNION a reasonable opportunity to negotiate the impact and implementation of the planned action. The Parties will also negotiate the number of UNION Representatives needed to monitor the RIF or transfer of function.
Section 24.05 To eliminate or minimize any adverse impact upon employees in a RIF or transfer of function, the EMPLOYER shall give full consideration to alternate methods including, but not limited to, attrition, reassignment or special details which do not result in displacement. In the event a RIF or transfer of function is conducted, the EMPLOYER shall disrupt as few of the Agency's operations and/or organizational components as possible and clearly specify the extent and projected impact of such action.
The EMPLOYER will provide equitable treatment to all employees and give every consideration to retaining career employees. The EMPLOYER shall also consider placing affected employees in vacant positions.
Section 24.06 Competitive Areas
(a) The competitive areas for RIF shall be:
(1) Headquarters: an office level that reports to the Chair or the General Counsel;
(2) Field: A District Office, including the Area and the Local Office if within the respective District Office's local commuting area.
(b) Competitive areas for RIF may be expanded if circumstances require and the Parties agree.
(c) When a RIF or a transfer of function is implemented, a copy of the competitive levels for a competitive area and a copy of the retention registers shall be provided to the UNION within five (5) work days of the completion of each. All other appropriate and related records shall be available for review by the UNION.
Section 24.07 The EMPLOYER shall provide the following information to employees in the affected competitive area to help them understand why they are affected by the RIF or transfer of function:
(a) the extent of the competitive areas, and specific reasons and plans for the RIF or transfer of function in accordance with applicable rules and regulations; and
(b) information on the regulations governing RIFs or transfers of function, on the specific kinds of assistance provided for affected employees and on the procedures for obtaining such information.
Section 24.08 The EMPLOYER shall provide a specific written notice to each employee affected by the RIF or transfer of function at least 60 calendar days prior to the effective date. When a reduction in force is caused by circumstances not reasonably foreseeable, the Director of OPM, at the request of the Agency head or designee, may approve a notice period of less than 60 days. The specific notice shall include the following information:
(a) the action to be taken;
(b) the effective date of the action;
(c) the employee's service computation date and subgroup;
(d) the employee's competitive area and competitive level;
(e) the employee's three most recent ratings of record received during the last 4 years;
(f) if applicable, the reasons why a lower standing employee is being retained in his/her competitive level for more than 30 calendar days after the date a higher standing employee is released from the same retention register;
(g) the employee's appeal or grievance rights and the time limits for such actions;
(h) if applicable, notification that the employee is being separated under liquidation procedures without regard to standing within the subgroup and the date the liquidation will be completed; and
(i) if applicable, specific information on the Reemployment Priority List and Career Transition Assistance Programs.
The employee must also be given a release to authorize, at his or her option, the release of his or her resume and other relevant employment information for employment referral to State dislocated worker unit(s) and potential public or private sector employers; and information concerning how to apply both for unemployment insurance through the appropriate state program and benefits available under the State dislocated worker unit(s), as designated or created under Title III of the Job Training Partnership Act, and an estimate of severance pay (if eligible).
A copy of the specific notice to be issued employees and any correspondence thereafter modifying or amending this notice or a suitable summary of such notices or offers shall be simultaneously provided to the UNION. Any additional correspondence shall be made available for review by the UNION.
Section 24.09 Employees receiving a RIF or transfer of function notice may review the retention register and related records as set forth in 5 C.F.R. § 351.505 and other applicable laws, regulations, and rules.
Section 24.10 Affected employees shall have a minimum of 10 work days to accept or reject an offer of another position.
Section 24.11 Competing employees must be identified with the transferring function in one of two ways: Identification Method One or Identification Method Two. A competing employee is identified with a transferring function under Identification Method One if the employee performs the function during the majority of his/her work time, or, regardless of the amount of time the employee performs the function, the function includes the duties controlling his or her grade or rate of pay. Identification Method Two which is used to identify positions and employees ONLY when Method One is not applicable, applies to employees who perform the function during less than half of their work time AND whose duties in the function are not grade-controlling. If Method Two is applicable, the Agency will follow regulatory RIF requirements to determine the competing employees' standing on the register, i.e., inverse or actual order.
A competing employee who is identified for transfer under Method One or Method Two has no right to transfer with a function unless the alternative is separation or downgrading in the competitive area losing the function.
Section 24.12 The Agency may permit other employees of the Agency to volunteer for transfer with the function in place of employees identified under Method One or Method Two. However, the Agency will permit these other employees to volunteer only if no competing employee identified under Method One or Method Two is separated or demoted solely because a volunteer transferred in place of him/her to the gaining competitive area. If the total number of employees who volunteer for transfer exceeds the number of employees required to perform the function in the gaining competitive area, preference may be given to the volunteers with the highest retention standing.
Section 24.13 In the event of a RIF affecting competitive service employees, the following procedures shall apply:
(a) The EMPLOYER shall make the best offer of employment possible under the regulations to competitive service employees displaced by RIF.
(b) After receipt of the EMPLOYER's offer, an employee may request an assignment to a vacant position for which he/she is qualified at his/her same or lower grade. The EMPLOYER agrees to consider such request.
(c) If an employee is placed in a lower grade, the employee shall retain grade and pay in accordance with applicable law and the provisions of EEOC Orders governing Retention of Grade and Priority Placement.
Section 24.14 The EMPLOYER shall establish and maintain a reemployment priority list in accordance with established regulations. As soon as the EMPLOYER knows it cannot retain an employee in his/her competitive area, his/her name will be added to the list.
Section 24.15 The EMPLOYER shall make every reasonable effort to find employment in other Federal agencies within the competitive area for those employees who are separated from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EMPLOYER shall counsel employees for whom no positions are located as to any benefits that may be available to them pursuant to information obtained from appropriate State employment service agencies.
Section 24.16 The EMPLOYER shall maintain all lists, records and information pertaining to the RIF or transfer of function for at least one (1) year.
Section 24.17 The EMPLOYER shall grant duty time to those employees moving as a result of a RIF or transfer of function to find new housing and schools, to make arrangements for disposition of their current homes and to handle any other matter involved in the move in accordance with applicable regulations. The EMPLOYER will provide counseling to affected employees regarding their entitlement.
Section 24.18 When the EMPLOYER is unable to offer an assignment at the same grade for which the employee qualifies, the EMPLOYER agrees to consider waiver of the qualifications
in light of the availability of vacant positions, provided the employee is able to perform work in the comparable position without undue interruption to the mission of the EMPLOYER and the employee meets the minimum educational requirements.
Section 24.19 Employees shall be entitled to severance pay in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.
(a) Employees in the excepted service shall compete within competitive levels, in order of retention standing as specified in OPM regulations. However, EEOC will not provide retreat rights for its excepted service employees.
(b) After receipt of the EMPLOYER's offer, an employee may request an assignment to a vacant position for which he/she is qualified at his/her same or lower grade. The EMPLOYER agrees to consider such request.
Section 25.01 The EMPLOYER shall not, without the employee's knowledge, place in an employee's Official or duplicate Personnel Folder (OPF) or Employee Performance File (EPF) material of any nature which may reflect adversely upon the employee. A copy of any adverse material to be placed in the OPF or EPF will be simultaneously dispatched to the affected employee, unless prohibited by government-wide rules or regulations.
Section 25.02 The Agency shall maintain the employee's original OPF in Washington, D.C. The original OPF shall be the bargaining unit employee's official personnel record. Each District Office shall maintain a duplicate OPF and the EPF. EPFs for Headquarters employees will be maintained in Headquarters.
Section 25.03 The office having custody of the official and/or duplicate OPFs and EPFs shall permit personal inspection by the employee and/or his/her authorized Representative of the employee's OPF and EPF. Upon request, the file shall be made available to the employee or his/her authorized Representative no later than the next work day or, in the event the employee is in an office other than the custodial office, within approximately five (5) work days after receipt of the request.
For such personal inspection, the OPF, duplicate OPF, and EPF will not be removed from designated personnel locations by the employee or his/her Representative and must be reviewed in the presence of a member of the personnel staff or an appropriate Management Official or designee. Every effort will be made to afford privacy to the employee and his/her Representative, whenever practicable, consistent with the required security of the file. When an employee or his/her Representative is reviewing the OPF, a copy of any document initiated by the EMPLOYER which is in the OPF shall be given to the employee or his/her Representative, upon request, unless prohibited by government-wide rule or regulation.
Employees have the right to have access to the kinds, format and location of all records that are maintained and are filed in a system of records under personal identifier (e.g., social security) numbers. Upon request, employees may review and/or obtain copies of records or documents being maintained by the EMPLOYER. The EMPLOYER will provide an annual notice to employees reminding them of their right to review personnel records or documents maintained by the EMPLOYER. This reminder will be provided on employees’ Leave and Earning Statements via the Agency’s personnel/payroll system (FPPS).
Section 25.04 Any information contained in the employee's OPF or EPF which the employee believes to be inaccurate or incomplete shall be subject to amendment by written request of the employee in accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, 5 U.S.C. § 552a, and 5 C.F.R. §§ 297.301-308. The request for amendment shall be sent to the Director, Office of Human Resources or the District Director or his/her respective designee. The request must provide sufficient information to identify the employee, the issue giving rise to the request and a statement with any supporting evidence which provides reasons why the amendment should be made. The EMPLOYER shall within 30 days make a determination whether the employee's request is substantiated prior to any disclosure or use of the subject record. If, on administrative review, the employee's request for amendment is denied, the employee may file with the EMPLOYER a concise statement of his/her reasons for disagreement with the denial. When such a statement is filed, the EMPLOYER shall sufficiently annotate the record so that the fact of the disputed record, or portion thereof, will be apparent and provide copies of the employee's statement to persons or other agencies to whom the disputed record is disclosed.
Section 25.05 The security of OPFs and EPFs shall be maintained in accordance with applicable government-wide rules and regulations. In transporting an OPF or EPF, the file shall not be handled by any person not authorized by OPM regulations, the applicable government-wide rules and regulations or the employee. The EMPLOYER shall utilize OPFs and EPFs and make disclosures to persons other than the subjects of such files in accordance with the law and applicable government-wide rules and regulations. When Management Officials have a need to review OPFs or EPFs in line with official duties, the file control document for each OPF or EPF shall be annotated with the name of the official making the request and the dates the folder was signed out and returned. Upon request, the employee can review the control document for his/her OPF/EPF. The employee's designated Representative must have the employee's written authorization to review the employee's OPF/EPF or the control document.
Section 25.06 The District Office will maintain a duplicate OPF on its employees. The duplicate OPF, at a minimum, will contain:
(a) Notification of Personnel Action - SF-50;
(b) Request for Personnel Action - SF-52, if applicable;
(c) Appointment Affidavits - SF-61;
(d) Statement of Prior Federal Service - SF-144;
(e) Civil Service Commission/OPM forms or letters which authorize competitive status, a non-competitive appointment, an excepted appointment or appointment above the minimum hiring rate;
(f) Payroll Change Slip - SF-1126, if prior to 01/01/82;
(g) Designation of Beneficiary - SF-54;
(h) Current Life Insurance Election SF-176 - SF-2817;
(i) Current Health Benefits form;
(j) Current TSP form;
(k) Pay change notices;
(l) Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, DD Form 214 (military service); and
(m) Application for Veteran Preference - SF-15, if applicable.
Section 25.07 Copies of employees' performance ratings of record, including the performance plans on which the ratings are based and other performance-related documents must be placed in the EPF.
Section 25.08 Performance ratings of record, including the performance plans on which they are based, shall be retained for four (4) years in accordance with 5 C.F.R. § 293.404(a)(1)(i). Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 4303(d), when an employee is not reduced in grade or removed because of improved performance during the advance notice period, and the employee's performance continues to be acceptable for one (1) year from the date of the advance written notice, then any entry or other notation of the unacceptable performance for which the action was proposed, shall be removed from the employee's file.
Section 25.09 Performance-related material maintained in a work folder to assist the supervisor/manager in accurately assessing employee performance may include transcripts of employment and training history, documentation of special licenses, certificates, or authorizations necessary in the performance of the employee's duties, information regarding specific employee problems and other such records that the EMPLOYER determines to be appropriate for retention in the work folder. These documents shall be available to employees in accordance with the procedures for EPFs in this Article.
Section 25.10 Individual personal non-agency records, which are retained by the supervisor for his/her personal use as a memory aid and which are not under the control of the Agency (i.e., they may be retained or discarded solely as the supervisor sees fit) will be kept in a secure fashion, will not be circulated or reviewed outside the employee's chain of command and will not be available to employees. Any such documentation used to support any disciplinary or adverse action will be made available to the employee and his/her Representative in accordance with Articles 38 and 39 of this Agreement.
Section 25.11 When an employee in a Field Office leaves the Agency, the employee's EPF (containing the performance ratings of record that are three (3) years old or less, the performance plan on which the last rating was based and the summary rating prepared because the employee is leaving the position) will be sent, within 10 work days after the employee's separation, to Office of Human Resources in Headquarters for proper disposition. The duplicate OPF will be disposed of by the Field Office that maintains the file in a manner that continues to assure the security and the confidentiality of the file.
Section 26.01 The EMPLOYER and the UNION agree that it is the right of every employee to work in a physical environment free of health or safety hazards. Any employee also has the right to report unsafe or unhealthy working conditions. To the fullest extent of its authority, the EMPLOYER shall provide and maintain a safe workplace for its employees, and comply with all applicable Federal laws and regulations relating to the safety and health of its employees.
The Parties agree detection and correction of unsafe and unhealthy working conditions at the earliest possible time are essential elements of the Safety and Health Program. Each safety and health representative shall be provided with a copy of the Agency's Safety and Health Handbook.
Section 26.02 Upon a supervisor being notified or if the supervisor is unavailable, another management official, of a possible hazardous condition which presents an imminent danger to the safety and health of employees and/or will interrupt EMPLOYER operations, the supervisor shall immediately inspect the area or condition and determine whether it is safe for the employee to continue working in the area. If immediate inspection and/or assessment cannot be made, the supervisor shall direct the employee to a non-hazardous worksite.
When physical conditions present an imminent danger to the safety and health of employees and the EMPLOYER is unable to provide an alternative work station, the Field Office Director or the Headquarters designee shall grant excused leave when he/she determines that the problem cannot be corrected before the end of the employee's tour of duty.
Section 26.03 An employee may depart from his/her work station or decline to perform an assigned task without permission of his/her supervisor only when the employee reasonably believes that under the circumstances he/she is exposed to a health or safety hazard presenting an imminent risk of death or serious bodily harm and that there is insufficient time to seek redress first from the EMPLOYER. In such an event, the employee shall remain on or near the premises and be immediately available for recall to work.
Section 26.04 The EMPLOYER shall select a Safety and Health Officer from Headquarters who shall monitor the development and implementation of the EMPLOYER's overall program. The Safety and Health Officer will be responsible for selecting a representative from each Headquarters, District, Area, Local and Field Office in order to monitor and assist in carrying out the Agency's Safety and Health Program. The UNION will designate a Safety and Health Officer in each office who will work with the Management Representative as a team to resolve safety and health issues. The Safety and Health Representatives shall address issues such as Video Display Terminals (VDTs), security plans, ergonomics, employee assistance programs, environmental hazards and emergency release procedures (i.e., inclement weather or building conditions).
The Parties agree that their representatives will communicate on matters of safety and health on the basis of complete and open disclosure and ensure the dissemination of information on safety activities to all employees. The UNION's Safety and Health Representatives shall attend safety and health training on official time. The Safety and Health Representatives shall periodically arrange training and inspect the EMPLOYER's premises and report their findings and recommendations to the appropriate Office Director and the EMPLOYER's designated Safety and Health Officer.
Section 26.05 The EMPLOYER shall continue to utilize the services of health services or other authorized health facilities authorized by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular No. A-72 and the Federal Employees' Compensation Act for the treatment of work-related illness or injuries resulting from work-related accidents. Wherever possible, health facilities shall be located on the EMPLOYER's premises. An appropriate first-aid kit shall be available at every facility. EMPLOYER and/or the UNION may offer assistance to an employee with a medical emergency while on official duty status.
Section 26.06 The EMPLOYER shall carry out General Services Administration (GSA) regulations on smoking and any other government-wide laws, rules or regulations on smoking. Internal training conferences and meetings shall be non-smoking.
The EMPLOYER supports and encourages its employees to quit smoking. All EEOC offices are encouraged to schedule smoking cessation classes offered through their Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Participation in the smoking cessation classes shall be voluntary.
Section 26.07 The policy of the EMPLOYER is to provide safe and healthful workplaces for all EEOC employees. In keeping with the policy, the EMPLOYER acknowledges that there are certain ergonomic and environmental factors that can contribute to the health and comfort of Video Display Terminal (VDT) users.
These factors involve the proper design of workstations and the education of managers, supervisors, and employees to the ergonomic job design, and organizational solutions to VDT problems as recommended in various studies published by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
Section 26.08 The EMPLOYER shall ensure that all Video Display Terminal/Cathode Ray Tube (VDT/CRT) equipment used by employees is properly installed and maintained. Upon request of an employee engaged in the use of VDT/CRT equipment, the employee's supervisor will grant a change in work duties not requiring use of the VDT/CRT equipment for at least 10 minutes after two (2) hours of continuous work on such equipment.
Section 26.09 Employees may voluntarily seek counseling, referral and information from the EAP on a confidential basis; or managers and supervisors may refer employees to the EAP. An employee who participates in the EAP is assured that information relating to his/her care will not be released to anyone, including his/her supervisor, without the written consent of the employee.
Section 26.10 At least once a year, the EMPLOYER will make employees aware of the EAP and the services it provides.
Newly hired employees will receive appropriate EAP materials at their EEOC orientation.
Within 60 days of the change in any EAP contractor, or any change in the nature of services provided, all affected employees will be notified in writing by the EMPLOYER.
Section 26.11 Nothing in this Article is intended to replace or supersede procedures in other Articles of this Agreement covering individual health problems (e.g., On-the-Job-Injury, Sick Leave).
Section 26.12 The EMPLOYER agrees to make available to employees when using a government vehicle a cell phone with long distance and roaming capabilities, as well as a cell phone battery charger. The cell phone is provided for emergency use only. For employees who have been approved to use privately owed vehicle (POV) on official travel and where there is not an available agency cell phone, the EMPLOYER will reimburse employees for the use of personal cell phones for emergency purposes only. Reimbursement shall not normally exceed $7.50. Reimbursement for calls in excess of $7.50 will be considered on a case-by-case basis with documentation of the specific cell phone call(s) from the cell phone provider.
Section 27.01 Employees with duties and responsibilities related to the Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA), 5 U.S.C. §§ 8101 et seq., EEOC Order 570.006 and other appropriate rules and regulations regarding rights and obligations governing employee compensation or other entitlements involving traumatic injury or occupational disease shall be provided appropriate orientation, training, guidance, necessary forms and technical data to carry out their duties.
Section 27.02 The term "injury" includes, in addition to injury by accident, a disease proximately caused by the employment. Employees who become injured in the performance of their duties shall be advised by their supervisors and/or personnel staff regarding the right to file for compensation benefits and the benefits payable.
A "traumatic injury" is defined as a wound or other condition of the body caused by external force, including stress or strain. The injury must be identifiable as to time and place of occurrence and member(s) or function of the body affected and be caused by a specific event or incident or series of events or incidents within a single day or work shift.
An “occupational disease” or “illness” is defined as a condition produced by the work environment over a period longer than a single workday or shift.
An occupational disease or illness can be produced by systemic infections; continued or repeated stress or strain; exposure to toxins, poisons, fumes, noise, etc. or other continued and repeated exposure to conditions of the work environment over a longer period of time (at least two work days).
Section 27.03 An employee who sustains a disabling, job-related traumatic injury, supported by acceptable medical documentation, is entitled to continuation of pay (COP) instead of sick or annual leave for a period of up to 45 calendar days. However, in no event shall this be construed as requiring continuation of a person's employment beyond the date it would have terminated had the employee not been injured.
A properly completed Form CA-1, Federal Employee's Notice of Traumatic Injury and Claim for Continuation of Pay/Compensation must be filed with the employee's supervisor as soon as possible. The supervisor will complete and sign the receipt of notice of injury portion of the Form CA-1 and return it to the employee.
The EMPLOYER will promptly submit the notice and claim to the Office of Workers' Compensation Program (OWCP) District Office no later than two (2) work days after receipt of the Form CA-1 from the employee. If the employee continues to be disabled for work supported by acceptable medical documentation following the continuation of pay, the employee is entitled to receive compensation payments from the OWCP. The EMPLOYER will assist the employee in completing the necessary application forms. Sick and annual leave may then be used, and afterward may be repurchased in accordance with OWCP procedures.
Upon request, leave may be advanced up to the maximum allowable by law as required during absences due to the injury, and the amount of leave owed shall be entered in the employee’s time and attendance records. If the EMPLOYER denies a request for advanced leave, the employee will be notified in writing.
Section 27.04 For an occupational disease, an employee or someone acting on behalf of the employee, is required to give written notice as soon as possible but normally no later than 30 calendar days after the employee becomes aware of the condition, to the employee's supervisor. The affected employee or someone acting on behalf of the employee shall file a completed Form CA-2, Notice of Occupational Disease and Claim for Compensation, with the employee's supervisor. The EMPLOYER will promptly submit the claim to the OWCP but no later than two (2) work days after receipt of the Form CA-2 from the employee.
Section 27.05 The employee shall notify his/her supervisor as soon as possible, but no later than 30 calendar days after sustaining a job-related traumatic injury. When an injury is reported to the supervisor, the supervisor shall immediately inform the employee, if appropriate, that he/she should go to the nearest available U.S. Medical Officer, or hospital, including any appropriate health unit on the premises, or at the employee’s option, to a duly qualified physician or hospital of the employee’s choice in the area. In emergency cases, when the employee is unable to indicate a preference, the EMPLOYER shall provide appropriate emergency care at the nearest duly qualified U.S. Medical Officer or hospital.
As soon as practicable after receiving medical attention, the employee shall submit acceptable medical documentation (CA-17, Duty Status Report or a CA-20, Attending Physician’s Report) stating the nature of the injury and the expected disability period.
Section 27.06 If an employee would have been compensated but for administrative errors by the Agency which affect the processing of an injured employee's claim, the EMPLOYER will take prompt action to correct such errors, including restoration of leave and pay.
Section 27.07 Repurchase Agreements
If an employee uses leave during a period of disability caused by an occupational disease or illness or an on-the-job injury, and a claim for compensation is approved, the employee may, "buy back" the used leave and have it recredited to the employee's account. To buy back leave, an employee who has sustained an on-the-job injury must submit a written request in accordance with OWCP procedures.
Section 27.08 Any files maintained by the EMPLOYER pursuant to the application of this Article shall be available for review by the employee or his/her designated Representative in accordance with applicable laws, rules or regulations.
Section 27.09 The supervisor shall inform the employee whether continuation of pay will be controverted, and if so, whether the pay will be terminated and the basis for this action. The EMPLOYER may terminate pay only for those reasons specified on Form CA-1 and by government-wide rules or regulations.
Section 28.01 This Article sets forth the Agency's policies and procedures for leave administration for bargaining unit employees. Such administration will be in accordance with the requirements of 5 U.S.C. §§ 6301 et seq., 5 C.F.R. Part 630, EEOC Order No. 550.007 and any other applicable government-wide orders, rules or regulations relating to leave.
Section 28.02 Annual leave is the earned right of each employee. It is the employee's option to select the amount and time he/she wishes to take annual leave, subject to approval of the immediate supervisor.
(a) The Parties agree that employees are encouraged to manage annual leave in such a way they can request and the supervisor can grant at least two (2) consecutive weeks of annual leave each leave year.
(b) Permanent employees have the right to request advance annual leave. Annual leave may be advanced for periods not to exceed the amount the employee would accrue for the remainder of the current leave year and the employee is expected to remain in service through the leave year. Advanced annual leave must be requested on a SF-71, Application for Leave, accompanied by a brief explanation for the advanced leave.
Section 28.03 Employees should submit a SF-71 when requesting leave. Whenever possible annual leave should be requested at least one (1) week in advance. A supervisor will act on an employee's leave request in a timely manner, normally within three (3) work days of receipt. When denying annual leave requests, the supervisor shall notify the employee involved. Denial of annual leave must be accomplished by a completed SF-71 setting forth specific reason(s) for denial and the date(s) when the employee can take the requested leave.
Section 28.04 Employees' requests for emergency leave shall normally be acted upon immediately. The supervisor may inquire into the nature of the emergency.
Section 28.05 The EMPLOYER shall issue an annual notice to employees regarding use or lose leave. It shall be the joint responsibility of the employee and the EMPLOYER to insure that annual leave is not forfeited. The supervisor shall make every attempt to notify the employee of any cancellation of approved leave in sufficient time to allow the employee to reschedule use of his/her leave.
Section 28.06 An employee on approved leave shall not be called back to work except in cases where unforeseen emergencies arise and the EMPLOYER has made every effort to avoid such a change. Leave reimbursement shall be in accordance with applicable law.
Section 28.07 Sick leave shall be granted to employees in accordance with applicable laws, government-wide rules and regulations, and EEOC orders and directives. Approval of sick leave shall be granted to an employee when the employee:
(a) receives medical, dental, or optical examination or treatment;
(b) is incapacitated for the performance of duties by physical or mental illness, injury, pregnancy, or childbirth;
(c) provides care for a family member as a result of physical or mental illness; injury; pregnancy; childbirth; or medical, dental, or optical examination or treatment;
(d) makes arrangements necessitated by the death of a family member or attends the funeral of a family member;
(e) would, as determined by the health authorities having jurisdiction or by a health care provider, jeopardize the health of others by his/her presence on the job because of exposure to a communicable disease; or
(f) must be absent from duty for purposes relating to the adoption of a child.
Section 28.08 The Federal Employees Family Friendly Leave Act, 5 U.S.C. § 6307, limits the amount of sick leave an employee may use for purposes described in Section 28.07 (c) and (d) but does not otherwise restrict the number of hours an employee may use for purposes described in Section 28.07 (a), (b), (e) and (f).
(a) Full-time employees may use up to a total of 40 hours of sick leave each year for purposes described in Section 28.07 (c) and (d). Those who retain sick leave balances of at least 80 hours may use an additional 64 hours of sick leave, bringing the total amount of sick leave that may be used for these purposes to a maximum of 104 hours per year.
(b) Part-time employees or employees with uncommon tours of duty may use an amount equal to the average number of hours of work in their scheduled tours of duty each week. Those who retain sick leave balances equal to at least twice the average number of hours of work in their scheduled tour of duty each week may use up to the amount of sick leave normally accrued during a leave year.
Section 28.09 Employees shall request advance approval for sick leave for the purpose of receiving medical, dental, or optical examination or treatment and, to the extent possible, for the purposes described in Section 28.07 (c), (d) and (f).
When the need for sick leave is unanticipated, the employee will notify his/her supervisor as soon as possible but normally within one (1) hour of the beginning of the office core hours to apply for appropriate leave. Subject to supervisory approval, the employee need not notify the supervisor each work day if the employee's incapacitation will require him or her to be absent longer than one (1) day provided the employee gives an expected date of return.
Section 28.10 When an employee's sick leave balance has been exhausted, the employee may request advance sick leave, not to exceed 40 hours for purposes described in Section 28.07 (c) and (d) or not to exceed 240 hours for all other purposes described in Section 28.07. The following requirements must be met:
(a) the SF-71 is supported by a medical certificate or other administratively acceptable evidence;
(b) repayment can reasonably be expected through leave accruals; and
(c) the employee is not currently under a leave restriction.
No sick leave may be advanced for the purpose of meeting the requirement to retain a minimum sick leave balance or for using additional sick leave for the purposes described in Section 28.07 (c) and (d) when such use would otherwise cause the employee's sick leave to fall below the minimum required.
Section 28.11 An employee may, at his/her option, elect to use accrued annual leave in place of sick leave with the approval of the supervisor as described in Section 28.03.
Section 28.12 An employee who becomes ill while on annual leave may have the time of illness changed to sick leave provided that the employee notifies the supervisor on the first day of the illness and otherwise complies with the requirements of Section 28.09 of this article.
Section 28.13 A medical certificate will not be required to substantiate a request for approval of sick leave for three (3) days or less unless the employee has been previously notified in writing of suspected abuse of sick leave. An employee will not receive such a notice unless the employee has first been verbally counseled by the supervisor on at least one (1) occasion.
A medical certificate is defined as a written statement signed by a registered practicing physician or other health care provider as defined in 5 C.F.R.§ 630.1202 certifying to the
incapacitation, examination or treatment, the period of disability while the patient was receiving professional treatment and the time when the employee is expected to return to full or limited duty.
Each employee to whom a leave restriction notice has been issued shall have the case reviewed to determine continuance or withdrawal of the written notice. Such review shall be conducted at the Agency's discretion or within 90 days at the employee's request.
Section 28.14 In lieu of sick leave and upon request of the employee, the EMPLOYER will consider, on a case by case basis, the temporary accommodation of an employee whose physician certifies that the employee has become partially incapacitated. The employee's claimed condition is subject to examination by an Agency-approved medical doctor. Such accommodation will be made in a fair and impartial manner and shall not adversely affect other bargaining unit employees.
Section 28.15 The Parties will treat as confidential any medical information given by an employee in support of a request for sick leave. The EMPLOYER may disclose such information subject to its Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. § 552a) obligation, for work related reasons, on a need to know basis only.
The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993
Section 28.16 Consistent with the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), 5 U.S.C. §§ 6381 et seq., eligible employees are entitled to a total of 12 weeks of unpaid leave during a 12-month period for one or more of the following reasons:
(a) the birth of a son or daughter of the employee and the care of such son or daughter;
(b) the placement of a son or daughter with the employee for adoption or foster care;
(c) the care for a spouse, son, daughter or parent of the employee, if such spouse, son, daughter or parent has a serious health condition; or
(d) the employee has a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her job.
When an employee requests leave under FMLA, leave without pay (LWOP) shall be granted and used provided that the notification, medical certification and other requirements are met.
Section 28.17 A "serious health condition" means an illness, injury, impairment or physical or mental condition that involves:
(a) Incapacitation or treatment in connection with inpatient care in a hospital, hospice or residential medical care facility;
(b) Continuing treatment by a health care provider for a chronic or long term condition; and
(c) Prenatal care.
The definition of a "serious health condition" is intended to cover various types of physical and mental conditions and illnesses that require an employee to be absent from work on a recurring basis of more than a few days. With respect to care for a spouse, child or parent, a "serious health condition" is intended to cover conditions and illnesses that make the spouse, child or parent unable to participate in school or in his or her regular daily activities for more than a few days. "Serious health condition" does not cover short-term conditions for which treatment and recovery are very brief.
Section 28.18 An employee must request leave under FMLA 30 calendar days before the date leave is to begin. When unforeseeable circumstances prevent 30 days notice, the employee must contact the supervisor as soon as possible.
Section 28.19 A request for FMLA leave under Section 28.14 (c) and (d) of this Agreement must be supported by medical certification of the health care provider of the employee or the employee's spouse, son, daughter or parent consistent with 5 C.F.R. § 630.1207. Generally, the certificate will cover, (1) the date the health condition commenced, (2) the nature of the employee's incapacitation or treatment or the need for the employee to assist with a spouse, son, daughter or parent under treatment and (3) the probable duration of the condition.
A request for FMLA leave under Section 28.16 (a) and (b) of this agreement must be accompanied by supporting documentation or an acceptable statement on the SF-71.
Section 28.20 An employee may elect to substitute paid time off, e.g., annual leave, sick leave (as appropriate), compensatory time off or credit hours, for leave without pay under the FMLA. The employee must notify his/her supervisor of this election prior to the date leave commences.
Section 28.21 Any other questions concerning FMLA leave will be covered by 5 C.F.R. §§ 630.1201 et seq., EEOC Order No. 550.007 and other applicable laws, government-wide rules and regulations.
Section 28.22 In accordance with applicable laws, government-wide rules, regulations, or EEOC Orders or directives, an employee is entitled to seven (7) days of excused absence each calendar year, without loss of pay, to serve as a bone-marrow or organ donor.
Section 28.23 Employees requiring time off for religious observance shall, at their option, make up the time by working compensatory overtime before or after the time off. Any employee who elects to work compensatory overtime for this purpose is entitled to an equal amount of compensatory time off (hour for hour) from his/her scheduled tour of duty. A grant of advanced compensatory time off must be repaid by the appropriate amount of compensatory overtime within a mutually agreed upon time. An employee's request to work compensatory overtime or to take compensatory time off for this purpose may be disapproved by his or her supervisor if such modifications to work schedules would interfere with the efficient accomplishment of the Agency's mission.
Section 28.24 Employees shall be granted necessary time off without charge to leave or loss of pay for jury duty or to serve in non-official capacity as a witness on behalf of a Federal, State or local government.
Section 28.25 Employees who donate blood during blood drives may be granted up to a maximum of four (4) hours of excused absence commencing immediately after the donation. If necessary additional recuperative time will be provided; however, the total administrative leave will be limited to the remaining scheduled hours of duty.
Leave Without Pay
Section 28.26 It is recognized that leave without pay (LWOP) is a temporary non-pay status requested by the employee and authorized at the discretion of the EMPLOYER.
Section 28.27 Employees may be excused to permit them to report for work three (3) hours after the polls open, or to leave work three (3) hours before the polls close, whichever results in the least amount of time absent from duty.
Section 28.28 Permanent and career-conditional employees who are members of the National Guard, or reserve unit of the Armed Forces (that is, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard), shall be entitled to military leave under 5 U.S.C. §§ 6323 et seq., for each day of active duty in such organizations up to a maximum of 15 calendar days in any fiscal year. Military leave, not to exceed 15 calendar days, which is unused at the beginning of the succeeding fiscal year will be carried forward for use in that fiscal year only. This gives a full-time employee the potential for 30 calendar days of military leave during a fiscal year (less for part-time employees).
Regular military leave is charged in increments of one day and is charged only for those days in which the employee would otherwise be in a duty status.
Approval of military leave provided in the foregoing shall be based on a copy of the orders directing the employee to active duty and a copy of the certificate on completion of such duty.
Section 28.29 In accordance with law and regulations, an employee who performs military aid to enforce the law or provide assistance to civil authorities in the protection of or saving of life or property, or to prevent injury, is entitled to twenty-two (22) workdays of leave in a calendar year. The leave may be drawn from annual leave or compensatory leave balances of the employee, but not from sick leave.
Section 28.30 Any other questions concerning leave shall be governed by Section 28.01.
Section 29.01 The Part-time Career Employment Program shall be administered in accordance with EEOC Order No. 520.001 and involves employment of 16 to 32 hours a week with comparable adjustments made when working under a flexible work schedule. Part-time employment includes job sharing which is the employment of two (2) or more employees in a position that was formerly full-time. If an employee wishes to change to part-time (or participate in job sharing), he/she must make a formal request to the immediate supervisor on EEOC Form 454, Request for Change to Part-Time Employment.
A copy of EEOC Order No. 520.001 entitled Part-time Career Employment Program shall be issued to all employees in the first year of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and a copy shall be given to all new employees during the life of this Agreement. Information on the evaluation and reporting of the program shall be provided to the UNION. The UNION will be given an opportunity to conduct impact and implementation negotiations of any changes in the Order, prior to implementation.
Section 30.01 The administrative work week is a period of seven (7) consecutive calendar days within which the basic work week is included. The basic work week shall normally consist of five (5) work days, Monday through Friday.
Section 30.02 Employees shall be entitled to all holidays prescribed by current or future law, in addition to any special holidays designated by the President of the United States.
Section 30.03 The EMPLOYER will maintain a Flexible Work Schedule and Compressed Work Schedule Program for employees
Section 30.04 For the purposes of this Article, the following definitions shall apply:
(a) The basic work week shall consist of five (5) work days, Monday through Friday.
(b) Flexible Work Schedule means a system of work scheduling which splits the work day into two (2) distinct kinds of time, core time and flexible time. The two (2) requirements under any flexible work schedule are:
(1) the employee must be at work during core time; and
(2) the employee must account for the total number of hours he/she is scheduled to work.
(c) The Flexible Work Schedule Program shall consist of:
(1) Flexitour which is a flexible schedule containing core time on each work day in which an employee having once selected starting and stopping times within the flexible band, continues to adhere to those times.
(2) Gliding Schedule which is a flexible schedule in which an employee has a basic work requirement of eight (8) hours in each day and 40 hours in each week, and may select an arrival time each day and may change the arrival time daily as long as it is within the established flexible time band.
(d) Compressed Work Schedule is any schedule under which a full-time employee fulfills an 80-hour biweekly work week in less than 10 work days. The Compressed Work Schedule Program shall consist of:
(1) 5/4/9 in which employees works 80 hours for the biweekly pay period: five (5) days in one week and four (4) days the next week with one (1) day off.
(2) 4/10 in which employees work a four (4) day week for a total of 40 hours each week with one (1) day off.
(3) 4/9/4 in which employees work four (4) nine (9) hour days and one four (4) hour day per week, for a total of 40 hours per week and 80 hours per pay period.
(e) Core time is designated hours and days during the biweekly pay period when an employee must be present for work. Core hours must be scheduled between six (6) a.m. and six (6) p.m.
(f) Flexible Time Band is that portion of the work day during which the employee has the option to request starting and finishing times within established limits.
(a) One (1) Flexible Work Schedule and two (2) Compressed Work Schedule Programs shall be adopted by each Headquarters Office and District/Field Office Director in consultation with the Local UNION. An Office Head of a facility with less than 20 employees must adopt one (1) of the listed Flexible Work Schedule Programs, and may adopt a Compressed Work Schedule Program if consistent with the mission of the EMPLOYER. The Flexible and Compressed Work Schedule Programs shall be available in accordance with the Local Agreement, to all employees performing at the "proficient" level or better.
(b) If a Headquarters Office or District/Field Office Director determines that an additional Flexible Work Schedule and a Compressed Work Schedule Program, as described in Section 30.04, are feasible and desirable, such Program(s) may be established and will be subject to Local negotiations.
Section 30.06 Under the Flexible Work Schedule and Compressed Work Schedule Programs, the flexible time band will be negotiated at the Office level, provided that no band shall obligate the Agency to pay a night differential.
Section 30.07 Credit Hours
Only employees working under a Flexible Work Schedule who work beyond their eight (8) hour work day may earn credit hours with supervisory approval. An employee may not earn more than eight (8) credit hours in a pay period or accrue or carryover more than eight (8) credit hours. Earned credit hours must be used by the employee with the approval of the supervisor. Earned credit hours must be used before compensatory time or annual leave. Credit hours are limited to eight (8) hours per pay period. Any hours authorized to be worked in excess of the eight (8) hours shall be treated as overtime.
In accordance with 5 U.S.C. § 6121(4), employees on Compressed Work Schedule Programs may not earn credit hours.
Section 30.08 Local negotiations shall address core time, flexible time bands, slide and glide provisions (i.e., grace period for arrivals and departures), off days, time and attendance accounting procedures and guidelines for resolving conflicts between coverage of the EMPLOYER's operations and an employee's requested tour of duty.
(a) Employees who choose not to participate in the Flexible Work Schedule or Compressed Work Schedule Programs shall work the basic work week, five (5) days a week, according to the official duty hours of their respective offices.
(b) All employees shall be given the opportunity to select a Flexible Work Schedule or Compressed Work Schedule on a quarterly basis unless otherwise agreed.
(a) The EMPLOYER may exclude or terminate a Flexible Work Schedule or Compressed Work Schedule Program at any facility, or portion thereof, in accordance with 5 U.S.C. § 6122(b), where the program causes a reduction in productivity, a diminished level of service furnished to the public or component of the EMPLOYER or an increase in the cost of the EMPLOYER's operations, other than those incidental to the start-up of the program. The EMPLOYER will bear the start-up costs of the Program.
(b) Specific employees may be excluded from the Flexible Work Schedule and/or Compressed Work Schedule Program(s) on the basis of documented attendance and/or misconduct problems related to time and attendance or poor performance or changing workload requirements where continued inclusion will have an adverse effect on the program or workload.
Section 31.01 The assignment of overtime work is a function of the EMPLOYER. The EMPLOYER retains the right to determine the need for overtime work.
Section 31.02 When the EMPLOYER determines that overtime is required, affected employees shall be given at least one (1) day's advance notice whenever possible. The EMPLOYER shall take reasonable precautions to alleviate adverse effects on employees when dealing with overtime work assignments.
Section 31.03 Overtime shall be distributed fairly among employees based upon skills, performance, availability and the nature of the work. It is understood that an employee who is satisfactorily performing a particular job during regular working hours shall be given first consideration and the opportunity to perform any overtime work that may be required on that job. Next consideration shall be given to those employees in the work unit who volunteer, who are qualified to perform the work and who can satisfactorily perform the job.
Section 31.04 If an employee is called back to work, any overtime work he/she performs will be considered to be at least two (2) hours in duration for overtime pay purposes.
Section 31.05 Overtime work must be authorized in advance; however, all required or approved work performed outside the basic work week shall be compensated in accordance with applicable overtime laws and regulations of OPM. It is the EMPLOYER's responsibility to ensure that the employee's workload can reasonably be accomplished within the employee's regularly scheduled work day or work week. It shall be the employee's responsibility to inform the EMPLOYER whenever the assigned workload is requiring more time than normally scheduled.
Section 31.06 Non-exempt employees who work overtime shall be paid at the rate of one and one-half (1-1/2) times the rate of regular pay or within regulatory limits. In accordance with applicable law, government-wide rules or regulations, these employees may elect to receive compensatory time in lieu of pay. Non-exempt employees shall not work overtime when overtime pay is not available.
Section 31.07 All bargaining unit employees classified as non-exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act shall be compensated in accordance with applicable laws and regulations for work performed as overtime. For employees to receive overtime, all overtime must be officially ordered or approved, and
(d) employees on a regular or flexible schedule must perform work beyond eight hours in a day or forty (40) hours in a week or,
(e) employees on a compressed schedule who perform work in excess of the established compressed schedule. (For example, an employee on a compressed four ten-hour-day weekly schedule is entitled to overtime pay for work officially ordered and performed beyond the daily ten (10) hours or forty (40) hours for the week.)
Section 31.08 Compensatory time is time off in lieu of occasional or irregular overtime which has been approved in advance by the supervisor. All employees in positions which are non-exempt under FLSA and those exempt employees in positions whose basic rate of pay is below the maximum rate of GS-10 may elect, but are not required to receive compensatory time in lieu of overtime. Compensatory time is earned in amounts equal to the overtime hours worked.
Section 31.09 Suffered or permitted work means any work performed by an employee for the benefit of the agency, whether requested or not, provided the employee’s supervisor knows or has reason to believe that the work is being performed and has an opportunity to prevent the work from being performed. The concept of suffered and permitted is only applicable to non-exempt employees covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Section 32.01 Employees shall be granted by their supervisors a rest period not to exceed 15 minutes during each four (4) hours of duty.
Section 33.01 The EMPLOYER shall schedule travel so that, to the maximum extent practicable, the employees perform official travel during normal duty hours.
If travel must be accomplished during non-duty hours or non-duty days, overtime pay or compensatory time shall be granted in accordance with applicable Federal law and regulations.
Section 33.02 Employees who are selected for special travel situations such as training, details, conferences, meetings or other functions shall receive as much notice as is practicable prior to the expected travel. Upon notification of selection for special travel, an employee who needs a cash advance and has a government issued credit card shall obtain an advance using an Automated Teller Machine (ATM). ATM travel advances shall be withdrawn no earlier than three (3) working days prior to the departure date. No ATM withdrawal will be made after the last day of travel.
Those employees who do not have a government issued credit card and need a direct deposit (cash) advance shall request the EMPLOYER to submit an SF-1038, Advance of Funds Application and Account. To provide for enough processing time and direct deposit payment by the U.S. Treasury,
the SF-1038's shall be submitted to the paying office no later than seven (7) work days prior to the trip for Headquarters employees or ten (10) workdays for Field office employees.
Travel advances shall be made available prior to the date of departure to those employees who make timely application.
Section 33.03 The Office Director or his/her designee shall approve travel and is responsible for preparing and issuing Official TDY Travel Authorizations (EEOC Form 564.)
Section 33.04 Normally, employees shall receive travel orders sufficiently in advance to ensure that the necessary arrangements for obtaining the transportation request and advancements of travel and per diem allowances can be made during working hours. It is recognized that there will be instances where these arrangements must be made outside of the working hours to fulfill mission requirements, but in no circumstances will an employee be required or requested to travel without valid travel orders or advanced per diem in the form of direct deposits, and/or credit cards as appropriate, where the employee requires it. An employee's inability to travel without advance travel funds shall not affect future opportunities to travel nor be considered in any employee evaluations, employee appraisals, awards or future work assignments.
Section 33.05 Employees who are assigned to training or duty away from their regularly assigned duty station and who elect to return home during non-work days, will be reimbursed for travel not to exceed the amount reimbursable for the per diem had the employee remained away from home. For TDY exceeding thirty (30) days, employees who elect to return home during non-work days, will be reimbursed for their total official round-trip transportation and per diem expenses. Total reimbursement of expenses will be limited to one round-trip every thirty days of the TDY assignment. In all instances, when returning home, the employee should check out of the lodging facility. Luggage should be stored pending return check-in.
Section 33.06 For all travel, the EMPLOYER will formally identify the recommended mode(s) of travel. An employee may select a mode of travel of his/her choice. Reimbursement will be in accordance with applicable rules and regulations, but generally will be no more than the recommended mode of travel.
Section 33.07 Travel vouchers shall be submitted by the employee within five work days after the completion of the trip, and shall be processed by the designated EMPLOYER Representative within ten working days after submission for reimbursement.
Section 33.08 Employees required to travel by the EMPLOYER shall be reimbursed within thirty days after an employee submits a proper travel claim to the EMPLOYER.
Section 33.09 Upon advance request to the EMPLOYER, an employee shall have the right to review his/her travel history and copies of other documents substantiating the travel history.
Section 33.10 The EMPLOYER will take no action against employees for authorized expenses charged under the credit card program where the employees have timely submitted travel vouchers (SF-1012) to the National Business Center or its successor payment office and have not received the reimbursement described in Section 33.09.
Section 34.01 The UNION and the EMPLOYER recognize circumstances where it is mutually beneficial for employees to perform work at sites other than the traditional office or at locations other than where typical work is performed. Such circumstances include, but are not limited to, accommodation of special needs, disabilities, energy or environmental conservation, savings in commuting costs, the need for an uninterrupted work environment, cost or space savings. Employees and their supervisors may make Telecommuting arrangements for purposes of promoting the efficiency of the government and fostering a family friendly EEOC. While Telecommuting is not intended to be a substitute for family care, it may enhance the quality of family life through savings in commuting time. Telecommuting must be voluntary and consistent with mission accomplishment and customer service.
Section 34.02 The EMPLOYER and the UNION agree to the establishment of a Telecommuting Program (formerly Flexiplace) that allows employees to work at home under pre-approved arrangements.
Section 34.03 Participation in the Telecommuting Program is not a right. A new employee who is not serving a probationary period must be employed in his/her position (job title) for a period of six (6) months before he/she will be eligible to participate in the Telecommuting Program. A new employee who is serving a probationary period normally must be employed in his/her position (job title) for a period of 12 months before he/she will be eligible to participate in the Telecommuting Program, unless the supervisor determines that the employee may participate earlier.
Section 34.04 Within 90 calendar days of the effective date of this agreement, the EMPLOYER, in consultation with the UNION, shall implement a Telecommuting Program in every EEOC Office. The implementation of the Telecommuting Program must take into account the specific needs of each office with regard to customer service and office coverage. Implementation of the Telecommuting Program in Field Offices must specifically take into account the need to cover Intake responsibilities.
In the event that the EMPLOYER decides to implement national forms, the parties shall meet and confer on those national forms (e.g., a uniform evaluation and tracking form, employer/supervisor checklist, sample employee/supervisor work agreement) which will be used in the Telecommuting Program.
Section 34.05 Office Directors (Headquarters, District and Field), in consultation with the LOCAL UNION, may designate some jobs as unsuitable for participation in the Telecommuting Program. The principal factors determining suitability are:
(1) degree of contact with clients or co-workers;
(2) computers or telecommunications as enabling technologies;
(3) degree of supervision required;
(4) dependence on co-workers;
(5) dependence on files, data bases and references;
(6) measurability of successful completion of assigned tasks.
Section 34.06 Employees participating in the Telecommuting Program must be accessible and available for recall to their regular duty stations. Employees may be called back for emergencies, or to deal with urgent work assignments.
Section 34.07 Participating employees in the Telecommuting Program and their supervisors must sign Work Agreements that outline the terms and conditions of work at home arrangements. The Work Agreement will cover such items as the voluntary nature of the arrangement; hours of duty; timing and format of requests to work at home as set forth in Section 34.09 below; responsibility for timekeeping; leave approval; and requests for overtime and compensatory time.
Section 34.08 The EMPLOYER and UNION recognize that the Telecommuting Program and the Compressed Work Schedule are two measures designed to help make the EEOC a model workplace. The EMPLOYER and UNION further acknowledge that the practical effects of these two programs must be factored into their implementation. The EMPLOYER and UNION therefore agree that an employee may be absent from their official duty station for up to four (4) days per pay period through the combined operation of these two programs.
On a case-by-case basis, a supervisor may approve additional work at home days to cover special projects or work assignments.
Participation in the Telecommuting Program for employees working in Local Offices is limited to one (1) day per week.
Section 34.09 Although the implementation of a Telecommuting Program will be done by individual offices, the following conditions or requirements shall be applicable to each office:
(a) Participation in the Telecommuting Program will be voluntary for the employee; however, the employee's supervisor's concurrence is required.
(b) Employees participating in the Telecommuting Program must establish a specific room or area, which is adequate, safe and equipped for performance of the
employee's duties. The at home work space must be approved by a supervisor after an on-site inspection or based upon the employee's written description of the on-site area.
(c) Employees participating in the Telecommuting Program must provide a home, land telephone number to his or her supervisor. This telephone number will be made available by the supervisor to other staff members as necessary so that the work of the office can proceed without interruption. Employees participating in the Telecommuting Program must be responsive to calls from the office. Participants will also be expected to check their office voice mail and e-mail throughout the work day, and respond as appropriate.
(d) An employee participating in the Telecommuting Program will identify the specific assignments or work he or she intends to complete while working at home. The employee’s supervisor must agree that the work is available and is of sufficient quantity to fill the employee’s tour of duty prior to approving the employee’s request to work at home. The employee’s identification of work and the supervisor’s approval may be on a daily basis, but in no event may extend beyond a single pay period. The manner, format and form of the employee’s identification of the work to be completed and the supervisor’s approval will be negotiated at the local level.
(e) The employee’s current performance plan will govern work completed at the employee's residence (alternate duty station) as well as work completed at the office (official duty station). The employee will complete all assigned work according to work procedures mutually agreed upon by the employee and the supervisor and according to guidelines and standards stated in the employee’s performance plan. The employee will meet with the supervisor to review work performed at the alternate work site as necessary or appropriate.
(f) The EMPLOYER will not pay to install computers, computer software, computer hardware or telephone equipment at an employee's home in order for the employee to participate in the Telecommuting Program. If available, loaner computer equipment may be provided for use at the employee's home. The employee shall be responsible for servicing and maintaining his/her own equipment in proper operating condition.
(g) The Government will not be liable for damages to an employee's personal or real property during the course of performance of official duties or while using Government equipment in the employee's residence, except to the extent the Government is held liable by Federal Tort Claims Act (28 U.S.C. §§ 2671 et seq.) claims or claims arising under the Military Personnel and Civilian Employees Claims Act (31 U.S.C. §§ 3721 et seq.)
(h) The Government will not be responsible for operating costs, home maintenance, or any other incidental cost, (e.g., utilities) whatsoever, associated with the use of the employee's residence. By participating in the Telecommuting Program the employee does not relinquish any entitlement to reimbursement for authorized expenses incurred while conducting business for the Government, as provided for by statute and implementing regulations.
(i) The employee will apply safeguards to protect Government/Agency records from unauthorized disclosure or damage and will comply with the Privacy Act requirements set forth in 5 U.S.C. § 552a. Inventory shall be kept on all EMPLOYER records taken to an employee's home. Such records shall be promptly returned intact to the official duty station upon completion of their use by the employee.
(j) Employees working at home will be covered under the Federal Employees' Compensation Act if injured in the course of performing official duties at the official duty station or the alternate duty station to the extent provided under the Act.
(k) The employee agrees to limit his/her performance of his/her officially assigned duties to his/her official duty station or to Agency approved alternate duty stations. Failure to comply with this provision may result in loss of pay, termination of the Telecommuting Program arrangement, and/or other appropriate disciplinary action.
(l) The employee may terminate participation in the Telecommuting Program at any time.
Section 34.10 Supervisors may remove employees from the Telecommuting Program if:
(a) the employee fails to perform the work he or she identified would be performed while working at home as set forth in Section 34.09 (e);
(b) the employee's performance declines below the proficient level;
(c) performance standards are not being met or conduct is unacceptable;
(d) reassignment causes a change of work;
(e) employees do not conform with the terms of their agreement;
(f) the employee fails to take or return calls from the office within a reasonable period of time.
(g) the supervisor becomes aware that the employee is combining work-at home with child care, elder care or other non-work related matters.
(h) the employee has failed to be accessible and available for recall to their regular duty stations in the event of an emergency, or the need to address an urgent work-related issue.
Section 34.11 The EMPLOYER and UNION recognize that evaluation of the Telecommuting Program is critical to determining its effectiveness. To facilitate the evaluation of the Telecommuting Program, the EMPLOYER and the UNION will jointly develop an evaluation instrument to be used in conducting an annual review of the Program.
Section 34.12 The EMPLOYER, with notification to the UNION, may terminate the Telecommuting Program if the program no longer supports the mission of the agency or costs of the program become impracticable. If the Telecommuting Program no longer benefits organizational needs, termination of the program must be in accordance with procedures established by the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Section 35.01 The Parties agree that employees are encouraged to participate in the Combined Federal Campaign, blood donor drives, bond campaigns and other worthy charity drives. Any such participation, including contributions, by an employee, in whatever manner, shall be on a voluntary basis.
Section 35.02 Nothing shall prevent the EMPLOYER from publicizing such programs and from demonstrating support and encouragement for participation in such programs.
Section 35.03 With respect to Section 35.01, the EMPLOYER agrees that the following activities are not permitted:
(a) supervisory solicitation of employees;
(b) supervisory inquiries about an employee's decision whether or not to participate in a campaign;
(c) setting of 100 percent participation goals;
(d) establishing personal goals and quotas;
(e) providing and using contributor lists for purposes other than the routine collection and forwarding of contributions and allotments; and
(f) developing and using lists of non-contributors.
Section 35.04 While both the EMPLOYER and the UNION recognize the benefit of worthy campaigns and drives, there shall be no reprisal or discrimination against an employee who chooses not to participate or contribute.
Section 36.01 The EMPLOYER shall make every reasonable attempt to provide eating space which shall be properly cleaned, heated and ventilated, where meal facilities are not available on the premises. When such is not possible, the Parties shall negotiate other appropriate arrangements.
Section 36.02 The EMPLOYER shall make every reasonable attempt to provide vending machines or other service of food and beverages at any Agency site where meal facilities are not available during regular working hours.
Section 37.01 In a sincere attempt to conserve energy, the EMPLOYER agrees that secure and protected bicycle, motorcycle and moped racks will be made available to employees where necessary and permitted by building regulations, within budgetary restrictions.
Section 37.02 The EMPLOYER agrees that where space is leased or purchased by the EMPLOYER, the EMPLOYER will negotiate with the UNION procedures for the assignment of space to bargaining unit employees prior to making such space assignments.
Section 37.03 Where automobile parking space becomes available free of charge, the EMPLOYER shall negotiate with the UNION procedures for assignment of space prior to assignment, pursuant to Office of Management and Budget rules and regulations.
Section 37.04 In an attempt to reduce rush hour congestion, the Parties agree to promote car pooling. The EMPLOYER will provide space on a bulletin board for employees interested in car pooling to provide notice to fellow employees with the same interest. The EMPLOYER also agrees to publicize the availability of the car pooling boards and to encourage their usage.
Section 37.05 Consistent with government wide rules and regulations, the EMPLOYER will provide notice of the available transit, parking or other subsidy programs approved by the EMPLOYER. Such notice will be provided within a reasonable time before implementation and at least annually thereafter. The EMPLOYER will make available all reporting or other forms necessary for employees to participate in such programs.
Section 38.01 Disciplinary action means action taken to correct an employee's conduct deficiencies (work-related behavior). Disciplinary actions include Letters of Warning and Letters of Reprimand. The Parties agree to the concept of progressive discipline designed primarily to correct and improve employee behavior.
Section 38.02 Disciplinary actions include the following:
(c) Letters of Warning - Supervisors may issue Letter(s) of Warning to employees under their supervision. The Letter shall explain the reasons for the warning and how the conduct may be corrected. Additionally, the letter shall contain a warning of stronger disciplinary action in the event of future misconduct. The letter of warning shall not be placed in the employee's Official Personnel Folder (OPF).
(d) Letters of Reprimand - Supervisors may issue Letter(s) of Reprimand to employees under their supervision. The Letter will explain the reason(s) for the reprimand and how the conduct may be corrected. The Letter will also include a warning of more severe consequences if the misconduct is not corrected. The letter shall also inform the employee that the reprimand will be filed in the employee's OPF for a period of up to 12 months. The Letter shall also inform the employee of the right to grieve the reprimand. The Letter of Reprimand shall be removed at any time it is determined that the action was unwarranted or unjustified.
Section 38.03 Disciplinary action shall be taken at the earliest stage needed to correct the conduct deficiencies that have occurred. Disciplinary action shall be timely. Timeliness shall be based upon the circumstances and complexity of each case.
Section 38.04 Upon request, all written documents which contain evidence relied upon by the EMPLOYER to form the basis for disciplinary action including witness statements, will be made available to the employee or his/her Representative.
Section 38.05 The first line supervisor will normally effect the disciplinary action. However, the EMPLOYER may designate anyone in the employee's chain of command to initiate disciplinary action.
Section 39.01 The EMPLOYER may take adverse actions to address misconduct. Adverse actions include the following: suspensions, reductions in pay or grade, removals and furloughs of 30 calendar days or less. Such actions should be taken in accordance with Federal regulations and this Agreement.
This Article shall not apply to temporary or probationary employees, employees serving trial periods, nonpreference eligible excepted service employees who have not completed two (2) years of current continuous service in the same or similar positions or preference eligible excepted service employees who have not completed one (1) year of continuous service in the same or similar positions or employees in the competitive service who have not completed one (1) year of current continuous employment under an appointment other than a temporary appointment limited to one (1) year or less.
Section 39.02 If the UNION is designated by an employee in an adverse action proceeding, the employee and/or UNION shall provide the EMPLOYER with the name and address of the designated Representative in writing, pursuant to Article 10.00 of this Agreement. All correspondence addressed to the employee shall be simultaneously provided to the UNION Representative.
Section 39.03 Upon request, all written documents (including portions of investigative reports, if applicable) which contain any evidence relied upon by the EMPLOYER to form the basis for any adverse action shall be made available to the employee or designated Representative.
Section 39.04 Employees against whom an adverse action is proposed shall receive at least 15 calendar days advance written notice of a decision proposing to suspend for 14 days or less and shall receive at least 30 calendar days advance written notice for proposed suspension in excess of 14 days, reductions in grade or pay, removal or furlough for less than 30 days. If there is reason to believe that the employee has committed a crime for which a sentence of imprisonment may be imposed, the Agency may provide the minimum notice required by law or regulation. The notice of proposed action shall contain the following:
(a) a statement of the specific reasons for the proposed adverse action;
(a) a statement of the right to respond orally and in writing to the proposed action, the right to submit affidavits or documentary evidence in support of the answer and to be represented by the UNION or another representative of the employee's choice;
(a) a statement of the time period allowed for the employee to answer orally and in writing. The statement shall provide that from receipt of the notice, the employee has seven (7) calendar days to answer if the proposed action is a suspension of 14 days or less, or 15 calendar days to answer if the proposed action is a more severe adverse action. The notice shall also state that a request for an extension of time may be granted if made in writing to the Deciding Official, setting forth the reason(s) for the extension;
(a) a statement that upon request, the employee shall be granted a reasonable amount of duty time to prepare an answer to the proposed adverse action. Normally, this time shall not exceed four (4) hours for a suspension of 14 days or less and eight (8)
hours for a more severe adverse action. Granting a reasonable period of duty time to prepare a response does not extend the time allowed to answer; and
(a) a statement informing the employee that a final decision has not been made and that the employee will be notified of the final decision after his/her answer has been considered or after the time allowed for an answer, if none is received.
Section 39.05 If the employee responds to the proposal, the response (oral and/or written) will be received and considered by the Deciding Official or his/her designee. The employee's answer will be given full consideration before a final decision is reached.
Section 39.06 An Adverse Action File shall be established which contains: the notice of proposed adverse action; the employee's written answer and a summary of the oral answer, if any; related correspondence and/or other evidence relied upon to support the reasons for the proposed action. This may include affidavits, names of witnesses and their statements that were relied upon or other statements, reports, exhibits, excerpts from investigative reports and any other material used to support the adverse action. The adverse action file shall be available to the employee or designated Representative for review at the employee's/designated Representative's request.
Section 39.07 The Deciding Official shall issue a decision to the employee either sustaining, modifying or canceling the Notice of Proposed Adverse Action. With the exception of employees defined in Section 39.08, such decision shall be issued pursuant to 5 C.F.R. §§ 752.203, 752.404, 752.405, as appropriate.
Section 39.08 Access to the negotiated grievance procedure for matters covered by this Article shall not apply to probationary employees, employees serving trial periods, nonpreference eligible excepted service employees who have not completed two (2) years of current continuous service in the same or similar positions or preference eligible excepted service employees who have not completed one (1) year of current continuous service in the same or similar positions or employees in the competitive service who have not completed one (1) year of current continuous employment under an appointment other than a temporary appointment limited to one (1) year or less.
An employee covered by the Performance Appraisal System pursuant to 5 C.F.R. Part 430 may be reduced in grade or removed from the Federal service for unacceptable performance in accordance with 5 C.F.R. Part 432.
The provisions of this Article do not apply to employees in the competitive service who are serving probationary or trial periods under an initial appointment, employees in the competitive service serving in a type of appointment that requires no probationary or trial period who have not completed one (1) year of current continuous employment in the same or similar positions under other than a temporary appointment limited to one (1) year or less, or employees in the excepted service who have not completed one (1) year of current continuous employment in the same or similar position. Access to the negotiated grievance procedure for actions under this Article is not available to nonpreference eligible service employees with less than two (2) years current continuous employment in the same or similar position.
Section 40.01 For the purposes of this Agreement, reduction-in-grade means the involuntary assignment of an employee to a position at a lower classification or job grade level.
Removal means the involuntary separation of an employee from employment with the EMPLOYER except when taken as a reduction-in-force action.
Section 40.02 At any time during the performance appraisal cycle that an employee's performance is determined to be unacceptable in one (1) or more critical element(s) of his/her position, the employee shall be placed on a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) and given a reasonable opportunity to demonstrate acceptable performance and to correct any noted deficiencies. The PIP shall be in writing and include the following:
(b) the critical elements and performance standards in which the employee's performance is unacceptable;
(c) the performance requirements or standards which must be met to demonstrate acceptable performance;
(d) an offer of supervisory assistance in improving unacceptable performance; and
(e) the possible consequences of failure to improve performance to an acceptable level and sustain an acceptable level of performance for at least one (l) year from the start of the PIP period.
Section 40.03 If at the completion of the PIP period, the supervisor determines that the employee's performance is at an acceptable level, the supervisor shall so advise the employee.
Section 40.04 If at the end of the PIP period, the employee's performance in one (1) or more critical elements continues to be unacceptable, the EMPLOYER may propose to reduce in grade or remove the employee in accordance with 5 C.F.R. Part 432.
Section 40.05 A proposal to reduce in grade or remove an employee may be based only on those instances of unacceptable performance which occurred during the one (1) year period ending on the date of the notice of proposed reduction-in-grade or removal.
Section 40.06 If an employee successfully completes a PIP but within one (l) year from the beginning of the PIP, the employee's performance falls to the unacceptable level in the same critical element(s) for which the employee was afforded an opportunity to demonstrate acceptable performance, the EMPLOYER may propose a removal or reduction-in-grade without placing the employee on another PIP. However, if the employee’s performance falls to an unacceptable level in a different critical element than that which the employee was provided an opportunity to demonstrate acceptable performance, the employee shall be placed on a PIP as provided for under 5 C.F.R. § 432.104.
Section 40.07 The Proposing Official will give the employee a 30-calendar-day advance written notice of the proposed action in accordance with 5 C.F.R. Part 432.
Section 40.08 Upon request, the employee shall be granted a reasonable amount of duty time to prepare a response to the proposed adverse action.
Section 40.09 The employee shall be afforded an opportunity to respond to the proposal orally and in writing. The right to answer orally does not include the right to a formal hearing with examination of witnesses. The Official who hears the oral reply shall make a written summary of it.
Section 40.10 The Deciding Official shall issue a decision in accordance with the provisions of 5 C.F.R. Part 432.
Section 40.11 When the employee is not reduced in grade or removed because of improved performance during the advance notice period, and the employee's performance continues to be acceptable for one (1) year from the date of the advance written notice, then any entry or other notation of the unacceptable performance for which the action was proposed, shall be removed from any Agency record relating to the employee.
Section 40.12 When it becomes necessary to mail any of the notices under the provisions of this Article, the EMPLOYER shall do so by certified mail to the employee's address of record. Employees are responsible for ensuring that the EMPLOYER's records accurately reflect their current mailing address.
Section 40.13 Whenever the EMPLOYER reduces in grade or removes an employee under this Article, the EMPLOYER shall establish a performance-based action file which consists of: a copy of the notice of proposed action, the answer of the employee when it is in writing, a summary thereof when the employee makes an oral reply, the written notice of decision and the reasons therefor and any supporting material, including documentation, regarding the opportunity afforded the employee to demonstrate acceptable performance.
Section 41.01 Purpose
Where disputes arise concerning the interpretation or application of this Agreement or of applicable law or regulation, or a breach thereof is alleged to have occurred, the Parties agree to discuss the allegations and attempt informal resolution of the disputes. If informal resolutions fail to resolve the matters in dispute, the grievance - arbitration provisions of this Agreement shall be the sole avenue available to the Parties for resolution of these disputes, except as otherwise provided by applicable law, rule or regulation. The Parties agree that every good faith effort will be expended to resolve all grievances at the lowest supervisory level with the authority to resolve the matter. The EMPLOYER recognizes the right of the employee(s) and/or UNION to file a grievance(s) under this Article without fear of retaliation.
Section 41.02 Scope
(a) A grievance under these procedures shall mean a complaint:
(1) by any employee concerning any matter relating to the employment of the employee;
(2) by the UNION concerning any matter relating to the employment of any employee; or
(3) by any employee or the UNION concerning:
(A) the effect or interpretation or a claim of breach of this Agreement; and/or
(B) any claimed violation, misinterpretation or misapplication of any law, rule or regulation affecting conditions of employment.
(b) These procedures do not apply to any matter excluded by 5 U.S.C. § 7121(c) of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (CSRA) or statutory changes thereto as follows:
(1) any claimed violation of 5 U.S.C. §§ 7321 et seq. (relating to prohibited political activities);
(2) retirement, health insurance or life insurance;
(3) a suspension or removal under 5 U.S.C. § 7532;
(4) any examination, certification or appointment; or
(5) the classification of any position which does not result in the reduction-in-grade or pay of any employee.
Section 41.03 Questions of Grievability
Questions of grievability or arbitrability based upon technical or procedural aspects of a grievance shall be deemed waived unless raised before the conclusion of Step 3 of the procedure. Questions of grievability or arbitrability based upon an Arbitrator's authority to rule on or hear an issue may be raised at any time. In the event that the EMPLOYER should declare a grievance nongrievable or nonarbitrable, all disputes of grievability or arbitrability shall be referred to arbitration as a threshold issue. The threshold issue shall be ruled upon first. If the grievance is found to be arbitrable, the Arbitrator shall hear the merits of the central issue.
Section 41.04 Reasonable Time
Employees, including those who represent themselves, and UNION Representatives shall be allowed reasonable time to discuss and process grievances, including attendance at meetings with EMPLOYER officials. UNION Representatives shall be allowed reasonable time pursuant to Article 10.00, UNION Representation and Official Time. Employees shall be granted a reasonable amount of time, normally up to two and one-half (2 ½) hours, to prepare his/her grievance prior to the filing of such grievance.
Section 41.05 Statutory Election
An aggrieved employee affected by a removal or reduction-in-grade based on unacceptable performance or adverse action may at his/her option raise the matter under either the statutory appellate procedure or the negotiated grievance procedure, but not both. An aggrieved employee affected by discrimination or any other prohibited personnel practice under 5 U.S.C. § 2302(b)(1) of the CSRA may at his/her option raise the matter under a statutory procedure or the negotiated grievance procedure, but not both.
The filing of a negotiated grievance under this Article prior to invoking any applicable statutory procedure constitutes an election of the negotiated grievance procedure over any statutory procedure. This election occurs with the filing of a written grievance at Step 1.
Section 41.06 Expedited Procedure
(a) Any grievance which involves a removal or reduction-in-grade shall first be filed under this procedure at the Agency Head level within 30 calendar days after the effective date of the action, or appealed under the statutory appeals procedure in
rules and regulations governing such appeals. Requests for extension of time should be
filed with the Director, Partnership Policy and Workforce Performance
(b) In cases where the employee or UNION has elected to file a grievance under this Section, the EMPLOYER shall have 30 calendar days from the filing of the grievance to issue a written decision.
If the matter is not satisfactorily resolved at Step 1, the UNION may invoke arbitration under Article 42.00 within 30 calendar days of the issuance of the expedited decision by written notification to the Director, Partnership Policy and Workforce Performance Team.
Section 41.07 Regular Grievance Procedure
Except as provided for in Section 41.06, an employee challenging a matter covered by the negotiated grievance procedure may first present the matter orally to his/her supervisor, or other appropriate EMPLOYER Representative, either alone or with his/her Representative designated in writing. The EMPLOYER Representative shall consider all the facts and attempt to resolve the matter. The designation of a UNION Representative authorizes such Representative to speak and/or act on behalf of the grievant. If the matter is not satisfactorily resolved after the oral presentation, the grievant, either alone or with the assistance of a UNION Representative, may file a grievance in writing with his/her supervisor or other appropriate EMPLOYER Representative. Written grievances must be filed within 30 calendar days after the incident giving rise to the grievance occurs. An employee who presents his/her grievance without UNION representation will be allowed a reasonable amount of duty time, not to exceed two and one-half (2-1/2) hours, to process his/her grievance. For good cause shown, such time limits may be extended by the EMPLOYER.
If an employee presents a grievance on his/her own behalf directly to the EMPLOYER for adjustment, the UNION shall be timely notified and shall have the right to be present during the grievance proceeding.
A written grievance at a minimum shall:
(a) identify the employee and office;
(b) identify the incident and the date it occurred;
(c) cite specific Article(s) and Section(s) of this Agreement or regulation(s) or law(s) alleged to have been violated or misapplied;
(d) specify how the Agreement, law or regulation has been violated;
(e) specify the remedy sought; and
(f) request discussion, if desired.
The supervisor or other appropriate EMPLOYER Representative shall give full consideration to all available facts and issue a decision to the employee or designated UNION Representative in writing within 30 calendar days after filing of the written grievance.
If the matter is not satisfactorily resolved in Step 1, the employee or the designated UNION Representative may within 25 calendar days of the issuance of the Step 1 decision, file the matter in writing with the District or Headquarters Office Director or the Washington Field Office Director, as appropriate.
All matters dealing with the performance of Field Office Legal Unit staff, such as performance-based actions (promotion, assignment, etc.), shall be filed in writing with the Regional Attorney. If the Regional Attorney was the Step 1 EMPLOYER representative, then Step 2 shall be filed with the Deputy General Counsel or his/her designee. All other issues (non-performance-based issues) shall be filed with the District, Headquarters or Washington Field Office Director, as appropriate.
Upon request, the EMPLOYER Representative shall meet and discuss the matter with the UNION Representative and the grievant, if the grievant so desires, prior to rendering a written decision. The EMPLOYER Representative shall issue a written decision to the employee or designated UNION Representative within 25 calendar days after filing of the Step 1 appeal. Any issues not raised in the grievance by Step 2 are waived.
If the grievance is not satisfactorily resolved, the employee or designated UNION Representative may, within 30 calendar days of the issuance of the Step 2 decision, file the matter with the Agency Head, or his/her designee for resolution. A decision shall be issued within 30 calendar days after the filing of the Step 2 appeal.
If the grievance is not satisfactorily resolved, the UNION may invoke arbitration under Article 42.00 within 30 calendar days of the issuance of the Step 3 decision by written
notification to the Director, Partnership, Policy and Workforce Performance Team. Only the UNION may invoke arbitration.
Section 41.08 Time Limitations
All time limits under this Article may be extended by mutual consent of the Parties. Failure of an EMPLOYER Representative to meet the time limits provided means the grievance is denied and the employee or his/her Representative may proceed to the next step. EMPLOYER responses submitted in an untimely manner or after the grievance has been elevated to the next step shall not be admissible at levels after they were due, including at arbitration, without the mutual consent of the Parties. Failure of an employee to meet the time limits imposed means that the grievance may be dismissed by the EMPLOYER unless the employee can present compelling evidence for the failure to meet the time constraints.
Section 41.09 Filing and Issuance
For purposes of this Article, "filing" and "issuance" are defined as follows:
(a) for the Expedited Procedure under Section 41.06, filing is determined by postmarked mail;
(b) for the Regular Grievance Procedure under Section 41.07:
(1) filing at Step 1 is determined by date of receipt by the supervisor or other EMPLOYER Representative or by postmarked mail if the designated UNION Representative is not located in the same facility as the supervisor or EMPLOYER Representative;
(2) filing at Step 2 is determined by date of receipt by the District or Headquarters Office Director, Washington Field Office Director or Deputy General Counsel if that official is located at the same facility as the grievant or designated UNION Representative, or by postmarked mail if the appropriate EMPLOYER Representative is not located in the same facility as the grievant or the designated UNION Representative;
(3) filing at Step 3 shall also be determined by postmarked mail;
(4) date of invocation of arbitration by the UNION shall be determined by postmarked mail to the Director, Partnership Policy and Workforce Performance Team.
(c) At all steps of the Expedited and Regular Grievance Procedures, the date of issuance is determined by date of receipt by the grievant or his/her representative if the grievant is located at the same facility as the appropriate EMPLOYER Representative, and by postmarked mail, if the grievant or his/her representative is not located in the same facility as the appropriate EMPLOYER Representative.
Temporary procedures for filing and issuance for Step 1, Step 2 and Step 3 grievances from Headquarters and the Washington Field Office are contained in Appendix I.
Section 41.10 Facsimile Filings
No grievance under this Article shall be filed by facsimile machine (FAX) or electronic mail.
Section 42.01 Purpose
The Parties acknowledge that their interests and those of the employees are best served by providing economical and expeditious arbitration procedures to promptly and finally resolve disputes which other good faith means have failed to resolve. The EMPLOYER and the UNION further acknowledge that flexible arbitration procedures that facilitate access to mutually designated Federal Sector Arbitrators thoroughly familiar with the terms and conditions of this Agreement, provide the Parties with the opportunity to use streamlined, efficient and cost-effective dispute resolution machinery. Therefore, in order to effectuate those purposes, the Parties agree that any issue(s) not properly resolved through the negotiated grievance procedures set forth in Article 41.00 shall be subject to the right of the UNION to invoke binding arbitration only under the procedures contained in this Article. Issue(s) may be referred to an Arbitrator. The right to invoke binding arbitration under this Article is limited to the UNION; an employee may not independently invoke any of the provisions of this Article.
Section 42.02 Selection of the Arbitrator
When arbitration is invoked, the UNION shall, within five (5) calendar days, request the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) to submit a list of seven (7) Arbitrators to the UNION and the EMPLOYER's Partnership Policy and Workforce Performance Team. Within five (5) calendar days after receipt of the list, the Parties shall select an Arbitrator by each alternately striking off one (1) name from the list and the name remaining on the said list shall be the Arbitrator.
If either Party refuses to act under this selection procedure or unduly delays the selection process, unless time limits have been extended by mutual agreement, the other Party shall return its list to the FMCS indicating its first (1st), second (2nd) and third (3rd) preferences of an Arbitrator, and it is agreed that the FMCS shall be empowered to appoint the available Arbitrator in accordance with the preference indicated.
Section 42.03 Duties of the Arbitrator
The Parties agree to establish the following duties of the Arbitrator:
(a) The duties of the Arbitrator shall be to hear and issue final and binding decisions on all grievances referred to him/her for arbitration in accordance with procedures established herein;
(b) In performing the functions delineated in § 42.03(a), the Arbitrator shall:
(1) operate under the Code of Ethics and Procedural Standards for Labor Management Arbitration and the rules of the American Arbitration Association unless otherwise specified in this Article;
(2) interpret the provisions of this Agreement in such a manner as not to add to, subtract from or otherwise modify the terms of this Agreement or the intent of the Parties;
(3) in deciding or making awards, apply relevant provisions of this Agreement, the Civil Service Reform Act and other applicable laws, rules and regulations; and
(4) take into consideration precedents of appropriate administrative and judicial authorities by which the Parties are bound by law or government-wide rule or regulation.
(c) The Arbitrator's fees and expenses shall be borne equally by the Parties.
(d) All disputes as to the arbitrability or grievability of a matter which were properly raised in accordance with Section 41.03 of the negotiated grievance procedures shall be referred to the Arbitrator as a threshold issue and shall initially be decided by the Arbitrator. Such issues shall be resolved in accordance with Section 41.03.
(e) The Arbitrator may disqualify himself/herself from any matter in arbitration which in his/her judgment would constitute a real or potential conflict of interest. In such cases, the Arbitrator shall so notify the Parties and explain the nature of the conflict. In the event of any disqualification, the Parties shall select a new Arbitrator pursuant to this Article.
Section 42.04 Procedures for Arbitrations
(a) UNION may elect to invoke arbitration at the National or Local level. Arbitrations shall be invoked in writing, pursuant to the provisions of Section 41.06 Expedited Procedure or Section 41.07 Regular Grievance Procedure.
(b) The written request to arbitrate shall be served upon the Director, Partnership, Policy and Workforce Performance Team (PPWPT) or his/her designee, as appropriate. The request shall be dated and shall identify the grievant by name
and/or number, issues(s) raised in the grievance and the specific contract provision(s) in dispute, the relief sought and the name of the Representative. The UNION shall not raise issues which were not stated and considered as part of the grievance under Article 41.00 Negotiated Grievance Procedures.
(c) The following procedures shall apply to all arbitrations. At least 30 calendar days prior to the scheduled date of arbitration, each Party shall submit to the Arbitrator and the other Party, in writing, the following:
(1) a detailed statement of facts from which the grievance arose;
(2) a specific statement of the issues in dispute, the relevant legal and factual arguments, the contractual provisions that apply and the requested remedy;
(3) a prospective witness list to include address, telephone number and summary of expected testimony;
(4) supporting documentation, evidence and proposed exhibits; and
(5) a proposed time and site for arbitration.
At the same time, a copy of the complete grievance file shall be supplied to the Arbitrator and constitute a joint exhibit of the Parties.
(d) No later than 10 calendar days prior to the hearing, the Arbitrator will conduct a pre-hearing conference. This conference may be conducted by telephone. The purpose of the conference is to insure compliance with the provisions of Section 42.04(c). At this time, the Arbitrator will determine and set forth the issues as presented by the Parties, determine whether a hearing is necessary as opposed to written submissions, set the time and place of the hearing if that has not already been done, resolve any matters concerning the Parties' witness lists or any other preliminary matters, including the submission of exhibits and/or joint exhibits. In the event a hearing is necessary and the Parties cannot agree on the issues to be arbitrated or challenged, the appearance of witnesses or the adequacy of compliance by the other Party with its obligation to produce supporting documentation and evidence, the Arbitrator shall review the grievance file and the submissions of the Parties and any arguments concerning whether or not there has been compliance and shall, prior to the date of the arbitration, rule on the arguments and challenges.
(e) Normally the arbitration hearing will be held at the EMPLOYER's site in the Office where the grievance arose. Each Party shall be responsible for the travel and per diem expenses of its own witnesses and representatives unless otherwise agreed.
(f) At the hearing, the Arbitrator shall have the obligation of assuring that pertinent and necessary facts are presented. Only evidence or arguments relevant to the issues determined for arbitration shall be introduced by either Party. Testimony or evidence as to any other issues shall be excluded by the Arbitrator. The Arbitrator shall also exclude testimony or evidence that he/she determines to be immaterial, irrelevant or unduly repetitious. The Parties may jointly or individually request a verbatim transcript. A joint request by the Parties for a transcript or the sharing of a transcript with the other Party shall require that the Parties share equally the cost of the transcript. Post-hearing briefs shall be submitted in accordance with the instructions of the Arbitrator unless he/she determines them to be unnecessary.
(c) The Arbitrator shall issue an award with a written opinion stating the reasons for the award as soon as possible after the conclusion of the arbitration (including receipt of briefs), but in no event later that 20 calendar days from the close of the arbitration. Any dispute regarding the interpretation of the award shall be submitted to the Arbitrator within 10 calendar days from its receipt. The Arbitrator shall issue the requested clarification within 10 calendar days of his/her receipt this submission.
(d) The Arbitrator may for good cause and upon written request by either party, extend any time limits contained in this Section. The failure of the UNION to pursue the grievance, after stating its intent to arbitrate, shall mean that the UNION has abandoned the action.
Section 42.05 Appeals of Arbitration Awards
Either the UNION or the EMPLOYER may appeal an Arbitrator’s decision in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Federal Labor Relations Authority.
Section 43.01 Employees shall not engage in any outside employment or other outside activities that are prohibited by statute or 5 C.F.R. § 7201.102(a)(b) and (c) or that conflicts with their official duties, whether on their own behalf, or for private individuals, firms, companies, institutions, or State or local governments. The term "Outside Employment" or "activity" does not include:
(a) participation in the activities of a non-profit charitable, religious, professional, social, fraternal, educational, recreational, public service, or civic organization, unless:
(1) the employee’s participation involves the provision of professional services or advice;
(2) the employee will receive compensation other than reimbursement of expenses; or
(3) the organization’s activities are devoted substantially to matters related to equal employment law and the employee will serve as an officer or director of the organization.
(b) Performance of duties in the Armed Forces, Reserve, or National Guard;
(c) UNION representatives representing bargaining unit employees in negotiated grievances, EEO and MSPB administrative proceedings. Before engaging in such activities, the UNION representative must request and receive approval for the use of official time pursuant to the procedures set forth in Article 10.00.
Section 43.02 Request to engage in outside employment
Consistent with law, rule and regulation, and EEOC Directive 680.003, advance written
approval is required to engage in outside employment or activity whether paid or unpaid.
Employees shall forward a written request for approval to the appropriate Deputy Ethics
Counselor, and when required by 5 C.F.R.§ 7201.103(b), to the Legal Counsel. The written
request shall include:
(a) name and address of the outside organization or company;
(b) type of work to be performed and proposed hours of work and approximate dates of employment;
(a) statement whether the outside work or activity will interfere with EEOC work;
(b) statement that the outside employment or activity involves no conflict of interest and that, if the employee becomes aware of a conflict of interest arising as a result of the outside employment, he/she will promptly report such conflict to the official(s) who approved the request; and,
(e) certification that no official duty time or government property, resources, or facilities not available to the general public will be used in connection with the outside employment.
Section 43.03 The Deputy Ethics Counselor, the Legal Counsel, or their designee, as appropriate, will approve or deny a written request of an employee to engage in outside employment or activities provided all necessary information is available to make such a determination. The response will be in writing and will state whether the request is granted or denied. The EMPLOYER will make every effort to approve or deny the request within thirty (30) calendar days from receipt, however, the EMPLOYER may take up to sixty (60) calendar days when needed.
Section 43.04 If a request has been approved, but the Employer deems it necessary to withdraw the approval, the Deputy Ethics Counselor, or the Legal Counsel, or their designee, as appropriate, will notify the employee in writing of the withdrawal of approval and the reasons therefor. Where
feasible, the notification will provide the employee with a reasonable time to discontinue such
employment or activity. However, in some circumstances, the employee will be required to
discontinue such employment or activity effective immediately.
Annually, the EMPLOYER shall notify employees of computer and camera surveillance used by the Agency. Prior to utilizing electronic monitoring systems for employee performance evaluation purposes, the UNION will be given advance notice and an opportunity to negotiate any adverse impact. This Article does not apply to security or law enforcement activities.
This Article covers those employees who use special language skills (e.g., bilingual, sign language, etc.) in the performance of their duties. Employee contributions in this regard will be considered
in making work assignments and as appropriate, during the performance evaluation process. The
use of special language skills may also be recognized through the awards program consistent with
this agreement, applicable laws, rules and regulations.
Section 46.01 Outsourcing is where the EMPLOYER remains fully responsible for the provision
of affected services and maintains control over management decisions, while another entity operates the function or performs the service. This approach includes contracting out, the granting
of franchises to private firms, and the use of volunteers to deliver public services.
Section 46.02 The EMPLOYER recognizes its responsibility to comply with applicable laws,
regulations and rules such as the Federal Acquisition Regulations and OMB Circular No. A-76 as
appropriate, concerning the outsourcing of any function or activity. The UNION recognizes the
right of the EMPLOYER to outsource the performance of its functions and activities.
Section 46.03 The EMPLOYER agrees to notify the UNION of its decision to outsource any
function or activity that substantively alters conditions of employment affecting bargaining unit
employees. After notification, and upon request by the UNION, the EMPLOYER agrees to
negotiate the impact and implementation of any such decision in accordance with Article 8.
Section 46.04 Bargaining unit employees adversely affected by a decision of the EMPLOYER to
outsource any function or activity will be afforded their full rights and entitlements in accordance
with applicable laws, regulations, rules and this Agreement.
The UNION and EMPLOYER acknowledge their mutual responsibility and desire to work
together to make the Agency a model workplace. The UNION and the EMPLOYER agree that
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a means to facilitate early resolution of workplace
conflicts. Accordingly, the parties agree to meet to jointly design and develop an acceptable
process which would be a supplement to, but not a substitute for, either the contractual expedited
or negotiated grievance procedures.
Signed this , 2002, in Washington, D.C. to be effective September 2, 2002.
For the U.S. Equal Employment For the National Council of EEOC
Opportunity Commission: Locals, No. 216 American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO:
Charles D. Burtner Levi M. Morrow
Chief Negotiator Chief Negotiator
Joann C. Riggs Michael E. Davidson
Deputy Chief Negotiator Negotiator
Laurie A. Young Kathleen P. Harmon
George R.Betters Dorothy D. Howze
Marie A. Fitzgerald Sharon D. Baker
Colleen Adams Jackson Gabrielle Martin
Cari M. Dominguez Gabrielle Martin
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity National Council of EEOC Locals, No. 216
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF EEOC LOCALS No. 216 (THE COUNCIL) AND THE EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION (THE AGENCY) CONCERNING TEMPORARY PROCEDURES FOR FILING AND ISSUANCE PURSUANT TO ARTICLE 41.09
WHEREAS, the United States Postal Service is experiencing delays in mail delivery; and,
WHEREAS, the circumstances involving the delay in mail service are beyond the control of either party; and,
WHEREAS, the parties are in need of a mechanism which allows for timely responses which do not unduly delay the processing of grievances; and,
WHEREAS, the Council and the Agency are in need of a temporary procedure for processing grievances,
THE PARTIES HEREBY agree as follows:
For the purposes of this Article, “filing” and “issuance” are defined as follows:
(a) for the Expedited Procedure under Section 41.06, filing is determined by postmarked mail;
(b) for the Regular Grievance Procedure under Section 41.07:
(1) filing at Step 1 is determined by date of receipt by the supervisor or other EMPLOYER Representative or by postmarked mail if the designated UNION Representative is not located in the same facility as the supervisor or EMPLOYER Representative;
(2) filing at Step 2 is determined by date of receipt by the District or Headquarters Office Director, Washington Field Office Director or Deputy General Counsel if that official is located at the same facility as the grievant or designated UNION Representative, or by postmarked mail if the appropriate EMPLOYER Representative is not located in the same facility as the grievant or the designated UNION Representative;
(3) filing at Step 3 shall also be determined by postmarked mail;
(4) date of invocation of arbitration by the UNION shall be determined by postmarked mail to the Director, Partnership Policy and Workforce Performance Team.
(c) At all steps of the Expediated and Regular Grievance Procedures, the date of issuance is determined by date of receipt by the grievant or his/her representative if the grievant is located at the same facility as the appropriate EMPLOYER Representative, and by postmarked mail, if the grievant or his/her representative is not located in the same facility as the appropriate EMPLOYER Representative.
First, second, or third step filings mailed to Headquarters or the Washington Field Office will be deemed “filed” on the day they are postmarked; however, the EMPLOYER’s response period will not begin to run until that filing is received in Headquarters or the Washington Field Office. Date of receipt may be established by the UNION using certified return receipt mail or U.S. Postal Service certification of delivery.
The parties agree to review the continuing need for these procedures every sixty days beginning with the date this agreement is signed.
The parties agree that this agreement is temporary and will expire when mail delivery is routinely received within five days of postmark.
The parties agree that any changes to this agreement must be in writing, signed by both parties.
Any disputes concerning the application or interpretation of this agreement shall be resolved through the grievance or other appropriate third party process.
Signed this 3rd day of April 2002.
BY THE AGENCY: BY THE UNION:
Joann C. Riggs Gabrielle M. Martin