04 FLRA 111 Appendix B: Management Final Offer

Appendix B

 

Management Final Offer - September 23, 2004

Article 4

Flexible or Compressed Work Schedules

Section 1. General

a.    The Department will adhere to all applicable Government-wide rules and regulations and the provisions in this Article in the administration of flexible or compressed work arrangements. Moreover, the Department shall administer this article in accordance with DPR 610, as specified or except as provided herein.

b.    All employees will come under a Variable Week work schedule, except that any employee may work a standard workday/workweek or a compressed work schedule. Moreover, employees who were previously working in an office that operated under a "maxiflex" schedule will be "grandfathered" and allowed to remain on that schedule as long as they remain in that office.

Section 2. Definitions and Administration

a.    Variable Week is a flexible schedule containing core time on each workday in the biweekly pay period in which a full-time employee has a basic work requirement of eighty (80) hours for the biweekly pay period. An employee may vary the number of hours worked on a given workday or the number of hours each week, within the limits established for the organization.
          b.    Under Variable Week, the following shall apply:

(1) Credit hours are earned for the time voluntarily worked in excess of an employee's basic work requirement. Employees may not "borrow" credit hours or use credit hours unless they have been accrued during a previous pay period. In accordance with law, full time employees may carry over up to twenty-four (24) credit hours from pay period to pay period; part-time employees may carry over not more than one-fourth of the hours in their biweekly basic work requirement. Credit hours are earned and may be used in fifteen (15) minute increments. However, time spent in Absent Without Leave (AWOL) status will not count toward the basic work requirement for the purpose of accumulating credit hours.
(2) Core hours are those designated times and days during the biweekly pay period when all employees must be present for work. Core hours shall be 5½ hours a day. Core hours will be 9:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. With the supervisor's approval, an employee may use credit hours or leave to account for absences during core hours, as well as absences outside of core hours.
(3) Overtime hours are all hours in excess of eight (8) hours in a day or forty (40) hours in a week that are officially ordered in advance, but do not include credit hours.

    c.    Under a Compressed work schedule, the following shall apply:

(1) In the case of a full-time employee, a compressed schedule is a fixed, non-flexible schedule constituting an eighty (80) hour biweekly basic work requirement that is scheduled for less than ten (10) workdays; in the case of a part-time employee, it is a fixed, non-flexible schedule constituting a biweekly basic work requirement of less than eighty (80) hours that is scheduled for less than ten (10) workdays;
(2) The compressed schedules used most often are the 5-4/9 and the four-day week. In the 5-4/9, full-time employees work eight daily 9½-hour fixed tours of duty and one 8½ hour fixed tour of duty in a pay period. In the four-day week, full-time employees work four daily 10½-hour fixed tours of duty each week.
(3) The specific fixed hours and days to be worked are subject to the approval and authorization of the supervisor.
(4) Since a compressed work schedule, like a standard workweek, is a fixed schedule, the concepts of flexible time bands, core time, and credit hours do not apply to a compressed work schedule.
(5) Overtime hours are any hours in excess of those specified hours that constitute the compressed schedule.

Section 3. Timekeeping: Sign In/Sign Out and Reporting Time and Attendance

a.    Serial sign in/sign out sheets showing times of arrival and departure will be used to record and report attendance. Under the serial sign in/sign out method, employees sign their name and record their actual time of arrival in order, one after the other. When departing from work at the end of the employees' work day, employees sign their name and record their time of departure in order, one after the other.

 b.    Employees will report and record all hours in the Department's electronic time and attendance system.

 c.    Employees who do not physically report to an office at the beginning and/or end of each day will not be using the serial sign in/sign out sheets. When these employees report to the office they will use the serial sign-in/sign-out sheets.

Section 4. Flexible Hours of Work

a.    Except as may be limited by Section 5 or Section 7 below, employees on the day shift may begin work as early as 6:00 a.m. and may work as late as 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Employees will not receive premium pay for hours worked past 6:00 p.m. unless such work is approved overtime.

 b.    Employee(s) will verbally inform their supervisor(s) of their personal plans to work both more than eight (8) hours and beyond the end of the official work day of the immediate supervisor by no later than the end of the core hours of the day on which the hours are to be worked, so that the supervisor may make or alter the employee's work assignment.

Section 5. Exceptions to Flexible Hours of Work

a.    The mission of the Department must take priority. Due to specific job requirements in some offices, or lack of available work because of the nature of the position, all employees may not be allowed to utilize the full range of flexible time bands. As an example, this could apply to an employee whose responsibility and duties are limited to receiving visitors, answering incoming phone calls, or dealing with customers during the normal business hours of the office.

b.    Managers and Supervisors may require an employee or groups of employees to go off flexible or compressed schedules temporarily to meet Agency needs. The employee will be given as much advance notice as possible.

Section 6. Part-Time Employees

a.    The basic work requirement for a part-time employee is the number of hours which the employee is required to work or otherwise account for by use of credit hours, approved leave, compensatory time, or excused absence during a pay period.

b.    The basic work requirement for a part-time employee is the number of hours the employee is scheduled to work that day

c.    Core hours will not necessarily apply to part-time employees. Appropriate arrangements will be worked out between the employee and the supervisor, consistent with the needs of the office and the spirit of the program. However, supervisors retain the right to establish and make final decisions relative to any core hour arrangements for part time employees.

Section 7. Coverage of Mission and Office Functions

a.    Management will continue to have responsibility and authority for seeing that the mission of the Department is carried out. Management will determine mission need requirements after discussions with employees at the office level. Some examples of the principal forms of coverage are:

(1) Answering phones;
(2) providing receptionist duties;
(3) providing clerical, technical, and professional support;
(4) providing office representation at essential meetings;
(5) handling inquiries from the public; and
(6) providing program needs based on business necessity.

b.    When the supervisor establishes coverage requirements, all employees are obliged to meet the coverage requirements. The determination of who will work which particular hours to ensure such coverage is within the authority of the supervisor. Where practicable, personal preference will be honored in scheduling coverage. Where personal preference conflicts with the equitable sharing of the burden of coverage, personal preference shall give way. These requirements will remain in full force and effect until altered, amended, or revised. While the official daily tour of duty shall be an 8 1/2 hour day, Monday through Friday, overall coverage requirements for an office may be in excess of the 8 1/2 hour tour of duty, as determined by Management.

Section 8. Abuse

a.    If an employee abuses his/her flexible schedule, Management may remove the employee from participation in a flexible schedule

b.    Removal from a flexible schedule for abuse is not a disciplinary action, and does not preclude other action by the employer within its authorities to effect disciplinary action including removal from employment.

c.    Normally employees will be given notice before being removed from a flexible schedule.

Section 9. Hours of Work

a.    Basic Workweek: The basic or standard workweek normally consists of five (5) consecutive days, Monday through Friday, operating under conventional fixed work schedules, flexible work schedules, compressed work schedules, standby status, or first-40 hour workweek.

b.    Reporting Hours: All employees shall report and record all hours worked and not worked during the basic workweek, as well as all authorized or approved overtime or compensatory time during or outside the standard workweek, in the Department's electronic time and attendance system. The Department's time and attendance system is not merely for reporting and recording of flexible work schedules, but is required for all work schedules as they relate to pay administration.

c.    Standard Workday: The basic non-overtime workday will not exceed an 8-1/2 hour tour of duty, including time for a lunch break.

d.    Lunch Break: For all schedules operating within the basic workweek, the time period for employees to take their lunch break is between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. That is, the lunch break will begin no earlier than 11:00 a.m. and must be concluded no later than 2:00 p.m. All employees are required to take a lunch break.

Management Final Offer - August 3, 2004

Article 5

Leave

The Department will adhere to all applicable Government-wide rules and regulations and the provisions in this Article in the administration of leave. Moreover, the Department shall administer this article in accordance with DPR 630, as specified or except as provided herein.

Section 1. Annual Leave

a.    The taking of annual leave is a right of an employee, subject to the right of the supervisor to schedule the time at which annual leave may be taken based on the needs of the Department in accomplishing its mission. The employee and supervisor are encouraged to plan, to the extent possible, the utilization of annual leave.

b.    Approval to use annual leave that an employee has not yet earned is at the discretion of the supervisor. The amount of annual leave that may be advanced during a leave year is limited to the lesser of 64 hours or the amount of annual leave an employee would accrue in the remainder of the leave year. Requests for advanced annual leave for a period in excess of 64 hours, not to exceed the amount of annual leave an employee would accrue in the remainder of the leave year, may be approved when an employee is confronted with an emergency or other exceptional circumstance. However, if an employee separates from DOL prior to the end of the leave year, he/she will be required to pay back the value of any advanced leave for which he/she is indebted as of the date of separation.

c.   Except in an emergency (unanticipated event), annual leave must be requested in advance (i.e., when the employee has knowledge of the need). Management's decision to grant or deny annual leave will be based solely on mission (including coverage) requirements; except in emergency situations, the reason for the leave request will not be considered. If requested by the employee, the supervisor shall discuss the reason for the denial of any request, and discuss when the employee would be able to take the requested leave.

d.    Annual leave may be used in increments of fifteen (15) minutes (.25 hours).

e.    Annual leave which is accrued beyond 240 hours will be lost at the end of the leave year unless it is used or the leave is restored. Annual leave above the 240 hour carry-over limit may be restored if: (1) the leave has been requested by the employee in writing before the beginning of the third pay period before the end of the leave year; (2) it is approved by the supervisor in writing but is subsequently not used in the leave year due to illness or business exigency; and (3) it cannot be rescheduled during the remainder of the leave year.

Section 2. Sick Leave

a.    Earned sick leave will be granted when an employee:

(1) requests advance approval for medical, dental, or optical examination or treatment;
(2) is incapacitated for the performance of duties by physical or mental illness, injury, pregnancy, or childbirth;
(3) is required to give care and attendance to a member of his/her immediate family afflicted with a contagious disease, or would jeopardize the health of others because of exposure to a contagious disease.
(4) provides care for a family member who is incapacitated by a medical or mental health condition or attends to a family member receiving medical, dental, or optical examination or treatment;
(5) provides care for a family member with a serious health condition;
(6) makes arrangements necessitated by the death of a family member or attends the funeral of a family member; or
(7) must be absent from duty for purposes relating to adoption of a child, including appointments with adoption agencies, social workers, and attorneys; court proceedings; required travel; and any other activities necessary to allow the adoption to proceed.

b.     A contagious disease is a disease ruled to be subject to a quarantine, requiring isolation of the patient, or requiring restriction of movement by the patient for a specified period of time as prescribed by the local health authorities having jurisdiction.

c.     When an employee in the unit is unable to report for duty because of illness or injury, notification must be given to the appropriate supervisor as soon as possible, normally no later than the beginning of core hours. It is the responsibility of the employee to keep supervisors advised regarding a continuing absence on sick leave.

d.     Sick leave may be used in increments of fifteen (15) minutes (.25 hours).

e.     A period of absence on sick leave in excess of three (3) consecutive workdays must ordinarily be supported by a medical certificate. However, if the circumstances surrounding the employee's absence indicate that the services of a physician were not available or required, the employee's written statement may be accepted in lieu of a medical certificate. When an employee's absences indicate a possible abuse of sick leave, the submission of a medical certificate may be required to support any leave absence regardless of its duration, in accordance with Section 4 below.

f. Upon request and the presentation of a medical certificate, sick leave should normally be advanced to permanent employees in the bargaining unit, not to exceed thirty (30) days, for cases of serious illness or injury and when the employee's absence extends beyond three (3) consecutive days. However, no advance sick leave will be made to employees for whom future accrual of sick leave is doubtful.

Section 3. Leaves of Absence for Full-Time Union Business

a.    Management agrees, upon written request, to approve a leave of absence for any bargaining unit employee who is elected to a position of National Officer of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), AFL-CIO, or an officer of Local 12, AFGE, for the purpose of serving full time in the elected position.

b. Leaves of absence granted under Section 3.a. of this Article will be for a period concurrent with the term of office of the elected official or representative and will be automatically renewed by Management upon notification in writing from the elected official or representative that he/she has been re-elected and wishes to continue in a leave of absence status.

c. An employee within the unit may accept full-time employment to an appointed position with AFGE, and shall be granted leave of absence by the Department for a period of up to one (1) year, which leave shall be extended upon request, with the consent of Local 12, up to a total period of two (2) years. No more than three (3) employees within the bargaining unit shall be granted such leave during any given period.

d. The Union agrees that all of the leaves of absence granted or approved in accordance with this Article are without pay and subject to all conditions that may be imposed by law or higher regulation.

e. Employees on leave of absence, as described in this Section, are entitled to coverage under the health, life insurance, and retirement programs, as provided for by Title 5 of the United States Code and Office of Personnel Management regulations.

f. Management, to the extent of its authority, shall place the employee at the end of the leave of absence in the position the employee left, or one of like status, grade, and pay.

Section 4. Leave Restriction

a. Supervisors should discuss concerns regarding leave usage with the employee at the earliest opportunity.

b. Leave abuse may be present when:

(1) proper procedures are not followed in requesting leave;
(2) the pattern of taking leave is disruptive to the mission of the office; or
(3) prior leave patterns may indicate a misuse of leave.

c. When an employee's absences indicate an abuse of leave, the employee will be advised in writing of the problem and the appropriate restrictions which apply. The leave restriction should deal with the identified leave abuse problem and the procedures that must be followed to obtain leave. Leave restrictions will be in place for no longer than four (4) months. However, if the problem persists, the leave restriction may be extended in increments of four (4) months or less.

Section 5. Leave Without Pay (LWOP)

a. Leave without pay (LWOP) is a temporary nonpay status and approved absence from duty granted upon the employee's request during hours which an employee would otherwise work or for which he/she would be paid.

b. Requests for extended leave without pay, not to exceed one (1) year, may be approved if they can be justified under standards and criteria outlined in 5 CFR 630.

c. Other requests for short periods of leave without pay may be granted, depending on workload and the needs of the Department

d. Information regarding the impact of LWOP on employee benefits may be obtained from the employee's servicing Human Resources Office.

Section 6. Absence Without Leave (AWOL)

a. Absence without leave (AWOL) is absence without approved leave. An employee may be charged with AWOL when absent without prior authorization and without adequate reason for failing to obtain prior approval for the absence.

b. A charge to AWOL is not a disciplinary action but may serve as the basis for taking disciplinary action.

Section 7. Administrative Leave

a. Administrative leave is an authorized absence from duty without loss of pay or charge against leave which supervisors may grant. It may be granted for purposes related to but not part of an employee's regular duties, or for civic duties or activities which are deemed to be in the interest or to further a function of the Department. Administrative leave can only be granted for activities which can be paid for by DOL appropriations and which cannot be accomplished outside regular business hours.

b. All employees are expected to make reasonable adjustments in their arrangements for getting to work when it is anticipated that hazardous or other extraordinary circumstances that disrupt public or private transportation may complicate the arrival of employees at work. Such arrangements should include exploring alternative means of transportation, if they are available.

c. Management may apply administrative leave to tardiness which is clearly attributable to extraordinary weather, public transportation, or traffic tie-up conditions. In considering requests for excused absences, Management shall consider factors such as the distance between the employee's residence and place of work, the modes of transportation available to an employee, and the efforts made by employees traveling under similar circumstances in getting to work on time.

d. Registration and Voting.

(1) As a general rule, where the polls are not open at least three (3) hours before or three (3) hours after an employee's regular hours of work, the employee may be granted an amount of administrative leave to vote in a civil election which will permit the employee to report for work up to three (3) hours after the polls open or leave work up to three (3) hours before the polls close, whichever requires the lesser amount of time off.
(2) Under exceptional circumstances where the general rule does not permit sufficient time, an employee may be excused for such additional time as may be needed to enable the employee to vote, depending upon the particular circumstances in the individual case, but not to exceed a full day.
(3) If an employee's voting place is beyond normal commuting distance and vote by absentee ballot is not permitted, the employee may be granted sufficient time off in order to be able to make the trip to vote. Where more than one (1) day is required to make the trip to the voting place, the Department shall observe a liberal policy in granting the necessary leave for this purpose. Time off in excess of one (1) day shall be charged to annual leave or earned credit hours or compensatory time or if annual leave is exhausted, then to LWOP.
(4) For employees who vote in jurisdictions which require registration in person, time off to register may be granted on substantially the same basis as for voting, except that no such time shall be granted if registration can be accomplished on a non-workday and the place of registration is within reasonable one-day round-trip travel distance of the employee's place of residence.

e. Civil Defense Activities

(1) Full-time employees who participate in Federally recognized civil defense programs may be excused for a reasonable amount of time, to participate in pre-emergency training and test programs, without charge to leave up to a maximum of forty (40) hours in any calendar year.
(2) Employees seeking approval for administrative leave under this Section shall provide to the supervisor evidence from State or local civil defense officials that the employee served or participated in such programs pursuant to a specific request of a public governmental body or organization established pursuant to and in accordance with a State civil defense law.

f. Participation in Military Funerals

An employee who is a veteran of a war or of a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized, or a member of an honor or ceremonial group of an organization of those veterans, may be excused from duty without loss of pay or deduction from annual leave up to four (4) hours, to enable the employee to participate as an active pallbearer or as a member of a firing squad or a guard of honor in a funeral ceremony for a member of the armed forces whose remains are returned from abroad for final interment in the United States.

g. Blood Donation

An employee donating blood at an officially authorized blood bank, or in emergencies to individuals, may be granted sufficient administrative leave to donate blood up to four (4) hours on the same day on which the donation is made and not more than once in a calendar month.

h. Medical

Administrative leave may be granted for:

(1) Absence to obtain services available at the Employee Health Unit at work;
(2) Absence to travel to, undergo, and return from a medical examination requested by an authorized Department official; or
(3) Absence while undergoing initial examination and emergency treatment of work-related injuries on the day of injury.

i. Examinations

Administrative leave may be granted as follows:

(1) Absence to take either Departmental or civil service examinations required in connection with:

(a) An application for promotion, reassignment, or other position change in the Department;
(b) Acquisition of civil service status in the Department; or
(c) Consultation with DOL employee development personnel, or taking an aptitude or other test arranged for by such personnel.

(2) Absence for up to three (3) workdays to take a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examination, provided that accounting is directly related to the employee's current duties.
(3) Absence of a legal assistant or attorney either as a means of qualifying for appointment as attorney, or if deemed by the Department to be necessary for the effective conduct of the Government's business:

(a) while taking an examination for admission to the bar of any State or of the District of Columbia (either for initial admission or for admission in another jurisdiction); or
(b) while appearing in court to be admitted to practice, either initially or in another jurisdiction.

Section 8. Court Leave

An employee will be authorized absence from work status without charge to leave or loss of pay for jury duty, or for attending judicial proceedings in a non-official capacity as a witness in which the Federal Government or State or local Government is a party.

Section 9. Compensatory Time Off for Religious Observances

A supervisor may permit an employee to work compensatory time off for the purpose of taking time off without charge to leave when religious beliefs require the employee to abstain from work during certain periods of the workday or workweek, to the extent that modifications in work schedules do not interfere with the efficient accomplishment of the Department's mission. The employee may work the compensatory time off either before or after taking it. In either case, the employee must establish a schedule subject to supervisory approval to work the compensatory time off.

Section 10. Voluntary Leave Bank and Leave Transfer Programs

        a. General

(1) The Department agrees to maintain voluntary Leave Bank and Leave Transfer programs.
(2) The Leave Bank program will be administered by a Leave Bank Board. The Department will provide administrative support to the Board.
(3) The Leave Transfer program will be administered by the Department.
(4) The employee is responsible for advising the supervisor of the intent to apply for the Leave Bank or Leave Transfer programs, completing an application, and advising the Board or Department upon termination of the need for donated leave.
(5) The employee's supervisor is responsible for monitoring use of donated leave, ensuring that it is used in an appropriate manner, denying use of donated leave for other than an acceptable use, and advising the Board or Department of any concerns.

b. Leave Bank Program

(1) The Leave Bank Program will be administered by a Leave Bank Board. The Leave Bank Board will be comprised of one management-designated official, one Local 12-designated official, and one employee mutually agreed to by both management and Local 12. Bank Board members will serve 2 year, staggered terms.
(2) The Board shall not discriminate in violation of any Federal law, including but not limited to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.
(3) Operation of the Board

(a) The Board will operate by consensus. Failure to reach consensus on an application will result in the denial of the application and notice to the applicant of the denial.
(b) At least two Board members shall be present at Board meetings. In the event that two members are unavailable in person or telephonically to act on an application in a timely manner (i.e., within ten days), then the remaining member may approve an application for no more than one pay period's worth of leave. Additional leave subsequently may be granted/denied by the Board based on the same application.
(c) Board decisions are final. All applicants will receive written notice of Board decisions either by memorandum or e-mail. Reconsideration of a Board decision (by the Board) shall be the sole right of appeal. Applicants may seek reconsideration, with or without submission of additional information or arguments. The Board will institute procedures for reconsideration and applicants who are denied leave in whole or in part will be advised of the procedures.
(d) All Board deliberations are confidential unless the Board determines otherwise under the particular circumstances. Consistent with applicable laws and regulations, the privacy of applicants will be protected.
(e) The Board will establish rules for allocating limited available leave. These rules (and any other operating rules) must be published. The Board may adjust these (and other) rules. Changes to the rules may be made no more than once a year unless the Board determines they are needed to meet the needs of members, taking into consideration the integrity of the program, and the desirability for consistency.

(4) Membership/Open enrollment periods

(a) The Leave Bank Board will have at least one open season per year that will last at least thirty days. The Board may initiate "emergency" open seasons if it determines that available leave is not sufficient to meet the needs of members.
(b) There will be a thirty-day individual open season period, during which the employee may elect to become a Leave Bank member, which begins on the date an employee (a) first enters on duty, (b) transfers to the National Office, or (c) returns from an extended absence outside an open season.
(c) Unless they opt out, employees who join the Leave Bank will have their membership automatically rolled over each year and the minimum leave donation will be automatically deducted. Employees will be given notice of the opportunity to opt out prior to the end of the year.
(d) The Board shall require donations of the minimum requirements set forth in 5 CFR 630.1004(g). The Board may raise or lower the minimum in future years based only on the needs of the program.

(5) Forms

(a) The Board shall develop all necessary forms to administer the Leave Bank program. Necessary forms shall be kept to a minimum and shall require only the minimum amount of information necessary.
(b) The Board shall develop a system and form to permit employees to donate leave outside of open season periods and to facilitate donating leave that might otherwise be forfeited.

(6) Review of applications

(a) The Department will handle all administrative processing of applications and donations.
(b) The Department will review Leave Bank applications and make recommendations to the Board regarding compliance with regulatory and Board requirements, researching past rules for consistency.
(c) The Board may delegate to the Department's Human Resource Center the authority to approve leave donations. The decision to delegate this authority must be by consensus.
(d) The Board shall act on Leave Bank applications within ten work days of their receipt of the completed form.
(e) In considering applications, the Board, at a minimum, shall consider the factors in 5 CFR Part 630. The Board may consider factors in addition to those in 5 CFR Part 630, but if it does so, the factors must be published. The Board may adjust its rules, provided the changes are published.

(7) Procedures after approval/denial of Leave Bank applications

(a) Leave shall be transferred as expeditiously as possible, no later than the pay period following the approval.
(b) All Leave Bank records will be maintained in accordance with records management regulations and guidelines.

(8) Limits on receipt of donated leave from the Bank

(a) A recipient may receive no more than 160 hours of leave from the Leave Bank per Bank year. The Board may establish a time limit in which leave must be used.
(b) Thirty days after the end of each open season period, a limit per recipient will be established that is equal to one percent of leave in the Bank as of that date. In any Bank year, approved recipients may be granted total Bank Leave up to the lesser of 160 hours or the limit so established. Recipients who need more leave than the established limit may apply for and receive additional leave via the Leave Transfer program.
(c) The Board, subject to approval of the Director of Human Resources, may change the established cap on the number of hours recipients may receive from the Leave Bank per Bank year.

(9) Monitoring of use of donated leave/status of medical emergency

(a) Before using any leave from the Leave Bank, an employee is required to exhaust any leave received from the Leave Transfer program.
(b) The Board shall have discretion as to how to act regarding incidents of employee abuse and shall establish and publish the guidelines it will follow.
(c) If abuse is found, such as using Bank leave for purposes other than the approved medical emergency or submitting false or modified documentation in support of an application, the Board will terminate the employee's right to use donated leave during the medical emergency, will return unused leave to the Bank and/or donors, and may terminate the employee's Bank membership. In addition, the Board may inform the employee's supervisor of the abuse, which may be considered for possible disciplinary action at the supervisor's discretion.
(d) The Board will develop a system to monitor the termination of medical emergencies for the Leave Bank program.
(e) Employees have a responsibility to promptly notify the Board if the emergency terminates.
(f) Employees have a responsibility to coordinate with their agency to arrange for any unused leave to be restored back to the Bank and/or donors.
(g) Supervisors will be advised when an employee is granted leave under the program. Supervisors may alert the Board if they are aware that a medical emergency has terminated and they believe the Board may not be aware.

(10) Publicity

(a) The Department, in coordination with the Board, will issue an annual report to the Leave Bank members; continue to maintain a handbook for all members; advise employees of the program to promote membership; and notify members periodically of the Leave Bank status and activities, rules, etc.
(b) A liaison person will be designated in each agency.
(c) The Board will hold a membership forum at least once a year.

Section 11. Family Leave

a. General

In recognition of the need for a flexible and compassionate leave policy to assist employees to blend their worklife and their family responsibilities, and to promote a harmonious relationship among their needs, Management will consider all reasonable and timely requests from employees that meet the criteria established for leave as provided for in this section. Further, because we recognize that balancing home and workplace needs is important to the well-being of employees and therefore the productivity of the Department, Management and Local 12 support DOL programs designed to assist employees in meeting their family care needs. The intent of this section is to encourage the development of innovative and cost-effective approaches to providing additional assistance in meeting employee family care needs. The Department, to the extent permitted by Government rules and regulations and budget, will support these programs. This section is to be read in tandem with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Federal Employee Family Friendly Leave Act (FEFFLA).

b. Maternity, Paternity, and Child-Rearing Leave

(1) Sick leave may be used for those periods of absence related to incapacitation due to pregnancy and confinement. Annual leave or LWOP may be used when sick leave is not sufficient to cover this period. Absences which are not medically certified as due to incapacitation for the performance of duty may not be charged to sick leave; such absences must be charged to annual leave, earned credit hours or compensatory time, or leave without pay.
(2) After delivery and recuperation, the employee may desire a period of adjustment or need time to make arrangements for the care of the child. Such additional leave requirements may be taken care of by the use of available approved annual leave or leave without pay.

c. Family Leave

(1) An employee may be absent on annual leave or leave without pay for purposes of aiding, assisting, or caring for family members.
(2) An employee requesting extended annual leave or leave without pay shall provide Management a reasonable advance notice which is commensurate with the extended period of absence. All leave will be granted subject to mission requirements of the Agency.
(3) In the case of extended periods of absence, Management will attempt to return the employee to the same job and location. Employees on extended approved absences may be recalled subject to the needs of the Agency mission.

d. Adoptive Leave

Annual leave, earned credit hours and compensatory time, leave without pay, or sick leave, in accordance with Office of Personnel Management (OPM) regulations, can be used by an employee for those absences associated with their adoption of children.

e. Definition of Family Member

For the purposes of this Article, family member means the following relatives of the employee:

(1) Spouse and parents thereof;
(2) Children, including adopted children, and spouses thereof;
(3) Parents;
(4) Brothers and sisters, and spouses thereof; and
(5) Any individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship.

Management Final Offer - September 23, 2004

Article 10

Telework

Section 1: Purpose

The Department and Local 12 jointly recognize the mutual benefits of a flexible workplace program to the Department and its employees. Among these are improving the Government's ability to recruit and retain a high quality workforce, protecting environmental quality and energy conservation by reducing traffic congestion and vehicle emissions, lessoning the burden of commuting, improving employees work lives by allowing a better balance of work and family responsibilities, and reducing work-related stress. In recognizing this benefit, both parties also acknowledge the needs of the Department to accomplish its mission.

Any Telework program established under this Article will be a voluntary program which permits employees to work at home or at other approved sites away from the office for all or part of the workweek.

Section 2: Types of Arrangements: Informal and Formal

Formal arrangements are permanent in nature and include working at home, telecommuting centers, or other sites approved by the supervisor. Formal arrangements require a written agreement between the supervisor and the employee as specified in Section 11.

Informal arrangements are ad hoc or episodic in nature for short periods of time. These arrangements, which are reached informally between the supervisor and employee, are not permanent, are not regular or recurring, and do not require a written agreement. Such arrangements will normally take one day or less, but could last longer if a project or work assignment necessitates more time. If both the employee and supervisor agree, an informal arrangement may be used as a trial period for a formal arrangement. A trial period shall not exceed 120 days.

Section 3: Consideration for the Formal Program

When employees wish to participate in the formal program, they will apply to their respective supervisor who will evaluate the request by considering aspects such as:

a. Portability - i.e., whether an employee's work can be performed at an alternate worksite and whether the arrangement would be consistent with the mission of the Agency. It is understood that the accomplishment of the Agency's mission is paramount. While supervisors and managers are encouraged to be progressive in regard to reengineering or restructuring how their offices operate or the manner in which they assign work, there is no contractual obligation or requirement on management to do so to accommodate an employee's request to participate in Telework.

b. Availability and accessibility to supervisors, co-workers, and customers at all times while performing work at an alternate worksite.

c. Most recent performance evaluation and current performance.

d. Ability to work alone and without onsite supervision.

e. The employee's trustworthiness or dependability.

f. Coverage of office functions or team involvement.

g. Costs of such an arrangement: The parties recognize that costs or cost savings in technology, equipment, and telecommunications are considerations in decisions regarding participation in Telework arrangements. While it is expected that Telework will require some costs, the costs involved may be too much to finance an employee on Telework.

h. Technology/equipment needs. The parties recognize that existing and evolving technology(ies) may allow or prevent an employee from participating in the Telework program. To the extent practicable, the Department will provide access to the necessary technology and equipment.

If the supervisor and employee agree to a formal program, the specifications of the agreement will be reduced to writing and signed by both. If agreement cannot be reached, the supervisor will explain the reason(s) for denial.

Section 4: Coverage of Office Functions

a. Management will continue to have responsibility for seeing that the mission of the Department is carried out. Management will determine adequate coverage for the purpose of assuring that the functions of each office are fulfilled. Some examples of the principal forms of coverage are:

(1) Having phones answered;
(2) Providing clerical, technical, and professional support;
(3) Providing office representation at essential meetings;
(4) Handling inquiries from the public; and
(5) Providing program needs based on business necessity.

b. When coverage requirements are established, all employees are obliged to meet coverage requirements. The determination of who will work which particular hours to ensure such coverage is within the authority of the supervisor. Determining office coverage involves both the office work site and the Telework site. Where practicable, personal preference will be honored in scheduling coverage. Where personal preference conflicts with the equitable sharing of the burden of coverage, personal preference shall give way. The opportunity of each employee to maximize his/her Telework participation shall be consistent with the coverage of legitimate work unit functions as determined by the supervisor.

Section 5: Operating Principles

a. For employees who are approved to be on formal Telework, the employee will have the option to work the Department's flexible schedule or to opt out of a flexible schedule. If the employee's choice is to opt out, then the supervisor and the employee will agree on an 8½-hour tour of duty.

b. The governing rules, regulations, and policies concerning time and attendance, overtime, and leave are unchanged by participation in Telework. Employees will not perform overtime or night work without express approval in advance.

c. Injuries that arise in the performance of duty at the alternate worksite are subject to the Federal Employees' Compensation Act.

d. The Government is not responsible for operating costs, home maintenance, or any other incidental costs to the employee (e.g., utilities). Employees on Telework are entitled to reimbursement for authorized expenses while conducting Government business.

e. For employees who are approved to be on Telework, the following applies with respect to equipment.

(1) If the employee uses Government equipment, the employee will use and protect the equipment in accordance with 5 CFR 2635.704.
(2) Government-owned equipment will be serviced and maintained by the Government.
(3) If the employee uses his/her own equipment, the employee is responsible for its service and maintenance.
(4) Employees will ordinarily be given a minimum of 24 hours advance notice regarding management service or maintenance of Government-owned property. Such service or maintenance will occur during the employee's normal work hours unless circumstances dictate otherwise.

f. Employees on Telework are obligated to ensure a safe and healthy work environment and to apply necessary safeguards to protect Government records from damage or unauthorized disclosure.

g. After the employee and supervisor have signed the Standard Individual Telework Agreement, the employee shall be encouraged to meet with the Local 12 Agency Vice President or designee in order that the Union may determine that the Standard Individual Telework Agreement is consistent with this contract.

h. To ensure access to bargaining unit employees participating in Telework, the Standard Individual Telework Agreement will state the employee's name, his/her alternate worksite address(es), including telephone number, e mail and/or fax number, unless currently prohibited by law. Management shall provide any omitted information upon receipt. A copy of the executed Standard Individual Telework Agreement shall be provided to the Union (N 1501).

i. Employees must protect all Government records and data against unauthorized disclosure, access, mutilation, and destruction. Files and other information subject to the Privacy Act and security requirements as applicable, must be secured in a way that renders these records and data inaccessible to anyone other than the employee.

Section 6: Recall

Employees participating in Telework programs must be accessible and available for recall to their regular offices for a variety of reasons. Employees may be called back for emergencies or new work assignments. A recall is not a termination of the Telework arrangement.

Section 7: Termination

a. Supervisors may terminate an agreement whenever:

(1) There is a change in work requirements or the arrangement no longer supports the mission.
(2) Performance declines or the employee has demonstrated an inability to work alone or without onsite supervision
(3) The employee has demonstrated problems regarding trustworthiness or dependability to the extent that he/she should be removed from the program.
(4) Costs of the agreement become impractical.
(5) Technology changes require return to the regular office.
(6) Employees do not conform with the terms of their agreement.
(7) Reassignment occurs.

b. Management will attempt to provide appropriate advance notice of the termination of an agreement to the extent practicable.

c. Employees may voluntarily terminate participation in Telework arrangements at any time; however, employees may be expected to continue working at home offices or Telecommuting Centers for a reasonable period to allow Management time to arrange a work station.

d. Termination of agreements may necessitate shared work stations on a temporary basis.

e. Pre-existing Telework arrangements must be brought into conformance with this Article.

Section 8: Space

Efficient utilization of office space is a beneficial characteristic of a Telework program. It is understood that upon participating in the formal Telework program, employees' former workspace in the office may be utilized, at management's discretion, for other purposes. When employees' Telework agreements stipulate work in the office less than a majority of the workweek they may have to share work space and/or equipment. Should the Telework arrangement be terminated, the employee may be placed in workspace other than that occupied prior to entering the program. Before a supervisor and employee agree to formal Telework, both need to be cognizant of the space considerations.

Section 9: Employee Self-Certification Safety Checklist

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
TELEWORK PROGRAM
EMPLOYEE SELF-CERTIFICATION SAFETY CHECKLIST

NAME: _________________________________ AGENCY: ______________________________
ADDRESS: ______________________________ CITY/STATE: ___________________________
BUSINESS TELEPHONE:______________________ SUPERVISOR: __________________________
Dear Telework Program Participant:
The following checklist is designed to assess the overall safety of the alternate duty station. Each participant should read and complete the self-certification safety checklist. Upon completion the checklist should be signed and dated by the participant employee and immediate supervisor.
The alternate duty station is _________________________________.
Describe the designated work area in the alternate duty station.
________________________________________________________________.
A. WORKPLACE ENVIRONMENT
1. Are all stairs with 4 or more steps equipped with handrails?
Yes [ ] No [ ]
2. Are all circuit breakers and/or fuses in the electrical panel labeled as to intended service?
Yes [ ] No [ ]
3. Do circuit breakers clearly indicate if they are in the open or closed position?
Yes [ ] No [ ]
4. Is all electrical equipment free of recognized hazards that would cause physical harm (frayed wires, bare conductors, loose wires, flexible wires running through walls, exposed wires to the ceiling)?
Yes [ ] No [ ]
5. Will the building's electrical system permit the grounding of electrical equipment?
Yes [ ] No [ ]
6. Are aisles, doorways, and corners free of obstructions to permit visibility and movement?
Yes [ ] No [ ]
7. Are file cabinets and storage closets arranged so drawers and doors do not open into walkways?
Yes [ ] No [ ]
8. Are chairs safe? (No loose casters (wheels) or rungs and legs of chairs are sturdy)
Yes [ ] No [ ]
9. Are the phone lines, electrical cords, and extension wires secured under a desk or alongside a baseboard? Yes [ ] No [ ]
10. Is the office space neat, clean, and free of excessive amounts of combustibles?
Yes [ ] No [ ]
11. Are floor surfaces clean, dry, level, and free of worn or frayed seams?
Yes [ ] No [ ]
12. Are carpets well secured to the floor and free of frayed or worn seams?
Yes [ ] No [ ]
13. Is there enough light for reading?
Yes [ ] No [ ]
B. COMPUTER WORKSTATION (IF APPLICABLE)
14. Is your chair adjustable?
Yes [ ] No [ ]
15. Do you know how to adjust your chair?
Yes [ ] No [ ]
16. Is your back adequately supported by a backrest?
Yes [ ] No [ ]
17. Are your feet on the floor or fully supported by a footrest?
Yes [ ] No [ ]
18. Are you satisfied with the placement of your monitor and keyboard?
Yes [ ] No [ ]
19. Is it easy to read the text on your screen?
Yes [ ] No [ ]
20. Do you need a document holder?
Yes [ ] No [ ]
21. Do you have enough leg room at your desk?
Yes [ ] No [ ]
22. Is the VDT screen free from noticeable glare?
Yes [ ] No [ ]
23. Is the top of the monitor screen eye level?
Yes [ ] No [ ]
24. Is there space to rest the arms while not keying?
Yes [ ] No [ ]
25. When keying, are your forearms close to parallel with the floor?
Yes [ ] No [ ]
26. Are your wrists fairly straight when keying?
Yes [ ] No [ ]
Employee Signature: ________________________________ Date:________________

Immediate Supervisor's Signature______________________ Date:________________
NOTE: Supervisor should retain a copy of this Employee Self-Certification Safety Checklist along with the written Telework agreement. This safety checklist is intended to be a guide for the employee and the supervisor. If either the employee or the supervisor has concerns as to whether the prospective alternative work site is adequate in terms of safety, either should consult with the Agency's Safety and Health Officer.

Section 10: Standard Individual Telework Agreement

STANDARD
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES - LOCAL 12
INDIVIDUAL TELEWORK AGREEMENT

The following constitutes a work agreement between:
NAME: ______________________ AGENCY: _________________________
ALTERNATE WORKSITE ADDRESS: ______________________________
CITY/STATE: ______________________ BUSINESS TELEPHONE: _________________
E-MAIL ______________________________ FAX NO. __________________
SUPERVISOR:________________________________________________
on the terms and conditions of the individual's participation in the attached Telework Program as outlined in Article 10 of the DOL - Local 12 Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The employee volunteers to participate in Telework and agrees to adhere to the terms and conditions of the Telework Program and this agreement. The Agency concurs with this employee's participation and agrees to adhere to the terms and conditions of the Telework Program.
The employee's Telework arrangement will begin on ___________________.
The employee ___ chooses ___ chooses not to participate in the office's flexitime plan.
If the employee chooses not to participate in flexitime, the employee and supervisor agree that the employee's official tour of duty will be from _________ to __________.
If the employee chooses to participate in the office's flexitime plan, the employee will communicate his/her daily start and stop times by means of _______________________.
Everything in this section is subject to office coverage needs as outlined in Section 4 of Article 10 and Article 4 of the DOL - Local 12 Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The employee will report to the office on the following day(s) ________________________. Nothing precludes the employee and supervisor from informally agreeing that the employee will report to the office on a different day on an ad hoc/as needed basis.
The supervisor and employee acknowledge and understand the space considerations as outlined in Section 8 of Article 10 of the DOL - Local 12 Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The rules and policies governing the employee's time, attendance, and the requesting of overtime and leave are unchanged by participation in the Telework program. Employees must obtain supervisory approval before taking leave in accordance with prescribed office procedures and applicable law, rule, or regulation. All overtime must be approved in advance by Management. If the employee works overtime that has been directed and/or approved in advance, the employee will be compensated in accordance with applicable law, rule, or regulation.
If the employee uses government equipment, the employee will use and protect the government equipment in accordance with 5 CFR 2635.704. Government-owned equipment will be serviced and maintained by the Government. If the employee provides his/her own equipment, the employee is responsible for servicing and maintaining it.
Provided the employee is given at least 24 hours advance notice, and Management has reasonable cause to believe that hazardous working conditions exist, an inspection by the Government of the employee's home work site may be conducted during the employee's normal working hours to ensure proper maintenance of Government-owned property and work site conformance with health and safety standards.
Employees must make a reasonable attempt to ensure a safe and healthy work environment.
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 claims or claims arising under the Military Personnel and Civilian Employees Claim Act.
The Government will not be responsible for operating costs, home maintenance, or any other incidental cost whatsoever (e.g., utilities) associated with the use of the employee's residence. By participating in this 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.
Injuries that arise in the performance of duty at the alternate worksite are subject to the Federal Employees' Compensation Act.
The employee will apply approved safeguards to protect Government/Agency records from unauthorized disclosure or damage and will comply with Privacy Act requirements set forth in the Privacy Act of 1974, Public Law 93-579, codified at Section 552a, title 5 U.S.C. and specific Agency(ies) confidentiality requirements. The supervisor and employee will discuss these safeguards.
The employee has been provided a copy of the Telework Article.
Employee Signature: ________________________________ Date:________________

Immediate Supervisor's Signature______________________ Date:________________

 

Management Final Offer - August 3, 2004

Article 29

Space

Section 1. General

a. The Department recognizes that the quality of the workplace has a significant impact on the efficiency of DOL operations. In any design or redesign of the workplace, the Department will focus on improving the quality of the workplace. A quality workplace requires the efficient use of office space and attention to those factors which provide employees adequate space to do their jobs to the best of their ability. Space occupied by bargaining unit employees shall be arranged and maintained so as to ensure a quality workplace.

b. The Department agrees to eliminate, wherever practicable, plainly inequitable workspace allocations among employees in the bargaining unit.

c. The Department agrees that workspace configurations will conform to applicable safety and health codes.

d. The parties recognize that the General Services Administration (GSA) or tenant restrictions may impose limitations on space options.

e. The Department will notify Local 12 when a decision is made to reallocate space between DOL Agencies.

Section 2. Space Guidelines

In designing or redesigning the workplace, the Agency will use the following guidelines:

a. All bargaining unit employees shall have no less than sixty (60) square feet of working space.

b. Where possible, common use equipment shall not be located in employee workspace.

c. Except where the technology and methods or means of performing work dictate otherwise, the criteria for assigning available offices and/or workstations for bargaining unit employees will be decided by the employees themselves, acting through the Union. If the employees are not able to reach consensus on the criteria to be used, office space will be assigned based upon seniority, defined as length of service in the Agency. (For this purpose, "Agency" is defined as each major organization depicted in the most recent DOL Organizational Chart.)

d. When overall space is reduced, bargaining unit employees shall not bear a disproportionate burden of that reduction.

e. Where open space office arrangements are used, Management agrees that private offices on the windows will be kept to a minimum so that all employees have maximum access to daylight.

Section 3. Informal Discussion

It is the intent of the parties to resolve space issues at the lowest possible level. When a space change is to occur which will have an impact on bargaining unit employees, if the DOL Agency and the Union Agency Vice President mutually agree, the DOL Agency and the Union may informally communicate in regard to a planned space change. Following whatever discussions are held, if any, the Union will be given a copy of the final space plan.

Management Final Offer - August 3, 2004

Article 30

Technology

Section 1. General

Technology is dramatically impacting work processes throughout business and Government nationwide. While innovations in technology are occurring so rapidly it is impossible to anticipate them, the Department and the Union embrace the opportunities created to improve work processes and employee skills.

To that end, the parties are committed to exploring ways to share information about technology, while respecting each other's statutory rights. That is, Management maintains the right to determine the technology of the workplace and the Union does not waive its statutory right to bargain in connection with the impact on working conditions of bargaining unit employees resulting from changes in technology. The Union's right to bargain and Management's obligation to bargain are consistent with the Federal Labor-Management Relations Statute.

Section 2. Training on Technology


As the Department introduces technology, appropriate training (e.g., on-line instruction, desk-aids, Help lines, mentors, and/or classroom sessions) will be made available to employees affected by the introduction of new procedures and technology. Additional training will be provided for employees who demonstrate difficulty. If individual employees cannot adjust to the changes caused by the introduction of technology or if the introduction results in the abolishment of some positions and the establishment of others, the Department, consistent with applicable regulations, will make every effort to utilize the skills and abilities of those employees adversely affected by the changes.

Management Final Offer - August 3, 2004

Article 35

Labor-Management Relations

Section 1. Statement of Purpose

The parties recognize that the entrance into a formal collective bargaining agreement is but one act leading toward a constructive labor-management relationship. The success of a labor-management relationship is further assured through regular communication with each other on matters of mutual concern or interest in the area of conditions of employment.

Section 2. Levels of Communication

To promote a constructive labor-management relationship, Local 12 and the Department are committed to establishing and maintaining communication between the parties throughout all levels of the Department. Such communication shall characterize the relationship at every level and shall be held at appropriately scheduled times, augmented by ad hoc communication as necessary.

Section 3. Department Level Labor-Management Relations

Local 12 and the Department are committed to establishing and maintaining ongoing dialogue and communication between the parties. The President of Local 12 and the Director of Employee and Labor-Management Relations, together with their respective designees, will make every effort to communicate on a regular basis with an emphasis toward continuous, positive, and pro-active labor-management relations. The parties also agree to maintain a Department Labor-Management Relations Committee, comprised of up to five members from each party, for consideration of Department-wide issues. The Committee shall meet at the request of either party, but not more frequently than quarterly.

Section 4. DOL Agency Labor-Management Relations

a. In furtherance of effective labor-management relations, the parties will engage in communications at the Agency level. Toward this end, Local 12 and the Agency shall each name up to five (5) members to serve on an Agency Labor-Management Relations Committee. The Agency Labor-Management Relations Committee shall meet quarterly, unless agreed to otherwise. For purposes of this Section, all components not listed herein shall be considered to be one combined Agency:

Bureau of Labor Statistics
Employee Benefits Security Administration
Employment Standards Administration
Employment and Training Administration
Mine Safety and Health Administration
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management
Office of the Solicitor

b. The Director of Employee and Labor-Management Relations and the designated Union Agency Vice President or their designees will coordinate for purposes of the combined "Agency." Where the issues of concern relate to a specific organizational component of the combined "Agency," the Director and Vice President will coordinate with the appropriate parties.

c. If the DOL Agency and the Union Agency Vice President mutually agree, the DOL Agency and the Union may communicate informally in regard to planned space changes or organizational changes. Such communication may provide for Management to consider input from employees and the Union regarding space changes or organizational changes.

Management Final Offer - August 3, 2004

Article 36

Bargaining During the Term of the Agreement

Section 1. Introduction

In all provisions of this Agreement which relate to or deal with Management's obligation or duty to bargain, the obligation or duty to bargain is consistent and synonymous with the statutory obligation or duty to bargain. That is, in all relevant provisions of this Agreement, it is understood by the parties that Management neither adds to nor detracts from its statutory duty to bargain. In all respects, the Federal Labor-Management Relations Statute and case law of the Federal Labor Relations Authority and the Courts govern Management's obligation or duty to bargain.

The parties agree that the Union maintains its statutory right to initiate bargaining during the term of the Agreement. Such requests and management's obligation or duty to bargain in connection with such requests are governed by the Federal Labor-Management Relations Statute and the case law of the Federal Labor Relations Authority and the Courts.

Section 2. Process

a. With the exception of negotiations regarding space or organizational changes affecting a single Agency, all negotiations during the term of the Agreement shall take place at the Departmental level. Negotiations shall occur at the Agency level for all organizational changes or space changes that are specific to a particular Agency.

b. Where there is an obligation to bargain over contemplated changes in conditions of employment, the Department shall provide reasonable advance notice to the Union of intended changes.

c. If the Union desires to bargain, it must submit a request to the Department or, in the case of an Agency organizational change or space change, to the Agency within ten (10) workdays of receipt of the notice. Failure to submit a timely request shall constitute a waiver on the part of the Union.

d. If the Union wishes to initiate bargaining during the term of the Agreement, it must submit a request to the Department.

e. Upon a timely request being made by the Union in response to a management initiative for which a duty to bargain exists, the parties shall schedule bargaining to begin no later than fifteen (15) workdays from the time of receipt by the Union of Management's notice.

f. Upon a Union initiated request to bargain in connection with a matter for which a duty to bargain exists, the parties shall schedule bargaining to begin no later than fifteen (15) workdays from the time of receipt by Management of the Union's request.

g. The Union may name up to five (5) members to represent the Union at Departmental or Agency bargaining.

h. Bargaining sessions shall be conducted continuously for up to five (5) days, as necessary.

i. Any agreement reached at Agency negotiations must be submitted to the President of Local 12 and the Director of the Office of Employee and Labor-Management Relations (OELMR) for approval for purposes of legal sufficiency only. Should the parties desire the services of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) or the Federal Service Impasses Panel (FSIP), they must first get the approval of the Union and the Department, who shall represent the parties in any dealings with the FMCS or FSIP.

j. Impasses in negotiations on the part of the Department or an Agency shall be resolved by recourse to the provisions of Section 7119 of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute.

k. Any time frames specified in this Article may be waived or extended by mutual agreement of the parties.
l. The parties agree to use the techniques of interest-based bargaining where appropriate.

Management Final Offer -September 23, 2004

Article 43

Grievance Procedure

The parties wish to foster an atmosphere of cooperation and mutual respect between supervisors and employees. To that end, supervisors and employees are encouraged to communicate regularly with each other and discuss any problems or concerns and try to resolve them informally. If such informal efforts are unsuccessful, employees may utilize the grievance procedure as prescribed in this Article.

Section 1. Purpose

a. The purpose of this Article is to provide a mutually acceptable method for a prompt and equitable settlement of grievances

b. This shall be the procedure through which a just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of such grievances is secured. Therefore, the parties agree that grievances processed through this procedure should be resolved as early as feasible and at the lowest organizational level practicable.

c. This shall be the exclusive procedure available to the parties and employees in the unit.

Section 2. Who May Initiate a Grievance

A grievance may be filed by:

a. an employee in the Local 12 bargaining unit or such former bargaining unit employees who have filed a timely grievance; except that those employees on temporary limited appointment and those who have not completed probation may submit a grievance only with respect to working conditions or rights expressly granted them elsewhere in this Agreement;

b. Local 12; or

c. The U.S. Department of Labor.

Section 3. Definition of a Grievance

A grievance means any complaint, unless expressly excluded or limited in this article

a. by any employee concerning any matter relating to the employment of the employee;

b. by Local 12 concerning any matter relating to the employment of any employee; or

c. by an employee or Local 12 or the Department of Labor concerning:

(1) the effect or interpretation, or a claim of breach, of this Collective Bargaining Agreement; or
(2) any claimed violation, misinterpretation, or misapplication of any law, rule, or regulation affecting conditions of employment.

Section 4. Exclusions from the Grievance Procedure

The following subject matters referenced in subsections a. and b. below are excluded from the grievance procedure regardless of the specific allegation(s) or issue(s).

a. Excluded by Statute from the grievance procedure are:

(1) any claimed violation of Subchapter III of Chapter 73 of Title 5 of the U.S. Code (relating to prohibited political activities);
(2) retirement, life insurance, or health insurance;
(3) a suspension or removal under Section 7532 of Title 5 of the U.S. Code;
(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 an employee.

    b. Further, this Article does not apply to:

(1) a binding decision made by an authority outside the Department;
(2) the filling of a position which is in the Senior Executive Service (SES), and the filling of all other positions outside the bargaining unit;
(3) the judgment of a merit staffing panel or qualifications rating examiner;
(4) non-selection from a properly prepared merit staffing certificate;
(5) failure to recommend and/or disapproval of a quality step increase, performance award, or other kind of honorary or other discretionary award;
(6) failure to adopt a suggestion submitted under the Incentive Awards Program;
(7) termination of an employee on a temporary appointment;
(8) separation of an employee during the probationary period;
(9) the placement of an employee on a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP); or
(10) oral counselings or warnings/admonishments.

Section 5. Rights

a. Nothing in this Agreement shall be construed as precluding discussion between an employee and his/her immediate supervisor of a matter of interest or concern to either of them. Once a matter has been made the subject of a grievance under this procedure, nothing herein shall preclude either party from attempting to resolve the grievance informally at the appropriate level.

b. An employee or group of employees in the bargaining unit filing a grievance under this procedure may be represented by a Union representative. Any employee or group of employees in the bargaining unit may present a grievance under this procedure without representation and have it resolved without intervention of the Union as long as the resolution is not inconsistent with the terms of this Agreement and the Union is given an opportunity to be present during the grievance proceeding.

c. In presenting a grievance, the grievant and the duly designated Union representative, if any, shall be free from restraint, interference, coercion, discrimination, and reprisal.

d. In accordance with Section 4 of Article 41, "Official Time," employees shall be allowed a reasonable amount of official time to prepare and present a grievance.

e. Where the grievant(s) has designated a Local 12 Representative, all communications with regard to the grievance and attempts at resolution of the grievance shall be made through the designated Local 12 Representative.

Section 6. Grievance Form

a. The following form is to be used for the filing of grievances under this Article. The grievance is to be signed and dated by the grievant(s). The grievance form is a critical component to the grievant process. It is intended to put the Agency on notice of all the issues and the specific allegations of the grievance so that it may resolve the dispute at the lowest possible level. Accordingly, the grievant shall identify the underlying facts, issues, contract articles, and statutes or regulations alleged to have been violated on the Step 1 portion of the grievance form. The Step 2 grievance appeal shall also be presented in writing on the Step 2 portion of the grievance form. The Step 2 portion of the grievance form shall contain any additional information as necessary about the grievance, including a precise explanation as to why the grievant believes each article, section, and subsection, statute or regulation has been violated. Issues and allegations that are not raised by the Union in the Step 2 process may not subsequently be considered by an arbitrator, should the grievance be invoked to arbitration.

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND AFGE LOCAL 12 GRIEVANCE FORM

General Information

Name of Grievant: _________________ Agency: __________________
Name of Local 12 Representative: _________________________________

Type of Grievance:
Employee 
Union 
Department 

Step One Grievance

Date of Alleged Violation: ________________

Alleged Violations:

Contractual, statutory or regulatory violations
____________________________________________________
____________________________________________________
____________________________________________________

Underlying facts of the grievance
____________________________________________________
____________________________________________________
____________________________________________________

Remedy Sought:
____________________________________________________
____________________________________________________

Signature:________________________ Date:__________________

Step Two Grievance

Alleged Violations:

Specific description of how each contract article, section and/or subsection was violated

____________________________________________________
____________________________________________________
____________________________________________________

Specific description of how each statute or regulation was violated
____________________________________________________
____________________________________________________
____________________________________________________

Remedy Sought:
____________________________________________________
____________________________________________________

Issues and/or allegations not raised during the Step 2 grievance process will not be addressed by an arbitrator (See Article 44, Section 8).

Signature:________________________ Date:__________________

 

b. Trivial or clearly mechanical errors not affecting the substantial rights of a party shall be disregarded at every stage of the proceedings under this Article. However, the failure to clearly provide all of the information on the grievance form is more than a trivial or clearly mechanical error and shall constitute a basis to remand the grievance for inclusion of such information.

Section 7. Procedures

This shall constitute the exclusive procedure available to unit employees for the resolution of grievances. The grievance meeting will be with the contractually designated management official and the employee with his/her designated Union representative. The designated management official may have necessary staff support for a full and accurate discussion of the grievance. Grievances may be filed electronically and grievance decisions may be issued electronically.

a. Step 1

(1) A grievance must be filed within twenty (20) workdays of when an employee knew or should have known of the alleged violation. This is applicable to all grievances under this Article unless a different timeframe is specified below. The date a grievance is filed will be determined by when it is personally delivered to or electronically received by the appropriate Agency official.
(2) All grievances other than those concerning merit staffing shall ordinarily be filed with the immediate supervisor, unless it is mutually determined that it should be filed elsewhere. This mutual determination is to be made between the servicing Labor Relations Officer and the Local's Agency Vice President. All grievances concerning merit staffing shall be filed with the servicing Human Resources Officer at Step 2, with Step 1 being automatically waived.
(3) When filing a grievance at Step 1, the grievant shall fully complete the grievance form as described in Section 6. The supervisor, the grievant, and the Union steward shall have five (5) workdays from the filing of the grievance to meet and discuss the grievance. The meeting shall be arranged with the Union steward. The supervisor will communicate the decision on the grievance in writing within five (5) workdays from the date of the meeting.
(4) Representation at Step 1 shall be provided by a steward in the same Agency as the grievant, unless a steward from another jurisdiction is appointed by the President in accordance with Article 41, Section 3.
(5) If no decision is rendered in a timely fashion, the grievant or Union may appeal to Step 2.

b. Step 2

(1) A grievance may be appealed to Step 2 of this procedure within ten (10) workdays of receipt of a decision unsatisfactory to the aggrieved employee(s) or, if no timely decision is issued at Step 1, within (10) workdays after the grievance reply was due at Step 1. An appeal shall be filed by completing the Step 2 portion of the grievance form.
(2) The Step 2 appeal shall be filed with the senior career program official in the same program as the grievant, designated by the agency. The Step 2 appeal shall be considered filed when it is personally delivered to or electronically received by the appropriate Agency official. The grievant or the Union representative will provide a courtesy copy to the immediate supervisor and the Agency Labor Relations Officer. If the appeal is filed with the wrong Agency official, Management shall forward it to the correct official and so notify the grievant and Union representative.
(3) A merit staffing grievance is filed at Step 2 with the servicing Human Resources Officer within twenty (20) workdays of when an employee and/or the Union has learned of the alleged violation.
(4) The Agency official, grievant, and designated Agency Union representative shall have ten (10) workdays from the filing of the Step 2 appeal to meet and discuss the grievance. The meeting shall be arranged with the Union representative. The Agency official shall render a written decision to the grievant and Union representative within five (5) workdays of the Step 2 meeting. If no decision is rendered in a timely fashion, the Union may proceed to invoke the grievance to arbitration.

Section 8. Union Grievances

This shall constitute the exclusive procedure available to the Union for the resolution of grievances.

a. A grievance initiated by the Union must bear one signature of an official(s) or representative(s) designated by the President or Executive Vice President of Local 12.

b. Union-Filed Institutional Grievances

A grievance filed by Local 12 which does not seek personal relief for a particular employee or group of employees, but rather expresses Local 12's disagreement with Management's interpretation or application of the Agreement and which seeks an institutional remedy, shall be processed as follows:

(1) On a matter involving more than a single DOL Agency, the grievance shall be filed with the Office of Employee and Labor-Management Relations. If the matter has not been resolved after ten (10) workdays of the receipt of the grievance, Local 12 may invoke arbitration within the next twenty-five (25) workdays.
(2) On a matter specific and limited to a single DOL Agency, the grievance shall be filed with the Administrative Officer. If the matter has not been resolved after ten (10) workdays of the receipt of the grievance, Local 12 may invoke arbitration within the next twenty-five (25) workdays.
(3) A grievance filed in accordance with paragraphs (1) or (2) above must be filed within twenty (20) workdays of when the Union knew or should have known of the alleged violation.

c. Union-Filed Employee Grievances

(1) If the Union files a grievance seeking personal relief for an individual employee or group of employees, the grievance(s) should be filed in accordance with the procedures delineated in Article 43, Section 7, just as if the affected employee(s) had initiated the grievance(s).
(2) Where mutually agreeable by the parties, Union-filed grievances on the same matter on behalf of two (2) or more employees may be processed as a single grievance for the purpose of resolving the grievances.

(a) If the employee grievants are under the supervision of a single supervisor, the Step 1 grievances may be consolidated as a single grievance with that supervisor.
(b) If the employee grievants are under the supervision of different supervisors within a single DOL Agency, the grievances may be consolidated with the Agency Administrative Officer at Step 2. If the matter has not been resolved after ten (10) workdays of the consolidation, Local 12 may invoke arbitration within the next twenty-five (25) workdays.
(c) If the employee grievants are under the supervision of different supervisors in more than one (1) DOL Agency, the grievances may be consolidated and filed at Step 2 with OELMR. If the matter has not been resolved after ten (10) workdays of the consolidation, Local 12 may invoke arbitration within the next twenty-five (25) workdays.

Section 9. Department of Labor Grievances

If the Department of Labor wishes to file a grievance, the Director of OELMR will sign and file a written grievance with the Local 12 President within twenty (20) workdays of when the Department knew or should have known of the alleged violation. The grievance will detail the nature of the harm, the violations of law, rule, regulation, and/or collective bargaining agreement violated, and the relief requested. If the grievance is not resolved, the Local 12 President shall issue a written decision within ten (10) workdays. Upon receipt of the decision, the Director may, within ten (10) workdays, invoke the grievance to arbitration. The Director may also invoke the grievance to arbitration within ten (10) workdays of when the decision of the Local 12 President is due.

Section 10. Grievance Procedure for Adverse and Performance-Based Actions

An employee who wishes to appeal an adverse action or performance-based action decision may file an appeal with the MSPB or a grievance under this article, but not both. An employee shall be deemed to have exercised his/her option depending upon which forum the employee files in first. Similarly, if an employee raises an allegation of discrimination in connection with an adverse action, the employee may elect to file only one of the following: a grievance, or an appeal to the MSPB, or a formal EEO complaint. An employee shall be deemed to have exercised his/her option depending upon which forum the employee files in first.

When an employee elects to appeal an adverse action or performance based action under the negotiated grievance/arbitration procedure, Steps 1 and 2 of the grievance procedure are waived. The Union must proceed to invoke arbitration within twenty-five (25) workdays of the date of the decision by filing a completed grievance form signed by the grievant.

Section 11. Invocation of Arbitration

Upon receipt of the Step 2 decision or if no decision is rendered in a timely fashion, the Union or the Department respectively, within twenty-five (25) workdays, may invoke arbitration by giving notice of such intent to the other (Director of OELMR or the Union) as provided in Article 44 of this Agreement.

Section 12. Grievability/Arbitrability

If either the Department or the Union considers a grievance non-grievable or non-arbitrable, it should communicate such determination to the other party in writing and this will become part of the record. While such notice should be provided as early as possible, either party reserves the right to assert jurisdiction at any time.

Section 13. Termination of Grievance

A grievance shall terminate only at the employee's request, with Union approval, or for failure to proceed to the next step in a timely fashion, or if an arbitrator renders a decision, or a final decision is rendered on an appeal from the arbitrator's decision.

Section 14. Modification of Procedures

a. The time limits delineated in this Article may be modified by mutual written agreement of the parties. Absent such mutual consent, the failure to timely file an initial grievance, timely appeal the grievance to Step 2, or timely invoke the grievance to arbitration shall result in a dismissal of the grievance.

b. The parties may mutually agree in writing to waive Step 1 or 2 of this procedure.

c. For expeditious processing of grievances, the parties, by mutual agreement, may consolidate grievances concerning similar issues into a single grievance.

d. No issues/allegations shall be raised in the appeal/arbitration of a grievance which were not contained in the Step 2 grievance process.

Section 15. Failure to Meet Requirements

a. Failure to sign or date a grievance form will have the effect of nullifying the grievance. An electronic grievance will be considered filed and signed by the sender on the date received.

b. Failure on the part of an aggrieved employee to prosecute his/her grievance within the stated time periods at any Step of this procedure will have the effect of nullifying the grievance.

c. Failure on the part of the Local 12 or the Department to prosecute its grievance, filed in its own behalf within the stated time periods at any Step of this procedure will have the effect of nullifying the grievance.

d. Failure on the part of Department to meet any of the time requirements of this procedure will permit the aggrieved employee or the Local 12 to move to the next Step.

Management Final Offer - August 3, 2004

Article 44

Arbitration

Section 1. Panel of Arbitrators

a. The parties shall maintain a panel of six (6) arbitrators. The panel shall be used for both regular and expedited arbitrations. The number of arbitrators on the panel may be increased or decreased by mutual agreement of the parties.

b. Arbitrators to fill vacancies on the panel will be mutually agreed to by the parties or selected from a list of seven (7) names supplied by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. If the parties cannot agree upon a name, they will alternately strike from the list until one (1) name remains.

c. The arbitrator designated to hear a particular case shall be assigned on a random basis from the list maintained in the Office of Employee and Labor-Management Relations (OELMR). After an arbitrator is selected, his/her name shall not be placed back into the selection pool until all other arbitrators have been selected. The process will then begin again. This process will be followed regardless of whether the arbitration is an expedited/mini or regular arbitration.

d. Any arbitrator may be removed from the panel unilaterally by either party on the anniversary of the effective date of this Agreement. The party wishing to exercise this right must give notice to the other party only during the thirty (30) calendar day period prior to the anniversary of the effective date of the Agreement. After such notice of an arbitrator's removal, no further cases shall be heard by or assigned to that arbitrator. Once an arbitrator is removed, all arbitrations assigned to but not heard by the arbitrator shall be returned to the arbitrator assignment pool for random assignment.

e. Within thirty (30) calendar days after written notice of an arbitrator's removal, the parties shall meet and mutually agree upon another arbitrator to replace the removed arbitrator, using the selection method set forth in Subsection b. above.

f. OELMR shall be responsible for communicating with the arbitrators about their inclusion on or removal from the panel, their assignments, and the scheduling of their assigned cases, subject to oversight by the Union.

Section 2. Cost of Arbitration

Arbitration fees, transcripts, and other routine expenses will be paid by both parties in equal proportions; except in the case of a cancellation or postponement, wherein the moving party shall pay.

Section 3. Scheduling of Arbitration Hearings

a. OELMR and Local 12 shall meet on a monthly basis to review all cases invoked to arbitration since the last monthly meeting and to assign a hearing date for all pending cases.

b. An arbitrator who agrees to serve on the Panel will not charge the Parties if the hearing is postponed in excess of three (3) days of the scheduled hearing date. If the postponement occurs within three (3) or fewer days of the arbitration, arbitrators will be paid a fee of no more than $350.00.

Section 4. Submission of Case for Decision by the Arbitrator Without a Hearing

In cases where there are no facts in dispute, the parties may agree to submit the case for decision by the arbitrator on the basis of written stipulations and argument, without the necessity of a hearing.

Section 5. Prehearing Procedures

No later than ten (10) workdays before a scheduled hearing, the parties shall meet to explore possible resolution of the case, clarify and stipulate the issue or issues, exchange witness lists, and agree on joint exhibits and joint stipulations of fact. If the parties cannot agree on a joint stipulation of the issues, the parties shall exchange separate written statements of the issues at this meeting or no later than five (5) workdays before the scheduled hearing.

Section 6. Hearing Site

The Department shall provide the hearing site, usually on the Department's premises.

Section 7. Expedited Arbitration

a. The parties shall use the expedited arbitration procedure for all grievances except:

(1) Institutional grievances (that is, where the Union or the Department are the grievant);
(2) For individual employee grievances involving suspensions of fifteen (15) days or more, up to and including removal as set forth in 5 U.S.C. § 7511; and
(3) For individual employee grievances involving performance based actions as set forth in 5 U.S.C. § 4303.

b. Nothing in this Section prohibits the parties from mutually agreeing to utilize either the regular arbitration or expedited arbitration procedures forum to hear any specific grievance.

c. Time Parameters and Conduct of Hearing

(1) An expedited arbitration hearing will be conducted in one (1) day. Each party will have up to three (3) hours to present its case, including rebuttal, to cross-examine the other party's witness(es), and to present opening and/or closing arguments.
(2) The expedited arbitration hearing shall not be transcribed; however, the arbitrator may record the hearing.
(3) No briefs shall be filed unless mutually agreed to by the parties.
(4) Either party has the right to submit copies of applicable case law up to the close of the hearing.

Section 8. Authority and Decision of the Arbitrator

a. The arbitrator shall have the jurisdiction and authority to hear and decide the arbitration assigned to him/her except:

(1) The arbitrator will have no authority to add to, subtract from, alter, amend, or modify any provision of this Agreement.
(2) In accordance with Article 43, Section 4, the arbitrator will have no authority to address any matters excluded from the grievance procedure regardless of the specific allegation(s) or issue(s) raised.
(3) The arbitrator will have no authority to consider new issues, allegations and defenses raised by the grievant that he/she had not previously raised, in writing, at or before the Step 2 grievance meeting. In addition, mere references to an alleged violation of a contract article or to issues, allegations or defenses, without reference to the underlying facts and circumstances supporting the assertion, shall not be arbitrable.

b. The grievant, i.e., moving party, has the burden of proof regarding the merits of the grievance by a preponderance of the evidence with the following two exceptions: Management has the burden of proof regarding a performance-based action by substantial evidence in accordance with Chapter 43 of the Civil Service Reform Act, or a disciplinary or adverse action by a preponderance of the evidence in accordance with Chapter 75 of the Civil Service Reform Act.

c. Any disputes regarding arbitrability will be resolved in accordance with Section 9 of this Article.

b. d. In expedited arbitration cases, the arbitrator's decision should be rendered within five (5) calendar days of the date of the hearing. While it may be brief, the decision shall be in writing and must contain the rationale utilized by the arbitrator for either granting or denying the grievance.

c. e. In regular (non-expedited) arbitration cases, the arbitrator should render and serve the written award on both parties within thirty (30) calendar days of the close of the record.

f. The arbitrator's decisions will be final and binding, except as altered on appeal or provided by law.

Section 9. Grievability and Arbitrability

The arbitrator shall have the authority to make all determinations regarding grievability and arbitrability. If the Department or the Union considers a grievance non-grievable or non-arbitrable, it should communicate such determination to the other party at the earliest possible time. A party raising the issue of arbitrability of a grievance may require that a separate hearing (meeting or teleconference) be held to decide the arbitrability issue. The arbitrator will render a decision no later than three (3) days following the meeting or teleconference and prior to any hearing on the merits of the grievance.

Management Final Offer - August 3, 2004

Article 46

Facilities and Services

Section 1. General

The Department agrees to provide the Union with all such office space

(Room N-1501 only in the FPB), furniture, and support services included with the standard rental cost for space as it has provided in the past.

Section 2. Union Bulletin Boards and Kiosks

a. The Department will continue to provide five (5) kiosks for Local 12 to post materials in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. The kiosks are intended for the transmittal of information of mutual interest of employees and for announcements by the Union to employees in the bargaining unit.

b. Local 12 is responsible for the upkeep of these kiosks and for ensuring that posted materials are in conformance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 7131(b).

c. The Department will provide a bulletin board in each building where there are bargaining unit employees except in those buildings which have kiosks, and will also provide two (2) bulletin boards in the Frances Perkins Building (FPB), one near the Snack Bar and one near the Cafeteria. The specific locations and size of the bulletin boards will be determined by mutual agreement of both Management and Local 12, consistent with applicable regulations and fire and safety requirements. Local 12 is responsible for the upkeep of the bulletin boards and for ensuring that posted materials are in conformance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 7131(b).

Section 3. Use of Departmental Telephones for Labor-Management Business

a. Union Offices. The Department will continue to provide the use of telephone service in each Union office.

b. Union Stewards. Union stewards will have access to Departmental telephones for use when necessary in conducting representational business.

Section 4. Parking

Assigned Permits. The Department agrees to provide three (3) parking permits for the Union's use in the FPB which shall be issued in the name of the Union for use by persons designated by the Union. The Union is responsible for paying any standard fees or charges normally assessed for use of similar parking privileges.

Union Visitors' Parking. In the event the Union needs a parking space(s) for a visitor(s) to the FPB, such request should be made to the Department's Office of Facilities Management, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management, one (1) day in advance of the need. The Department will accommodate such requests to the extent space is available.

Section 5. Use of Departmental Photocopying Equipment

The use of photocopying equipment shall continue to be made available by the Department to the Union for representational business.

Section 6. Distribution of Union Handbills and Other Solicitations

The parties' conduct in this area shall be governed by 5 U.S.C. 7131(b).

Section 7. Use of Departmental Meeting Rooms In the FPB

Just like any DOL Agency or other entity in need of conference space, the rules and operating procedures of the Department's Conference Center are applicable to Local 12 in connection with the Local's need for conference space. On a case-by-case basis, whenever Local 12 is in need of conference space, it may contact the Business Office of the Conference Center to make a request. The same rules and operating procedures that apply to requests from other entities will be applied to requests from Local 12. Local 12 may not circumvent this requirement by making repeated ad hoc requests which would have the effect of continual or permanent use of conference space.

Section 8. Meeting Space in Other DOL Buildings

Management recognizes the need for private meeting space between the Union and bargaining unit employees in outlying buildings. Space for such meetings between Union stewards and bargaining unit employees will be provided in all outlying buildings, where available, upon adequate advance notice.

Section 9. Copies of Departmental Rules and Regulations

Management agrees to continue to make available to the Union its regulations as contained in the Department of Labor Manual Series (DLMS) and Department of Labor Personnel Regulations (DPRs). These documents will be available or provided in electronic format.

Section 10. Use of Internal Mail System

The Union shall have the opportunity to utilize the Department's internal mail system to distribute its newsletter to all employees. Material distributed through the internal mail system will be clearly identified as Local 12 material and may not contain any scurrilous, libelous, disparaging, or otherwise inappropriate material.

In all cases, the Union is responsible for providing the Department with the appropriate number of copies of the material to be distributed and sufficiently in advance of the distribution deadline desired.

Section 11. Electronic Mail

For the purpose of fostering effective and efficient communications between the parties, the Department shall provide Local 12 with access to the electronic mail system to handle communication between the Union and the Office of Employee and Labor-Management Relations.

Section 12. Facilities and Services Upgrades

The Department reserves the right to upgrade software, equipment, and technology in accordance with DOL's IT infrastructure and applicable policies. Further, the Department reserves the right to upgrade physical facilities and security services, as appropriate, in accordance with DOL policies and government wide guidance or policies (i.e.; GSA regulations, Federal Protective Services policies, or Department of Homeland Security policies).

Section 13. Messages on Earnings and Leave Statements

a. Local 12 may timely submit to OELMR up to three messages per quarter for publication on Local 12 bargaining unit employees' earnings and leave statements. Within technology and/or system capabilities and within the space allotted, the message will be identified as "Local 12 message" and may not contain any scurrilous, libelous, or otherwise inappropriate information.

b. Department messages for employees will take precedence over Local 12 messages.

Management Final Offer - September 23, 2004

Article 47

Duration

Section 1. Effective Date

The Articles or provisions agreed upon by the parties shall become effective on November 15, 2004, subject to ratification by the Union.

Section 2. Duration

This Agreement shall remain in full force and effect for three (3) years and from year to year thereafter, unless either party gives to the other written notice of intention to terminate or reopen. Either party may give notice to the other not more than ninety (90) nor less than sixty (60) calendar days prior to the expiration date of this Agreement of its desire to renegotiate or amend this Agreement. When such notice is given, the parties shall meet within ten (10) workdays to begin negotiations on ground rules. All provisions of this agreement concerning mandatory subjects of bargaining shall remain in full force and effect during negotiations and until a new contract takes effect.

Section 3. Supplemental Agreement or Understanding

The provisions of any Departmental Supplemental Agreement or Memorandum of Understanding entered into after the effective date of this Agreement shall become a valid part of this Agreement upon the effective date specified in the Supplemental Agreement or Understanding when such Agreement or Understanding is signed by the duly designated representatives of Department Management and the Union. Supplementary Agreements or Understandings that become a part of this Agreement shall be subject to the provisions for termination and reopening as provided in this Article. In addition, Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), Drug Testing Program, signed December 6, 1991, shall remain in full force and effect under this Agreement. While no other MOUs are carried over under this master Agreement, Article 33, Past Practices, applies to mandatory working conditions that resulted from such former Understandings.

Section 4. Savings Clause

If any provision of this Agreement is rendered invalid under existing or subsequent laws, such provision shall be renegotiated for the purpose of an adequate replacement. Such negotiations shall be conducted in accordance with the requirements of Article 36. All other provisions of the Agreement shall remain in full force and effect.

Management Final Offer - September 23, 2004

New Article

Mass Transit Subsidy

The parties agree that the Department will maintain a transit subsidy program available to bargaining unit employees as follows:

a. Within budgetary limitations, all bargaining unit users of eligible mass transit or eligible commuter highway vehicles (CHVs) will be provided a subsidy via MetroChek. The subsidy will be in amounts equal to mass transit commuting costs, but not to exceed $100.00 per month.

b. All bargaining unit employees who convert from commuting solely by privately operated vehicles (POVs) to eligible mass transit or eligible CHVs for all or part of their commute will receive an additional $5.00 per month for six months.

c. The Department may reduce or suspend the transit subsidy for all bargaining unit employees when it deems funding to be insufficient.

d. An employee's monthly subsidy cannot exceed the employee's actual cost of commuting by eligible mass transit or CHV.

e. If an employee's mass transit provider does not accept MetroChek, the Department will attempt to establish with the provider an equivalent arrangement.

f. Employee participants must certify each month that they use eligible mass transit or eligible CHV as their regular and recurring means of commuting.

g. MetroChek is not transferable.

h. In addition to the forums provided in Article 35 of the Agreement, the Union President or designee may raise on an ad hoc basis issues or concerns about the operations of the program with the Director of Labor-Management Relations or designee.

Management Final Offer - August 3, 2004

New Article

Child Care Subsidy

The parties agree that the Department will maintain a Child Care Subsidy Program available to bargaining unit employees as follows:

a. The Department of Labor Child Care Subsidy Program, in accordance with Public Law 107-67, is intended to foster a quality work place for employees through the use of licensed child care by subsidizing costs for lower family income employees while at the same time improving recruitment efforts, improving retention, reducing absenteeism, and improving morale. The Program will provide assistance to lower income working families in their efforts to obtain quality, licensed day care for dependent children through age 13 and disabled children through age 18. Qualified participants must be utilizing licensed child care, meet income level definitions, and maintain a full-time or part-time permanent position status.

b. This agreement is made pursuant to the government-wide regulations of the Office of Personnel Management. Appropriated funds, otherwise available for salaries, will be utilized to fund the program.

The subsidy payment plan is as follows:

Total
Family
Income

Percentage of
Actual Child
Care Costs

Monthly
Not to
Exceed

<$26,929 70% $500
$26,929-$30,580 60%  $400
$30,581-$39,999  50% $375
$40,000-$49,999 4