DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION I OFFICE OF HEARINGS AND ~ALS, HEADQUARTERS ~CE, FIELD OFFICE COMPOND~, OFFICE OF PROGRAM INTEGRITY AND REVIEW, AND PROGRAM SERVICE CENTERS U~ COUNCIL 215, LOCAL 1923, COUNCIL 220, NATIONAL COUNCIL OF SSA FIELD ASSESSMENT LOCALS, AND NATIONAL COUNCIL OF SOCIAL SECURITY PAYMENT CENTER LOCALS, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNHENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO
United States of America
BE~E THE FEDERAL SERVICE IMPASSES PA~EL
In the Matter of
DEPARTMENT OF H~TH AND HUMAN
SERVICES, SOC~ SECURITY
ADMINISTRATIO~I OFFICE OF
HEARINGS AND ~ALS,
HEADQUARTERS ~CE, FIELD
OFFICE COMPOND~, OFFICE OF
PROGRAM INTEG~Y AND REVIEW,
AND PROGRAM S~ICE CENTERS
U~ ) Case Nos. 92 FSIP 95, 102
COUNCIL 215, LOC~L 1923, COUNCIL
220, NATIONA1 o~NCIL OF SSA
FIELD ASSESSM3~ LOCALS, AND
NATIONAL COUNo~ OF SOCIAL
SECURI~Y PAYM~ CENTER
LOCALS, AMERIo~ FEDERATION OF
GOVERNHENT EM~U~EES, AFL-CIO
) 104, 114, and 126
DECISIO~ AND ORDER
Council 21S,},ocal 1923, Council 220, National Council of SSA Pield AsseRsment Locals, and National Council of Social Security Payment Center ~Kals, American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO (Union) filed requests for assistance with the Federal Service Impasses Panel (Panel) to consider negotiation impasses under the Fed~al Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (Statute), 5 U.S.C. S 7119, between it and five of six components~/ wi~n the Social Security Administration of the Department of H~lth and Human Services. The components involved are the Headqua~rs Office, the Office of Hearings and Appeals, the Field Office Component, the Office of Program Integrity and Review, and the ~rogram Service Centers (Employer or SSA).
1/ The Data ~x~ations Center, the smallest component, iB the only one that reached agreement with the Union during bargaining c~er the new performance evaluation plans, and, therefore, did not participate in thesQ proceedings.
THE POSITI0~S OF THE PARTIES
1. The_Employer's Position
The Employer's proposals are as follows:
The parties agree to abide by and ,comply with the parties' negotiated National Agreement and this MOU in effecting all actions. This MOU shall not alter, add to, subtract from, modify, or otherwise change the terms and conditions of t~e Agreement, supplementals thereto, the Civil Service Reform Act or the rights and conditions of either party derived therefrom, or any other MOU between the Union and Management. Neither party waives rights provided by law, governmentwide rule, requlation or the National Agreement. (Covers Union common issue 4.)
1. At the beginning of the appraisal period, the appraising official(s) and the employee(s) will meet to discuss the performance plan so as to attempt to arrive at a full and complete understanding of what is required to achieve the levels of performance described in the plan, including performance plan terminoloqy, the method(s) to be used to determine the level of performance in each GJT, the nature and type of work product or other result to be counted, reviewed, or otherwise monitored. The discussion may al60 include examples of the performance requirements for level 2 and level 4 as they relate to the requirements for ~ully Successful. The discussion(s) shall attempt to avoid subsequent misunderstandings about the performance standards and their application to the employee's performance. (Covers Union common issues 2, 6, 8, 27, and 30.)
2. Each performance plan will be clearly stated in writing and given to all employees in accordance with Article 21, Section 3 of the National Agreement. With respect to the FY 1992 appraisal period, such plans will be issued at least by June 1, 1992, in order to allow sufficient time for preparation of the FY 1992 appraisal. (Covers Union common issue 3.)
3. In accordance with the EPMS MOU dated September 18, 1991, performance will not be assessed under PMS S430-1 procedures for any period of time that a performance plan has not been assigned. In accordance with 5 CFR 430.204
(d) (1), an employee's rating will not be lowered or raised for any period o~ time for which the plan was not in effect. (Covers Union common issue 5.)
4. In accordance with Article 16, Section 1, of the National Agreement, any necessary training as determined by management will be provided for employees who do not have the necessary skills to properly perform the duties of new GJTs at the Fully Successful level. This training may include classroom refresher courses and personal mentoring among other formal and informal training programs. (Covers Union common issue 9.).
5. Management agrees to make every reasonable effort to ensure that the assignment of work to employees is done in a fair and equitable manner. (Covers Union common issues 18 and 19.)
6. The appraising official will determine whether the employee was assigned sufficient duties in a given GJT to allow compar~fion of performance with the standard for that GJT in order to be given a rating, consistent with law, rule, regulation, and the National Agreement. (Covers Union common issue 20.)
7. Management agrees that an employee's performance appraisal will be based on overall performance for the entire period of time the performance plan is in effect. (Covers Union com~on issue 28.)
8. In accordance with Article 21, Section 7 of the National Agreement, documented progress revlews will summarize the employee's progress in comparison to the performance expectations, any problems encountered or anticipated, any corrective actions taken or planned and any changes in the performance expectations warranted by changes in the work situation. For the FY 1992 appraisal period, a documented progress review will be conducted with each employee between 60 and 90 days after the employee recelves a performance plan. All other reviews will be conducted pursuant to the parties' National Agreement. (Covers Union common issues 32, 33, and 34.)
9. The Union will be given an opportunity to be present at any meeting(s) related to these revised performance plans if any such meeting is a "formal discussion~ as defined at 5 U.S.C 7114 (a) (2) (A). (Covers Union common issue 47.)
10. The Parties understand that Management does not intend to use numeric goals, guidelines, indicators, or pars to evaluate individual employee performance unless stated in the performance standard. (Covers Union common issues 11 and 39.)
11. Con~istent with Article 21, Section 3.E, of the National Agreement, Management shall consider factors which affect performance that are beyond the control of the employee. (Covers Union common issues 6 and 7.)
12. To the extent that any changes, including supplements, are made regarding performance plans, Management will give notice consistent with Article 21, Section 2 of the National Agreement and Article 4 of the National Agreement. (Covers Union common issues 12 and 39.)
13. To the extent feasible and consistent with workload requirements, management intends to assign duties so that employees have the opportunity to perform work covered by the GJTs contained in their plans. (Covers Union common is~ues 20 and 21.)
14. Consistent with Article 21, Section 3.A of the National Agreement, performance standards and critical or noncritical elements must be consistent with the duties and responsibilities contained in the employee's position description. (Covers Union common issues 2 and 21.)
15. In accordance with Article 21, Section 3.D of the National Agreement, the procedures that are used to gather information in order to evaluate employee performance must reasonably ensure the accurate evaluation of performance. Furthermore, supervisory conclusions based upon observations of an employee by management will be communicated to the employee during informal discussion and/or progress reviQws. (Covers Union common issues 26 and 27.)
16. In the application of Article 21, Section 7.C, of the National Agreement, prior to making a determination that remedial action is necessary based on performance, management will make every reasonable effort to ensure that the decision is based on sufricient information to make an ob~ective assessment. (Covers Union common issue 35.)
17. A copy of this MOU will be made available to each employee within thirty (30) days of the effective date of this agreement. (Covers Union common issue 40.)
18. Concerns and suggestions regarding the new performance plans are a proper matter for consideration by the ~oint Union/Management Appraisal SystQm Review Committee established as a result of the EPMS MOU dated September 18, 1991. (Covers Union common issuQ 41.)
19. The Agreement shall become effective after having been signed by the Parties and upon completion of Agency Head review pursuant to 5 U.S.C 7114 (c). Should any provision of this Agreement be disapproved, the provisions of Article 4, Appendix A, Section VII.B, of the NationalAgreement shall apply. (Covers Union common issue 43.)
20. The appraising criteria used to det,ermine levels of performance will be applied in accordance with Article 21, Section 3.A, of the National Agreement. (Covers Union common issues 2 and 30.)
21. Appropriate Agency operating and administrative procedures, as determined by Management, will be made available t~ employees as required to perform the full duties of histher ~ob. (Covers Union common issues 8 and 22.)
22. In accordance with Article 21, Section 7.C, of the National Agreement, if the Administration intends to place an employee on a performance improvement plan the appraising official shall identify the employee's performance deficiencies, the action that must be taken by the employee to improve the performance, and any provisions £or counseling, training, reassignment, or other assistance as appropriate. (Covers Union common issue 36.)
23. When ~ management official receives an error rebuttal and the error is not clearly backed by procedure, policy, or law, he/she may seek additional information, as appropriate, to resolve the issue prior to making a final determination. (Covers Union common issue 31.)
Basically, the Employer believes that current contractual provisions and ~emoranda of understanding include procedures that are adequate to ensure that employees would be appraised fairly under the new plans. Additionally, although the work of the components may differ, general wording which gives employees a full and complete understanding Or the performance plan (Employer 1) and takes into cons~deration factors beyond an employee's control (Employer 11), provides the necessary degree Or accountability and flexibility to make ad~ustments for a wide variety of both regularly occurr~ng and special circumstances. On the other hand, the Union's proposals would force supervisors to pick their way through a "minefield" of requirements and discourage free communication wlth employees regarding performance matters by excessive reliance on documentation. Furthermore. the Union has
failed to show harm related to the new standards. For example, figures comparing the number of employees rated "Outstanding, Excellent, and Fully Successful" in 1990 and 1991 show a negligible change in numbers of employees at each level of achievement. No effect, therefore, is attributable to discontinuing the use of numerics in the new plans. Neither has there been any increase in performance-related grievances, nor other signs that employees are having difficulty understanding the new standards. Moreover, the award program continues to recognize employees' performance-related achievement; the number of employees receiving awards actually increased between 1990 and 1991.
As to further negotiations over measurement, assessment, or audit systems, it has no obligation to open bargaining on the subject (Union 2) since it has not changed such systems. If the Union wants to overhaul the system, successor national negotiations would be a more ~ppropriate opportunity, and preferable to the piecemeal, component-level approach that the Union prefers. Furthermore, in addition to these negotiations, through a consultation process established by the PMS 430-1 Memorandum of Understanding, the Union already has had an opportunity to discuss its views on the new performance standards.
Lastly, the Employer raises a nu~ber of preliminary questions regarding its duty to bargain over certain Union proposals either because the matter is covered by the current contract, or under Federal Labor Relations Authority case law, the proposal is nonnegotiable. It would re~ect Union proposals numbered 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, and 47 because those matters are covered by the national agreement. In regard to its nonnegotiability allegations, Union 11 on numeric standards would require it to provide such standards at additional levels, and interfere with the wellestablished right of management to determine the content of performance standards.5/ The Employer also obiects to Union 28
~/ In ~ational Treasurv Employees Union a~d U.S. De~artment of Health and ~uman Services. Social Security Admini~tration. Office of Hearinqs and ADpeals. Balt~more. Marvland (Office of Hearinqs and Ap~eals) 39 FLRA 346, 350-354 (1991), the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) found a proposal nonnegotiable that required standards to be written at three levels based on position requirements, and, to the maximum extent feasible, that they be ob~ective, expllcit, observable or measurable, and attainable. The FLRA held that the proposal impermissibly interfered with management's right to direct employees and assiqn wor~.
for the same reasons because it would base an employee's performance appraisal on overall performance rather than "sporadic instances of unrq~esentative performance. n ~/
2. The Union's ~sition
The Union pr~poses the following wording with respect to the issues at impasse:
Provision 2: Prior to the beginning of the appraisal period, the ~praising official(s) and employee(s) will meet to dis~s the performance plan so as to arrive at a full and o~lete understanding of what is required to achieve each level of performance for each generic job task (GJT). The systems and procedures utilized to monitor, ~ sure, assess, and/or audit employee performance~ill also be discussed with the employee upon completion ofnegotiations with the Union on this impact issue. The~ discussions will be reduced to writing, with a copy to the employee. The employee may add written com~ts which will be placed in the employee's 7-B File.
Provision 3: A performance plan will be clearly stated in writing ~ given to each employee in accordance with Article 21, Section 3(C) of the National Agreement.
Provision 4: This agreement cannot add to, modify, or detract fr~ the National Agreement, supplementals thereto, the Civil Service Reform Act, or the rights and conditions of either party derived therefrom.
Provision 5: An employee's performance appraisal under PMS-430-1 pr~edures will not be adversely affected for any period ~f time that a performance plan has not been assiqned.
6/ The Employer cites a decision where the FLRA found a proposal to be an appropriate arrangement that required the employer to consider an ~ haracteristic performance in one situation when giving an ~all rating. It apparently believes that the case may be distinguished because the employer retained the flexibility of determining how to accommodate an uncharacteristic rating, whereas under Union 28, it would not retain a s~lar flexibility. ~ational Treasurv Employees Union and U.S. Department of the ~reasurv. Internal Revenue ~ervice, 39 F1RA 731, 736-739 (1991).
Provision 6/7: The Employer shall consider in the application of performance standards unusual, timeconsuming, and/or complex duties which could present a distorted or misleading assessment of individual performance.
Provision 8: Office policies, format guides, maintenance and operations instructions referenced by specific G~Ts will be clearly communicated and made available in writing to employees upon reque~t.
Provision 9: Appropriate training, as determined by management, will be provided for employees who do not have the necessary skills to properly perform the duties of the new GJTs. No employee will be adversely affected by the lack of opportunity to receive appropriate training.
A. No numeric goals, guidelines, indicators, or pars will be used to asse~s employee performance unless specifically and clearly stated in the performance ~tandard.
B. For any position where numerics are defined for level 3, a numeric performance standard will be developed for levels 2 and 4.
Provision 12: Hanagement has determined that where a national performance standard is developed, no local numeric supplements or deviations are permitted.
Provision 18: Management agrees to make every reasonable effort to ensure that the assignment of work to employees 1s done in a falr and equitable manner.
Provision 19: Wlthdrawn without pre~udice; withdrawal of issues such as rotation and future assignments does not constitute a waiver of the Union's right to bargain such sub~ects in the future.
Provision 20: The appraising official will determine whether the employee was assigned sufficient dut1es in a given GJT to allow compar1son of performance with the standard for that GJT in order to be given a rating, consistent with law, rule, regulation, and the Natlonal Agreement.
Provision 21: To the extent feasible and consistent with workload requirements, management intends to assign duties so that employees have the opportunity to perform work covered by the GJTs contained in their plans will not be disadvantaged in their appraisal of record.
Provision 26: Complaints about an individual emp-loyee will be brought to the attention of the involved employee in writing as soon as possible. Compiaints based on hearsay, con~ecture, or speculation will not be used to assess performance. Allegations made against employees must be supported by verifiable evidence prior to use in assessing employee performance.
A. To the maximum extent feasible, the Employer will use sampling techniques and evaluative conclusions that are based on valid, ob~ective, and commonly accepted techniques 80 as to ensure a valid representation of the employee's performance for the entire apPraisal period.
B. The sampling technique and its application must be verl ~ ~ ~hlQ
C. Hanagement observations will be applied in a fair, ob~ective, and equitable manner, and management conclusions based upon the observation of an employee will be provided to the employee in ~riting with supporting documentation the day the observation occurred, or in the event same-day feedbAck is not practical, it will be provided by close of business of the workday after the day the observation is performed.
Provision 28: Management agrees that an employee's performance appraisal will be based on overall performance for the entire period of time the performance plan is in effect and not on ~oradic instances of unrepresentative ~erformance.
Provision 30: Criteria used to assQss quality will be applied consistently to employees under the same performance plan.
Provision 31: Employees may rebut errors. Errors will be returned to the employee as soon as possible after detection. Unresolved rebuttals will, at the employee's request, be placed in the SF-7B File.l/
Provision 32: The timing of documented progress reviews will be conducted in accordance with Article 21, Section 7, of the national collective bargaininq aqreement.
Provision 33: During progress reviews, at a minimum, employees will be informed in writing of their level of performance by comparison with the performance elements and standards established for their positions, pursuant to 5 C.F.R. 5 430.205(e).
Provision 34: If the supervisor determines that an employee's performance has decreased from the prior year, the employee will be informed and the progress interview will show specific written information for each GJT as to how performance has declined and ~hat specific steps are required for imProvement.
Provision 35: In the application of Article 21, Section 7(C) of the National Agreement, prior to making a determination that remedial action is necessary based on performance, management will make every reasonable effort to ensure that the decision is based on sufficient information to make an ob~ective assessment.
Provision 36: The Union will be timely notified in writing when an employee is placed on a performance improvement plan (PIP).
Provision 39: To the extent that an~ changes, including supplements, are made regarding performance plans, management will give notice con6istent with Article 21, Section 2, of the National Agreement and Article 4, Section 3 of the National Agreement.
Provision 40: The Union will assume responsibility for distribution of this HOU to unit employees.
7/ This is a working file maintained by the suPervisor.
Provision 41: Concerns and suggestions regarding the new performance plans are a proper matter for consideration by the joint Union/Management Appraisal System Review Committee established as a result of the EPMS MOU dated
September 18, 1991. If this committee fails to informally resolve identifiable impact issues/problems during the first 90 days after the close of the FY 1992 appraisal period, this agreement will be reopened on the 30th day thereof for further negotiations.
Provision 43: This agreement is effective immediately upon signing, subject to Head of Agency approval per 5 U.S.C. S 7114(c). If the Agency Head disapproves any provisions of this agreement, the Employer will notify the Union of any such disapproval with an explanation for the reason(s). The parties will then resume negotiations within 10 workdays in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 71.
Provision 47: Pursuant to Article 2, Section 3 D, the administrative (sic) will give the Union sufficient advance notice to exercise its rights. The Union representative for the representational area of the employees involved shall be given an opportunity to attend the meetings provided for in Provision 2 above.
The Union's overriding concern is that employees' performance be appraised fairly and consistently. Consistency i5 an appropriate corollary to fairness because a large number of bargaining-unit employees, working in different locations nationwide, occupy positions with identical descriptions and duties. To maintain these principles, assessments conducted under the appraisal plans should be based on representative work samples with A sufficient quantity of performed work. If plans specifically refer to policies, instructions, etc., such information should be provided to employee~ in writing. Fairness also requires that employees be given an opportunity to rebut, on the record, error~ or complaints that are reported to them before memories of the actual situation have faded. Furthermore, to avoid mistakes, supervisors who review employee~' work should carefully reconsider and review records before placing them on performance improvement plans. As a support to employees in this technical and vital area, it must have access to meetinga at all levels to fulfill it~ repre~entational obligations, and be notified when an employee is placed on a performance improvement plan.
It strenuously ob~ects to the Employer's attempt to bypass it by allowing direct discussions between individual supervisors and employees over "su~ervisor-selected~ methods to count, review, or monitor employees' work for rating purposes (Employer 2). As an example of the potential inequity that might arise, it provides 2 progress reviews of claims representatives with identical position descriptions, but conducted by different supervisors at different offices in North Carolina using "radically different methods~; 1 supervisor reviewed 11 cases and provided minimal comments, while the other reviewed 117 cases and provided extensive comments about how the employee might improve, and a chart comparing the individual's case processing time with that of others in the office. Under both reviews, the employees' performance~ were found to be fully successful.
Finally, since it has a grievance pending over the Employer's implementation of the new plans prior to completion of negotiations, it specifically urges the Panel not to adopt the last sentence of Employer 2, which might compromise its grievance rights. Further negotiations are appropriate concerning measurement, assessment, or audit systems as discussed above, and other negotiations should be conducted as well, if: (1) the Employer. decides to issue new methodology for assessing performance; (2) the Agency head re~ects any provision on reviev; or (3) the ~oint Union/Management Appraisal System Review Committee is unable to resolve impact issues through its discussions.
Having considered the evidence and positions of the parties, we generally agree with the Employer's assessment of the case. The record overwhelmingly confirms that the parties already have numerous contractual provisions in place on performance planfi and standards that address many of the Union's concerns. Although local, regional, and component-based differences exist, in our view, the provisions negotiated at the national level are adequate, in most circumstances, to address a variety of regularly occurring and unique situations, and offer the advantages of consistency and simplicity. In addition, we cannot ignore the fact that nationallevel negotiations may begin ~hortly. Should the Union find that the outcome of the instant impafise is unsatisfactory, or that current contractual provisions on performance appraisalfi require a ma~or overhaul, it may revisit fiuch matterfi at that time.
Consistent with the foregoing discussion, we shall order the parties to adopt the following items proposed by the Employer: Preface, 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 (as amended), 9, 10 (with Union llB), 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23 (with last sentence of Union 31). When ~oined with other pre-existlng provisions, WQ bQlieVQ
the interests of bargaining-unit employees in a fair appraisal of the work they have performed should adequately be protected. At the same time, the burdens placed on management in following these procedures should not interfere with its goal of providing service to the public. S~gnificantly, this is the underlying purpose of performance manage~ent systems.8/
While overall we favor the Employer's position, we also shall order the adoptionof Union 3, 8, llB (to be added to Employer 10), 28, 31 (last sentence only, to be added to Employer 23),-and 40 in lieu of, or in addition to, the Employer's counteroffers on these items. More specifically, Union 3, although otherwise identical to the Employer's corresponding counterpropo~al, is ~uperior because it doe6 not refer to a date which has now passed. On providing employees with clear information on matters referenced in their generic ~ob tasks, ~e select Union 8 instead of Employer 21 because it more clearly tie6 the guidance referenced in performance plans to an employee's need for ~uch information. Hence, an employee's ability to comply ~ith the requirements of assigned duties may improve with what appears to be a minimal burden on management. As to extrapolating nu~eric performance standards when given at level 3 to levels 2 and 4, Union llB,9/ we believe that this would clarify for employees either what they should be striving for, or by how much they have missed the mark. The parties are in agreement on a~raising employees based on their overall performance; howeYer, we are persuaded that adding wording to temp~r the eff ~ of -an instance of unrepresenta~ive poor performance i~ ~airer to employees, ~o we shall adopt Union
8/ "Performance anagement is the systematic process by which an agency integFates performance, pay, and awards 6ystems with its basic management functions for the purpo6e o~ improving individual and organizational effectiveness in the accompli6hment of agency mission and goal~," 5 C.F.R. S 430.102 (19g2).
9/ We re~ect the Employer's position that the propo~al is nonnegotiab~e. In Office o~ Hearinqs and A~eals cited by the E_ployer, the FLRA focused on that aspect of the union'~ proposal th~t tended to control the content of per~ormance standard~ ~y requiring them to be objective, explicit, ob6ervable or mea~urable, and attainable to the maximum extent possible. me FLRA found a provision nearly identical to the one ln the instant ca6e negotiable since it merely obligates management to ~evelop numeric ~tandard~ for another level when it already ~ determined to use numeric~. The PLRA also found that the provision was not inconsistent with governing OPM regulat~ons. Amer~Can Federation of Govern~entlE~DloY~o~J Local 3172 ~nd U.S. De~artment of Health and Human Services. Social Secu~itv Administration. Valle~o District O~ice, 35 FLRA 1276, 1284-1286 (1990).
28.1/ Retaining records of an employee's rebuttal of an unresolved error when requested by the employee, Union 31, would also be fairer to employees than the Employer's counteroffer, because memories tend to cloud over time. Finally, we have adopted Union 40 which permits it to distribute copies of the parties' agreement on performance plans because the Employer's offer is unnecessarily vague.
Finally, turning to those disputed proposals not among those common to the components involved herein, in accordance with the Panel's regulations, 5 C.F.R. 2471.6 (a)(2), we recommend that the parties select a single arbitrator to resolve them, on a componentspecific basis, by mediation-arbitration, with the parties to share equally the fees and related expenses of the proceeding or proceedings. Under this procedure, the designated neutral will first engage in mediation with respect to the issues. Should any of them not be resolved in this manner, the arbitrator will dispose of them by issuing a binding decision. The arbitrator may decline to consider any proposal about which either party contends it has no obligation to bargain. In the event that a written arbitration decision is issued, the Employer i& requested to send a copy of it within 30 days of its receipt to the Labor Agreement Information Retrieval System (LAIRS), 1900 E Street NW., Room 7412, Washington, DC 20415.
The parties are to notify the Panel, in writing, no later than the close of business on Thursday, October 14, 1992, as to whether they accept this recommendation.
Pursuant to the authority vested in it by the Federal Service
Labor-Management Relations Statute, 5 U.S.C S 7119, and because of the failure of the parties to resolve their dispute during the course of the proceedings instituted under the Panel's regulations, 5 C.F.R. S 2471.6(a)(2), the Federal Service Impasses Panel, under S 2471.11(a) of its regulations, hereby orders the following:
~Q/ In this regard, we find that the case cited by the Employer to support its allegation that the proposal is nonnegotiable ls not on point. In any event, in our view, the additional wording proposed by the Union appears to do no more than clarify the meaning of the main portion on which the parties aqree.
I. The parties shall adopt the Employer's proposals as indicated below:
Preface, 1, 3, 4, 5 [agreed to], 6 [agreed to];
8 (as amended): In accordance with Article 21, Section 7, of the National Agreement, written documented progress reviews will summarize the employee's progress in comparison to the perf