U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS SOUTH PACIFIC DIVISION SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA and LOCAL 49, INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF PROFESSIONAL AND TECHNICAL ENGINEERS

United States of America

BEFORE THE FEDERAL SERVICE IMPASSES PANEL

 

In the Matter of

U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS

SOUTH PACIFIC DIVISION

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

and

LOCAL 49, INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION

OF PROFESSIONAL AND TECHNICAL

ENGINEERS

 

Case No. 98 FSIP 64

 

DECISION AND ORDER

    Local 49, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (Union) filed a request for assistance with the Federal Service Impasses Panel (Panel) to consider a negotiation impasse under the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (Statute), 5 U.S.C. § 7119, between it and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, South Pacific Division (SPD), San Francisco, California (Employer).

    Following an investigation of the request for assistance, arising from negotiations over a reduction in force (RIF), the Panel directed the parties to participate in an informal conference with Panel Member Bonnie Prouty Castrey for the purpose of resolving the outstanding issues. The parties were advised that if no settlement were reached, Ms. Castrey would report to the Panel on the status of the dispute, including the parties’ final offers and her recommendations for resolving the issues. After considering the report, the Panel would take whatever action it deemed appropriate to resolve the impasse, including the issuance of a binding decision. Accordingly, the parties met with Ms. Castrey on April 27 and 28, 1998. Although the parties engaged in intensive settlement explorations, they were unable to reach agreement and the dispute remained unresolved. Ms. Castrey has reported to the Panel, and it has now considered the entire record.

BACKGROUND

    The mission of the Army Corps of Engineers is to provide construction and engineering support for military operations within the Department of Defense as well as for civil programs relating to such things as flood control, electric and hydrologic power, toxic-waste cleanup, and disaster assistance. SPD is responsible for providing regional oversight to four Army Corps of Engineer Districts located in the western United States. Local 49 represents approximately 40 to 50 bargaining-unit employees assigned to SPD who work as engineers, scientists, and architects. Although the bargaining unit was certified in 1991, the parties have never completed bargaining for an initial collective bargaining agreement.

    With respect to the instant impasse, RIF notices were given to eight employees, four of whom are bargaining-unit members. Of the four bargaining-unit members, none were separated from service; one took a voluntary downgrade, relocating to a position in Sacramento; and three whose current positions are being eliminated were laterally reassigned. The Employer originally planned to implement the RIF on April 15, 1998; however, as matters developed, the lateral reassignments were not to become effective until May 4, 1998.

ISSUES AT IMPASSE

    The parties disagree over 20 issues covering a wide variety of subjects related to the RIF.

POSITIONS OF THE PARTIES(1)

1. The Union’s Position

    Regarding issues 1, training, and 2, job duties, the Employer’s existing IDP (Individual Development Plan) forms should not be used because they provide for a 5-year plan that does not adequately focus on immediate training needs following the RIF. Also, the Union has not bargained over the form. Moreover, the Union asserts that written, as contrasted with verbal, redistribution of job duties is necessary because the Employer cannot be trusted. Furthermore, deadlines for furnishing the redistribution plan and rewritten position descriptions are necessary to ensure Employer accountability.

    As to issue 3, employee counseling, an Employer-paid group-counseling session for bargaining-unit employees is preferable to the Employer’s proposal that employees seek counseling through the existing EAP program because employees may be reluctant to use the existing program. One example of an employee’s failure to seek help occurred in 1994 when an employee committed suicide following the announcement of base closings.

    With respect to issue 4, mock RIFs, there should be a more extensive mock-RIF process set forth in the parties’ agreement than contained in the Employer’s proposal. The more detailed procedure will increase the usefulness of these "dry runs" by better identifying and making known the likely results of the RIF. As to issues 5, effective date of the RIF, and 6, RIF notification letters, affording longer time frames than proposed by the Employer for notice to employees of a proposed RIF action, and for them to respond to RIF offers, is more equitable. Furthermore, employees need the additional time to address the myriad issues associated with receiving a RIF notice and to consider alternatives.

    Concerning issue 7, performance appraisals, the existing practice that annual appraisals are due on the employee’s birth date should apply for purposes of the RIF. One bargaining-unit employee’s appraisal was belatedly received in the Human Resources (HR) office and, consequently, not used in computing that employee’s retention standing in the RIF. The supervisor should be held accountable for the tardiness of the appraisal.

    With respect to issues 8, vacant positions, and 9, training for separated employees, the Union’s proposals seek to enhance the ability of those employees to obtain other employment. As to issue 10, the effective date of the parties’ RIF agreement should be the date on which both parties have signed the agreement. Regarding issue 11, the Employer should be responsible for distributing the agreement to employees and posting it on bulletin boards. With respect to issue 12, a freeze on vacancies will contribute to protecting the interests of current employees who are subject to the RIF.

    Concerning issues 13 and 14, which relate to the availability and retention of information, requiring the Employer to allow employees and their Union representatives access to specified information and retaining that information will place employees who are subject to the RIF in a better position to protect their interests.

    On issue 15, subject-matter experts, its proposal would ensure that information is available regarding the qualifications of any neutral subject-matter expert who is called on to determine employees’ qualifications; joint selection of subject-matter experts or veto power is not sought.

    As to issue 16, RIF training, it is necessary to spell out provisions for such training in greater detail than provided by the Employer’s proposal. With respect to issue 17, the Union needs more extensive use of bulletin-board space than the Employer offers; the Union should be provided with half of the specified bulletin board until 60 days after the effective date of the RIF. Similarly, in regard to issues 18, e-mail, and 19, official time, the Union should be authorized such accommodations until 60 days following that effective date.

    Finally, on issue 20, new performance plans for new positions and changes in job duties, they should be completed within 30 days of the change in the employee’s job or duties.

2. The Employer’s Position

    Concerning issues 1 and 2, which relate to training and job duties, the existing IDP forms provide an established system for addressing the short- and long-term training needs of all employees. Hence, it is easily applied to employees who move into new positions as a consequence of the RIF. As to the reassignment of work, the redistribution of any remaining job duties resulting from the elimination of jobs in the RIF should be accomplished verbally; job descriptions need to be rewritten only when significant changes or substantial additions are made to job duties.

    With respect to issue 3, the existing EAP, which is widely advertised to employees, is adequate to meet employee counseling needs resulting from the RIF. In fact, even though the Employer arranged to have an EAP counselor on site prior to the RIF and notified employees of that fact, no employees availed themselves of the service. Consequently, there is no reason to assume that employees would be more receptive to a special on-site group-counseling session, as the Union proposes.

    As to issue 4, the Employer’s proposal to share the results of the mock RIF with employees at a meeting where a Union representative is present is sufficient to meet employee needs. On issues 5 and 6, the content of the RIF notice and the notice period proposed by the Employer is sufficient. This is especially true in view of the fact the Commanding Officer met with all employees on January 8, 1998, and thoroughly discussed the RIF and answered employee questions. Moreover, the HR office gave the Union advance notice of when RIF letters would go to affected employees. In any event, the RIF was delayed in an effort to achieve the necessary reductions through attrition and could not be delayed any further to accommodate extending the RIF-notice period.

    Regarding issue 7, the last three performance appraisals on file in the HR office as of January 1, 1998, were used to calculate the retention standing of employees for purposes of this RIF. In one instance, an employee whose performance appraisal was belatedly submitted to HR after that deadline had his retention standing recomputed; but the untimely submission of the appraisal made no difference in the outcome of the RIF.

    Turning to issue 8, vacant positions, the interests of employees subject to displacement in this RIF are adequately met by its proposal to allow employees to use their personal computers to find vacancies for which the Employer is recruiting, and then apply for them in accordance with its established procedure. The Union’s proposal on issue 9 is unnecessary because no bargaining-unit employee is being terminated in this RIF; consequently, there is no need to provide training and assistance to help such employees seek outside jobs.

    With respect to issue 10, the terms and conditions of the agreement should be effective on the date of the agreement. The Employer makes no specific counterproposal as to issue 11, notifying employees of the agreement, however, they suggest this is not necessary as the Employer is willing to provide bulletin board space to the Union; issue 12, job freezes; and issue 13, providing the Union with information prior to the RIF. The Union’s proposals with respect to these issues are unnecessary. As to issue 14, the Employer’s proposal, which provides that records used to conduct this RIF be maintained for at least 1 year following the RIF, adequately addresses the potential need for the employees and their Union representatives to have access to information contained in those records.

    On issue 16, the Employer’s proposal, which permits official time for 2 Union representatives to provide up to 2 hours of RIF training to bargaining-unit employees who will also be on official time, sufficiently addresses the issue. Regarding issue 17, allowing the Union to use one-fourth of a specified DETS (Directorate of Engineering and Technical Services) bulletin board for a period of 30 days following the effective date of the RIF is reasonable under the circumstances. Similarly, allowing a period extending 30 days following the RIF for Union use of e-mail, issue 18, and official time for the Union’s president and vice president, issue 19, is also adequate to accommodate the Union’s representational needs in this particular RIF. As to issue 20, its proposal reflects the Employer’s essential agreement with the Union that performance standards should be reviewed and updated within 30 calendar days of the effective date of the RIF.

    Next, the Employer points out that this bargaining is limited to this RIF and that they are not bargaining for any future RIFs. Therefore, many matters raised by the Union are now moot.

    In addition to the 20 issues addressed in the Union’s proposals, wording should be included stating that the parties’ agreement resolves all unfair labor practice charges and negotiability petitions concerning this RIF.

CONCLUSIONS

    Having carefully considered the evidence and arguments presented, we conclude that the dispute should be resolved as follows:

    Issues 1 and 2--the parties shall adopt the Employer’s final offers, i.e., Proposals 1 and 2. With respect to issue 1, we are persuaded that the Employer’s IDP form, which has been used without reported problems by the rest of the agency, will serve equally well for affected employees at SPD. Moreover, the Union has not shown that any actual difficulties have occurred under that system. In our view, the system affords employees and their supervisors the opportunity to identify employee training needs based on the requirements of the new position and the employee’s knowledge and experience. Although the Union raises concerns about the length of the training plan under the existing system, 5 years, most of the training will likely occur immediately and over the first year as employees gain needed skills and knowledge for the new job assignment. Furthermore, both supervisors and employees have an interest in scheduling training so that employees can quickly achieve optimal performance and contribute to accomplishing the Employer’s mission and functions. In sum, we believe that the existing system is sufficient to meet the needs of both the Employer and employees.

    Turning to issue 2, because of the limited workload changes that are likely to occur as a consequence of this RIF, the Union has failed to demonstrate that written redistribution plans and rewritten job descriptions are necessary. In this regard, only 4 bargaining-unit positions out of about 60 were eliminated. While the remaining employees may experience some differences in their work, we believe that discussions between supervisors and employees will be sufficient to inform employees of the changes. Moreover, in instances where employees experience significant changes in their duties, they can request a review of their position description.

    Issue 3--both parties shall withdraw their Proposal 3 and adopt the following compromise wording:

Both the Employer and the Union will again encourage employees to avail themselves of the established Employee Assistance Program during this period of transition.

As discussed in the Background section above, the RIF involved in this case did not result in any bargaining-unit employees being separated and only one employee took a down-grade, which was voluntary. In addition, three bargaining-unit employees were laterally reassigned within the San Francisco office, and others may acquire some new duties. Nevertheless, the RIF might have been more severe, and the unit appears to have successfully endured the uncertainty and anxiety that accompanies RIFs. In view of the fact that the EAP is already in place, we are persuaded that wording to encourage the use of that longstanding EAP is sufficiently responsive to the need to make counseling available to employees.

    Issue 10--The Employer shall withdraw its Proposal 15; the Union shall withdraw its Proposal 10. In our view, the parties’ interests are best served by the adoption of wording specifying that the Panel’s Decision and Order will be implemented in accordance with the requirements of the Statute, and remain in effect until the implementation of the May 4, 1998, RIF is completed, but no longer than 1 year from the date of the RIF.

    Issue 11--The Union shall withdraw its Proposal 11. In view of the fact that, as addressed in issue 17, the Union will have use of bulletin-board space and can post the parties’ agreement on that space, we find that Union Proposal 11 is unnecessary.

    Issue 12--The Union shall withdraw its Proposal 12. We find that there is no demonstrated need to freeze vacancies because all four bargaining-unit employees displaced in the RIF now occupy other positions.

    Issue 14--The parties shall adopt Employer Proposal 9, modified by adding the following sentence:

On a case-by-case basis as needed to represent bargaining-unit member(s), the Union representatives will be afforded access to the appropriately sanitized RIF records, in accordance with the Privacy Act.

We are persuaded that, to recognize the legitimate needs of the parties, it is important that the RIF records be retained and that the Union have access to those records in case issues arise concerning this RIF. We also believe that it is important that the Employer observe the requirements of the Privacy Act in releasing any of those records.

    Issue 15--The parties shall adopt compromise wording as follows:

During this RIF, if it becomes necessary to determine a bargaining-unit member’s qualifications and a neutral subject-matter expert is required, the Employer will make available to the Union the neutral expert’s qualifications and availability.

We find that this wording better reflects the Union’s stated intent, as presented during the informal conference, concerning a procedure for use of a subject-matter expert than either party’s proposal.

    Issue 17--The parties shall adopt the following compromise wording:

Directorate of Engineering and Technical Services 

(DETS) Bulletin Board

Until June 12, 1998, the Union will have use of half of the DETS Bulletin Board on the 10th floor to post matters regarding this RIF agreement. No Privacy Act information will be posted.

Both parties agree that the Union should use bulletin-board space for the purpose of providing RIF-related information to bargaining-unit employees. In view of our adoption of compromise wording on the use of bulletin boards as a means of informing employees of the contractual provisions adopted in this Decision and Order, we find that the amount of space proposed by the Union, which is somewhat more generous than the amount proposed by the Employer, is warranted. We also believe that the Union should be granted use of that space for a period of 1 month after the issuance of our Order. This is a reasonable period of time under circumstances that include: (1) the RIF’s having already been implemented and (2) the limited extent and nature of the displacement that occurred.

    Issue 18--The parties shall adopt the following compromise wording:

Until June 12, 1998, the Union representatives will have access to the e-mail system for representational purposes relating to this RIF.

As with issue 17, both parties agree that the Union should have access to the e-mail system for the purpose of its representational functions related to this RIF. For reasons similar to those expressed in issue 17 above, we find that Union use of the e-mail system for 30 days following the issuance of this Decision and Order provides a sufficient period for meeting the Union’s needs.

    Issue 19--The parties shall adopt the following compromise wording and withdraw their proposals on the subject, the Employer’s Proposal 14 and Union’s Proposal 19:

The Union president and vice president are each authorized 10 percent (4 hours per week) total for RIF-representation matters until June 12, 1998.

We recognize that in the context of bargaining relating to the RIF, the Employer and Union each proposed 100-percent official time for a certain time period. What parties are prepared mutually to agree to, however, is often different than what a third party is willing to impose. While we agree with the parties that some official time is necessary to allow the Union to address the continuing effects of the RIF, the record before the Panel simply does not support 100-percent official time in the circumstances presented. In this regard, the RIF has already been implemented, the number of employees who suffered displacement as a consequence of that RIF is relatively small, and no employee suffered an involuntary reduction in grade or pay. Moreover, if necessary, the Union can request additional official time from the Employer.

    Issue 20--The parties shall adopt the following compromise wording:

The performance plans of affected employees will be reviewed and updated within 30 days of the May 4, 1998, RIF.

In our opinion, this wording captures the parties’ agreement that performance plans of employees whose duties were affected by the RIF should be reviewed and updated within 30 days of the RIF.

    Finally, we shall order the Employer to withdraw its proposal regarding pending Unfair Labor Practice charges and negotiability petitions that relate to this RIF. Although the parties could have mutually agreed to such a provision, the Panel is unwilling to waive a party’s rights under the Statute.

    In view of the Employer’s implementation of the RIF, we find the proposals relating to issues 4, 5, 6, 7, 13, and 16 are moot. Consequently, the parties shall each withdraw their Proposal 4; the Employer shall withdraw its Proposals 5, 6, and 11; and the Union shall withdraw its Proposals 5, 6, 7, 13, and 16.

    In view of the fact that no bargaining-unit employees were separated from Federal service, the proposals regarding issues 8 and 9 are also unnecessary. Consequently, the Employer shall withdraw its Proposal 7, and the Union shall withdraw its Proposals 8 and 9.

ORDER

    Pursuant to the authority vested in it by the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute, 5 U.S.C. § 7119, and because of the failure of the parties to resolve their dispute during the course of proceedings instituted under the Panel’s regulations, 5 C.F.R. § 2471.6(a)(2), the Federal Service Impasses Panel under § 2471.11(a) of its regulations hereby orders the following:

    The parties shall adopt Employer Proposals 1 and 2.

    The Union shall withdraw its Proposal 14 and the parties shall adopt Employer’s Proposal 9 with the following wording added:

On a case-by-case basis as needed to represent bargaining-unit member(s), the Union representatives will be afforded access to the appropriately sanitized RIF records, in accordance with the Privacy Act.

    The Employer shall withdraw its Proposal 10 and the Union shall withdraw its Proposal 15; they shall adopt the following compromise wording:

During this RIF, if it becomes necessary to determine a bargaining-unit member’s qualifications and a neutral subject-matter expert is required, the Employer will make available to the Union the neutral expert’s qualifications and availability.

    The Employer shall withdraw its Proposal 8 and the Union shall withdraw its Proposal 17; they shall adopt the following compromise wording:

Directorate of Engineering and Technical Services (DETS)

Bulletin Board

Until June 12, 1998, the Union will have use of half of the DETS Bulletin Board on the 10th floor to post matters regarding this RIF agreement. No Privacy Act information will be posted.

    The Employer shall withdraw its Proposal 12 and the Union shall withdraw its Proposal 18; they shall adopt the following compromise wording:

Until June 12, 1998, the Union representatives will have access to the e-mail system for representational purposes relating to this RIF.

    The Employer shall withdraw its Proposal 14 and the Union shall withdraw its Proposal 19; they shall adopt the following compromise wording:

The Union president and vice president are each authorized 10 percent (4 hours per week) total for RIF-representation matters until June 12, 1998.

    The Employer shall withdraw its Proposal 13 and the Union shall withdraw its Proposal 20; they shall adopt the following compromise wording:

The performance plans of affected employees will be reviewed and updated within 30 days of the May 4, 1998, RIF.

    The Employer shall withdraw its Proposals 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 11, and 15.

    The Union shall withdraw its Proposals 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 16.

 

By direction of the Panel.

H. Joseph Schimansky

Executive Director

May 12, 1998

Washington, D.C.

 

Appendix A

Union's Final Offer

(1).(a). Special written training plans shall be prepared and approved for bargaining unit members who have been assigned new work as per the plan required in (2).(a) below. This plan is separate and independent of the typical training plan associated with long term occupant of a position (i.e., CEHR-D Regulation No. 350-1-420, 12 January 1995 which has not been bargained over nor approved by IFPTE Local 49 for implementation). This training plan shall cover the immediate needs of the individual to have basic skills and knowledge to meet the duties required of the position for a highly successful performance evaluation rating. All training under this plan shall be accomplished within 365 days of the effective date of this agreement. This plan shall be given to the impacted bargaining unit member within ten (10) working days of the date of his assuming new duties as a result of this downsizing or the effective date of this agreement, whichever comes first.

(2).(a). Employer shall develop and issue a written plan redistributing work load of bargaining unit member positions eliminated as a result of this downsizing. This plan shall be issued no later than 4 May 1998, the effective date of the reduction-in-force action. Plan shall be furnished to Union and all impacted bargaining unit members.

(b). Employer shall develop and issue a written plan on how services formally provided to bargaining unit members by non bargaining unit member positions eliminated as a result of this downsizing will now be provided. This plan shall be issued no later than 4 May 1998, the effective date of the reduction-in-force action. Plan shall be furnished to Union and all impacted bargaining unit members.

(c). New written job descriptions on DA Form 374 covering the redistributed work load assignments mentioned in line (2).(a) above shall be prepared and furnished to impacted bargaining unit members no later than 120 calendar days after 4 May 1998, the latest date in which the work load redistribution plan described in line (2).(a) can be prepared.

(3).(a). A group work shop limited to bargaining unit members, shall be conducted by a State of California licensed psychiatrist. This work shop shall as a minimum address "guilt feelings" associated with individuals being involved in the RIF who have displaced other individuals. It shall be at least one (1) hour in duration and conducted on-site, in an appropriate facility during the Employer’s core business hours.

(b). In compliance with the terms and conditions of line (3).(a) above, funding and arrangements for the work shop shall be the responsibility of the Employer.

(c). In compliance with the terms and conditions of line (3).(a) above, this work shop shall be convened no later than twenty (20) working days of the effective date of this agreement.

(d). In compliance with the terms and conditions of line (3).(a) above, Employer will issue notification of the work shop at least two (2) working days in advance of its convening.

(e). In compliance with the terms and conditions of line (3).(a) above, bargaining unit members who attend this work shop during their normal work hours shall be released from their job duties and granted official time.

(4).(a). Any bargaining unit member who is identified during the running of a mock RIF will receive a one time notification by the Employer that he/she has been identified in a mock RIF. For mock RIFs run prior to the effective date of this agreement, this notification will be within one (1) working day of the effective date of this agreement. For mock RIFs run after the effective date of this agreement, this notification will be within one (1) working day of the mock RIF was run.

(b). The terms and conditions of line (4).(a) above are not applicable to any mock RIF run by the Employer before 1 April 1998.

(c). Concurrent with the notification requirement specified in the terms and conditions of line (4).(a) above, shall be notification to the Union.

(d). Union shall be notified within one (1) working day of any mock RIF run by the Employer. Concurrent with this notification shall be making the results of this mock RIF available for inspection by a Union designated representative.

(e). Bargaining unit members so notified under the terms and conditions specified in line (4).(a) above, shall, if they so request, schedule a meeting to review their official personnel folder (OPF) and all Employer developed work sheets associated with their identification of being in a mock RIF (e.g., retention registers, competitive level determination, etc.). This request shall be honored by the Employer and a determination, etc.). This request shall be honored by the Employer and a meeting convened within two (2) working days of the request being issued.

(f). In fulfillment of the terms and conditions of line (4).(a) above, a Union appointed representative will be allowed to attend and participate in this meeting.

(g). In fulfillment of the terms and conditions of line (4).(a) above, a knowledgeable Employer representative will be in attendance.

(h). Employer shall provide response to any bargaining unit member and Union representative inquiries, request for consideration, etc. issued during the meeting described in line (4).(a) above.

(I). In fulfillment of the terms and conditions specified in line (4).(h) above, Employer will provide a written response within five (5) working days of the date of the meeting. Response shall be furnished to both the bargaining unit member and his Union representative.

(j). If in response to information provided during the meeting described in line (4).(a) above or follow-up actions described in line (4).(h) above, a recalculating of retention standing and/or rerunning a mock RIF, the result(s) of this reevaluation(s)/mock RIF(s) if they result in a change from that furnished the bargaining unit member in compliance with the terms and conditions of line (4).(a) above, shall be furnished to the bargaining unit member and his Union appointed representative at least five (5) working days prior to the issuance of formal, individual RIF letters.

(5).(a). For bargaining unit members who receive reduction-in-force (RIF) notices which terminate them from federal service at South Pacific Division, the effective date shall be one hundred and twenty (120) calendar days from the date of issuance of this notice.

(b). Employer will delay the implementation of a RIF until the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) has ruled on negotiabiliity of any Union proposal challenged as violative of an agency rule or regulation, or compelling need.

(c). Employer will stop any individual RIF action in the event a bargaining unit member appeals to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) until a decision has been issued by the Board.

(6).(a). Bargaining unit members shall be allowed ten (10) working days to sign and return "enclosure 2" which is attached to their formal reduction in force action. Additional time may be granted due to unusual/unexpected circumstances.

(b). In compliance with the terms and provisions of line (6).(a) above, as a minimum, five (5) of the cited ten (10) working days must be days in which both the bargaining unit member and his appointed Union representative are concurrently at their duty station. Otherwise it will be a day for day extension until this five (5) working day period is satisfied.

(c). A copy of every formal specific reduction in force notification letter shall be concurrent with the original being served on the bargaining unit member, be furnished his Union appointed representative.

(d). In compliance with the terms and conditions specified in line (6).(c) above, Employer will notify the Union two (2) working days in advance of the date it intends to issue formal, specific reduction-in-force (RIF) notices to bargaining unit members. As part of this notification, the Union will be furnished names of bargaining unit members to receive these notices. Union will respond within one (1) working day of receipt of this notification providing name of bargaining unit member’s Union appointed representative.

(e). Attached to/furnished under each specific reduction in force (RIF) notice shall be a complete file of back-up material defending/outlining how the Employer determined the RIF results furnished the bargaining unit member. Included but not limited to shall be copies of the competitive level determination, qualification work sheets, and RIF retention rosters.

(7).(a). Cut off date for performance appraisal used in computing service computation date (SCD) for this RIF action shall be the date of birth of the bargaining unit member is before 1 January 1998.

(8).(a). Bargaining unit members who are terminated from employment in South Pacific Division as a result of this RIF will be informed of all unencumbered vacant positions within South Pacific Division. This will be provided as part of their formal RIF letter.

(b). Bargaining unit members who fall under the terms and provisions of line (8).(a) above will be allowed within thirty (30) calendar days of receipt of their RIF notification letter to apply for any position stated in their RIF letter which they believe that are qualified to fill.

(c). If the Employer does not select bargaining unit member for a position for which he/she applied for under the terms and conditions of lines (8).(a) and (8).(b) above, Employer shall provide within fifteen (15) working days of receipt of bargaining unit member’s request, both the applicant and the Union written, self supporting rationale for non selection.

(9).(a). Employer shall provide a $5,000 cash retraining expense voucher to all bargaining unit members who as a result of this RIF action, either elect to or are forced to be separated from federal government service.

(b). In fulfillment of the terms and conditions specified in line (9).(a) above, the bargaining unit member will be reimbursed up to $5,000 for any and all retraining expenses for items selected by him. Included in these retraining expenses shall be associated travel and per diem expenses.

(c). In fulfillment of the terms and conditions specified in lines (9).(a) and (9).(b) above, this training must be completed within two (2) years of the date bargaining unit member separated from federal government service. To be honored by Employer, all expenses must be substantiated and documented in writing, and be submitted to the Employer within three (3) years of the bargaining unit member’s separation date.

(d). Bargaining unit members who are identified for separation or who decline a position at a lower grade shall be entitled to a reasonable time (up to a maximum of fifty (50) hours of official time) while otherwise in a duty status without charge to leave for job seeking activities which include but are not limited to job clubs, resume writing, and job interviews.

(e). In compliance with the terms and conditions specified in line (9).(d) above, bargaining unit members shall be entitled to reasonable use of the following government facilities and/or services for the purposes of locating suitable employment: (1) telephone, (2) facsimile, (3) electronic mail, (4) government vehicle(s) for local travel, and (5) reproduction equipment.

(10).(a). Unless otherwise so stated the terms and conditions of this agreement are effective on the effective date of this agreement which is defined as the latter of the two dates of the below signature parties.

(11).(a). Within two (2) working days of the date of this agreement, Employer will either furnish a copy of this agreement to all bargaining unit members or post it for thirty (30) consecutive calendar days on all Employer bulletin boards.

(12).(a). The Employer will freeze all vacancies ninety (90) working days prior to and sixty (60) working days after the effective date of the RIF except where extreme necessary or emergent conditions arise from unplanned or unanticipated Employer actions.

(13).(a). At least one (1) working day prior to the implementation of this RIF, RIFed bargaining unit members and their appointed Union representatives will be allowed to see the full bump/retreat chain pertaining to his/her situation and all pertinent information therein.

(14).(a). The Employer will maintain intact all registers and records relating to the retention standing of affected bargaining unit members and other employees for at least one (1) year, or until such time as all grievances or other litigation concerning the RIF or other applicable action have been concluded, whichever is longer.

(b). In compliance with the terms and conditions of line (14).(a) above, current and former bargaining unit members and their Union appointed representatives will be granted full, complete, and unabridged access to such records as bear on their respective cases.

(c). In compliance with the terms and conditions of line (14).(a), Union president and vice president will be granted access to all records in their entirety.

(d). In compliance with the terms and conditions of line (14).(b), the Employer shall in conformance with the Privacy Act sanitize records in advance of their inspection.

(e). In compliance with the terms and conditions of line (14).(c) the Union acknowledges its duties and responsibilities regarding information protected by the Privacy Act.

(15).(a). Union will be involved in the selection of any neutral, subject matter experts used during this RIF.

(16).(a). Union shall be provided the opportunity and appropriate on-site facilities to conduct a RIF training session for bargaining unit members. This training session shall be scheduled by the Union and held within sixty (60) calendar days of the effective date of this agreement.

(b). In compliance with the terms and conditions of line (16).(a), this training session shall not exceed two (2) hours. It shall be conducted during the Employer’s core business hours.

(c). In compliance with the terms and conditions of lines (16).(a) and (16).(b), the Union will be allowed two (2) representatives of their choice to conduct this training. If these representatives are bargaining unit members they shall be granted release from their job assignments and official time.

(d). In compliance with the terms and conditions of lines (16).(a) and (16).(b), bargaining unit members who attend this training during their normal work hours shall be released from their job duties and granted official time.

(17).(a). Union shall have free and unrestricted usage of the entire left half of the Directorate of Engineering and Technical Services (DETS) bulletin board entitled "Engineering and Technical Services" located on the tenth floor, 333 Market Street adjacent to the elevator lobby to post matters pertaining to the subjects covered under this agreement.

(b). In compliance with the terms and conditions of line (17).(a). above, Union ensures that no private information will be posted.

(c). The terms and conditions of line (17).(a) and (17).(b) above are effective until sixty (60) calendar days after the effective date of the RIF (i.e., currently 4 May 1998).

(18).(a). Union representatives shall have access to E-Mail system to communicate with bargaining unit members for representational purposes.

(b). The terms and conditions of line (18).(a) above are effective until sixty (60) calendar days after the effective date of the RIF (i.e., currently 4 May 1998).

(19).(a). Union president and vice president are authorized 100% official time. Other Union representatives are required to request official time from their immediate supervisor.

(b). The terms and conditions of line (19).(a) are effective until sixty (60) calendar days after the effective date of the RIF.

(20).(a). Civilian performance plans on DA Form 5397 covering either new position assignments and/or changes in job duties which require a new job description shall be completed within thirty (30) calendar days of the afore- described action.

Appendix B

Employer's Final Offer

1. Individual Development Plans (IDP). One (1) will be prepared for each employee moving to a new job within 30 calendar days after the date they report into their new position.

2. Workload shifts. On the day employees report into their new positions, their supervisor will advise them of their assignments. On the same day employees in organizations having lost employees supervisors will advise those remaining of how workload is to be redistributed. If and when it is determined significant changes have occurred into an employee’s Job Description it will be rewritten.

3. Employee Assistance Program. Interested employees were provided on-site access to one-on-one and a group session with the Employee Assistance and Counseling Service administered by Human Behavior Associates. Subsequent to the on-site date each employee may call Human Behavior Associates (1-800-937-7770) for private, one-on-one counseling sessions if they choose. Up to three (3) counseling sessions are available to the employee to meet with a counselor per year.

4. MOCK RIF. The Employer will notify the Union and all interested SPD HQ employees when it is determined that a RIF will be necessary and share the results of the MOCK RIF used to determine early DoD PPP Voluntary Registration entitlements and provide the Department of the Army required RIF information, ask and receive answers regarding the RIF process as it may affect them. A Union Representative may be present at individual employee meetings with the employer representative.

5. RIF Letters, Notice Period & Effective Date. Management will attempt to notify the union two (2) work days prior to the issuance of RIF letters. If this is not possible the union will be notified prior to employees being notified. The official copy of the RIF letter will be given to the employee or their designated representative. The effective date of the RIF letter shall be at least sixty (60) calendar days from the date of issuance. Each RIF letter will include the standard RIF information and attachments (Job Description, RIF Offer Acceptance/Declination Form, DoD PPP Pamphlet, MSPB Appeal Rules). Employees will be given five (5) work days from receipt of their letter to accept or decline their job offer. Extensions will be considered and granted on a case-by-case basis. Upon request and after receipt of the Reduction in Force notice, employees and their representatives may review the manner and sanitized copies of documents (e.g. not revealing information personal to other employees) used in determining how they were released from their competitive level and placed or proposed for separation.

6. Performance Credit For RIF. Credit will be given for the last three (3) annual performance ratings received in SPD HR by 12/31/97.

7. SPD Vacancies. All SPD employees may use their PCS to access the current listing of vacancies for which SPD is recruiting at "http://www.usace.mil/spdhr/vacancy.txt". When interested in a position within SPD HQ or one of its other serviced activities they are to apply IAW General Capka’s 15 Jan 98 memo, para 5 (e.g. send an e-mail to Guy Brown in HR who will forward the request to the District Commander having the vacancy). Employees will be notified of their selection verbally or non-selection in writing.

8. The Union will have use of 1/4 of the DETS Bulletin Board on the 10th Floor to post matters pertaining to the subjects covered in this MOA from the date of this agreement and until 30 calendar days after the RIF effective date. No Privacy Act information will be posted.

9. RIF Records Retention. The employer will maintain records used to conduct the RIF for at least one (1) year after