DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT PACIFIC/HAWAII REGION SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA and LOCAL 1450, NATIONAL FEDERATION OF FEDERAL EMPLOYEES, FEDERAL DISTRICT 1, IAM&AW, AFL-CIO

In United States of America

BEFORE THE FEDERAL SERVICE IMPASSES PANEL

 

In the Matter of

DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND

URBAN DEVELOPMENT

PACIFIC/HAWAII REGION

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

and

LOCAL 1450, NATIONAL FEDERATION OF 

FEDERAL EMPLOYEES, FEDERAL

DISTRICT 1, IAM&AW, AFL-CIO

Case No. 99 FSIP 93

 

DECISION AND ORDER

    Local 1450, National Federation of Federal Employees, Federal District 1, IAM&AW, AFL-CIO (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 Department of Housing and Urban Development, Pacific/Hawaii Region, San Francisco, California (Employer or HUD).

    After investigating the request for assistance, the Panel determined that the dispute, which arises from bargaining over a successor collective bargaining agreement (CBA), should be resolved through an informal conference between a Panel representative and the parties.(1) If no settlement was reached, the Panel would be limited to selecting from among each party’s final offer on an article-by-article basis, insofar as they are otherwise legal. In accordance with the Panel’s procedural determination, Supervisory General Attorney Ellen J. Kolansky met with the parties on August 26 and 27, 1999, at the Employer’s offices in San Francisco, California. Although the parties settled Article 9, Grievance Procedure, in its entirety, and parts of the four other articles, a number of issues in those articles remained unresolved. Accordingly, the parties submitted their final offers to Mrs. Kolansky, who reported to the Panel. The Panel has now considered the entire record.

BACKGROUND

    The Employer is responsible for programs that "address America’s housing needs, improve and develop the Nation’s communities, and enforce fair housing laws."(2) The Union represents approximately 500 bargaining-unit employees; they work in positions including project manager, single family housing specialist, equal housing opportunity specialist, housing assistance specialist, housing program assistant, and community planner at grades GS-7 through -13.(3) The work involves contact with HUD headquarters in Washington, D.C., and local and state agencies, renters, and lending institutions in the Pacific/Hawaii region. The CBA, which was first implemented in 1985, has expired, but the parties continue to apply its provisions; bargaining-unit members refused to ratify a successor agreement which was negotiated in 1996. Under ground rules developed with the help of a mediator in July 1998, they agreed to reopen 10 articles from the non-ratified agreement; at the conclusion of mediation efforts, the parties had resolved four of them.

ISSUES AT IMPASSE

    The four articles that remain in dispute concern aspects of official time (Article 4), flexible and compressed work schedules (CWS) (Article 20), multi-unit and impact bargaining (Article 38), and contract renewals (Article 39).(4)

I. Article 4, Union Representation and Official Time.

    a. The Employer’s Position

    The Employer essentially proposes that: (1) authorized official time, which includes time for case law research and document preparation for grievances and negotiations, be limited to enumerated activities in Section A, [Section 4.02, A10]; (2) official time for actual negotiations and mutually agreed upon preparation time not be charged against official time allocations, but the section would be silent with respect to partnership activities [Section 4.02 B]; (3) the percentages of official time to be granted be as follows: Union president-50; chief steward-15; offices of over 100 bargaining-unit employees: principal office representative (POR) -50, stewards-5 (after the first 100 employees, 1 steward would be granted per 50 employees); offices between 40 and 100 bargaining-unit employees: POR-25, stewards-5 [Section 4.04, A3 and B]; (4) no official time, travel, and per diem be granted beyond what is provided for in the CBA or otherwise approved by the Regional Labor Relations Official [Section 4.07 B]; (5) a detailed procedure for requesting, approving, and recording the use of official time be provided [Section 4.08 A]; (6) for Union-sponsored training, with prior approval, 24 hours of official time be granted to each of 10 Union representatives [Section 4.09]; and (7) other than the president and the chief steward, no official time be granted to a Union representative from one field office to be designated as the POR or steward for another field office [Section 4.03B].

    Because the number of bargaining-unit employees has decreased by one-third in recent years, the proposed official time amounts are reasonable. In this regard, except for amounts to be granted to stewards, the percentages proposed are the same as those available under the 1985 CBA. In addition, the level of Union activity is relatively low; in 1998, overall, it filed only 16 grievances and thus far in 1999, only 11. Since some offices lack a steward, the Union does not now exhaust its full official time allocation. There is, therefore, no demonstrated need to increase the percentages to the levels the Union proposes. Regarding the activities which would not be charged to official time, "partnership activities" are not appropriate to include since the parties have yet to establish a partnership. Nor is the meaning of the word "activities" clear in this context. As to procedures for the use of official time, in the recent past there were problems with producing reliable figures on official time use. The implementation of an orderly procedure for requesting approval and for tracking official time will improve the ability to monitor its use. These procedures also will enhance the accuracy of official time records since time would be recorded on the same day it is used. On training, the amount for Union-sponsored training represents an increase over what was available in the 1985 agreement and the Union is free to request more time as needed.

    b. The Union’s Position

    The Union essentially proposes that: (1) the list of activities in Section A appropriate for official time be open-ended [Section 4.02, A10]; (2) official time for actual negotiations, preparation time, and partnership activities not be charged against official time allocations in Section 4.04 [Section 4.02 B]; (3) when a need is demonstrated, the Union be permitted to designate an employee from one field office, when the Union president and chief steward are unavailable, to act as a POR or steward for another field office [Section 4.03, last sentence]; (4) the percentages of official time granted be as follows: Union president-60; chief steward-25; POR-50; stewards-10. On the number of representatives per office: offices with 40 or fewer bargaining-unit employees be permitted to have 1 steward; offices between 40 and 100 be permitted to have 1 steward and 1 POR, and offices from 100 to 199 be permitted to have 2 stewards and 1 POR [Section 4.04, A3, B, and C]; no additional time be provided for simultaneously held positions except as indicated in the article; (5) there be no wording specifying that no official time, travel expenses, and/or per diem be authorized unless expressly provided in the contract or approved by the Regional Labor Relations Official [Section 4.07 B]; (6) a detailed procedure for requesting and using official time be provided [Section 4.08 A]; and (7) for Union-sponsored training, each Union representative be granted 40 hours annually; such amounts would cover related travel and be deducted from official time allocations in Section 4.04; and a notice and a training agenda be provided at least 7 days in advance for approval [Section 4.09].

    Considering that the Union represents employees in 10 offices in a 3-state area, the official time percentages proposed are reasonable. Because the Union is bound by the duty of fair representation, it has an obligation to represent bargaining-unit employees whether or not they are willing to become Union members. Lower official time percentages could add to steward recruiting difficulties, since employees do not want to conduct Union activities on personal time should they exhaust official time allocations. On the other hand, if more time is allocated than is needed, it would simply remain unused. That is the case now in certain offices which have no stewards. Since the list of activities to be conducted on official time is not exhaustive, it should be open-ended so that other activities also appropriate for official time are not arbitrarily excluded. In addition, permitting the Union to assign a representative to a different office when a need can be demonstrated will give the Union flexibility to use substitutes in situations, for example, where conflicts of interest arise. While the maximum amount of time that may be granted for Union-sponsored training represents an increase from previous levels, since the training time actually used would be deducted from amounts allocated in Section 4.04, the total amount of official time available will not increase. The procedures for requesting and recording official time should reflect that Union representatives are trusted; they should not be treated like children. Nevertheless, the Union accepts most of the Employer’s proposed procedure, including the Employer’s tracking form.

CONCLUSIONS

    Having carefully reviewed the evidence and arguments presented, we conclude that the parties should adopt the Union’s final offer to resolve their dispute over the remaining sections of Article 4. In our view, the greater flexibility provided by the Union’s proposal in several areas makes it preferable to the Employer’s. These include the ability to seek official time for appropriate activities not listed in the contract; on those occasions when a need can be demonstrated, to use substitute representatives from another office; and to provide some amount of training to all Union representatives. With respect to the amount of official time, neither party could confirm with accuracy how much is now being used. The Employer’s figures on the number of grievances filed are inconclusive since they do not include the number of potential grievances resolved by stewards at a less formal stage, nor other activities in which the Union is engaged. The parties’ previously agreed-to wording in this article does not allow the carry-over of official time balances beyond the end of the quarter, and provides that even attendance at statutory procedures (Federal Labor Relations Authority and Panel meetings, for example) is charged to such balances. Furthermore, because Union participation in management-called meetings is also to be counted, the Union has a reduced ability to control the rate at which it uses official time. We are persuaded, therefore, that the Employer’s proposal may provide an insufficient amount of time, thereby hampering the Union’s representational efforts. Since the parties will be instituting an official time recording form and a detailed request and approval procedure (mainly crafted by the Employer), presumably, that procedure, and the Union representatives’ certifications on the form, should provide better records in the future. Regarding the approval process for use of official time, the Union’s proposal contemplates that the supervisor is to consider and approve the request unless the representative’s "absence would cause a critical interruption of work." Similarly in the case of training, the following sentence in the Union’s proposal implicitly acknowledges that management has the discretion to approve such requests:

The Union president . . . will provide at least . . . 7 days in advance of the training, the training notice and agenda to the Representative’s supervisor and Regional Management Labor Relations Specialist who shall then forward it to the designated Management official for action.

These provisions, along with earlier portions in the section, should ensure that the timing of representational activities and training are compatible with the Employer’s interest in meeting its mission-related goals, and that the training is in the primary interest of the Government.

II. Article 20, Hours of Work (Credit Hours, Flexitour, CWS), Attendance Procedures, and Telecommuting.

    a. The Employer’s Position

    The Employer proposes that employees on a 5-4/9 or 4-10 CWS select a fixed arrival time between 7 and 9 a.m. [Section 20.06, B2, and B3 (part)]. With prior approval, employees would be permitted to earn up to 3 credit hours and to carry over from one pay period to the next a maximum of 24; such hours could be earned outside employees’ 8-hour tour of duty if they fall between 7 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. [2.05B2(d)]. Employees in a training status would, by prior agreement with their supervisor, be able to earn credit hours by working on HUD-related work during the training period; training-related travel and the training itself would not count towards credit hours [Section 2.05B4]. As part of the credit hour approval process, employees would be required to identify orally in advance what work is to be accomplished [Section 20.05C1].

    There are a number of reasons why it is unwise to permit employees, as the Union proposes, to earn credit hours before 7 a.m. and after 6:30 p.m. The same concerns also apply to the earlier starting times the Union proposes for employees who choose to work CWS. The extended schedule would strain coverage in offices during normal business hours. Employees are already stretched due to staffing cuts which necessitate that all employees be available to perform their assigned tasks, including interactions with the agency’s customers. In addition, the resulting schedule would not match what is currently in place for bargaining-unit employees represented by AFGE. Monitoring these scheduling differences would unnecessarily increase complexities for off- and on-site supervisors. Furthermore, the schedule is unacceptable because supervisors do not begin their work days until 7 a.m., a full hour after some employees might arrive under the Union’s proposal. A review of arrival and departure patterns from 1998 reveals that only about 10 percent of the workforce actually took advantage of the option to work before 6:30 a.m. and after 6:30 p.m. As to the requirement that employees identify the work to be performed when requesting credit hours, this is reasonable since permission to earn credit hours is based on the existence of work. Finally, the section on earning credit hours when in a training status should make clear that it is HUD’s mission-related work, not that arising from the training, that is appropriate for pre-approved credit hours.

    b. The Union’s Position

    The Union’s proposal would permit employees on a flexitour schedule, with supervisory approval, to earn credit hours between 6 and 7 a.m., and 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. [Sections 20.01C, E, and F (last two sentences), and 20.05, B2(d) and C]. In addition, those on a 5-4/9 or 4-10 CWS could begin their workday as early as 6 a.m.; employees on a 5-4/9 CWS could work until 7 p.m., and those on a 4-10 until 7:30 p.m. [Section 20.06B1 and 2]. Employees in training status, with prior permission, would be permitted to earn credit hours [Section 20.05B2(e)].

    The Union acknowledges that the previous schedule, which allowed employees to combine compressed schedules with the earning of credit hours and flexible arrival times, was illegal. Its proposal, which complies with law and Government-wide regulations on work schedules, allows employees on the agreed-to flexitour schedule to retain certain desirable features of the illegal schedule. The most preferred option is the ability to earn credit hours as early as 6 a.m. and beyond 6:30 p.m. This option assists employees in avoiding rush hour traffic delays and gives them greater flexibility to attend to family and personal needs. In an opinion survey conducted in 1998, employees reported that their flexible schedules, which included early arrival times, enabled them to attend little league games, take children to day care, and care for disabled spouses and elderly parents. With respect to performance effects among those on early or late schedules, approximately 60 survey respondents reported outstanding performance ratings, 38 highly successful, and 5 fully successful. In most other areas in this article, the Union accepted the Employer’s proposal, including a list identifying six coverage-related criteria that supervisors should consider when approving or denying employees’ requests for various scheduling options.

CONCLUSIONS

    Having weighed the evidence and arguments presented, we shall order the parties to adopt the Union’s proposal to resolve their dispute over the remaining sections of Article 20. In reaching this conclusion, we find that, given the control inherent in supervisors’ authority to approve employees’ schedules, the extended hours the Union proposes for earning credit hours and for the starting and ending times of CWS days, are not unreasonable. In this regard, these hours offer significant benefits to employees: shortened commuting times and flexibility to meet family responsibilities. Furthermore, the Employer does not identify any past problems where these early or late schedules were in effect that would dictate a contrary result. We also note that under the Employer’s 4-10 CWS proposal, employees’ workdays might end as late as 7:30 p.m., the outside limit on the period for earning credit hours in the Union’s proposal. The fact that a relatively small proportion of the workforce (approximately 10 percent) actually took advantage of the option to work before 6:30 a.m. and after 6:30 p.m. in the past could support either party’s position. The low user rate suggests that any negative impact arising from that option would be minimal. Turning to the lack of explicit wording in the Union’s proposal requiring that employees "orally identify what work is to be accomplished during the credit hour period," we believe that, even without such terms in the contract, supervisors would appropriately ask employees what work they plan to accomplish. Approval of credit hours, in our view, is fundamentally predicated on the existence of work.(5)

III. Article 38, Mid-Term (Contract) and Impact Bargaining.

    a. The Employer’s Position

    Under the Employer’s proposal, information on the conversion of work performed under Office of Management and Budget Circular A-76 would be provided when it exclusively affects bargaining-unit employees [Section 38.02C4]. For unit-wide and multi-field office bargaining, only three bargaining-team members would be authorized travel and receive official time while conducting negotiations [38.03F and 38.04D]. Since the Union is already being provided with the A-76 information listed in Article 38 under NFFE’s national consultation rights, it would be duplicative to insert the broad provision the Union seeks in the contract. Regarding the number of Union bargaining team members to be paid travel and per diem expenses, keeping the number at three helps to control costs. Furthermore, a fourth Union team member would most likely be available at the office where bargaining is to be held.

    b. The Union’s Position

    The Union proposes that the Employer provide it with information on the conversion of work performed under Office of Management and Budget Circular A-76 whenever Local 1450 employees would be among those affected [Section 38.02C4]. For unit-wide and multi-field office bargaining, at least four Union bargaining-team members would be authorized travel and per diem and receive official time to participate in negotiations [Sections 38.03F and 38.04D]. Placing a requirement in the contract on A-76 information ensures that, should the Employer change its policy on providing the Union with such information, the Union would still have a right by contract to receive the information. Unquestionably, the information is necessary to the Union’s role in protecting the jobs of bargaining-unit employees. On the subject of the payment of travel and per diem expenses for Union negotiators, four ensures that Union bargaining teams can be of a size consistent with the range of interests it must represent, even when there is no local representative available to participate. In many instances, depending on the subject being negotiated, the Union may decide to rely on a smaller team, possibly with as few as two members.

CONCLUSIONS

    Based on the evidence and arguments presented by the parties, we shall order the adoption of the Employer’s final offer to resolve their dispute over the remaining sections of Article 38. In brief, we are persuaded that limiting the payment of travel and per diem expenses to three for unit-wide and multi-office bargaining would not harm the Union’s ability to represent the interests of bargaining-unit employees. In most instances, a local representative already located at the site of negotiations could participate without incurring extra travel expenses. Furthermore, since the proposal does not limit the Union’s team to three, the Union could cover any additional travel and per diem costs associated with a determination to add a team member. In our view, limiting expenses to be covered to three is preferable because it controls overall costs associated with bargaining. On the issue of A-76 information, on balance, since the Union already receives such information, we are not persuaded that the Employer’s more limited terms in any way disadvantages it in performing its representational role. Finally, other than demonstrating the parties’ difficulty in working cooperatively with one another, there is little apparent difference between the terms "participate in" and "conduct" negotiations.

IV. Article 39, Duration and Distribution of the Agreement.

    a. The Employer’s Position

    For renewal of the term agreement, the Employer proposes that the parties’ representatives would reach agreement on any changes required by law or Government-wide regulation, and execute a new signature and date page. The provision would ensure that the Employer does not miss the opportunity to make changes so that the parties’ agreement remains consistent with new laws and Government-wide regulations.

    b. The Union’s Position

    The Union proposes that the parties’ collective bargaining agreement be "automatically" renewed if neither party provides a timely notice of intent to renegotiate. The Union submitted copies of five Federal sector collective bargaining agreements which contain nearly identical automatic rollover sections. Under the terms of the Employer’s proposal, should the appropriate management officials be unavailable during the critical period, the contract could expire without being renewed. This event could leave the Union vulnerable to a raid by another labor organization. Its proposal protects against such vulnerability without preventing the Employer from giving timely notice to negotiate whatever changes are sought at that time.

CONCLUSIONS

    Having considered the evidence and arguments provided by the parties on this issue, we conclude that they should adopt the Union’s proposal to resolve their disagreement over the disputed section in Article 39. In part, this is because the Union’s wording represents what appears to be more typical in Federal sector agreements. In addition, as acknowledged by the Employer during the informal conference, under its proposal, the Union might be under significant pressure to reach agreement on the changes the Employer seeks to avoid exposure to a raid from a rival labor organization. In the current circumstances where another union has actively sought to represent this bargaining unit, the Union’s concerns do not appear to be speculative.

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 pursuant to 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:

I. Article 4, unresolved sections: The parties shall adopt the Union’s proposal to resolve their dispute.

II. Article 20, unresolved sections: The parties shall adopt the Union’s proposal to resolve their dispute.

III. Article 38, unresolved sections: The parties shall adopt the Employer’s proposal to resolve their dispute.

IV. Article 39, unresolved section: The parties shall adopt the Union’s proposal to resolve their dispute.

 

By direction of the Panel.

H. Joseph Schimansky

Executive Director

September 30, 1999

Washington, D.C.

 

APPENDIX

The Employer’s Final Offer:

I. ARTICLE 4, UNION REPRESENTATION AND OFFICIAL TIME.

SECTION 4.02: REPRESENTATIONAL FUNCTIONS.

A. Official time is authorized in this article for:

10. Other representational functions permitted by law, i.e., reasonable official time for related case law research and document preparation for grievances and negotiations.

B. Official time spent by designated Union representatives in actual negotiations with Management and mutually agreed upon reasonable negotiation preparation time will not be charged against the allocations below.

SECTION 4.03: CERTIFICATION OF UNION REPRESENTATIVES.

B. With the exception of the Union President or Chief Steward, an employee from one Field Office may not be designated as a Union representative (POR or Steward) for another Field Office for official time purposes.

SECTION 4.04: REPRESENTATIVES AND AMOUNTS OF OFFICIAL TIME.

    A. Allocation of official time.

    . . . . . . .

3. There will be no additional official time for simultaneously held positions. Where a Union representative is working less than full time, the percentages contained in this Section shall be applied to the actual number of hours the employee works.

B. The number and types of Union representatives and the amount of official time allotted for each designated representative on a quarterly basis shall be determined on the following percentages of a staff year (520 hours per quarter):

1. Union President at 50%;

2. One Chief Steward at 15%;

3. Offices with over 100 Bargaining Unit Employees (BUEs):

1 Principal Office Representative at 50%, plus 1 Steward at 5% for each 50 BUE increment over 100 (i.e., 101-150=1 POR + 1 Steward, 151-200 = 1 Principal Office Representative + 2 Stewards).

4. Offices with 40-100 BUE:

1 Principal Office Representative at 25%, plus

1 Steward at 5%.

5. Offices with fewer than 40 BUE:

1 Steward at 5%.

C. Prior to the beginning of each quarter, the Union President may designate one change in the individual allotments of available official time for the designated representatives in a field office, providing the total time does not exceed the total allotted time above. For example:

Office with 199 bargaining unit employees (BUE): 1 Principal Office Representative at 30%, plus 2 Stewards at 15%

Office with 70 BUE: 1 Principal Office Representative at 20%, plus 1 Steward at 10%.

SECTION 4.07: OFFICIAL TIME FOR UNION REPRESENTATIVES OUTSIDE OF IMMEDIATE OFFICES.

B. There shall be no official time, travel expenses and/or per diem for designated Union representatives except where expressly stated in this Agreement or as approved by the designated Management Regional Labor Relations Official.

SECTION 4.08 - PROCEDURE.

A. When it is necessary to use official time, the representative shall first obtain approval from his/her immediate supervisor, or designee who has supervisory authority, and annotate Union Representation Bi-weekly Time Report, Form HUD-25006-A (Appendix A). If the supervisor is not available, a written message will be left for the supervisor. The representative must, in addition, when entering a work area to meet with an employee, obtain advance approval from the supervisor of the employee visited. Supervisory approval will be granted for authorized representational purposes unless such absence would cause an undue interruption of work. Prior supervisory approval shall not be necessary for brief absences by Union representatives so long as the representative assures that such absence does not unduly interfere with the performance of work.

SECTION 4.09: OFFICIAL TIME FOR UNION-SPONSORED TRAINING

The Union President may designate up to ten Union representatives (of those designated in Section 4.04) to use a maximum of 24 hours of official time each per year to attend appropriate Union-sponsored instructions or briefings consistent with applicable decisions of the Comptroller General. There shall be no official time for travel to attend these Union-sponsored instructions or briefings, nor will Management authorize the payment of travel expenses or per diem. The written designations will be provided to the Management Regional Labor Relations Official and employee’s supervisor at least seven (7) days in advance of the training and include an agenda describing the training to be conducted. Release of employees is subject to workload requirements.

II. ARTICLE 20, HOURS OF WORK (CREDIT HOURS, FLEXITOUR, CWS), ATTENDANCE PROCEDURES, AND TELECOMMUTING.

SECTION 20.05: Credit Hours.

B. CREDIT HOUR SCHEDULE.

2.(d) Work performed in order to earn credit hours shall not begin prior to 7:00 a.m. (local time) nor extend past 6:30 p.m. (local time).

4. With prior written approval of the supervisor, an employee may work to earn credit hours while in training and/or travel status, provided there is work available for the employee and the schedule of the temporary office (while on training and/or travel) would support the employee working the excess time. Employees may not earn credit hours for time spent while in actual travel or in the training class, or on assignment arising from training, such as homework.

C. Notification of Intent to Work Credit Hours.

1. Employees shall provide their supervisors written notification in advance of the pay period of their intention to work longer than the regular scheduled work hours using the form HUD-25018, Notification of Intent to Work Credit Hours. The notice will identify the specific dates and times they plan to perform such work. The employee must orally identify what work is to be accomplished during the credit hour period. The supervisor may disapprove in appropriate circumstances such as those listed in paragraph 3 below.

SECTION 20.06: COMPRESSED WORK SCHEDULE.

B. Tour of Duty. Full-time employees shall be permitted to work the 5-4/9 or 4/10 Compressed Work Schedule as follows:

. . . . . . .

2. Employees on a 5-4/9 compressed work schedule specify a fixed arrival time for the nine-hour days between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., and for the eight-hour day, a fixed arrival time between 7:00 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. local time.

2. Employees on a 4-10 compressed work schedule specify a fixed arrival time between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.

III. ARTICLE 38, MID-TERM (CONTRACT) AND IMPACT BARGAINING.

SECTION 38.02: NOTIFICATION TO THE UNION.

C.4. Conversion of work performed solely by NFFE Local 1450 employees to Contract Performance Under OMB Circular A-76.

SECTION 38.03: GROUND RULES FOR MID-TERM (MID-CONTRACT) AND NFFE LOCAL 1450-WIDE BARGAINING.

F. Up to three (3) designated employee Union representatives shall be entitled to receive travel and per diem reimbursement to conduct negotiations, unless changed by mutual consent. Management will make every effort to provide travel orders at least three (3) work days prior to travel.

SECTION 38.04 GROUND RULES FOR IMPACT AND IMPLEMENTATION BARGAINING AT THE MULTI-FIELD OFFICE LEVEL.

D. The Union’s bargaining team shall consist of not more than the number of offices being affected but not less than 4 Union employee members. Up to 3 Union employee members will be authorized travel. The Management team will consist of an equivalent number of members. The number of negotiators may be changed by mutual consent of the Parties. All of the designated Union employee representatives shall receive official time while conducting negotiations.

IV. ARTICLE 39, DURATION AND DISTRIBUTION OF THE AGREEMENT.

SECTION 39.02: RENEWAL.

If neither Party desires to renegotiate this Agreement, the Parties shall execute new signatures, dates, and any changes required by law or Government-wide regulation, and the Agreement shall be renewed for an additional three (3) year period. It is intended that such renewals shall occur repeatedly until timely notice to renegotiate is provided by either Party.

THE UNION’S FINAL OFFER:

I. ARTICLE 4, UNION REPRESENTATION AND OFFICIAL TIME.

SECTION 4.02: REPRESENTATIONAL FUNCTIONS.

A. Official time is authorized and allocated in this article for:

. . . . . . .

3. Other representational functions permitted by law, e.g. reasonable official time for related case law research and document preparation for grievances and negotiations;

B. Official time spent by designated Union representatives in actual negotiations with Management, preparation for negotiations, and Labor-Management partnership activities will not be charged against the allocations below.

SECTION 4.03: CERTIFICATION OF UNION REPRESENTATIVES.

With the exception of the Union President or Chief Steward, an employee from one Field Office may not be designated as a Union representative-(POR or Steward) for another Field Office unless a demonstrated need has been determined by the Union President.

SECTION 4.04: REPRESENTATIVES AND AMOUNTS OF OFFICIAL TIME.

A. Allocation of official time.

3. There will be no additional official time for simultaneously held positions except as provided by this Article. Where a Union representative is working less than full time, the percentages contained in this Section shall be applied to the actual number of hours the employee works.

B. The number and types of Union representatives and the amount of official time allotted for each designated representative on a quarterly basis shall be determined on the following percentages of a staff year (520 hours per quarter):

1. Union President at 60%

2. One Chief Steward at 25%

3. Principal Office Representatives at 50%

4. Stewards at 10%

5. POR/Steward Representative Assignments to Field Offices:

Offices w/ <40 BUE Offices w/ 40-100 BUE Offices w/ 101-199 BUE
1 Steward 1 POR

1 Steward

1 POR

1 Steward

1 Steward

 

*Offices with over 199 BUE will receive additional Stewards for every 50 employees over 199.

C. Prior to the beginning of each quarter, the Union President may designate one change in the individual allotments of available official time for the designated representative in a field office, providing the total time does not exceed the total allotted time above.

For example: Office with 199 Bargaining unit employees (BUE): 1 Principal Office Representative at 40%, plus 2 Stewards at 15%

Office with 70 BUE: 1 Principal Office Representative at 55% plus 1 Steward at 5%.

SECTION 4.08: PROCEDURE.

When it is necessary to use official time, the representative shall first, notify his/her immediate supervisor, or designee who has supervisory authority. Supervisory authority approval will be granted for authorized representational purposes unless such absence would cause a critical interruption of work. If official time is denied or delayed, the supervisor will inform the employee as to when the official time may be taken. The supervisor will provide this in writing, along with the reason for denial, if requested by the Union representative. In a case where official time is denied, filing deadlines will be tolled (extended) to the amount of time official time is delayed. Prior Supervisory approval shall not be necessary for brief absences by Union representatives so long as the representative assures that such absences do not unduly interfere with the performance of work.

SECTION 4.09: OFFICIAL TIME FOR UNION SPONSORED TRAINING.

40 Hours per Union Representative per year of official time shall be allocated for Union officials and representatives to travel to and attend appropriate Union-sponsored instructions or briefings consistent with applicable decisions of the Comptroller General. This training allocation will come out of the Union Representative’s allocation of official time (see section 4.04) designated in Section 4.04. The Union President (or designee) will provide at least seven (7) days in advance of the training, the training notice and agenda to the Representative’s supervisor and Regional Management Labor Relations Specialist who shall then forward it to the designated Management official for action.

II. ARTICLE 20, HOURS OF WORK (CREDIT HOURS, CWS, FLEXITOUR), ATTENDANCE PROCEDURES, AND TELECOMMUTING.

SECTION 20.01: DEFINITIONS.

C. Flexible Hours (flexible time bands). The hours in which an employee covered by a flexible work schedule may choose to vary his/her arrival/departure times on a daily basis. The established flexible hours are 7:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. for flexitour schedule and 6:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. for Credit Hours and Compressed Work Schedules.

E. Credit Hours. [The first two sentences are omitted.] Employees on a Flexitour schedule may earn credit hours. The flexible hours for credit hours are 6:00 to 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 to 7:30 p.m.

F. Compressed Work Schedule (CWS). [The first four sentences are omitted.] Employees on a CWS may not begin before 6:00 a.m. or depart later than 7:30 p.m.

SECTION 20.05: CREDIT HOURS

B. Credit Hour Schedule.

2. Full-time employees on flexitour shall be permitted to earn credit hours subject to the following limitations:

. . . . . . .

(d)Work performed in order to earn credit hours shall not begin prior to 6:00 a.m. (local time) nor extend past 7:30 p.m. (local time).

(e) An employee with prior written approval of his or her supervisor may earn credit hours while in training and/or travel status, but not for time spent in actual travel, or in the training class, or on assignment arising from training such as homework.

C. Notification of Intent to Work Credit Hours.

1. Employees shall provide their supervisors written notification in advance of the pay period of their intention to work longer than the regular scheduled work hours using the form HUD-25018, Notification of Intent to Work Credit Hours. Employees will identify the specific dates and times they plan to perform such work. The supervisor may disapprove in appropriate circumstances such as those listed in paragraph 3 below.

SECTION 20.06: COMPRESSED WORK SCHEDULE.

B. Tour of Duty. Full-time employees shall be permitted to work the 5-4/9 or 4-10 Compressed Work Schedule as follows:

1. [First two sentences omitted.] Employees on a 5-4/9 schedule shall not begin work before 6:00 a.m. or after 9:30 a.m. local time nor complete work after 7:00 p.m. (local time).

2. Employees on a 4-10 schedule shall not begin work before 6:00 a.m. or after 9:00 a.m. local time nor complete work after 7:30 p.m. local time.

III. ARTICLE 38, MID-TERM (CONTRACT) AND IMPACT BARGAINING.

SECTION 38.02: NOTIFICATION TO THE UNION.

C. INFORMATION TO THE UNION ON MID-TERM CHANGES.

4. Conversion to Contract Performance Under OMB Circular A-76.

Section 38.03: GROUND RULES FOR MID-TERM (MID-CONTRACT) AND NFFE LOCAL 1450-WIDE BARGAINING.

F. Up to four (4) designated employee Union representatives shall be entitled to receive travel and per diem reimbursement to conduct negotiations, unless changed by mutual consent. Management will make every effort to provide travel orders at least three (3) work days prior to travel.

SECTION 38.04: GROUND RULES FOR IMPACT-AND-IMPLEMENTATION BARGAINING AT THE MULTI-FIELD OFFICE LEVEL.

D. The Union’s bargaining team shall consist of not more than the number of offices being affected but not less than four (4) union employee members, all of whom will be authorized official time. Four union employee members will be authorized travel and per diem. The Management team will consist of an equivalent number of members. The number of negotiators may be changed by mutual consent of the Parties. All of the designated Union employee representatives shall receive official time to participate in the negotiations.

IV. ARTICLE 39, DURATION AND DISTRIBUTION OF THE AGREEMENT.

SECTION 39.02: RENEWAL.

If neither Party provides timely Notice of Intent to Renegotiate this Agreement, it shall be automatically renewed for an additional three (3) year period. It is intended that such automatic renewals shall occur repeatedly until timely notice is provided by either Party.

 

ENDNOTES

1.The Panel declined to assert jurisdiction over the single disputed section in a sixth article concerning reminders to employees of their Weingarten rights. It was persuaded that duty-to-bargain questions the Employer raised would have to be resolved in another forum to determine whether the parties were at impasse.

2.The region has field offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Santa Ana, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Tucson, San Diego, Reno, Sacramento, and Fresno. As the result of a recent reorganization, instead of moving supervisors, in some instances, they were permitted to supervise the work of employees in different field offices. Some of these “off-site” supervisors are responsible for employees represented by both NFFE and the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE).

3.NFFE represents approximately 7 percent of HUD employees in bargaining units organized into three different locals. This is the largest of these. A second NFFE local represents HUD employees in Memphis, and a