Appendix C - Bypasses

An agency must deal only with the union concerning grievances.

U.S. Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Hew York Office of Asylum, Rosedale, New York, 55 FLRA No. 170, 55 FLRA 1032, 1038 (1999) (the agency bypassed the union when it attempted to resolve a grievance with an employee who raised a complaint concerning her work situation with her supervisors and the union and, thereafter, the union established that it was representing the employee, but the union was not involved in the attempt to settle the grievance).

U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Prisons, Federal Correctional Institution, Bastrop, Texas, 51 FLRA No. 109, 55 FLRA 1339, 1346 (1996) (the agency bypassed the union when a management official met with a unit employee and the employee's supervisor to try to resolve the employee's grievance (according to the parties's agreement, at the informal stage of the grievance procedure) without giving the union notice of the meeting or an opportunity to be present).

Department of Health and Human Services, Social Security Administration, Baltimore, Maryland, 39 FLRA No. 23, 39 FLRA 298, 311 (1991) (agency principles apply in determining whether a bypass has occurred -- the agency, through its agent, the Regional Personnel Officer (RPO), bypassed the union when the RPO communicated directly with a bargaining unit employee concerning a grievance filed under the negotiated grievance procedure by sending the employee a letter advising that his contractual grievance was in the wrong forum).

Department of Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, Memphis Service Center, 17 FLRA No. 22, 17 FLRA 107, 115 (1985) (the agency bypassed the union when management met with the grievant's husband and renewed an offer of another job for the grievant).

Social Security Administration
, 16 FLA No. 68, 16 FLRA 434, 449 (1984) (the agency bypassed the union when it in delivered a written grievance decision directly to the employee and not the union).

An agency must deal only with the union concerning negotiable conditions of employment.


Social Security Administration, 55 FLA No. 160, 55 FLRA 978, 982-83 (1999) (the agency bypassed the union when, without notice to the union, it offered to negotiate directly with an employee over a last chance discipline agreement in lieu of formal discipline for failing to pay a government-issued credit card bill); compare Hill Air Force Base, below.

438th Air Force Base Group (MAC), McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey, 28 FLRA No. 145, 28 FLRA 1112, 1112-13 (1987) (the agency bypassed the union and dealt directly with a unit employee when, even though it knew that the union represented a unit employee in a disciplinary matter, agency managers met with the employee for the purpose of reading and giving him a notice of suspension).

Air Force Accounting and Finance Center, Lowry Air Force Base Denver, Colorado, 42 FLRA No. 85, 42 FLRA 1226, 1239 (1991) (the agency bypassed the union and dealt directly with unit employees when it approved and implemented a proposal developed by the employees to provide late coverage of the office).

United States Department of Justice, United States Immigration and Naturalization Service, 14 FLRA No. 83, 14 FLRA 578, 579 (1984) (the agency bypassed the union when it met with unit employees to discuss what the employees wanted in a housing policy).

No Bypass

Air Force Logistics Command, Ogden Air Logistics Center, Hill Air Force Base, Utah
, 43 FLRA No. 59, 43 FLRA 736, 737-38 (1991) (Hill Air Force Base) (by the union's conduct, the union evidenced the requisite consent that permitted the agency to meet with the employee concerning a last chance agreement even though the employee's union representative was not present).

U.S. Government Printing Office
, 23 FLRA No. 6, 23 FLRA 35, 38 (1986) (the agency did not bypass the union by meeting with a bargaining unit employee and negotiating an informal adjustment of her EEO complaint).

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Washington, D.C. Area Office, 20 FLRA No. 38, 20 FLRA 374, 378 (1985) (the agency did not bypass the union when, after having notified the union, it merely notified the employees of a proposed reorganization).

Whether polling of employees concerning conditions of employment constitutes a bypass is determined by the nature of the information sought by the poll, the manner in which the poll is conducted, how the information is used, and similar relevant factors.


Department of Health and Human Services, Social Security Administration, Baltimore, Maryland, 28 FLRA No. 64, 28 FLRA 409, 429-30 (1987) (the agency bypassed the union when, after the union conducted a poll of its employees with which the agency was dissatisfied, the agency conducted a poll of its own and stated that it would make no decision to negotiate on the issue of the tour of duty for night shift employees until it examined the results of the poll).

Department of Health and Human Services, Social Security Administration, Dallas Region, Dallas, Texas, 23 FLRA No. 104, 23 FLRA 807, 813 (1986) (the agency bypassed the union when management met with employees, individually and in groups, for the purpose and effect of receiving the employees' input and soliciting employee suggestions on the preparations of a Personnel Guide for Supervisors).

U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration, 19 FLRA No. 105, 19 FLRA 893, 895 (1985) (the agency bypassed the union by posting a memo which directly solicited the opinions of unit employees concerning an immediately contemplated change in conditions of employment pertaining to tours of duty).

No Bypass

Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, Washington, D.C., 31 FLRA No. 59, 31 FLRA 832, 838 (1988) (no bypass occurred where the agency polled 100 employees to determine whether they were interested in working in a new office, where the union did not raise any objection before the polling occurred and the agency informed the union of the results of the poll and requested the union to arrange a mutually convenient time for an exploratory meeting with regard to the new office).

Social Security Administration, Baltimore, Maryland, 20 FLRA No. 90, 20 FLRA 768, 770 (1985) (the agency did not bypass the union where, after giving the union advance notice of the proposed reorganization and an opportunity to bargain before the reorganization was implemented, the agency sent a memo to employees that sought to elicit factual information and the opinions of the affected employees with regard to the already-implemented reorganization).

Social Security Administration, 20 FLRA No. 14, 20 FLRA 125, 127 (1985) (the agency did not bypass the union when it distributed a questionnaire that merely sought factual information in order to effectively avoid and prevent fraud and abuse within an agency program).

Department of Defense Dependent Schools, 19 FLRA No. 94, 19 FLRA 762, 764 (1985) (a memo accompanying a questionnaire that sought factual information from newly-hired employees and suggestions for improvement in the agency's recruitment and appointment process was not a bypass because the memo clearly indicated that the questionnaires were designed as a tool to evaluate the agency's recruitment process to make the agency's procedures efficient and informative for the applicant and that the information received would not be discussed with any regional director, personnel official, or finance official).

Internal Revenue Service (District, Region, National Office Units), 19 FLRA No. 48, 19 FLRA 353, 354-55 (1985) (the agency did not bypass the union when it notified the union that it was going to conduct a study of its Appeals Organization, and gave the union copies of the questionnaire before distributing it to unit employees, and told the union that it would be notified should it be determined that changes were necessary as a result of the study that would affect bargaining unit employees).