OGC SETTLEMENT CORNER
WHAT IS THE OGC'S PURPOSE IN POSTING SETTLEMENTS OBTAINED IN ULP CASES?
The OGC encourages parties to voluntarily resolve their disputes at all stages of the ULP proceedings. To that end Regional Office agents assist the parties if they indicate a willingness to discuss resolution. As a result, parties have entered into numerous novel settlement agreements resolving pending ULP cases. The OGC's purpose in creating this page is to educate parties on the possibilities for reaching novel settlements and innovative remedies that meet their needs. We will update this page periodically whenever an interesting settlement is obtained. The parties are not identified to maintain confidentiality.
Parties agree that Agency will Rescind Union Steward's Appraisl and Restore the Higher Score of Previous Year
The Region had issued a complaint alleging that the Agency violated Section 7116(a) (1) and (2) of the Statute by downgrading a Union steward’s performance appraisal after she became a steward and telling her that her Union activity was the reason. The Region facilitated a settlement where the Agency agreed to rescind the appraisal; restore the higher score the steward had received during the previous appraisal period; and reassign the steward away from the supervisor that had the hostility toward Union activity. (2/14)
Parties agree to bargain over Shifts of Police Officers
The complaint alleged that the Agency unilaterally terminated 12-hour shifts for police officers and implemented 8-hour shifts. The Region facilitated a bilateral settlement with bulletin board and electronic notices, which provided for full substantive bargaining (the Agency had taken the position that AWS was subject only to I & I bargaining). (2/14)
Parties Agree that Union will Reimburse Employee for Dues
An employee quit the Union and submitted a request to be taken off dues deduction. After several months of inaction, the Union told the employeethat it could not process his request because it was not submitted during his anniversary period, per the CBA.The employee told the Union that he had been a member since 1988 and did not remember his anniversary
date. The Union didn’t know his anniversary date either, but still declined to process his request. When the Region issued complaint, more than a year had passed and it was the Region’s position that even if no one knew the employee’s anniversary date, it must have passed at some time during the previous year and thus the Union violated the Statute by not processing the SF-1188. The Region obtained a settlement wherein the Union processed the SF-1188 and reimbursed the employee for the dues he had paid since his initial submission of the request. (2/14)
Parties Agree to Bargain over a Reduction in the Level of Custodial Services Provided to Employees
The Region issued a complaint based on the subsomponent of an Agency’s failure to bargain over a reduction to the level of custodial services provided to employees mandated by the Agency. The Region facilitated a settlement where the parties immediately implemented a memorandum of understanding that addressed the impact of the reduction at the subcomponent. The subcomponent also posted a notice traditionally and electronically in which the it was admitted that the subcomponent and the Agency failed to provide the Union with opportunity to bargain over the impact prior to implementation and the Agency and a subcompopnent would provide the Union with the opportunity to negotiate in the future. (2/14)
Parties Agree to Negotiate Agreement to Implement Arbitration Award
The parties had received an arbitration award ordering management to implement the Union’s proposed compressed work schedule and to agree on implementing procedures. The parties thereafter agreed on a roster for the compressed schedule, but the Agency unilaterally implemented a different roster. In view of the bargaining history between the parties, the Region worked directly with them to negotiate the implementing agreement. The resolution included a posting by the top Agency management official. (2/14)
Parties Agree to Work Towards Methods of Compensation for Employees for Awards
The parties negotiated an employee awards program, which included a point-system by which employees were given monetary awards for specific tasks. The Agency concluded that the program was illegal and terminated the awards. In resolution of the ULP charge pre-complaint, the Region was able to guide the interactions between management and the Union. This resulted in an agreement by the parties to work towards alternative methods of compensation for the employees and a restructuring of the awards program. The Agency also agreed to post a Notice. (2/14)
Parties Agree to Email Procedures
The Union filed the charge because a Union rep received a written counseling for sending a non-agency-mission email during duty time. The email was a brief one that the Union rep had sent to a supervisor, asking if they could meet to discuss an employee’s problem. With the Region's assistance the parties agreed to procedures that the Union rep and management will use when sending emails (i.e., placing “Union Business Urgent” in the subject line of the email) which allows the Union rep to read the email without seeking official time, and how the Union rep will deal with employees’ phone calls and requests for assistance and requesting official time. Management also agreed to expunge the written counseling from its records. (2/14)
Parties Agree to Back Pay for Physician under Incentive Pay Program
The Region obtained a settlement in this case which was scheduled for trial on January 30, 2014. The complaint alleged that the Agency changed its program of incentive pay for physicians. Under the program physicians received an annual bonus of $5,000 if they were certified in a medical specialty (e.g., ambulatory care). But the Agency unilaterally changed the program, only granting specialty pay if the American Board of Medical Specialties medical specialty recognized it. In resolution of the charge, the Agency agreed to pay the affected physician $17,500 in back pay. (2/14)
The complaint alleged that the Agency interfered with the right of employees to participate in “Lunch and Learns” while in non-duty status. The complaint also alleged that the Agency interfered with the right of employees who were representatives of the Union to solicit their coworkers during the “Lunch and Learns” to become members of the Union while in a non-duty status.The employees work eight-hour shifts with no designated lunch or break time. The Agency took the position that, because they have no designated break time, they are always in a duty status.