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Article 4

RIGHTS OF EMPLOYER

SECTION 4.01: Subject to Section 4.02 of this article, the Employer will have the right:

    A. To determine the mission, budget, organization, number of employees and the internal security practices of the Agency; and

    B. In accordance with applicable laws:

      (1) to hire, assign, direct, lay off, and retain employees in the Agency or to suspend, remove, reduce in grade or pay, or take other disciplinary actions against such employees;

      (2) to assign work, to make determinations with respect to contracting-out and to determine the personnel by which Agency operations shall be conducted;

      (3) with respect to filling positions, to make selections for appointment from:

        (a) among properly ranked and certified candidates for promotion; or

        (b) any other appropriate source; and

      (4) to take whichever actions may be necessary to carry out the Agency mission during emergencies.

SECTION 4.02: The Employer and Union shall negotiate:

    A. Consistent with Executive Order 12871, “Labor Management Partnerships”, over the subjects set forth in 5 U.S.C. 7106(b)(1): the number, types and grades of employees or positions, assigned to any organization subdivision, work project, or tour of duty, or on the technology, methods, and means of performing work.

    B. Procedures which Management officials will observe in exercising any authority under 5 U.S.C. 7106; or

    C. Appropriate arrangements for employees adversely affected by the exercise of any authority under 5 U.S.C. 7106.

SECTION 4.03: In the administration of all matters covered by this Agreement, the Employer and the Union are governed by all laws and Government-wide rules or regulations which were in existence at the time of the effective date of this Agreement. Only a change in law will override the Agreement.

Article 5

OFFICIAL TIME

SECTION 5.01: Official time for the purpose of this Article is defined as paid time used by any employee representing an exclusive representative, or in connection with any matter covered by 5 U.S.C. 71, or any employee in the CBU represented by an exclusive representative. The conduct of official Union business must be treated with the same respect and professional attitude as all DCAA work activities. The scheduling of official time must be balanced with the Employer’s need to accomplish Agency mission requirements.

SECTION 5.02: Effective labor-management relations are a vital component of the effective and efficient conduct of the Agency's mission. Therefore, consistent with the objective of Executive Order 12871, “Labor-Management Partnerships,” the Union is authorized use of official time to serve in a representational capacity on behalf of the employees in the bargaining unit. The Parties will pursue solutions to workplace disputes that will promote increased quality, morale, and productivity, while addressing each party’s legitimate interests. The Union shall designate officers and stewards to perform representational functions. The Union will furnish current lists of these designations to the Regional Labor Relations Officer. The Employer, when assigning DCAA duties/functions to Union representatives, will consider the representatives’ needs to perform representational functions on official time. Likewise, Union representatives have a responsibility to discuss with their supervisors situations when DCAA work may be impacted. This partnership approach will enhance problem solving and will diminish disputes over official time matters.

SECTION 5.03: Representatives will function in a cost-effective and efficient manner. The resolution of disputes and participation in teaming and Partnership efforts by employees through their exclusive representative, helps achieve quality service to our customers and benefits the most important asset of the Employer, its employees. Any designated Union representative shall be granted, upon request, official time in an amount that is necessary, reasonable, and in the public interest for all matters related to the administration of this Agreement and for joint labor-management matters arising under 5 U.S.C., Chapter 71. Official time shall not be granted on matters outlined in Section 5.06.

Official time shall be any amount of time the Agency and the exclusive representative involved agree to be reasonable, necessary, and in the public interest.

    A. Some examples of “matters relating to the administration of this Agreement” include grievance meetings, both formal and informal steps, arbitration hearings, and labor-management meetings.

    B. Some examples of “joint labor-management matters” arising under Title 5 of the U.S. Code are formal discussions concerning conditions of employment, unfair labor practice settlement meetings, hearings, formal negotiations, including preparation for negotiations, and statutory appeals procedures, including hearings when the Union has been designated as the appellant’s representative.

    C. If the supervisor believes the amount of official time requested is excessive, he will allow the representative to begin performing his representational function, while bringing the matter to the attention of the Labor Relations Officer for resolution with the Union President.

SECTION 5.04: The amount of official time that the representative and/or employee believes is necessary will be requested from the supervisor by the appropriate reporting code identified below. “OFFICIAL TIME FORM” (OTF) will be used by the representative, employee, and the supervisor for the purpose of requesting and acting on requests for time.

    A. When a Union representative desires to leave his assigned duty station to conduct authorized Union business, or to perform representational activity at his work site (including telephone representation) for more than an hour in a day, the representative will inform his immediate supervisor (or the management appointee acting in that capacity if the immediate supervisor is not present) of the general nature of the function to be performed in accordance with the time codes listed in the CBA, the destination, and the estimated duration. Should the Union representative need more official time at the destination, he shall notify the supervisor in advance, if practical, by telephone. Upon returning to his assigned duty station, the Union representative will inform his supervisor of his return.

    B. When the employee’s or Union representative’s immediate release on official time will adversely impact Agency mission requirements, the supervisor will so note the reason on the OTF, detailing those considerations and when release will be appropriate. Delays by Management to Union requests for official time will be in writing, signed by the supervisor with the rationale. Any delays will automatically extend the applicable time limits equal to the length of the delays. The parties also agree that telephonic representation shall be used to the maximum extent to avoid prolonged absences from principal work.

    C. If the request for official time requires the Union representative to go to another office, before going to that office, which is under the cognizance of a supervisor other than his own, a Union representative shall contact that supervisor and advise him of his intended visit, and the name of the employee to be contacted. Cognizant supervisors shall promptly make the employee available to the Steward in the absence of compelling circumstances to the contrary. Upon return to their own office, the union representative and employees will report to their immediate supervisor(s) and advise him of their return.

    D. Employees shall be entitled to reasonable time to meet with Union representation to discuss a complaint/concern. The Employer will not require employees to request official time for an initial consultation, not to exceed one (1) hour. For additional necessary consultation time, official time must be requested.

SECTION 5.05: Time for representational functions must be recorded in one of the following indirect time codes by all employees for official time under this Article:

    57500100 Negotiations - official time for all collective bargaining (including negotiations and preparation for negotiations) to include mediation before FMCS and FSIP procedures.
    Labor-Management Meetings - official time for all LM meetings exluding representational activities.

    59900099 Employees Who Are Not Union Officials - this code is to be used exclusively by employees, who are not Union officials, to record time spent responding to or filing grievances and appeals, adverse actions, EEO complaints and other complaints and appeals; serving as a personal representative; or appearing as a witness at a hearing in connection with the above.

    57500300 Representational Activities - official time used by Union Officers and/or Stewards in representing BU employees in all issues/complaints, excluding EEO matters.

    57600099 Representational Activities - official time used by Union Officers and/or Stewards in representing BU employees specifically in EEO matters.

SECTION 5.06: Official time is prohibited for an employee relating to the internal business of the Union (including solicitation of membership, election of Union officials and collection of dues).

SECTION 5.07: A total of 80 hours per Agreement year will be provided the Union to prepare all financial and membership reports required by the U.S. Government, including reports to the U. S. Department of Labor and Internal Revenue Service.

SECTION 5.08: For meetings called or approved by the Employer which require the presence of a Union representative, the Employer shall arrange for the release of the Union official.

SECTION 5.09: In joint labor-management meetings, the number of Union representatives on official time shall not exceed the number of management representatives present unless agreed to or requested by the Employer. In any and all hearings before third parties, such as, but not necessarily limited to, arbitration, MSPB, and EEO hearings, the Union will be entitled to have the same number of Local 3529 representatives at the hearing as Management, excluding the grievant, appellant or complainant.

SECTION 5.10: All authorized travel and per diem expenses of Union representatives on official time shall be processed and paid consistent with Joint Travel Regulations (JTR) provisions. No travel and per diem shall be paid for any Union official not authorized official time. Telephonic representation shall be used to the maximum extent possible to reduce travel costs and to avoid prolonged absences from principal duties. When on-site representation is necessary, the local Field Audit Office (FAO) Steward will serve as the employee’s representative or, in his absence (physical or due to work-related matters), the next closest geographically-located steward will serve. Should the designated steward not be available during the grievance proceedings and a time extension cannot be obtained, the chief steward or other mutually-agreed representative will serve in his absence.

SECTION 5.11: The grieving employee will receive a reasonable amount of official time and travel expenses, if necessary, to attend grievance meetings. Such meetings, however, will normally be held at the employee’s duty station. The use of official time granted to the grievant will be limited when represented by an exclusive representative.

SECTION 5.12: Only one Union representative will be granted official time to act in a representative capacity in any individual case, except by mutual agreement. No more than two Local 3529 Union representatives from any FAO/Organizational Unit will be authorized official representational time for the purposes of serving either as an employee representative, personal representative, or Union representative at any point in time.

SECTION 5.13: The conduct of representational activity while either the employee or the Union representative is being compensated under overtime laws is prohibited. The performance of Union representational functions to earn credit hours shall be scheduled in advance by the supervisor and shall be authorized like any other activity.

Article 6

UNION REPRESENTATION

SECTION 6.01: Union representatives will be recognized by the Employer upon written notification by the Union to the appropriate Employer office. The Union will furnish the Employer a list of employees designated to serve as Union representatives and appropriate telephone extensions. The Union will keep the list current.

SECTION 6.02: There shall be no more than two (2) Union representatives (excluding those engaged in negotiations and joint labor-management meetings) from any FAOs (including SOs) that will be authorized reasonable official time for representational activity at any point in time (authorized official time for any of the time codes designated in Article 5). This also includes Union representatives who choose to serve as a personal representative.

SECTION 6.03: Certified mail may be used by the Union President and Executive Vice President to communicate with the Employer. Other Union officers and stewards are authorized use of regular mail services only for representational purposes. Facsimile may be used to provide early notification, if an acknowledgment of receipt is maintained and the receiving party is made aware prior to transmission. Service by facsimile will not decrease time limits involved.

SECTION 6.04: A bargaining unit employee shall be given the opportunity to be represented at:

    A. any formal discussion between one (1) or more representatives of the Employer and one (1) or more employees in the unit or their representatives relative to any grievance concerning any personnel policy or practice or other general condition of employment, or

    B. any examination of an employee in the unit by a representative of the Employer in connection with an investigation if:

      1. the employee reasonably believes that the examination may result in disciplinary action against the employee; and

      2. the employee requests representation.

    The Employer shall annually inform its employees of their rights under this section. Other informal notice of rights may be given at the Employer’s discretion, but are not required.

SECTION 6.05: The right of the Union to be present does not extend to informal discussions of personnel problems between an employee and supervisory officials when the employee does not desire the presence of a Union representative. However, if such discussions involve personnel policies or other matters which the Employer is obligated to discuss or negotiate with the Union, such discussions will not be made until this obligation is discharged and will not conflict with existing agreements with the Union.

SECTION 6.06: Authorized official time, travel, and per diem will be granted to Union representatives and employees in accordance with Articles 5 and 6 of this Agreement.

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