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Article 7

EMPLOYER/UNION COOPERATION

SECTION 7.01: Periodic labor-management meetings (at least quarterly, but more often if needed) will be held to promote a climate of cooperation and resolve issues. A maximum of four (4) individuals will represent each party and will meet on official time (not to exceed eight hours) and at government expense. These meetings will not address individual issues, complaints, grievances, etc. To the extent possible, the Parties will exchange agendas prior to the meetings and publish minutes of the meetings. These meetings are to be separate from negotiation meetings/sessions.

SECTION 7.02: The Employer agrees to provide monthly to the Union, a listing of the names, titles, grades and duty stations of all employees within the unit including total authorized work years and actual strength report by audit and administrative staff for the Region and for each FAO.

Article 8

NEGOTIATION PROCEDURES

SECTION 8.01: Before the Employer implements new or revised personnel policies, practices and procedures in the Central Region, the Union will have the opportunity to negotiate, provided the new conditions of employment or changes thereto are not mandated by law or by an Agency regulation for which there is a compelling need. A copy of new or changed language concerning policies, practices, or procedures will be sent to the Union President, or his designee, so that it will arrive thirty (30) calendar days prior to implementation. The Union will notify the Employer of its intent to negotiate within thirty (30) calendar days of receipt.

SECTION 8.02: A request for negotiations will not be considered adequate unless it is accompanied by initial written proposals within thirty (30) calendar days after receipt of the notice. The proposal will be relevant to the matter under consideration. The Employer and the Union will begin negotiations within a thirty (30) day period after receipt of the proposal. If agreement is not reached within sixteen (16) hours of negotiations, the Parties will submit the issue to mediation, unless by mutual consent they decide to continue negotiations. Employer may implement the policy within the scope of its last offer unless the Union timely invokes impasse resolution procedures. SECTION 8.03: Should the Union fail to submit a request for negotiations within the thirty (30) calendar day period, the Employer may implement it.

SECTION 8.04: Any of the above time limits can be modified on a case-by-case basis only upon mutual consent.

SECTION 8.05: The Employer, when intending to survey employees for fact, will send a copy of the proposed survey to the Union President or his designee for comment/impact bargaining. The Employer will provide a copy of the survey results to the Union president or his designee. The Employer, when intending to survey employees for opinion, will send a copy of the proposed survey to the Union. If the Union objects to the survey, Management will not survey.

SECTION 8.06: The Ground Rules for the conduct of negotiating sessions will be observed by the parties as set down herein. These ground rules will be applicable to all negotiations between the parties. The parties may by mutual agreement waive any and all parts of these rules.

SECTION 8.07: Time and place of meetings.

    A. Negotiation sessions will commence within thirty days of either party’s proposal unless the parties mutually agree otherwise. Such meetings will be held from 0830 to 1530 with a recess of one hour (1115 to 1215) for lunch and caucus. Times before and after the actual meetings may be used for caucus and other pre- or post-meeting discussions. Negotiations will begin Monday at 1300 and conclude on Friday at 1115 every three weeks until negotiations and/or mediations conclude, an impasse is reached, or both parties agree to temporary adjournment.

    B. The locations of the negotiations will alternate between Irving, Texas (the location of Regional Office) and the site of Local Union President (currently Hazelwood, Missouri). Negotiations on issues affecting only one FAO, will be conducted at the FAO site. The parties may mutually agree to meet at other locations. The Employer will provide space suitable for negotiations, including both meeting and caucus rooms.

    C. The Employer will provide the Union negotiation team a stand alone computer and printer at the negotiation site during negotiations.

SECTION 8.08: Negotiation Teams.

    A. Definitions

      - “Term contract negotiation” - refers to those negotiations wherein the parties negotiate on the entire collective bargaining agreement (CBA).
      - “Mid-Term Negotiations” - refers to any and all negotiations which occur, other than term contract negotiations.

    B. The negotiation team for each party will consist of up to 3 members for mid-term and up to 3 members for term contract negotiations. On issues affecting only one FAO, each party will be represented by only 1 negotiator unless management desires to have more than 1 negotiator present. In this case the Union will be entitled to the same number of negotiators on their team. Either party may send an alternate in place of a regular team member.

    C. All members of the Union negotiation team, if employees of the Employer and in a duty status, shall be granted official time. Official time includes preparation for, travel to and from, and attendance at the negotiations.

    D. Management will pay travel/per diem for all members of the negotiation teams.

SECTION 8.09: Recess/Caucus. Either party may request a caucus at any time.

SECTION 8.10: Minutes. Mechanical recorders will not be used, nor will verbatim transcripts be made during the negotiation sessions. Each party may record in writing its own bargaining history.

SECTION 8.11: Proposed Agreement/Articles.

    A. The parties agree to employ interest-based bargaining techniques to the fullest extent of the law and in the spirit of Executive Order 12871.

    B. When specific negotiation proposals are provided, they should be typewritten, preferably double spaced, the pages numbered consecutively and, if applicable to a current article of the CBA, that article and section will be noted for reference. However, legible handwritten double spaced proposals are acceptable to facilitate the process.

SECTION 8.12: Order of Business. The following order of business will be observed:

    A. Unfinished business from last session.

    B. Items to be negotiated at the current session.

    C. Establishing agenda items to be negotiated for next session.

SECTION 8.13: Impasse Procedures.

    A. The parties agree that in the case of a stated bargaining impasse, referral of all items on the Impasse List to the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) may be made by either party or jointly and will be in accordance with the rules set forth by the FMCS. It is mutually agreed that an impasse occurs after the parties have presented proposals and counter proposals in good faith and, despite honest and diligent efforts, no agreement can be reached on the issue being negotiated. The proposal at impasse will be identified as an impasse item, initialed by both parties as an impasse item, and laid aside on the Impasse List. After all other items have been agreed-to, the parties shall return to any and all impasse items and once more attempt to come to an agreement before seeking the assistance of a Federal Mediator from FMCS.

    B. The parties further agree that when the services of the FMCS fail to resolve a negotiation impasse, either party may request the Federal Service Impasse Panel to consider all remaining impasse items, with notification being given to the other party.

SECTION 8.14: Signing Procedures. When the parties agree on the content of an article, it will be reduced to writing, initialed and dated by both parties, and put aside. However, no initialed item is binding until agreement is reached on the whole Agreement and the Agreement has been signed by both parties. The Agreement will be effective upon the date of signature of both parties, and will remain effective until the approval of the next CBA. If the DCAA Director’s approval is required, the Agreement will be effective in accordance with the statute.

SECTION 8.15: Promulgation Procedures.

    A. When the Agreement affects all members of the Collective Bargaining Unit, the Employer will type and provide a copy of the agreement to all members, no later than 7 days after the effective date of the agreement.

    B. When an agreement affects less than the entire bargaining unit, the Employer will type and provide a copy of the Agreement to all affected members of the bargaining unit, no later than 3 days after the effective date of the Agreement.

Article 9

POSITION CLASSIFICATION

SECTION 9.01: Position classification is defined as the application of OPM job classification standards to a position for determining the grade-level and series; based upon Management’s assignment of duties and responsibilities.

SECTION 9.02:

    A. The Employer and the Union agree that the effective utilization of employees and the equitable reimbursement for their services require a sound program of position classification and position management.

    B. The Union may make recommendations and present supporting evidence concerning the adequacy and equity of a standardized position description or position classification standard. The Employer agrees to review the presentation and advise the Union of the results of its review.

    C. Decisions made by regional management concerning the classification of positions are subject to review by higher authority, e.g. Office of Personnel Management and Headquarters, DCAA. Regional management as well as employees of this Region are bound by classification decisions of higher authority and nothing in this Article shall be construed as abrogating such decisions.

SECTION 9.03: The Employer agrees to inform the Union as soon as possible when significant changes will be made in the duties and responsibilities of positions held by employees in the unit due to reorganization or when changes in position classification standards result in classification changes of bargaining unit employees.

SECTION 9.04:

    A. The Employer agrees that the position description for each position in the bargaining unit will reflect the duties of the employee filling that position. When the term "other duties as assigned" or its equivalent is used in a position description, the term is mutually agreed to mean tasks related to a position which are so insignificant to the performance of normally assigned duties as to be of no impact on the classification of the position. The phrase "other duties as assigned" will not be used to regularly assign work to an employee which is not reasonably related to his basic job description.

    B. Any bargaining unit employee, except employees serving on temporary appointments, has the right without fear of embarrassment, reprisal, or subsequent prejudice to request the Agency or the Office of Personnel Management to review his position to see if the title, code, and grade have been properly determined.

    C. All General Schedule employees may appeal the classification of their positions to the Agency or to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). If the employee appeals to the Agency first, he may subsequently appeal to the OPM. If he appeals to OPM first, he may not then appeal to the Agency. All appeal decisions issued by OPM are final.

SECTION 9.05: Each employee will be furnished a copy of his current job description within fourteen (14) days of employment, promotion or reclassification. This does not include those situations when, for valid purposes, employees are assigned to an unclassified set of duties for periods permitted under pertinent OPM or Agency regulation in existence at the time of this Agreement’s implementation.

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