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MASTER AGREEMENT TRAINING – ARTICLE 5 UNION RIGHTS and REPRESENTATION CBT LESSON 2 OFFICIAL TIME and TRAVEL Release procedures.

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Presentation on theme: "MASTER AGREEMENT TRAINING – ARTICLE 5 UNION RIGHTS and REPRESENTATION CBT LESSON 2 OFFICIAL TIME and TRAVEL Release procedures."— Presentation transcript:

1 MASTER AGREEMENT TRAINING – ARTICLE 5 UNION RIGHTS and REPRESENTATION CBT LESSON 2 OFFICIAL TIME and TRAVEL Release procedures

2 The FLRA has recently ruled that “Telework” agreements are for Agency assigned work only, so telework policies do not apply to Union Officials when they are performing representational functions. Telework agreements that cover union representation work are void. That does not mean Union Officials are prohibited from working on official time at locations away from their duty station. It just means that Officials who work at locations away from their duty station must follow release procedures of Article 5 section 6.

3 Key Concepts Amendment to Telecommuting MOU and agency policy letter dated October 26, 2005 Union representational functions – release procedures per Article 5.6 Although telework agreements and release procedures may have similar outcomes, they address totally different work needs.

4 Agency-assigned work This means the duties of your official position description plus other associated “duties as assigned”. It also includes work of a Union Official working collaboratively in partnership with management as a team member on a management initiative, provided the official can be assigned by management to perform/produce actual work products as part of the team.

5 Union Representational Functions Representational functions are listed in Article 5 section 5a. –(1) Review management’s proposals concerning negotiations and changes in policies, practices, and matters concerning working conditions. –(2) Perform general representational and contract administration functions. –(3) Receive, review, prepare, and present grievances. –(4) Handle complaints, such as FLSA, MSPB, EEOC, and GAO. –(5) Prepare for negotiations. –(6) Negotiate. –(7) Prepare reports required by Section 7120 c of 5 USC Ch. 71. –(8) Contact other Union officers regarding the aforementioned functions. –(9) Visit, phone, and write to elected representatives in support or opposition to pending or desired legislation that would impact working conditions of employees represented by the FSC in accordance with conditions set forth in section 5.d

6 Responsibility for release (5.6a) Even though the agency does not assign or control representational work, communication is expected regarding : The general nature of the type of representation matter (5.5a) The approximate length of time needed Location Union Officials and supervisors may mutually agree on alternate arrangements for release procedures of a “continuing nature”.

7 Responsibility for Release The Parties have agreed that Union Officials working off site need to provide a method to reach them (i.e. phone number, address) and must be reasonably responsive to contact. Union Officials have the responsibility to use official time/travel for representational functions appropriately, and to communicate with their supervisor!

8 Release Release procedures are not intended to be a barrier to releasing the Union Official (5.6.a) Normally, ordinary workload will not preclude release….(5.6.b) There shall be no restraint, coercion, or discrimination against any Union Official because of the performance of duties in consonance with the Master Agreement and 5 USC Chapter 71.

9 Denial (5.6b) When a Union Official cannot be released at the requested time due to work reasons, Section 5.6b applies. Release procedures require communication.

10 We can’t afford to be overly burdensome. Keep it simple! Here’s a few example scenarios…..

11 Scenario 1 Employee contacts Union Official and asks to meet with a Union representative. They agree to meet at a local cafe. The Union rep contacts their supervisor and provides the following information: 1. The General nature of the representational need – example – possible grievance issue. 2. The approximate amount of time - example – two hours, starting at 2 PM 3.The location – for example – the café 4.Method of communication while off-site The supervisor and the Union Official COMMUNICATE on the need through a general discussion. The Union Official is working on an assigned project with no immediate critical deadline that must be met, so release is approved. The Union Official and the supervisor discuss the concern of the appearance to the public and agree that it would be best if a personal car is used.

12 Scenario 2 If a representational need comes up while a Union Official is on annual leave, the Union Official, must follow the release procedures as defined in Article 5, if they wish to claim official time. For example, if a Union rep on a national team must participate in a conference call while they are on scheduled leave, they must COMMUNICATE with their supervisor regarding: 1.the general nature of representational matter – for example – National team conference call. 2.the approximate length of time needed – two hours 3. location - participate in the conference call from home or vacation location Since the Union Official is on annual leave, ordinary workload is not an issue, therefore release for attending the conference call will be granted.

13 Scenario 3 A Union Official on the Saber Tooth National Forest is working on a MSPB case, and intends to complete the work offsite. Therefore, the Union Official COMMUNICATES with their supervisor: 1. The general nature of the type of representational matter - MSPB case 2. the approximate length of time – the rest of the week 3. the location - home and / or the library The supervisor and Union Official discuss the need in a general nature, there are no workload requirements that preclude release. The supervisor asks that the Union Official provide a number where they can be reached.

14 Scenario 4 A Union Official serves both as a representative on the Union’s national grievance committee, and as a Local union steward. The national level representational work usually takes about 10 hours a week. The Official and their supervisor agree that as an ongoing arrangement for the national grievance committee work, the Rep may be released to perform representational duties for up to 10 hours a week. They communicate regarding: 1. The general nature of the type of representational matter – Grievances and ongoing LMR activities 2. the approximate length of time needed – ongoing, 10 hours per week 3. the location - at the Union Official’s duty station office. The supervisor and Union Official discuss the need for additional release if the time exceeds 10 hours in a week.

15 Scenario 5 An union representative at PSW is working on a grievance that is due next Wednesday. She COMMUNICATES to her supervisor: 1.The general nature of the type of representational matter – grievance 2.The approximate length of time needed – two days: Monday and Tuesday of next week. 3.The location - home The supervisor and Union Official discuss the need in a general nature. The supervisor (in writing) denies the request for Monday and informs the employee they may be released on Tues. and Weds. In the denial, the supervisor informs the employee that there will be important visitors onsite on Monday and the Union Official needs to be there. Grievance timeline is extended one day.

16 Remember Union Officials must provide –General nature of work –Approximate time needed –Location Furthermore, Union Officials working off site need to provide a method to reach them (i.e. phone number, address) and must be reasonably responsive to contact.

17 Remember Release requests must be made as far in advance as practical; Any delay of release will be due to work reasons and will be provided in writing; (remember, delays will require mgmt to extend contractual timeframes – 5.6b) Union Officials and supervisors may mutually agree on alternate arrangements for release procedures of a “continuing nature”.


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