Master Agreement Training

Master Agreement Training
National Federation of Federal Employees
Forest Service Council (NFFE-FSC)
USDA Forest Service
Presented by
Name of Union Rep
Name of Management Rep
Date Location
Purpose of the Course
Review your roles, responsibilities, and
rights as managers, supervisors, and
employees under the Labor Statute and
the Labor Contract (FS/NFFE Master
 Identify importance of maintaining a good
working relationship between
management and the union
 Assist you in identifying your Labor
Relations resources
The Labor Statute
portion of the Civil Service Reform
Act of 1978 is the Federal Services
Labor Management Relations Statute
and it has been codified as Title 5 of
the United States Code Chapter 71.
 So, when we talk about the “labor
statute” or the “federal labor
relations statute” we are talking
about 5 U.S.C. 71.
The Statute and
the Master Agreement
The Labor Statute authorizes collective
bargaining in the Federal Sector and
provides the legal framework for such
 The Master Agreement (and other
negotiated agreements) are the product of
collective bargaining.
 The Labor Statute applies to all Agencies;
the Master Agreement applies only to
NFFE-organized units in the Forest
What is the Master Agreement
Contract between the Forest Service and
the Forest Service Council of NFFE
 Negotiated by the Forest Service and NFFE
at the National level
 Agreement to procedures, rights,
responsibilities, conditions of employment
and working conditions
It’s NOT the UNION contract or
the FOREST SERVICE contract.
It’s OUR contract.
Bargaining Unit
Bargaining unit (BU) is comprised of the
employees (BUEs) represented by Union.
 There are two consolidated BUs in the
Forest Service represented by NFFE:
– Professional (These positions generally require
a degree, e.g. “ologists,” engineers, etc.)
– Non- Professional (Generally do not require a
degree, e.g. technicians, specialists, etc.)
 Within
the Forest Service these two
bargaining units are generally
lumped together as “the bargaining
Bargaining Unit
The Bargaining Unit varies with each unit,
depending on who voted to be
represented. It may include:
– Professionals, Non-Professionals
– Permanent, term, temp, seasonal
 Generally, all non-supervisory, nonmanagerial employees, except
“confidential” employees are eligible.
 The description of the bargaining unit for
each FS unit is found in Appendix A.
Updates and changes are posted on the
HRM Labor Relations Website.
Bargaining Unit
 Unit
Name and Local # (See
Appendix A or the LR website)
– Included
– Excluded
Changes to the Bargaining Unit
(Article 1)
Management will notify the Union before
changing the BU status of a position.
– If Union and Management cannot reach
agreement, the Union may file a petition with
the FLRA.
– During this process, the BU status will not be
changed, but management may assign work as
The Union will notify management when it
believes the BU status of a position should
be changed, before going to FLRA.
(Article 2)
Annotations used to clarify the intent of
the language written in the Contract or
background information about a given
 Commitment to jointly developed training
on the MA.
 Face-to-face MA training when practical
 MA will be posted on FSWeb and WWW,
and will be 508 compliant.
Key Definitions
(Article 3)
Day: Unless stated otherwise, day means
calendar day. If a due date falls on a Saturday,
Sunday, or holiday, the next official workday will
be considered the due date.
In Writing: Email is an acceptable method for all
transmittals with reference to the Master
Notification: All notification specified in this
Master Agreement must be in writing, unless
otherwise stated.
Parties: Normally, Parties with an upper case “P”
indicates the national Management and Union
Key Definitions
(Articles 2 and 3)
Supervisor: An individual employed by an agency
having authority in the interest of the agency to
hire, direct, assign, promote, reward, transfer,
furlough, layoff, recall, suspend, discipline, or
remove employees; to adjust their grievances; or
to effectively recommend such action. The
exercise of the authority is not merely routine or
clerical in nature but requires the consistent
exercise of independent judgment. For units that
include firefighters or nurses, the term
“supervisor” includes only those individuals who
devote a preponderance of their employment
time to exercising such authority (5 U.S.C.
Employee Rights
(Article 4.1)
The Parties agree to mutually establish
and maintain a safe, positive, and
professional work environment that
– promotes good workmanship,
– values employees for who they are and
what they contribute,
– ensures consistent treatment of
employees, and
– maintains high standards of employee
Employee Rights under Statute
(Article 4.2)
 Statutory
Rights --
– Right to join a union, or not
– Engage in collective bargaining
– Right to have non-union
representative for any appeal not
under the negotiated grievance
Rights during Investigations
(Article 4.3)
Weingarten Right -- An employee has the right to
be represented by the Union during an
investigation if:
– he or she reasonably believes that the examination may
result in disciplinary action against him or her and
– he or she requests representation.
The Agency must annually inform employees of
their Weingarten Right, and include a negotiated
information sheet about investigations.
During an investigation, the employee may ask
whether or not they are being directed to answer
and will be provided a written statement of this,
upon request.
Weingarten Rights
(more info)
Management Options in Weingarten
– Simply end the meeting and not call in a
union representative
– Offer the employee the alternative of
continuing the meeting without a union
representative or foregoing the meeting
– Stop the meeting until the union
representative arrives
Weingarten Rights
(more info)
Union rights in Weingarten situations
– Union designates representative
– Union rep can take an active role (can
clarify questions or answers) but cannot
disrupt or answer for the employee
– Cannot unreasonably delay the
investigation to get choice of rep
Employee Rights
(Article 4)
Employees have the right to:
– Meet and consult with Union officials
concerning working conditions
– Be represented by Union at meetings when
the employee has a complaint about
working conditions
– Be treated with dignity and respect
– Engage in outside activities/employment,
with some limitations and/or approvals
– Request reassignment
– Privacy when being counseled or
Employee right to duty time
(Article 4.6)
Right to a reasonable amount of duty
time in pursuit of rights under the MA.
– Employee must request release, including
length of time needed and the location where
they will be. Normally, workload will not
preclude the release of the employee.
– If the employee cannot be released
immediately they will be released as soon as
the work requirement is met or other
arrangements are made. If employee can’t be
released that day, the denial will be given in
writing, along with the reason, and timelines
will be extended equal to the delay.
Employee right to duty time
(Article 4.6, annotations)
Employees may designate Union to act on
their behalf with respect to requesting
 If the employee and supervisor cannot
agree on amount of time, generally:
– 4 hours for preparing a Step 1 grievance
– 8 hours for the preparing a Step 2 grievance.
Employees use TC = 01, not TC = 37.
 Note: Release requests do not apply if
employees are meeting with the Union on
their own time (e.g. break or lunch).
Electronic Communications
(Article 4.15)
 All
employees will have access to
electronic communication system, when
– Employees will be provided duty time to access
electronic records
– Employees will not be penalized for lack of profile
 Management
will not access profile unless
required for internal security purposes
 Management will provide policy regarding
tracking hardware/software annually
Debt Collections
(Article 4.16)
When the Agency intends to off-set pay to
collect a debt, the employee will be
afforded due process in accordance with
USC and CFR, including:
– 30 days notice of intent to offset salary
– Right to Union representation
– Right to file a waiver
– Right to request a hearing on the
existence of the debt.
Union Rights & Representation
(Article 5)
NFFE is exclusive representative for
bargaining unit
– Only NFFE can represent unit in negotiations
– Only NFFE can represent an employee in the
negotiated grievance procedure contained in
the Master Agreement
– Only NFFE or the Agency can invoke arbitration
NFFE must represent interests of all
members of bargaining unit, regardless of
union membership.
Union Representation
(Article 5)
Union has right to designate its own
 Union representatives include Local,
Council, and NFFE officials.
 The Union must notify management of
which union officials are the contacts for
different issues.
 When no Local representatives have been
designated, the Regional Vice-President is
the primary contact.
Designation of Representatives
(Article 5.1)
The Union has the right to designate its
officials and representatives, including NFFE
National representatives.
 The designated officials at the national level
are the President and Secretary-Treasurer,
 The Local President is the designated official
for the Local. The Local President may
designate additional representatives for
particular matters, for line organizations, and
for different shifts or duty stations.
Formal Discussions
(Article 5.4)
The Local Union President or designee will
be given reasonable notice, the
opportunity to attend, and participate in
formal discussions.
 A formal discussion is any meeting
between one or more representatives of
the Forest Service and one or more
Bargaining Unit employees concerning any
grievance, personnel policy or practice, or
other general condition of employment.
Formal Discussion
(More info)
Formal Discussion Factors:
– Who conducted the meeting
– Whether other management officials
were present
– Location and length of meeting
– Meeting is announced and planned
– Formal agenda
– Attendance is mandatory
Agenda topics for “formal” meetings
(More info)
When these topics are planned for
discussion, it may be considered to be a
formal meeting:
– Policies regarding leave or work schedules
– Safety
– Cubicle moves
– Resolution of a grievance
Discussion of work assignments,
workload, training to perform work, etc.
alone do not constitute a formal meeting.
Formal or Weingarten
(More info)
Formal meeting
Investigation where there
Meeting between Agency
is reasonable belief by the and employees regarding
employee that discipline
conditions of employment
will result
Agency must notify union
Employee must request
Union is representing
Union is largely there as
representative of
bargaining unit
Union Official Time
(Article 5.5)
Union officials will be granted official time to
– Review management proposals, prepare to
negotiate, and negotiate
– Receive, review, prepare and present grievances
and other complaints
– Prepare reports under 5 USC 7120(c)
– Contact elected representatives on legislation
(only FSC Exec Board or their designees)
– Perform general contract administration and
– Contact other Union officials
Union officials should request release as far in
advance as possible, although on-going
arrangements can be made.
Reserved Management Rights
(Article 6)
5 USC § 7106(a) establishes
management rights under the Statute.
The substance of management’s decision
to exercise these rights is non-negotiable.
Management has the right to determine
the mission, budget, organization, number
of employees and internal security
Reserved Management Rights
(Article 6)
In accordance with applicable laws,
Management has the right to hire, assign,
direct, layoff, retain, suspend, remove,
reduce in grade or pay, discipline, assign
work, contract out, determine personnel,
make selections for hiring, and take
whatever actions may be necessary to
carry out the mission during emergencies.
Permissive Rights
(Article 6)
5 USC § 7106(b)(1) establishes
permissive subjects of bargaining.
 The Agency may bargain over permissive
subjects, but are not required to bargain.
 Permissive Subjects:
– numbers, types, and grades of employees or
– the technology, methods or means of
performing work.
Scope of Bargaining
(Article 6)
Although the Agency must bargain on
many subjects, the substance of decisions
in the area of management rights are not
negotiable. However, 5 USC § 7106(b)(2)
and (3) require an agency to bargain over
procedures and appropriate arrangements
when it exercises its rights under the
management rights clause.
 Commonly referred to as bargaining over
the “impact and implementation” or
“procedures and appropriate
arrangements” of a change.
Example of Impact and Implementation
(more info)
The Agency decides not to fill summer
student positions this summer to save
money. The current permanent employees
will need to do the work.
 The Union can negotiate impact and
implementation such as:
– Training employees to do the work.
– Provisions for assuring that employees are still
able to take leave during the summer.
– Overtime scheduling, if OT is needed to
complete the work.
– Notification procedures for who is going to be
assigned the extra work.
Union Use of Facilities and Services
(Article 7)
Reasonable office space and equipment
 Use of electronic communications and
internal mail service for Union business
 Bulletin boards located where each
employee info bulletin board is located
 Upon request, union may get a list of all
unit employees
 May use government vehicles for
representational functions
Partnership and Collaboration
(Article 8)
 The
National Parties agree to work
collaboratively and encourage
subordinate parties to do the same.
 National LM Strategic Plan to provide
current guidance and assistance in
maintaining and enhancing
collaborative relationships at all
Partnership Councils
(Article 8.2)
 Maintain national Forest Service Partnership
Council (FSPC) to address issues of servicewide scope and significance.
 Parties at all levels may establish
Partnership Councils.
 The members of each Partnership Council
are the designated representatives of
Management and the Union.
 Decisions and agreements reached by the
parties in Partnership are binding on the
Collaborative Relations
(Article 8.3)
 Parties are encouraged to work
collaboratively regardless of whether they
have a Partnership Council.
 Parties are encouraged to use interestbased problem solving to resolve issues.
 Decisions and agreements reached by the
Parties in collaboration are binding.
Pre-Decisional Involvement (PDI)
(Article 8.4)
 Pre-decisional involvement (PDI): The
parties will notify one another of
emerging topics or initiatives that may
affect conditions of employment as soon
as practical in order to:
facilitate the early identification and
resolution of issues and
provide the opportunity for participants to
add value to the outcome.
Pre-Decisional Involvement (PDI)
 Executive
Order 13522 requires all
agencies to allow employees and
their union representatives to have
pre-decisional involvement in all
workplace matters to the fullest
extent practicable.
Pre-Decisional Involvement (PDI)
(more info)
 The FSPC encourages Regional and Local
parties to develop a procedure for PDI that
works for them. Suggestions include:
Establishing a formal Labor-Management
Forum or Partnership Council
Inviting Union officials to attend leadership
team meetings
Holding regularly scheduled meetings between
union and management decision makers
Establishing a Labor-Management Committee
Including union leadership on appropriate
leadership mailing lists (pdls)
Changes to Organizations and/or
Redistribution of Duties
(Article 8.5)
 Formerly
in Article 31
 Management will inform the Union
before a final decision is made on the
following matters:
– Changes to the org structure which
affect BUEs
– The redistribution of ongoing duties
among existing positions such that
substantially effects more than one
position in such a way that it requires
modification of the position description.
(Article 9)
 Purpose
of this article is to provide a
mutually acceptable method for
resolving workplace issues. Try to
resolve issues at the lowest level,
and encourage using technologies
that reduce the need for travel.
 Grievance Prevention. Encourage
early discussion about issues, but be
aware of timelines.
Grievance Definition
(Article 9.3)
Grievance means any complaint by any—
– Employee concerning any matter relating to
his or her employment.
– Labor organization concerning any matter
relating to the employment of any employee.
– Employee, Labor organization, or Agency
 The
effect or interpretation, or a claim of breach,
of a collective bargaining agreement.
 Any claimed violation, misinterpretation, or
misapplication of any law, rule, or regulation
affecting conditions of employment.
(Article 9.4, 9.5, and 9.6)
Employees may choose not to have union
representation when filing a grievance, but
meetings to resolve grievances are formal
meetings, and the Union must be invited.
During grievance resolution meetings, there is no
set number of attendees, but the focus should be
on getting the right people in the room to resolve
the issue.
Exclusions from the grievance process are listed
in Section 9.5.
Filing a grievance is an election of forum:
Generally, an EEO complaint, MSPB appeal, or
unfair labor practice cannot be filed over an issue
for which a grievance has already been filed.
Grievance Procedure Overview
Most Grievances
1. Step 1 Grievance and Response
2. Step 2 Grievance and Response
3. Arbitration
Exception: Adverse Actions skip to Step 2
of the Grievance process.
 Generally, all transmittals shall be
 Both Step 1 and Step 2 grievances and
responses need to be copied to other
Grievance Procedure Players
Step 1 Receiving official
Step 1 Deciding official
Step 2 Receiving official
Step 2 Deciding official
Representatives of grievant
and responding party
(generally Union and LMR)
Grievance Procedure
If Event = Adverse Action
30 days
Step 1
30 days
Article 9
Step 2
30 days
Step 1 Grievance Procedure
(Article 9.7)
Step 1 Grievance must be submitted within
30 days of the incident or of learning of
the incident.
 Step 1 Grievance must:
– Identify that this is a Step 1 Grievance in the
subject line.
– Identify the incident;
– Identify the date of the incident;
– Provide requested relief;
Step 1 Grievance may also provide
suggested Alternative Dispute Resolution
(ADR) techniques.
Step 1 Grievance Procedure
(Article 9.7)
Step 1 Grievance must be filed with the
appropriate official with a copy to the LR
 After Step 1 Grievance is filed
– The Step 1 Receiving Official will identify the
Step 1 Deciding Official and notify the grievant
as soon as possible.
– The grievant and the deciding official may use
ADR to resolve the issue.
– If no resolution is achieved through ADR, the
Deciding Official must render a decision within
30 days of the Step 1 Grievance.
Step 1 Grievance Procedure
(Article 9.7)
 Step
1 Grievance Response
– Grievance Response must state the
grievant’s right to submit a Step 2
– Management must copy appropriate
Council Vice-President on Step 1
Grievance Responses.
– Union must copy appropriate Labor
Relations staff member on Step 1
Grievance Responses.
Step 2 Grievance Procedure
Article 9.8
Step 2 Grievances must be submitted within 30
days of receiving the Step 1 response (or when the
Step 1 response was due).
Step 2 grievance must include:
– Subject identifying that this is a “Step 2
– A copy of the Step 1 Grievance and supporting
– A copy of the Step 1 Grievance Decision (if one
was received).
– The issue(s) being grieved at this Step.
– Any additional supporting evidence available at
the time.
– The relief requested.
Step 2 Grievance Procedure
Article 9.8
Step 2 Response must:
– Identify the right to arbitration, supporting
documents, and appropriate citations, if
applicable. The Parties encourage including
supporting rationale in the decision letter.
– For Local Union and employee grievances,
Management will carbon copy the appropriate
Council Vice President
Prior to arbitration, parties are encouraged
to mediate, if mediation has not
previously been attempted.
Where to file a grievance
(Article 9.9)
Employee or Local Union Step 1: FILL IN POSITION
Employee or Local Union Step 2: FILL IN POSITION
(Note: If your organization is not listed in Section
9.9, call your LMR contact to determine where to
file an employee or Union grievance.)
Management Step 1: Local President
Management Step 2: Council Vice-President
(Article 9.10)
The Deciding Official must have full
authority to resolve all issues being
 The Step 2 Deciding Official shall not be
the same as or subordinate to the Step 1
Deciding Official.
 For discipline, it is not appropriate for the
grievance Deciding Official to be the same
individual as the Deciding Official for the
disciplinary action.
Time Limits
(Article 9.11)
Time limits start with “day 1” on the day
after the occurrence or transmittal.
 All extensions must be by mutual
 Information requests extend time limits.
-For Union, time extended equal to amount of
time to receive information
-For Management, time extended 15 days
Missed time limit by grieving party cancels
the grievance
 Missed time limit by deciding official in the
grievance process shall result in liability
for arbitration costs.
(Article 9.11)
Settlements will be documented and
signed by the Grievant, the Union, and the
Deciding Official. (Appendix E)
 Settlements resolve all issues and
terminate the grievance.
 If there is allegation that the settlement
was not followed, either party may, within
30 days:
– File a new step 1 grievance over failure to
follow the settlement agreement OR
– Reinstate the grievance at the next step from
where the settlement occurred.
(Article 10)
 Used
when grievance cannot be
satisfactorily resolved. Arbitration is
binding on both parties.
 Parties may agree to Alternative
Dispute Resolution prior to going to
 Arbitration invoked by an FSC Officer,
Union president or management official
within 28 days of final grievance
(Article 10)
 Article
10 covers many procedural
issues regarding official time, travel,
exchange of information, and
threshold determinations.
 Cost of arbitration shall be borne by
the losing party. If a decision does
not clearly favor one party, the
arbitration may specify that costs be
borne equally by the parties.
Mid-Term Negotiations
(Article 11.1)
Either Party may propose mid-term
changes in conditions of employment not
in conflict with or covered by the MA.
 Management will not implement changes
until after notifying the Union and
completing appropriate negotiations
– Emergency situation
– Date of implementation is required by law
– In these situations post-implementation
bargaining may take place
Changes to Conditions of Employment
(More info)
Conditions of employment" means
personnel policies, practices, and matters,
affecting working conditions, except that
such term does not include policies,
practices, and matters-– relating to prohibited political activities
– relating to the classification of any position; or
– to the extent such matters are specifically
provided for by Federal statute (e.g. pay);
Changes in Conditions of Employment
(More Info)
What both Parties need to consider when a
change is proposed:
– Which employees will this decision affect?
– Will the decision alter the working conditions
or personnel policies and practices of
bargaining unit employees?
– Will the change significantly affect employees’
working conditions?
– Is this a subject already covered under the
Master Agreement or by law?
Common topics requiring negotiations
More info
Policies regarding
– Work schedules
– Leave scheduling
General procedures for
– Determining who is given overtime assignments
– Calling in for unplanned leave
Changes in working conditions
– Office space/cubicle changes
– Break rooms
– Parking
Negotiations Procedures
(Article 11.3 and Appendix F Checklists)
The proposing party presents an issue, in
writing, to the other party using checklists
in Appendix F.
 The receiving party has 28 days following
receipt of Art 11 notice to respond.
 Ground Rules are negotiable as
subordinate agreement.
 Propose ground rules per the checklist.
 Agreements will be documented and will
state whether further negotiations may
occur at lower levels.
Article 11.3.d – Points of contact
Local President;
w/cc to Council VP
Council VP
w/cc to FSC
Negotiations Chair
FSC President;
w/cc to FSC
Negotiations Chair
Per FSM 6100
w/cc to LMR staff
Per FSM 6100
w/cc to LMR staff
Per FSM 6100;
w/cc to LMR staff
Unclear who your POC is?
Contact the Branch Chief for Labor Relations for info.
Prenotification of an Unfair Labor Practice
(Article 12)
Prior to filing an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP)
charge, the charging party will serve
written notice of the alleged ULP charge on
the other party.
 The charging party may file a ULP charge
any time after providing the prenotification.
 If the charged party requests, the parties
will begin discussions as soon as possible
but no later than 14 days after the charge
is filed, unless more time is mutually
agreed to.
Unfair Labor Practice Charge
(More info)
An unfair labor practice is a violation of
the Federal Labor Statute (5 USC 71).
Practices that are unfair and involve the
labor force are not necessarily unfair labor
5 USC § 7116 outlines what constitutes an
Unfair Labor Practice for both the agency
and the labor organization.
Unfair Labor Practice Charge
(More info)
 Common
ULP Charges:
– Making a change to working conditions
without notification to the union
– Holding formal meetings without notification to
the union
– Refusing to provide information
– Excluding the union representative
– Taking action based on union activity
– Refusing to bargain in good faith
Employee Orientation
(Article 13)
Management will inform all new
employees that the Union is the exclusive
representative of employees in the
Bargaining Unit. Will provide packet to
employees, if Union has provided one.
 Where practical, supervisors will arrange
for new employees to meet a local union
 Union will be invited and given time to
speak at group orientation sessions for
new employees.
Position Descriptions and Classification
(Article 14)
Each employee shall have a PD that is accurate
with respect to title, series, and grade, and
clearly states the major duties.
PD’s should be reviewed annually by the
employee and supervisor, normally during
performance evaluation.
Management will revise PD when an employee is
assigned additional major recurring duties which
are likely to last 12 months or more.
When new PD is approved and classified,
employee and supervisor will discuss PD and
related performance expectations.
PD Review/Classification Procedure
(Article 14.3)
 Employee
Request: Within 45 days of an
employee’s request to the supervisor:
– Employee shall make summary of
inaccuracies and the employee and
supervisor shall discuss whether to submit a
new PD.
– If the supervisor agrees that the PD is
inaccurate, a new PD will be prepared,
considering the employee’s comments.
– A PD review package will be submitted for
classification, and a copy will be given to the
employee. (See HRM website for packet
PD Review/Classification Procedure
(Article 14.3)
For Management-initiated PD review, the
supervisor will discuss proposed changes to
the PD and will consider feedback from the
employee prior to submitting the PD for
 Classification determination will be
communicated within 45 days of submission
of review package to HRM.
 Employee may have Union rep during
discussion about the PD review.
 Accuracy of the PD may be grieved under
Article 9.
Classification Outcomes
(Article 14.4 and 14.5)
When PD is accurate, but employee
believes it is not correctly classified (title,
series, grade), the employee may:
– Request a FS classification review.
– Appeal directly to the U.S. Department
of Agriculture (USDA) or the U.S. Office
of Personnel Management (OPM).
 If PD is classified at a higher grade,
management must take action to promote
employee or eliminate/redistribute the
grade controlling duties.
Performance Management
(Article 15 and FSH 6109.13, 10)
Generally use standard Performance Elements
and Standards.
Employee and supervisor jointly develop
measures for each element. Measures should be
specific, measurable, and attainable.
Employees should know what it takes to meet
and what it takes to exceed each element.
Employees and supervisors should keep records
through the year regarding performance
milestones and barriers.
Employees should provide input to their
supervisor about their performance prior to rating
Promotions and Details
(Article 16)
Requirement that all vacancies for
permanent positions shall be advertised
internally prior to filling from any
appropriate source (some exceptions).
 Standard info required in Merit Promotion
vacancy announcements
 Requirements for length of advertisements
 Career ladder promotions
 Temporary promotion
 Non-competitive promotion, accretion of
 Details
Filling Vacancies
(Article 16.2)
Filling Vacancies
– Follow the FSH 6109.12 for Merit Promotion,
EXCEPT as provided for in this Article.
– All permanent positions to be filled in the BU
shall be advertised internally prior to filling
from any other appropriate source (some
exceptions in Article).
– All vacancies must be posted on website for 21
days prior to a referral list being pulled.
– Applicants must be notified whether they are
qualified and/or referred to the hiring
supervisor. Applicant may request review
within 3 days.
Career Ladder Promotions
(Article 16.3)
Employees will be promoted to full performance
level as soon as they have met the time in grade
requirements AND have successfully met the
requirements of the current and next higher
If performance or other factor does not warrant a
promotion, the supervisor will provide notice to
employee 60 days prior.
For performance issues, the employee will be
given 60 days to improve.
If notice is not given, and performance is
acceptable at the end of the 60 day period, the
promotion will be retroactive to the date the
employee met time-in-grade.
Temporary Promotion
(Article 16.5)
A Temporary Promotion is a temporary
assignment to higher graded position or
duties for more than 30 days. Temp
promotions of over 120 days will be filled
through competitive procedures.
 An employee will not be deterred or
prohibited from competing for or accepting
a temporary promotion.
 An employee cannot be noncompetitively
promoted for more than 120 days in a 12month period.
Accretion of Duties
(Article 16.6)
An accretion occurs when employee has
been performing grade-controlling duties
classified at a higher grade level for an
extended period of time. Specific criteria
are in MA.
 If after a PD review, Management takes
duties away and the duties are later
reassigned to the employee, the employee
may move directly to either the grievance
procedures or classification appeal
process, rather than start the Article 14
review process again.
(Article 16.7)
Employees remain the incumbent of their
original position.
Open outreach for details encouraged.
SF-52 required for details of 30 days or more.
Generally rotate assignments when 2 or more
people are interested and detail is more than
120 days.
Employees may be detailed at any time or
location to meet emergencies.
Specific provisions for involuntary details, see
Awards Program
(Article 17)
Employee awards are beneficial to both
Management and employee
Individual amounts within Group Award
should be based on actual contribution or
participatory value, not solely on grade
Awards should be given as soon as possible
after the achievement
Distribution of awards must be fair and
Management will schedule appropriate award
presentation taking into account employee’s
Award Types
(Article 17.3)
Award types include Performance,
Monetary, Non-Monetary, Peer, and
Length of Service
 Performance Awards include Lump Sum
Bonus and QSI
– Outstanding rating will generally result in a
performance bonus
– Superior Rating is eligible for a performance
Monetary Awards include Extra Effort
Awards, Spot, Gain-sharing, and
Award Types
(Article 17.3)
 Non-Monetary
– Recognition for short-term assignment or
project, act of heroism, achievement, major
discovery, or significant cost saving
– Includes time-off awards, keepsakes, letters of
appreciation, and honorary awards
 Peer
– Program wherein employees are authorized to
recognize coworkers
– Either monetary or nonmonetary
Award Types
(Article 17.3)
Length of Service Awards
Employees will be recognized in 5-year
 Award includes a pin, certificate, and a
nonmonetary keepsake
 Recommended values of nonmonetary
awards are based on length of service
Award Program
(Article 17 Annotation)
Guidance for length of service award values
Years of Service
Recommended Award Value
$ 50.00
$ 75.00
Work Schedules
(Article 18)
Standard Work Schedule (18.2)
Alternative Work Schedules (AWS)
– Flexible Schedules (18.3 and 18.4)
 Employees
may vary length of day and or week
 Employees may earn credit hours
 Employees must request a flexible schedule. They
cannot be involuntarily assigned a flexible schedule.
– Compressed (18.5)
 Fixed
 Employees work less than 10 days in a pay period
 Employees may not earn credit hours
 Employees may request or be assigned to a
compressed schedule.
On Call Provisions (18.11)
Standard Schedules
(Article 18.2)
Standard schedules are fixed schedules
Employee arrives and departs work at the same
time each day. 8 hours per day; 5 days per
Regularly schedule administrative workweek
(RSAW) is the officially prescribed days and
hours the employee is regularly scheduled to
work, including regularly scheduled overtime.
RSAW includes the base 8 hrs/day and any
regularly scheduled overtime
Tour of duty is the hours and days of an
employee’s RSAW
Under a standard schedule, RSAW and tour of
duty are synonymous
Flexible Work Schedules
(Article 18.3)
Variable Day –Employee may flex, but
must cover core hours on 5 days/week
and work 40 hours/week.
 Variable Week – Employee may flex
throughout pay period, but must cover
core hours on 5 days/week.
 Gliding – Employee works 8 hours per
day, but may vary their arrival and
departure times.
 Maxiflex – Employee may flex throughout
pay period and must cover core hours on
less than 10 days/PP.
Flexible Work Schedules
(Article 18.3)
 Basic
work requirement: Number of
base hours an employee is required
to work or account for with leave or
otherwise (for full time, this is 80).
 Basic work requirement replaces
RSAW under flexible schedule.
 There is no RSAW under a flexible
work schedule.
Flexible Work Schedules
(Article 18.3)
 Tour
of Duty means the limits within
which the employee must complete
their basic work requirement.
– Maxiflex: 5 am to 10 pm, Sunday
through Saturday
– Variable Day, Variable Week, and
Gliding: 5 am to 10 pm on 5
consecutive days of each week.
Flexible Work Schedules
(Article 18.3)
 Core
hours: Clock hours when an
employee is required to be at work
or otherwise account for their time
(e.g. present at work, approved
– Maxiflex: 10 am to 2 pm, 3 middle days
of the employee’s tour of duty
– Variable day/week: 10 am to 2 pm on
each day of the employee’s tour of duty
Maxiflex Summary
(More info)
Employee must be on duty between 3
and 3 ½ hours on three days a week
(depending on lunch break) – that’s 18
to 21 core hours per pay period
Employee may elect to work anytime
within the tour of duty limits to
complete their 80-hour basic work
requirement – these are flex hours
May flex core hours with supervisor’s
Sample Maxiflex Clock Hours
(more info)
Note: Only includes one week of pay period
Weds Thurs
Premium Pay Issues for FWS
(Article 18.4)
Overtime: Employees are not entitled to
overtime if they work more than 8 hours in
a day UNLESS the work is officially ordered
in advance.
Night Pay: Employees are only entitled if
their schedule requires them to work
evenings, not if they elect to do so.
Sunday: Management may prevent an
employee on a FWS from working base
hours on Sunday to prevent cost of Sunday
premium pay; however, such an employee
may elect to earn credit hours on a Sunday
Credit Hours
(Article 18.3.e)
Credit hours are hours that an employee elects
to work in excess of their basic work
Those hours an employee is directed by
management to work in excess of 8 hours per
day or 40 hours per week are overtime hours.
To earn credit hours, an employee must inform
supervisor in advance, including the work they
plan to perform and approximate time.
Supervisor may deny earning credit hours if
there’s no assigned work to do during that
Supervisor/employee may agree on ongoing
arrangements regarding earning credit hours.
Compressed Work Schedules
(Article 18.5)
Fixed schedule; Credit Hours cannot be
 Tour of duty is the hours and days an
employee is required to work.
 Hours will fall between 6 am and 6 pm.
 Approved schedules
– 4-10
– 5-4/9
Hardship provisions if being on a
compressed schedule creates a hardship
for an employee.
(Article 18.7)
 Employee’s
tour of duty will be
recorded in the Paycheck Header
under “Established Hours.”
– Standard Schedule: The hours and
days the employee works.
– Variable Day, Variable Week, Gliding:
5am -10pm on the 5 days each week
they are scheduled to work.
– Maxiflex: 5am-10pm, Sun.-Sat.
– Compressed: The hours and days the
employee works.
(Article 18.7)
New hires come in on standard schedule,
may request FWS or CWS.
 Employee may only be assigned to a FWS
upon request.
 Requests for AWS may be approved or
disapproved, not modified. If
disapproved, employee may request a
different AWS.
 An employee can be assigned to a CWS,
without requesting.
(Article 18.7)
 What
if special work requirements
require an employee on FWS to be
on duty outside of core hours?
– 18.7.h: Management may make shortterm changes in arrival/departure times
to meet work objectives.
 If
regular and recurring changes, the
parties should explore a different
Discontinuation of an AWS
(Article 18.7.g)
Management may discontinue the AWS for an
employee when they identify an adverse
impact to the Agency. 10 days advance notice
to employee and union is required.
Management will remove an employee from a
FWS within 10 days of an employee request
Employee returns to the default standard
work schedule (8 hours/day fixed).
Note: Generally, this means management
cannot move an employee from one type of
AWS to another, but an employee can
request to be assigned to a different AWS.
Local Authority to Negotiate
(more info)
 Local
parties may negotiate to
– Core hours and days (18.3.d.(4))
– Tour of duty limits (18.3.c.(4))
 Local
parties may not negotiate to:
– Establish a new kind of AWS
– Change an established AWS beyond its
definition in (18.3.b.(1) and 18.5.b)
– Terminate one of the approved AWS’s
for a unit.
Local Negotiations
(more info)
 Local
negotiations are appropriate to
meet work needs for a given unit
 Local parties can change tour of duty,
core day/hour defaults
 BUT Local negotiations cannot change
schedule beyond limits of definition
 Local parties are encouraged to seek
guidance from national parties
Rest and Meal Breaks
(Article 18.8 and 18.9)
Rest Breaks: Employees may have 15
minute breaks approximately halfway
through each 4 hour period, scheduled so as
not to interrupt the work of the organization.
 Meal Breaks:
– Minimum requirement of 30 minute for an
unpaid meal break on work days of more
than 6 hours.
– Employees who are required to work
through their meal period shall be
– Supervisors may approve deviations to
meal break on a case-by-case basis
(Article 18.11)
 Coverage
for call back to duty from
 Employees who are on-call may
make provisions for others to cover
their on-call period. Management
will provide list of individuals who
may cover.
 If employee is ill or has emergency,
management will find on-call
On Call
(Article 18.11)
 Employee
will not be required to report
to work in less than 1 hour. Longer
call-back time may be negotiated.
 Supervisor will notify employees of
their on-call periods at least 10 days in
advance, except in emergencies.
 Normally, employees will have 2 days
per PP when they are not on call.
 Employee shall not be on-call during
scheduled leave.
Pay and Per Diem
(Article 19)
 This
Article covers many issues
related to pay, travel, and related
– Timesheets and Statements of Earning
and Leave
– Per diem, travel cards and advances,
– Remote Worksites
– Hazard Pay
– Overtime and Compensatory Time
– Standby
Timesheet and Pay
(Article 19.2)
Employees required to submit accurate
and timely timesheet.
– Management will provide notice to employee
and supervisor if timesheet is missing.
– If employee provides T&A access to
management and employee is unable to
submit their T&A, management will submit a
“base 80” as soon as possible, if needed.
Provisions for receiving hardcopy SEL
under certain situations.
 Employees may use duty time to access
Per Diem
(Article 19.3)
Long Term Details – Terms of detail,
including lodging arrangements,
reductions in maximum per diem rate,
travel home during detail, etc. must be
documented in writing prior to detail.
 All travelers must have/use travel card
except certain exceptions (which includes
employees who travel less than 5
 Arrangements for travel advances.
Standby and Pay Status
(Article 19.7 and 19.8)
An employee is on standby when he/she:
– Is restricted to his or her living quarters
or designated post of duty,
– Has his or her activities substantially
limited, and
– Is required to remain in a state of
readiness to perform work.
 Employees will not be required to provide
coverage for call back to duty under
conditions more restrictive than those
provided for in Article 18.11 unless they
are in pay status.
Annual Leave
(Article 20.1)
Annual leave should be requested as far in
advance as possible and shall be approved
except for job-related reasons.
 Requests for leave for religious reasons
will be granted, unless the requesting
employee’s presence is necessary for
efficient operation of the workplace.
 Annual leave or LWOP will be granted in
case of death of family member.
 There is no prescribed method required
for requesting and scheduling annual
leave, and procedures are negotiable.
Annual Leave
(Article 20.1)
New Subsection 1.d: Up to three months
of LWOP and/or AL will be granted to
employees to care for a family member,
as defined in sick leave regs at 5 CFR
630.201, with a serious health condition,
as defined at 5 CFR 630.1202.
 Under FMLA, family members are limited
to spouse, parent, or child.
 This provision expands leave entitlements
(A/L and LWOP) to employees to take care
of other family members.
Family Member Definition
(5 CFR 630.201)
Spouse, and parents, thereof;
Sons and daughters, and spouses, thereof;
Parents, and spouses, thereof;
Brothers and sisters, and spouses thereof;
Grandparents and grandchildren, and spouses
Domestic partner and parents thereof, including
domestic partners of any individual in paragraphs
(2) through (5) of this definition; and
Any individual related by blood or affinity whose
close association with the employee is the
equivalent of a family relationship.
(Family members in yellow are covered by FMLA,
and annotations clarify there is no double-dipping)
Sick Leave
(Article 20.2)
Sick leave may be used for illness and medical
appointments of employee, to care for family
member, for adoption.
An explanatory note and/or oral report by the
employee when a physician’s services were not
required will be accepted unless the employee is
under valid sick leave restriction or there is
suspicion of abuse.
If there is reasonable indication of sick leave abuse,
supervisor will inform the employee in writing,
including special provisions for future leave approval
and the right to grieve the restriction.
Abuse of sick leave is not necessarily related to the
frequency of sick leave.
Other leave situations covered
(Article 20)
 Maternity/Paternity
 Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
 Military Leave
 Excused Absence (Administrative
 Care-Center Visitations
 Leave Without Pay
 Court Leave
 Holiday Leave
Maternity & Paternity Leave
(Article 20.3)
Complex set of situations and entitlements
 Pregnancy & childbirth are “serious health
conditions, per 5 CFR 630.1202.”
– Pregnant or postpartum employee is entitled to
sick leave per 20.2.b and FMLA leave per
– Employee caring for his or her spouse is
entitled to sick leave per 20.2.(e) and FMLA
leave per 20.4.b.(3).
– Employee caring for his or her domestic
partner is entitled to sick leave per 20.2.(e)
and AL and/or LWOP per 20.1.d.
Sick leave, annual leave, and/or LWOP
may be used for adoption or foster care.
Unacceptable Performance
(Article 21)
Unacceptable performance should be
addressed in writing as soon as supervisor
is aware of the problem.
 Prior to initiating an action to remove or
downgrade an employee, the employee
must be put in a “performance
improvement period” (PIP) for at least 60
Unacceptable Performance
(Article 21)
Final decision notice must include right to
appeal the action at the MSPB or through
the negotiated grievance procedure.
 During PIP, performance will be
reevaluated regularly.
 If performance has not reached the
minimally successful level at end of PIP,
Management may reassign, demote, or
remove the employee.
 For demotion or removal, employee must
be given 30 days advance written notice
of proposed action.
 Employee will be given chance to respond
before final decision is made.
Dealing With Unacceptable Performance
(Article 21.1)
 Rating
official is responsible for
identifying and communicating
performance deficiencies when they are
identified anytime during the rating
 Rating officials shall consider
appropriate action to correct the
employee’s conduct, in accordance with
Article 22, if misconduct is contributing
to the performance issue.
Opportunity Periods
(Article 21.2)
Time for an employee to improve
performance and work on portions of job
that are unacceptable.
 Normally, at least 60 days, but may be
longer depending on the nature of work and
the deficiencies.
 Normally within 14 days of the end of the
Opportunity Period employee will be notified
in writing whether their performance has
improved to fully successful level.
Performance Improvement Plans
(Article 21.3)
 If
deficient performance is in a critical
performance element, a PIP will be
required, including:
– Length of opportunity period
– Elements and deficiencies
– Actions required to improve
– Management assistance
– Consequences of failure
– Referral to EAP
Performance Improvement Plans
(Article 21.3(b))
 Rating
official will meet with the
employee regularly to reevaluate
performance and to council employee
on how to improve
 Employee may have Union
representation during PIP meetings
upon request. However, the Union
representative should not be disruptive
during the meeting. (See annotations)
Adverse Action
(Article 21.4)
 If
employee’s performance is still
unacceptable after the end of the
opportunity period, management may
take action to demote or remove the
 Procedures are identified in Article 21.
Discipline and Adverse Actions
(Article 22)
Objective of disciplinary measures are to correct
behavior and prevent the recurrence of
Encourage early resolution of conduct and
performance problems.
Cautionary Situations: Letters of warning (any
letter that addresses a performance or conduct
problem with the exception of letters of reprimand)
will state the specific reasons for the letter and the
employee’s grievance rights. They remain in effect
no longer than one year. Original is given to the
employee. Cautionary letters do not go in the
Discipline and Adverse Actions
(Article 22)
Use of alternative discipline, in accordance with USDA
policy (not appropriate when decision is to remove
An inquiry is the initial phase of an investigation. The
employee may be represented by the Union per
Article 4.3.
Investigations, if warranted, will be in accordance
with the standards set forth in USDA Department
Manual Chapter 751, Subchapter 3, which require
that they be performed by authorized investigators.
Disciplinary actions against employees must be based
on just cause, consistent with applicable laws and
regulations, and fair and equitable.
Disciplinary Procedures
(Article 22)
 Before
deciding on a particular
penalty, agency officials should
consider all the pertinent factors as
described in USDA Department
Personnel Manual 751, Appendix A.
 MA provides specific procedures for
– letters of reprimand,
– actions less than or equal to a 14-day
– actions greater than 14-day suspension,
demotion (Adverse action)
Permanent Seasonal Employment
(Article 23)
Permanent Seasonal Agreement must be signed
prior to initial appointment. Copy given to
employee and kept in OPF. (Template in
Appendix G)
Management will notify employees of recall and
release dates 2 pay periods in advance.
Release and recall procedures will be established
in advance and uniformly applied. Procedures
are negotiable Locally.
Management will determine the length of the
season, subject to the condition that it be clearly
tied to the nature of the work.
Permanent Seasonal Employment
(Article 23)
Changes to terms of employment must be
given to employee and union. Permanent
changes require a new agreement.
 Employee is not obligated to work beyond
the minimum guaranteed tour; by mutual
agreement, the season may be extended.
 Upon request, guaranteed minimum will be
reviewed to see if it should be increased.
 RIF or other negotiated procedure must be
used to permanently reduce an employee’s
minimum tour.
Temporary/Term Employment
(Article 24)
 Temporary
employees whose
appointment was competitive will be
eligible for rehire without further
competition. Eligibility lasts for 3
 Prior to separation, temps will be
given the best available information
prior regarding opportunities for
rehire with that unit the following
Temporary/Term Employment
(Article 24)
Temporaries hired for 90 days or more
shall be given a performance appraisal.
 Within 30 days of hire, the employee will
receive written notice of their approximate
length of employment.
 Whenever possible, temp employees will
be given a minimum of 2 week’s notice
prior to termination at end of season.
 Sec. 15 and 16 provide procedures for
discipline or performance issues, including
requesting reconsideration.
Equal Employment Opportunity
(Article 25)
 Parties
will cooperate in providing
equal opportunity for all employees in
FS and Union programs.
 At least one Union rep on Civil Rights
 Pre-decisional involvement where
there is no Civil Rights committee
 Post EEO Counselor contact at all duty
stations and on the internet.
 Employees may be recognized for
accomplishments in the EEO area.
Equal Employment Opportunity
(Article 25)
 Union
will be notified of ADR
sessions. Union may attend as a
formal discussion, wherein they are
representing the bargaining unit.
 Union may also attend ADR sessions
as a representative of an employee.
 When EEO resolutions impact the
bargaining unit, management must
notify the union and negotiate as
Employee Assistance Program
(Article 26)
 Forest
Service will maintain an
Employee Assistance Program
 Employee
participation is voluntary
 Management
shall publicize the EAP
 Alcoholism,
drug dependencies, and
mental illness are recognized as
illness and should be given the same
consideration as employees with
other illnesses
Employee Assistance Program
(Article 26)
Management will attempt to assist employees to
overcome problems that contribute to poor
performance or conduct.
Supervisors will discuss job performance difficulties
with employees. Supervisor may refer employee
to EAP, if the employee seems unable to correct
own job performance difficulties.
Focus of corrective discussion is restricted to jobrelated performance and conduct.
Disciplinary action may be held in abeyance if
employee enters rehab program, is making
progress, and allows counselor to report
attendance to the management.
Employee Assistance Program
(Article 26)
 Sick
leave may be used for counseling
sessions, after initial evaluation/
discussions with EAP counselor.
 Supervisors shall consider the
guidance of the referral sources in
establishing reasonable expectations
for an employee’s recovery time
 Medical history records are
Safety and Health
(Article 27)
Parties will jointly develop a workplace security
plan addressing emergency plans, security of
buildings, workplace violence, and continuation of
Union will be notified of annual inspections at least
14 days in advance and be given opportunity to
accompany inspector.
Parties may negotiate Safety and Health programs,
including health services, preventive medicine,
smoking policies, and wellness programs. If Local
parties are unable to agree on Wellness program,
default is 3 hours of admin leave per week if
workload permits.
Safety and Health
(Article 27)
Parties may establish, through negotiations,
Safety and Health committees.
 Management will provide safe and sanitary
working conditions and equipment
 Management will provide necessary safety
equipment or supplies as defined in Job
Hazard Analysis (JHA) or FSH 6109.11,70,
72-Exhibit-01. Types are Locally negotiable.
 Equipment will be replaced when no longer
acceptable for intended purpose.
Safety and Health
(Article 27)
JHA will be reviewed at least annually.
 Management will, to the extent feasible,
eliminate safety and health hazards. The
parties will jointly develop an abatement
schedule if hazards cannot readily be
 If an employee feels conditions are so
severe that short-term exposure is
detrimental to health, (s)he will report it to
supervisor. Supervisor shall inspect the
work area to ensure it is safe and take
appropriate actions.
Safety and Health
(Article 27)
Other provisions
– Employee hazmat training
– Right to Know
– On the job injury or illness
– Video display terminals
– Bloodborne pathogens
– Safety training
– Law enforcement
– Serious accident and illness notifications
– Union safety and health representative
– Work Unit Safety Meetings
Fire and Other Incidents
(Article 28)
Zero tolerance for carelessness and unsafe
 Parties agree to support the firefighting
 Union right to represent bargaining unit
employees at all incident camps.
 Grievance timeline for complaints begins
the day after the employee returns to
his/her official duty station.
 Management will not restrict employees to
facilities while in a nonpay status.
Incident Work Schedules
(Article 28.4)
A first 8-, 9-, or 10-hour tour, shall be
used on the second day of an incident if
necessary to deviate from an employee’s
established tour.
 Initial attack hours worked after midnight
until the individual’s regularly scheduled
tour of duty begins will be considered
 When a crew is spiked out on an
assignment without a sleeping bag or
food, they will be compensated for their
nonwork breaks.
Hazard Pay
(Article 28.5 through 28.7)
 Hazard
Pay may be paid for:
– Prescribed burn goes out of control
– Members of a firefighting crew, including:
 Employees assigned to the fireline for the
 Technical or resource specialists who are
advising on the line location, rehabilitation,
or other resource work, if they are assigned
to the fireline as their primarily work area for
the shift
– Helicopter flying at low elevations
Work Capacity Test
(Article 28.8)
Administered in accordance with Wildland
Fire Qualification Implementation Guide.
 Normally 4 weeks notice prior to test.
 In case of failure, 48 hours rest prior to
 In case of injury, up to 4 weeks prep after
recovery from injury prior to retest.
 Health Screening Questionnaires and SF-78s
will be kept in employee medical folder.
 Cost of medical exams required by Agency
shall be paid for by Agency.
Miscellaneous Incident Provisions
(Article 28.10 through 28.12)
Agency employees will be provided with
appropriate risk mitigation needed for the
all-hazard environment.
 Employees in all-hazard response will be
managed by Agency leader/liaison or
interagency incident management team.
 Fire managers should use family-friendly
policies to assure safety and flexibility for
employees with family responsibilities.
 Agency will reimburse one-half the cost
for personal liability insurance for
temporary fireline managers.
Employee Training
(Article 30)
Management has responsibility to
implement Individual Development Plan
for each employee, which identifies
present and future organizational training
 Employee and supervisor should work
together to identify long-range career
 Management will consider reimbursing
expenses for work-related courses the
employee takes on their own time.
Labor-Management Training
(Article 31)
 Describes
appropriate types of training.
 Union will provide list of training courses,
dates, and locations each year in January.
 Each Local must provide management
with an annual training plan.
 Union official must request release 30
days prior to the training.
 Union at each unit has bank of hours to
use for training.
 Travel expenses are authorized.
Workforce Restructuring
(Article 32)
Workforce Restructuring and Placement
System (WRAPS) is a process for placing
employees who have been displaced due
to the abolishment of a position in their
same competitive area and competitive
 National database developed for matching
displaced employee with vacancies
 Local pre-WRAPS activities must conform
to national guidance (see Annotations).
Downsizing, Transfer, Layoff
(Articles 33, 34, 35)
These processes primarily follow OPM
 Procedures and appropriate arrangements
are negotiable.
Article 33 – Furloughs for lack of work,
lack of funds
 Article 34 – Transfer of function
 Article 35 – Reduction in force
Unemployment Compensation
(Article 36)
Employees will not be called back to avoid
unemployment costs
 Annually, temp and seasonal employees will
be given information about state
unemployment compensation
 For permanent seasonal employees who
accept government work outside of the
commuting area, travel and per diem will be
paid in accordance with Travel Regs.
 FS will not appeal unemployment benefits if
an employee refuses work outside of the
commuting area
 Management will provide affected employees
with appropriate forms and information
Volunteers and Contracting Work Out
(Articles 37 and 38)
Volunteers and enrollees will not displace
employees and will not supervise
 Impacts of use of volunteers may be
 Management will notify and provide Union
an opportunity for pre-decisional
involvement related to contracting work
out and negotiate as appropriate.
 Management agrees to provide union with
all releasable information.
Voluntary Allotment of Union Dues
(Article 39)
read Appendix B.
 Permanent seasonal employees who
are union members shall have dues
reinstated when they return to duty.
 Temporary employees must submit a
new SF-1187 form upon rehire.
 Employees temporarily removed from
BU shall have dues reinstated upon
Voluntary Allotment of Union Dues
(Article 39)
 If
dues are incorrectly discontinued,
employee or Union may open case with
 Employees who change units are
responsible for completing form (AD356) for transferring Local membership.
 Appendix B: Members may discontinue
dues after 1 year of membership, and if
their SF-1188 form has been received
prior to August 1 each year thereafter.
Pilot/Demonstration Projects
(Article 40)
 Management
will notify Union per
Article 11 when implementing pilot
or demonstration projects which
waive or change existing law, rule,
regulation, or policy affecting
working conditions.
Civilian Conservation Corps
(Article 41)
 Reminder
that CCC employees are
government employees governed by
the MA and OPM regulations.
 Change to DOL’s Policy and
Requirements Handbook must be
negotiated before implementation.
 Union will receive copy of USDA-DOL
Interagency Agreement.
 Section addressing special safety
Personal Hardship
(Article 42)
Hardships are situations outside of the
employee’s reasonable ability to control that
affect the health and welfare of the employee or
his/her family.
Reasonable accommodation of employees with
disabilities are NOT processed under this Article.
Employee may request hardship consideration in
writing, including the nature of the hardship and
the accommodation requested.
Management will notify the employee no later
than 28 days whether they believe a hardship
exists and what can be done to accommodate the
Drug & Alcohol Testing Programs
(Article 43)
Replaces all former MOUs on this subject.
 Two programs provide for drug testing:
– Department of Transportation (DOT)
Regulations for employees with CDLs
 Random
 Reasonable Suspicion
 Post Accident
– Executive Order (EO) 12564
 Random
Testing of employees in Test
Designated Positions
 Testing of all employees post-accident and
for reasonable suspicion of drug use.
Test Designated Positions (TDPs)
(Article 43.1 and 43.2)
TDPs are subject to random drug testing
 All TDPs MUST have duties in PD that
make the position subject to testing.
– EO positions may be test designated through
Appendix A of DR 4430-792-2
– DOT testing applies to positions that require a
commercial drivers license.
30 day notice prior to random testing if
position is changed to a TDP.
 Annual review of TDP status. Employees
may grieve TDP status.
 TDP status in vacancy announcements.
Training and Self Identification
(Article 43)
Training for all employees on Drug Free
Workplace Program. Additional training
for employees in TDPs and supervisors.
 Self identification – Employees who are
impaired from performing safety sensitive
duties may self-identify prior to
performing such duties.
– Example: Employee took a codeine cough
medicine expecting to be working in the office
all day and not performing safety sensitive
duties. Supervisor then asks her to drive to a
district office for official business. Employee
may self-disclose their impairment.
Safe Harbor
(Article 43.4(b))
EO 12564 mandates disciplinary action
shall be initiated for illegal drug use by
any employee except when an employee
self identifies and seeks “safe harbor.”
 Employees must seek “safe harbor” prior
to being directed to submit to a drug test.
(Simply put: Once you are told to pee in
a cup, your chances for safe harbor are
 After requesting safe harbor, employees
must obtain counseling and refrain from
further drug use.
Reasonable Suspicion Testing
(Article 43.5 )
 Under
EO, ALL employees are subject
for on-duty illegal drug use/
 EO based TDPs are subject to testing
for illegal drug use on OR off duty.
 DOT based TDPs are subject to testing
for any impairment before, during, after
performing safety sensitive duties.
 Before testing, the employee is
informed of the reasons and provided
copies of documentation and approval
to test.
Post Accident and Random
(Article 43.7 and 43.7)
 Post-Accident
– Applies to all employees if they meet EO
– DOT criteria apply to drivers operating
commercial motor vehicle.
 Random
– Employee in TDP that is subject to both
EO & DOT will be tested only under DOT
– Scheduling through supervisor.
– Deferred if on leave, travel, etc. but
employee becomes subject to
unannounced test within 60 days.
Testing Provisions
(Article 43.8 through 43.11)
 Testing
on official time/travel
 Test by urinalysis only, in private
(except in certain instances).
 Split samples for all tests. Employee
may also request a 2nd sample.
 Employee provided negotiated
“Checklist” prior to test.
 Employees need not disclose
legitimate drug use until called by
medical review officer following a
positive test.
Response to Positive Test
(Article 43.12)
Review any positive test, consider
employee’s explanation, and accuracy of the
lab procedures prior to taking any action
 Employee will be referred to Employee
Assistance Program
 Initiate action for removal any employee
who is found to use illegal drugs and:
– Refuses to obtain counseling or rehabilitation
through EAP or
– Does not thereafter refrain from illegal drug use.
Note: USDA also requires removal action to
be initiated for a refusal to test.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
(Article 44)
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
includes informal consultation, group
intervention, mediation, facilitation, etc.
 Parties may use any method they agree to.
 When ADR is used, the neutral party will
report what technique was used and
whether successful or not.
 Mediators must meet USDA requirements.
 Appendix E template is mandatory for ADR
settlement of grievances.
 Use of ADR does not extend timelines.
Duration and Extent
(Article 45)
 Duration
of 3 years, starting
October 25, 2010.
 MA will be extended until the
effective date of a new Agreement.
 During term, MA may only be
opened by mutual agreement or
when necessitated by statutory
More Information
 Labor
Relations web site:
 Forest
Service Council Website:
Union Contacts -- Local
Management Contacts
Branch Chief, ELR Policy – Karen Stanton
(505) 563-9781,
 LR/ER Specialist – Insert Name(s)
 Supervisory ER/LR Specialist – Insert
 Human Resources Officer – Insert Name
 Labor Relations Website: