"Re Part-time positions within Passport Services"
LOCAL 1998 National Federation of Federal Employees International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers, AFL-CIO Alex Allen President, NFFE-IAMAW Local 1998 Phone # (504) 412-2673 Grievance Between the Parties June 21, 2002 To: Georgia Roger, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Passport Services Re: Part-time positions within Passport Services In accordance with Article 20, Section 8 of the Agreement Between Passport Services and the National Federation of Federal Employees – Local 1998 (hereafter referred to as “the Agreement”), I am filing this formal Grievance Between the Parties on behalf of the bargaining unit employees of Passport Services regarding the change in the Part-time Program. The Union believes that Article 12, Section 2a and Article 26, Section 4e of the Agreement have been violated. Violations Alleged by the Union: Article 12, Section 2a of the Agreement states: The Employer agrees to give reasonable advance written notice to the Union and the opportunity to negotiate any new or change in personnel policy or practice affecting working conditions of unit employees, which is proposed during the life of the Agreement. Negotiation as appropriate on issues which are Management rights will also be handled in accordance with this Article. Article 26, Section 4e of the Agreement states: Part Time and Job Sharing: Part time work and Job Sharing are part of the State Department Alternate Work Schedules. The Parties recognize that due to funding and resource limitations, the availability of these alternate work plans is limited. The Employer agrees to notify the Union if and when resources will allow more employees to participate in these plans. (emphasis added) Facts of the case: On May 24, 2002 bargaining unit employees in the Seattle Passport Agency were informed that new programs were available for part time employment (see attached email dated May 24, 2002). The Union was never notified in advance of these changes, which is a clear violation of the two references above. Bargaining unit employees in Seattle and other offices have expressed interest in Part-time employment in the past. Requested Relief: • Management agrees to comply with the Agreement in the future regarding advance notice on changes in working conditions. • Management to now formally notify the Union of the changes in the Part-time program. • Management agrees to comply with the attached information request in a timely fashion. • Management agrees to negotiate as appropriate and in good faith on possible proposals made by Union on procedures by which employees may be converted to Part-time status. Time Frames: The Agreement requires that Management respond within 10 days of this Grievance. However, considering the efforts going on at this time regarding the proposed changes in the adjudication performance standards and other issues, the Union is extending that timeframe to 30 days. Please let me know if you need more time than that. Conclusion: I would like to point out that, based on the research we have done so far, the Union believes that it may make proposals regarding the procedures by which employees may be converted to Part-time employment (see 31 FLRA 181 and 38 FLRA 23). Since the procedures by which employees may be converted to Part-time was not the subject of negotiations for the current Agreement, and thus not excluded from mid-term bargaining by the “zipper clause” (Article 12, Section 4), then either Party may make proposals on this subject. If this turns out to not be the case, then the Union still feels that it may request negotiations as appropriate under Article 12, Section 2a after being notified of the change in working conditions. Once we receive formal notification of the change, I expect that we would request negotiations on this matter. I expect that negotiations could be held after the performance standards issues are resolved or January 2003 (whichever is earliest), and could probably be conducted by email and conference calls. This would also allow the Union enough time to evaluate the Part-time program and the changes made to it, contact employees who have input on the issue, and to develop proposals on the procedures to convert employees to Part-time. I understand that changes made in matters such as the Part-time program often occur outside of the sphere of your office, and that at times (such as the Security Awareness Element) the Management of Passport Services is not notified in advance of such changes as well as the Union representing the employees of Passport Services. We would like to work with you on this issue to arrive at procedures that will be clearly and widely understood and as fair as possible. Thank you, Alex Allen