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									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

A  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, non-
  managerial 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

     Name and Local # (See
 Unit
 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)

 Allemployees 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)

         Weingarten              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
representation              Union is representing

Union is largely there as   bargaining unit
representative of
              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.                         30
     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 service-
  wide 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 interest-
  based 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.   43
                  (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

              30                        30                 28
     Event               Step 1                 Step 2           Arbitration
             days                      days               days
                         30 days                30 days

Article 9                                                                49
       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)

 Article10 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
                        Union                Management
Local           Local President;         Per FSM 6100
                w/cc to Council VP       w/cc to LMR staff
Intermediate    Council VP               Per FSM 6100
                w/cc to FSC              w/cc to LMR staff
                Negotiations Chair
National        FSC President;           Per FSM 6100;
                w/cc to FSC              w/cc to LMR staff
                Negotiations Chair
 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 pre-
 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)

 EmployeeRequest: 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
   requirements)                                 72
 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 12-
  month 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       Awards
  – 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   Awards
  – 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
            5                       $25.00
            10                     $ 50.00
            15                     $ 75.00
            20                     $100.00
            25                     $125.00
            30                     $150.00
            35                     $175.00
            40                     $200.00
            45                     $225.00
            50                     $250.00
                 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)
        Fixedschedule
        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

        Sun     Mon     Tues    Weds Thurs      Fri     Sat     Week
From             8:00    7:30    8:30    6:30
To              12:00   11:30   12:30   11:30
From            12:30   12:30   13:00   12:00
To              17:00   15:30   17:00   17:30
From                            18:30
To                              21:00

Hours    0.00    8.50    7.00   10.50   10.50    0.00    0.00   36.50

      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.                         98
                (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 short-
    term changes in arrival/departure times
    to meet work objectives.
 Ifregular 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)

      parties may negotiate to
 Local
  – 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)

 ThisArticle 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                                107
           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.                               110
             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 Leave
 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.       116
     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)

 Ifdeficient 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)

 Ifemployee’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)               126
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)

       Service will maintain an
 Forest
 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 job-
    related 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)

 MUST   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)

 Ifdues are incorrectly discontinued,
  employee or Union may open case with
 Employees who change units are
  responsible for completing form (AD-
  356) 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   Testing
       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   testing
  – Applies to all employees if they meet EO
  – DOT criteria apply to drivers operating
    commercial motor vehicle.
 Random   testing
  – 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.                        162
         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:


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