Description: U.S.Fish and Wildlife Service  227 FW 1, Labor-Management Relations  


FWM#:      067 (new)
Date:         February 13, 1993
Series:       Personnel
Part 227:   Personnel Relations and Services
Originating Office:  Division of Personnel Management  


1.1 Purpose. The purpose of this chapter is to define policies, procedures, and responsibilities for the conduct of labor-management relations within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service).

1.2 Scope. The provisions of this chapter apply to all managers, supervisors, and employees of the Service.

1.3 Policy. It is the policy of the Service to support the Federal labor-management relations philosophy that encourages a bilateral relationship between management and the exclusive representatives of Service employees. The primary concerns of this relationship are the efficiency of Service operations and the well-being of Service employees. Labor-management relations in the Service will, therefore, seek to foster improvements in overall Service efficiency, equity in employment practices, and effectiveness in employee performance and productivity.

1.4 Objectives. The Service's labor-management relations program is designed to:

A. Enhance Service efficiency and promote employee well-being by providing employees an opportunity, through their union, to participate in the formulation and implementation of personnel policies and practices that affect them.

B. Promote effective labor-management relations through a clear statement of the respective rights and obligations of management and unions.

C. Establish policies and procedures to assist management in all dealings with employees through their unions.

1.5 Authorities. This chapter is issued in accordance with the following authorities:

A. Title VII, Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (Public Law 95-454, 92 Stat. 1111, 5. U.S.C. Chapter 71).

B. Federal Personnel Manual (FPM) 711.

C. 370 Departmental Manual (DM) 711.

D. 242 DM Chapter 2, General Administrative Delegation, Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

1.6 Definitions.

A. Act. Refers to the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, Title VII, Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (Public Law 95-454).

B. Bargaining Level Authority. The Service Director or Regional Directors through whom management authorities are authorized in accordance with Service and Departmental policy.

C. Collective Bargaining. The performance of the mutual obligation of the representative of an agency and the union of an appropriate unit in the agency to meet at reasonable times, and to consult and bargain in a good-faith effort to reach agreement with respect to the conditions of employment affecting such employees. This includes the need to execute, if requested by either party, a written document incorporating any collective bargaining agreement reached. The obligation referred to in this paragraph does not compel either party to agree to a proposal or to make a concession.

D. Basic Agreement. The basic written agreement, amendments, revisions, and supplements entered into as a result of collective bargaining.

(1) Amendments or Revisions. Written negotiated agreements that modify in part, or wholly change, the terms of the basic agreement.

(2) Supplements. Written negotiated agreements that supplement the basic agreement.

E. Conditions of Employment. Personnel policies, practices, and matters, whether established by rule, regulation, or otherwise that affect working conditions. Conditions of employment do not include policies, practices, and matters relating to:

(1) Political activities prohibited under subchapter III of Chapter 73, 5 U.S.C.;

(2) The classification of any position; or

(3) Conditions specifically provided for by Federal statute.

F. Confidential Employee. An employee who acts in a confidential capacity with respect to an individual who formulates or effectuates policies in the field of labor- management relations.

G. Dues. Dues, fees, and assessments to the union.

H. Employee. An individual employed in an agency but does not include a supervisor or management official.

I. Labor Organization (Union). An organization composed in whole or in part of employees, in which employees participate and pay dues, and that has as a purpose the dealing with an agency concerning grievances and conditions of employment.

J. Local Level. The level at which exclusive recognition is granted to a union to represent a defined and approved bargaining unit and the level where bilateral agreements are made in the interests of the bargaining unit. K. Management Official. An individual employed by an agency in a position the duties and responsibilities of which require or authorize the individual to formulate, determine, or influence the policies of the agency.

K.  Management Official.  An individual employed by an agency in a position the duties and responsibilities of which require or authorize the individual to formulate, determine, or influence the policies of  the agency.

L. Professional Employee.

(1) An employee engaged in the performance of work with the following attributes:

(a) Requires knowledge of an advanced type in a field of science or learning customarily acquired by a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction and study in an institution of higher learning or a hospital (as distinguished from knowledge acquired by a general academic education, or from an apprenticeship, or from training in the performance of routine, mental, manual, mechanical, or physical activities);

(b) Requires the consistent exercise of discretion and judgment in its performance;

(c) Is predominantly intellectual and varied in character (as distinguished from routine, mental, manual, mechanical, or physical work); and

(d) Is of such character that the output produced or the result accomplished by such work cannot be standardized in relation to a given period of time; or

(2) An employee who has completed the courses of specialized intellectual instruction and study described above in 1.6L(1)(a) and is performing related work under appropriate direction or guidance to qualify the employee as a professional employee described in 1.6L(1).

M. Service Sheet. A written statement showing who was served, a brief description of how the sheet was served, and the date.

N. Supervisor.

(1) 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, if the exercise of the authority is not merely routine or clerical in nature but requires the consistent exercise of independent judgment.

(2) With respect to any unit that includes firefighters or nurses, the term "supervisor" includes only those individuals who devote a preponderance of their employment time to exercising the authority in 1.6N(1).

O. Third Parties. Where short references are used:

(1) Authority means the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA);

(2) Panel means the Federal Service Impasses Panel (FSIP); and

(3) FMCS means the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.

P. Unfair Labor Practice. An unfair labor practice (ULP) is a violation (by management or the union) of the Federal Labor- Management Relations Statute and is described in detail in Section 7116 of the Statute.

1.7 Responsibilities.

A. The Director derives the basic authority and responsibility to conduct labor-management relations from the delegation of authority for personnel management outlined in 242 DM 2.1 and in 370 DM 711.

B. The Assistant Director - Policy, Budget and Administration provides overall direction to the administration of the labor- management relations program in the Service and ensures full management commitment to the goals and objectives of the program.

C. Regional Directors are responsible for the implementation of the labor-management relations program within their respective Regions in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

D. Chief, Division of Personnel Management (DPM).

(1) Represents the Service with the Department, with headquarters offices of national and international unions, with the Authority, the Panel, the FMCS, the Office of Personnel Management, and other Federal or non-Federal agencies, and associations or organizations;

(2) Provides guidance and direction to the Regions, including participation when necessary, in any phase of Regional activities dealing with labor-management relations;

(3) Establishes Service labor-management program standards and conducts periodic evaluations to identify and correct program deficiencies;

(4) Establishes procedures to ensure the prompt receipt of information, reports, and correspondence on significant labor- management issues requiring the attention of the Service and/or Department;

(5) Approves supplements to basic labor-management agreements; and

(6) Serves as principal advisor on all labor-management relations matters to managers and supervisors located in Headquarters.

E. Regional Personnel Officers serve as principal advisors on all labor-management relations matters to the Regional Directors and managers and supervisors located within the geographic boundaries of their Regions. Region 8 managers and supervisors will receive labor-management relations assistance from the personnel office that services the geographic area in which they are located.

F. Supervisors and Managers.

(1) Ensure that employees are aware of Service policies regarding relationships with unions;

(2) Ensure that the rights of employees and of unions are not violated;

(3) Consult and negotiate with recognized unions as required;

(4) Avail themselves of the consultation and advisory services of the Regional Personnel Office or of DPM, as appropriate, in their dealings with unions; and

(5) Inform the Chief, DPM, or appropriate Regional Personnel Officer, of any situation or condition that might adversely affect labor-management relationships.

1.8 Employee Participation in Union Activities.

A. Each employee has the right to form, join, or assist any union, or to refrain from any such activity, freely and without fear of penalty or reprisal, and each employee is protected in the exercise of such right. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, this right includes the right to:

(1) Act for a union in the capacity of a representative and the right, in that capacity, to present the views of the union to the Service, the Department, and other officials of the executive branch of the Government, the Congress, or other appropriate authorities; and

(2) Engage in collective bargaining with respect to conditions of employment through representatives chosen by employees.

B. Employees and recognized unions will not call or engage in a strike, work stoppage or slowdown, or unlawfully picket any activity of the Service in a labor-management dispute, or condone any such activity by failing to take affirmative action to prevent or stop it.

C. The right to join a lawful union extends to all employees, but participation in the management or acting as a representative of a labor union does not extend to management officials or supervisors, personnel officers and specialists, confidential employees, or any employee whose union activity would result in a conflict (or appearance of conflict) of interest or otherwise would be incompatible with his/her official duties.

1.9 Recognition of Unions.

A. Organizing Campaigns. The organizing campaign is the first step in the recognition process that may result in certification of a union as an exclusive representative of Service employees. Organizing campaigns should be conducted in a manner that is orderly and which does not disrupt Service operations. Employee contacts with union representatives will be limited to off-duty hours (e.g., before and after duty hours and during lunch break). Union representatives should be allowed access to Service employees during these time periods. Such access should be sufficient for the opportunity to contact Service employees who may be eligible to vote in an election for bargaining unit status. All contacts with unions relating to organizing campaigns should be immediately reported to the Regional Personnel Office or DPM, as appropriate. In addition, copies of all correspondence relating to organizing campaigns will be provided promptly to DPM by the Regional Personnel Officer.

B. Showing of Interest. The goal of the union's organizing campaign is to obtain a 30 percent showing of interest in being represented by the union on the part of employees in an appropriate bargaining unit. At least 30 percent of the employees in a bargaining unit must show interest before a petition for exclusive recognition can be filed with the appropriate regional director of the Authority. The union seeking exclusive recognition must also file a roster of its officers and representatives, a copy of its constitution and bylaws, and a statement of its objectives with the appropriate Regional Personnel Officer (or the Chief, DPM, in the case of Headquarters employees). The Regional Personnel Officer or the Chief, DPM, may challenge the validity of the union's showing of interest if there is reasonable doubt whether the required percentage of employee interest has been attained. All challenges will be coordinated with the Chief, DPM, prior to filing them with the Authority.

C. Posting of Notices. If the Authority accepts the union's petition for exclusive recognition, the activity will be required to post a notice to all employees that includes the name of the petitioner and the proposed bargaining unit. The posting period for the notice is ten days. At the same time, the Regional Personnel Office or DPM, as appropriate, will furnish the Authority with an alphabetized list of named employees included in the proposed unit and an alphabetized list of named employees excluded from the unit.

D. Appropriateness of Bargaining Units. Regional Personnel Officers, the Chief, DPM, or designee should contact the union as soon as possible after the end of the posting period to secure agreement on an appropriate unit. An appropriate bargaining unit should ensure a clear and identifiable community of interest among the employees in the unit, must promote effective dealings with Service management, and ensure efficiency. All management determinations of the appropriateness of a bargaining unit will be made in consultation with DPM. The Authority can elect to hold a hearing on the determination of the appropriateness of a bargaining unit, in which case, the Chief, DPM, will determine who will represent the Service at the hearing.

E.Conduct of Elections. Once the appropriateness of the proposed bargaining unit has been determined and election procedures have been agreed upon by the parties, the Authority will conduct or supervise the conduct of the election by the activity. In all cases, the Regional Personnel Officer or the Chief, DPM, will ensure that an observer is present at the election. The DPM must be contacted by telephone immediately and the details of the matter confirmed in writing after the tally of ballots when any of the following situations occur:

(1) The percentage of the votes, in comparison to eligible voters, appears to be too small;

(2) There appear to be irregularities in the tally of ballots;

(3) The management observer believes the election was not representative or was improperly conducted (e.g., improper conduct during preelection campaigning or actual voting by representatives of intervening union(s), the incumbent union, or any party that could influence the outcome of an election).

F. Getting Out the Vote. Representative elections are decided on the basis of the majority of all votes cast. Therefore, it is important that all employees understand the importance of voting in the election. The Regional Personnel Officer or the Chief, DPM, as appropriate, will post a letter on all activity bulletin boards that encourages employees to exercise their right to vote. (Exhibit 1 contains a sample letter).

G. Certification of Representative. A union that receives a majority of the votes cast in an election is certified by the Authority as the exclusive representative of the employees of the bargaining unit. Once a union is so certified, management is required to meet and confer in good faith with that organization on matters affecting personnel policies, practices, and procedures that impact on conditions of employment. The union has the right, as well as the obligation, to speak and act for all employees in the bargaining unit without discrimination or regard to union membership.

1.10 Obligation to Negotiate (Meet and Confer).

A. Management has an obligation to negotiate with the union on matters that affect conditions of employment. Negotiation provides employees a greater opportunity to participate, through their union, in the formulation and implementation of policies that affect their working conditions. Management may fulfill its obligation to negotiate by advance notice (oral, written, or both) to the union of proposed changes in personnel policies or working conditions. Actual negotiations may be required if the union submits proposals to negotiate on the impact and implementation of the changes.

(1) Formal Discussions. Management must give the union an opportunity to be represented at formal discussions between management and employees in the bargaining unit concerning grievances, personnel policies, practices, or other matters affecting general working conditions.

(2) Communications with Special Organizations. The exclusive recognition of unions does not affect the special relationships of veterans, religious, social, fraternal, professional, or other lawful organizations with management officials in the Service. However, consultations with these organizations should not be on matters of general labor management policy and should be limited to matters within the direct interest of the members of the organizations. When the nature of meetings can be construed to impact on bargaining unit concerns, it is appropriate to give the union the opportunity to be present at these discussions.

B. National Consultation Rights. A union that applies for and qualifies under the Authority's criteria for National Consultation Rights (NCR) will be granted such recognition by the Service. The organization that has been accorded NCR will be informed in writing of any proposed, substantive, Servicewide change in conditions of employment and permitted a reasonable time to present its views and recommendations regarding the changes.

(l) All new or modified Servicewide policy that may impact on conditions of employment must be transmitted to DPM for review before the originating office may issue the material in its final form.

(2) The DPM will determine whether the material will be submitted to the union for review and will notify the originating office as to whether the material has been cleared for issuance or whether the material must be reviewed by the union by sending a Form 3-2150, National Consultation Rights Clearance Form. (See Exhibit 2).

(3) When the time period for review by the union (approximately ten days) has passed and no comments have been received, the originating office will be informed by DPM on Form 3-2150 that the material may be issued in final.

(4) If, in the exercise of its NCR, the union presents views and recommendations, the originating office will consider them before receiving approval to take final action on the proposed issuance. The originating office will be required to provide a written statement to DPM of the reasons for not adopting union recommendations.

(5) When the concerns of the union have been adequately addressed, DPM will notify the originating office that the material has been cleared for issuance by sending a completed Form 3-2150.

C. Scope of Negotiations.

(1) Matters on which Bargaining is Required. Management is required to bargain in good faith on union proposals relating to conditions of employment, except where excluded by law or regulation. However, nothing in the Act precludes the Service and any labor organization from negotiating:

(a) At the election of the Service, the numbers, types, and grades of employees or positions assigned to any organizational subdivision, work project, or tour of duty, or on the technology, methods, and means of performing work;

(b) Procedures that management officials observe in exercising any authority under paragraph 1.10; or

(c) Appropriate arrangements for employees adversely affected by the exercise of any authority under paragraph 1.10 by such management officials.

(2) Matters on which Bargaining is Prohibited. Management is not permitted to bargain on its right to:

(a) Determine the mission, budget, organization, number of employees, and internal security practices of the agency; and

(b) In accordance with applicable laws:

(i) Hire, assign, direct, layoff, and retain employees in the agency, or suspend, remove, reduce in grade or pay, or take other disciplinary action against such employees;

(ii) Assign work, make determinations with respect to contracting out, and determine the personnel by which agency operations shall be conducted;

(iii) With respect to filling positions, make selections for appointments from among properly ranked and certified candidates for promotion or from any other source; and

(iv) Take whatever actions that may be necessary to carry out the Service's mission during emergencies.

(c) Management may not bargain on those conditions of employment that are covered specifically by Federal statutes, Executive Orders, laws, or rules and regulations issued by higher authority (e.g., Office of Personnel Management and the Department).

(3) Requests for Exception to a Regulation. During negotiations, the union may request an exception to a Service or Department regulation or a portion of such regulation. In such case, the request, with all background and supporting documentation, must be submitted within ten days by management at the negotiations level to both DPM and the Department's Division of Labor-Management Relations for a determination on the issue. The Department consults with other bureaus whose regulations may be impacted by the decisions rendered on the issue and coordinates with the Office of the Solicitor. The determination to grant or not to grant an exception to Departmental regulations is made by the Director of Personnel, Department of the Interior. A determination on exceptions to Servicewide regulations is made by the Service Director or other designated Service official. Denial of a request for exception at the Service level may require the Department to support a "compelling" need as a bar to negotiating changes in a regulation.

(4) Negotiability Determination Process. During negotiations, a situation may occur in which management alleges that a union proposal is contrary to law, regulations, or a controlling agreement and, therefore, is not negotiable. In such case, the union must request in writing a negotiability allegation from management. Management, in turn, must make the allegation in writing and furnish the union a copy within ten days after receipt of the union's request. Local management must contact DPM immediately to coordinate the Service's position before management's written response has been issued. A copy of all correspondence relating to the negotiability issue must be forwarded promptly to DPM and to the Department's Division of Labor-Management Relations. If the union disagrees with the Service's position, the union may file a petition for review by the Authority within 15 days after receipt of the Service's written response on the negotiability allegation. A copy of the petition is provided by the Authority to the Department and to the principal bargaining representative of the Service, who, in turn, furnishes a copy of the petition to DPM. Within 30 days after receipt of the petition for review of a negotiability issue, the Department must file a statement that discloses its position on the issues relevant to the petition for consideration by the Authority.

(5) Negotiation Impasses. If the parties to negotiations are unable to reach agreement on a negotiable proposal, the parties are considered to be at an impasse that must be resolved in accordance with procedures prescribed in 5 U.S.C. 7119 and the requirements of 370 DM 711.

(a) The parties at impasse must request the assistance of the FMCS in voluntarily reaching a settlement or informal recommendation for a resolution to the negotiation dispute. In the event voluntary arrangements fail to resolve a negotiation impasse, either party may request the FSIP to consider the matter. The parties may also agree to adopt a procedure for binding arbitration, provided that the procedure is approved by the FSIP. Decisions by the FSIP are final and binding on both parties.

(b) All requests by management for assistance in the resolution of negotiation impasses must be coordinated with the DPM and must comply with all requirements prescribed in 370 DM 711 before requests are filed. In addition, a copy of all correspondence relating to the issues must be forwarded to the Chief, DPM, and to the Department's Chief, Division of Labor- Management Relations.

1.11 Labor-management Agreements.

A. Labor-management Agreements. Agreements include all the written terms of understanding that have been arrived at by the parties through the process of collective bargaining. They may consist of the basic agreement, amendments or revisions to the basic agreement, supplements to the basic agreement, memoranda of understanding, and notes for the record agreed to by the parties.

B.Basic Labor-management Agreement. The basic agreement is the latest written primary agreement negotiated by management officials and representatives of unions having exclusive recognition rights. The basic agreement establishes the principles, policies, and practices that will govern the relationship of the negotiating parties. The word "contract" has the same meaning as the word "agreement."

(1) All basic agreements should incorporate the following:

(a) A statement identifying the parties to the agreement and a specific definition of the bargaining unit covered by the agreement;

(b) A statement that nothing in the agreement will require an employee to become or to remain a member of a union or to pay money to the union except pursuant to a voluntary, written authorization by an employee for the payment of dues through payroll deductions;

(c) A statement as to the scope, duration, and extent of the agreement, including any provisions for the renewal, amendment, or termination of its provisions along with the agreement's effective date and termination date;

(d) A statement that management officials retain the right to:

(i) Determine the mission, budget, organization, number of employees, and internal security practices of the agency;

(ii) Hire, assign, direct, layoff, and retain employees in the agency, or to suspend, remove, reduce in grade or pay, or to take other disciplinary actions against employees;

(iii) Assign work, make determinations with respect to contracting out, and determine the personnel by which agency operations will be conducted;

(iv) With respect to filling positions, make selections for appointments from among properly ranked and certified candidates for promotion or from any other appropriate source; and

(v) Take whatever actions that may be necessary to carry out the agency mission during emergencies.

(2) All labor agreements negotiated, extended, or renewed must provide procedures, applicable only to the bargaining unit, for the settlement of grievances, including questions of arbitrability.

(a) These procedures must be the exclusive procedures for resolving grievances that fall within its coverage except for grievances raised under:

(i) 5 U.S.C. 2302(b)(1) - prohibited personnel practices.

(ii) 5 U.S.C. 4303 - actions based on unacceptable performance.

(iii) 5 U.S.C. 7512 - removals, suspensions for more than 14 days, reduction in grade, reduction in pay, furlough of 30 days or less.

(b) The negotiated grievance procedure must provide that employee representation is restricted to the exclusive union or a representative approved by the union when presenting grievances under the negotiated procedure.

(c) The negotiated grievance procedure must provide that employees may present their own grievances without representation. If employees elect to do so, the union must be given an opportunity to be present during the grievance proceeding.

(d) A negotiated grievance procedure must provide for final and binding arbitration. Arbitration may be invoked only by the parties to the agreement. Arbitration may not be invoked by individual employees. Either party may file exceptions to an arbitrator's award with the Authority under the regulations prescribed by the Authority. Exceptions to the arbitrator's award may only be filed by management officials, in coordination with DPM, through the Director of Personnel, Department of the Interior. The scope of the arbitrator's authority must be identified in the agreement.

C. Supplements to Basic Agreements. Supplements to basic agreements may not delete, change, or otherwise nullify any provisions of the basic agreement. The negotiating parties may jointly decide to terminate supplements. Management-initiated termination of supplements requires approval of DPM. However, supplements to basic agreements terminate automatically when the basic agreement terminates or expires, or when the union loses status as the exclusive representative of a bargaining unit.

D. Approval of Labor-management Agreements.

(1) Basic Agreements, Amendments, and Revisions to Basic Agreements.

(a) All basic agreements, and their amendments and revisions, must be signed by the negotiating committees and then executed by the Regional Director or Research Center Director. The Service Director signs if the bargaining level is Headquarters; however, for Headquarters organizational entities that are located outside the Washington area the following management officials will be authorized to sign: Chief, Finance Center (Division of Finance); Chief, Branch of Field Operations (Division of Information Resources Management); and, Chief, Division of Engineering. The signatures and date should be preceded by the notation: "Executed and Recommended For Approval."

(b) When a union at the local level is without authority to make a binding agreement, the management official exercising authority at the bargaining level should not execute any collective agreement until the union has secured the written approval of the parent organization.

(c) The original agreement and four copies must be forwarded within three working days after execution by the parties for review, a determination on statutory compliance, and approval, as follows:

(i) The original agreement and two copies are forwarded to the Department's Division of Labor-Management Relations for review and approval/disapproval in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

(ii)Two copies of the agreement are forwarded simultaneously to DPM. The Service reviews the negotiated agreement for compliance with the Act and notifies the Department and the appropriate bargaining level authority of any violations of Service or Departmental policies, regulations, or practices within 15 days from the date the agreement was executed at the local level.

(c) The agreement is effective on the date of approval by the Director of Personnel, Department of Interior. If the agreement is not approved or disapproved within 30 days from the date executed, it becomes effective and binding on the Service and the union on the 31st day, except for those sections that are contrary to law and Governmentwide regulations.

(d) Upon approval by the Department, the negotiated agreement is returned by the Department to the negotiating parties with one copy to DPM.

(e) Management-initiated termination of a basic agreement requires approval of DPM.

(2) Supplements to Basic Labor-management Agreements.

(a) Supplements to basic agreements are signed and dated by the appropriate negotiating committees and executed by the bargaining level authority.

(b) The original supplement and two copies will be provided by the Regional Personnel Officer to DPM for approval within three working days after execution. Three copies of the supplement will be submitted simultaneously to the Department's Division of Labor-Management Relations. The Department will review the supplements and notify the Service of any violations of Departmental policies or regulations or of any conflict with law or regulations of appropriate authorities within 15 days after execution. Supplements will be approved or disapproved within 30 days from the date of execution at the bargaining level.

(3) Renewal of Negotiated Agreements.

(a) No negotiated agreement or supplement to a negotiated agreement may be extended or renewed beyond its present term unless it conforms to applicable laws, Executive Orders, and regulations of appropriate outside authorities.

(b) At least ten days prior to commencement of the open period in the agreement (the period prior to the termination date of the agreement during which either management or the union may notify the other of their desire to reopen or terminate the agreement), management at the local level must determine if there are any conflicts between provisions of the agreement and any applicable laws, Executive Orders, and regulations of appropriate outside authorities that may have changed during the term of the original agreement.

(c) When the agreement contains conflicts or potential conflicts, a report must be made to DPM. The DPM coordinates its review of the agreement with the Department's Division of Labor- Management Relations. If it is confirmed by the Service or by the Department that a conflict exists, the responsible official at the local level must timely reopen the agreement to negotiate the removal of the conflicting provisions. When the agreement or supplement is renegotiated, it must be resubmitted for review and approval.

(d) In order to ensure that agreements are consistent with applicable law and regulation, as required by the Act, any basic or supplementary agreement in effect for three years must not be renewed until it has been reviewed by the Regional Personnel Officer or by DPM, as appropriate, in consultation with the Department, for compliance with laws and regulations issued subsequent to the date the agreement or its supplement became effective. This review includes any agreed upon interpretations that have been implemented for practice since execution of the agreement or supplement. If the negotiating parties wish to renew an agreement or supplement, it must be submitted to DPM for review and approval at least 60 days prior to the termination date. If there is a need for additions or alterations, the appropriate parties will be promptly notified by DPM. When the agreement or supplement is renegotiated, it must be resubmitted for review and approval as required above.

1.12 Contract Administration. Successful contract administration requires that supervisors and managers become fully knowledgeable of the provisions of the contract. In order to assist supervisors and managers in fulfilling their obligation for daily administration of contract provisions, the chief negotiator for the management team should produce, from the minutes or notes of the negotiation sessions, a written handbook to guide and assist management in the conduct of labor-management relations. The handbook should provide necessary interpretations that apply to the provisions of each article, particularly those articles that are significant or controversial in nature. Personnel officers and labor-management relations officers should assist in the development of such a handbook and are responsible for responding to inquiries on the interpretation and application of contract provisions.

1.13 Rights and Obligations.

(1) Obligations.

(a) Meet and Confer. As stated above in 1.10, management has the duty to meet and confer in good faith with the union on matters affecting conditions of employment.

(b) Weingarten Rights. Management must extend to the union the opportunity to be represented at any examination of an employee in the unit by an official of the Service in connection with an investigation, if the employee reasonably believes that the examination may result in disciplinary action against him or her and the employee requests representation. Management officials should contact their Regional Personnel Officer or the Chief, DPM, as appropriate, for advice concerning these rights and the conduct of employee examinations.

(c) Notification to Employees. The Service must annually inform employees of their rights under the preceding paragraph. The letter of notification will be issued by DPM and forwarded to the Regional Personnel Officers. A copy of the letter of notification should be furnished to each bargaining unit member on or before January 31 of each year. A copy of the notification must be posted on bulletin boards in all locations where bargaining units exist. New bargaining unit employees (those entering on duty) must be furnished a copy of the notification as part of their orientation package. When new bargaining units are established, each new bargaining unit member must receive a copy of the notification as soon as the unit is certified, and a copy of the notification must be posted on bulletin boards where the unit is located.

(d) Dues Withholding. At the request of the employee, management must make an appropriate allotment to the union at no cost to the employee or the union.

(2) Rights. Management retains the right to not bargain on the issues listed in 1.10C(2).

B. Unions.

(1) Obligations.

(a) Representation. The union has the duty to represent the interest of all employees in the unit without discrimination and without regard to union membership.

(b) Meet and Confer. The union has the obligation to meet and confer in good faith with management on matters affecting conditions of employment.

(c) Prevent or Stop Strikes, Work Stoppages, Work Slowdowns. The union has the obligation to take action to prevent or stop any strike, work stoppage, slowdown, or picketing that interferes with Service operations.

(2) Rights.

(a) Representation. The union has the right to act for and negotiate collective bargaining agreements covering all employees in the unit.

(b) Formal Discussions. The union has the right to be represented at any formal discussion between one or more representatives of the Service and one or more employees in the bargaining unit or their representatives concerning any grievances or any personnel policy or practices or other general condition of employment.

(c) Weingarten. The union has the right to be represented at any examination of an employee in the unit by a representative of the Service in connection with an investigation if:

(i) The employee reasonably believes that the examination may result in disciplinary action against him or her; and

(ii) The employee requests representation.

(d) Information. The union is entitled, upon request and to the extent not prohibited by law, to data that:

(i) Is normally maintained by the agency in the regular course of business;

(ii) Is reasonably available and necessary for full and proper discussion, understanding, and negotiation of subjects within the scope of collective bargaining; and

(iii) Does not constitute guidance, advice, counsel, or training relating to collective bargaining that is intended for management officials or supervisors.

(e) Information in Records Covered by the Privacy Act. Agencies are prohibited from furnishing a record that is covered by the Privacy Act without the prior written consent of the subject of the record, unless the disclosure of the record is permitted by an exception. Additional guidance is contained in Part 204, Privacy Act, and Chapter 711 of the FPM.

C. Employees.

(1) Right to Participate in Union Activities. Each employee has the right to form, join, or assist any union, or to refrain from any such activity, freely and without fear of penalty or reprisal.

(2) Right to Representation.

(a) Self-representation. An employee has the right to represent himself or herself in exercising any grievance or appellate right, as provided by law.

(b) Right to Representation. An employee has the right to be represented by a representative of the employee's own choosing except in the case of a grievance or appeal processed under a negotiated procedure.

D. Official Time.

(1) An employee who otherwise would be in a duty status, is authorized official time when representing the union in the negotiation of a collective bargaining agreement (including attendance at impasse proceedings). The number of employees who are authorized official time must not exceed the number of employees who represent management.

(2) Any activities relating to the internal business of a union (including the solicitation of membership, elections of union, and collection of dues) must be performed during the time an employee is in a nonduty status.

(3) The Authority determines whether an employee participating on behalf of a union in a proceeding before the Authority is authorized official time when the employee would otherwise be in a duty status.

E. Excused Absence for Union-sponsored Training.

(1) Union-sponsored training sessions that are designed primarily to train or inform union representatives in matters of no mutual concern or advantage to management (internal union business) are not included for the purpose of granting excused absence to those in attendance.

1.14 Unfair Labor Practices.

A. The Service and unions must comply with the provisions in 5 U.S.C. 7116 and 7118 in all cases involving unfair labor practice (ULP) proceedings.

B. The expression by management of any personal view, argument, or opinion that contains no threat of reprisal, force, or promise of benefit, or was not made under coercive conditions, does not constitute an ULP under any provision of the Act. In addition, such expression by management does not constitute grounds for the setting aside of any election conducted under any provisions of the Act if the expression:

(1) Publicizes the anticipated occurrence of a representational election and encourages employees to exercise their right to vote in such election;

(2) Corrects the record with respect to any false or misleading statement made by any person in the representation process; or

(3) Informs employees of the Government's policy relating to labor-management relations and representation.

C. Issues that can properly be raised under an appeals procedure (e.g., classification appeal procedures) may not be raised as ULPs. Except for matters wherein (i.e., under sections 7121(e) and (f) of 5 U.S.C.) an employee has an option of using the negotiated grievance procedure or an appeals procedure, issues that can be raised under a grievance procedure may (at the discretion of the aggrieved party) be raised under the grievance procedure or as an ULP, but not under both procedures.

1.15 Coordination of Third Party Issues.

A. All union, employee, or management-initiated matters that may require a hearing or other third party actions (except mediation), must be forwarded in writing, prior to formal submission, to the Chief, DPM, and the Department's Chief, Division of Labor-Management Relations. Third party matters initiated by employees or unions must be brought immediately to the attention of the Chief, DPM, and to the attention of the Department's Chief, Division of Labor-Management Relations by the Regional Personnel Officer or designee. Issues that require any involvement with the Department (including telephone contacts, transmittal of written information, etc.) must be coordinated through DPM unless noted otherwise. The following are the authorities and procedures for handling third party issues:

(1) Bargaining Unit Cases.

(a) Issues relating to bargaining unit determination (e.g., petitions for new bargaining units or changes in existing bargaining units) must be handled in coordination with DPM.

(b) Copies of all decisions or certifications will be sent to the Department's Chief, Division of Labor-Management Relations.

(c) Unit consolidation petitions and the request for representation must be submitted through DPM to the Department.

(2) Grievance Arbitration.

(a) All disciplinary, adverse action, or reduction-in-force arbitrations must be handled in coordination with DPM. If a union officer is being disciplined, coordination is also required with the Department.

(b) The DPM will rank and select arbitrators for both disciplinary and nondisciplinary arbitrations.

(c) All other arbitrations require full coordination with the Department, including representative designation.

(d) Copies of transcripts for all nondisciplinary arbitrations must be sent to the Department's Chief, Division of Labor-Management Relations.

(e) Copies of the case files and awards for all arbitrations must be sent to the Department's Chief, Division of Labor- Management Relations.

(f) Exceptions to an arbitrator's decision are handled by the Department through coordination with DPM.

(g) All requests for judicial review are coordinated by the Department with the Solicitor's office.

(h) The Director of Personnel, Department of the Interior, must be notified within ten working days of receipt of an arbitration award believed to meet the criteria under 5 U.S.C. 7121(f) for review by the FLRA.

(3) Impasses. All impasse disputes, whether by the FSIP or interest arbitration, will be coordinated with DPM. This includes representative designation.

(4) Unfair Labor Practices.

(a) Coordination with the Department is required at the earliest stages, including submission of case files.

(b) During the investigation phase of the ULP, DPM must be contacted before local management officials can be authorized to meet with FLRA investigators or furnish affidavits. This authority may be redelegated to a Regional Director on a case-by- case basis.

(c) Written statements of position to the FLRA regional office must be coordinated with the Department.

(d) Coordination with the Department is required on all formal activities involving ULP charges and complaints.

(5) Negotiability. The Director of Personnel, Department of the Interior, or a designee, is responsible for filing all agency positions regarding negotiability disputes.

(6) Authority for all appeals, reconsiderations, and exceptions is retained at the Department level.

(7) The Director of Personnel, Department of the Interior, is responsible for coordination with the Office of Employee and Labor-Management Relations, Office of Personnel Management, for significant cases likely to go before a third party; notification of arbitration awards believed to meet the criteria under 5 U.S.C. 7121(f); notification of agency determinations to seek judicial review of FLRA decisions; and, transmittal of copies of all arbitration awards.

(8) Copies of all initial written actions and appropriate written final actions associated with third party issues must be sent to the Department's Division of Labor-Management Relations.

B. The Chief, DPM, and the Department's Chief, Division of Labor-Management Relations, must be included as a party in interest on all service sheets to receive copies of all correspondence related to all third party issues.

C. The documents and other information furnished to the Department will be transmitted by the Department's Division of Labor-Management Relations to the Office of the Solicitor so that legal implications, or potential legal implications, may be addressed. 



For more information on this policy, contact the Division of Human Capital. For additional information regarding this Web page, contact Krista Bibb, in the Division of Policy and Directives Management. 


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