DFAS/AFGE Council 171

National Negotiation Session Notes

Jan 27,2003

Attendees: Bob McNamara, Kelley Dull, Connie Townes, Darryl Roberts, Ed Wiatr, Frank Rock, Debra Williams, Art Gold, Pablo Rodriguez, Maria Durante, Theresa Briley, Bill Roach, Pete Heins, Mark McDonald, Mark Durinski, Robin Smith, Ron Coe, Carolyn Howell

Note-takers: Debbie Maslanka, Angela Beltowski

Ground Rules: Ratification issue has been thrown out.

For the Record: Kelley Dull, "Identification of each otherís interests and concerns for the Union does not mean that proposals will be given in advance of the session."

The Union normally does proposals during prep time the few days prior to the negotiation session. The advance team identifies issues so what is the issue with giving Mgmt the proposals in advance? Itís possible some can be. Union issue is that we must have something of substance when we leave here. We want a document that tells what we did here.

Consensus: We will add the line to Agenda Development " It is also understood that the mutualÖ." Other corrections hand written on hard copy to correct.

All in agreement that the Ground Rules have been completed and are OK by all after changes.

GROUND RULES FOR NATIONAL NEGOTIATIONS

BETWEEN AFGE COUNCIL 171 AND DFAS

 

PURPOSE: To establish rules for joint labor-management negotiations on issues and concerns that impact the terms and conditions of employment.

SCOPE: These ground rules apply to national negotiations/bargaining that are conducted by the AFGE Council 171/Agency National Negotiations Team. These ground rules do not apply to teams delegated by AFGE Council 171 and the Agency to negotiate on behalf of the national body. These ground rules will not apply when negotiating a collective bargaining agreement between AFGE Council 171 and the Agency. These ground rules shall be in effect until January 31, 2003, unless extended by mutual agreement.

BINDING AUTHORITY: The parties agree that the Co-Chairs or their designees will have binding authority and will memorialize agreements under these ground rules.

 

 

SCHEDULING: Dates, duration and daily scheduling of negotiation session will be determined by the Co-Chairs. The parties mutually agree to reconvene as determined by the Co-Chairs. The team will be provided two (2) weeks advance notice prior to convening any urgent meeting necessary. In the event of problems with official time release procedures, such problems will be elevated to the Co-Chairs for resolution.

MEMBERSHIP: The team will be comprised of union and management representatives not to exceed 10 participants for each party. The parties shall be responsible for appointing their respective team members. The parties agree that all representatives are trained in and committed to interest-based bargaining principals.

AGENDA DEVELOPMENT: It is agreed that open and honest communication is essential for prompt and expeditious resolution of issues/problems. It is also understood that the mutual identification of each otherís interests and concerns in development of the meeting agenda will facilitate the bargaining process. The Co-Chairs or their designees will normally establish an "Advance Team" for the development of the agenda, assist in compiling supporting documentation and providing administrative support. Further, the Co-Chairs will define the duties and responsibilities of the Advance Team. The Advance Team will normally meet no later than four weeks prior to the start of the next meeting.

MEETING PREPARATION: The Co-Chairs will determine the amount of on-site preparation time that is necessary for each session. Union representatives shall be authorized official time for travel, research, preparation and negotiations performed during normal duty hours. Disputes will be raised to the Co-Chairs for resolution. The union will have one administrative support person to assist in the on-site preparations.

MEETING PROTOCOL: The team will use interest-based bargaining techniques and consensus decision-making methodologies. We agree that there should be free and open discussion of all issues. Additionally, the Teamís administrative staff will be designated to record interests and concerns in a manner visible to all members during discussions. The team may also decide to use a facilitator. Minutes of the meeting will be taken in the manner described below.

MEETING MINUTES/RECORD KEEPING: It is agreed that meeting minutes will be taken by two administrative assistants. The parties will each designate one individual to serve in this capacity. The minutes will concisely capture the issue, concerns and the teamís disposition/decision. Team members may have specific comments recorded by advising the Co-Chairs that they have comments for the record. Each party shall designate their own representative to review and correct the two sets of minutes at the end of each day. The Co-Chairs or designee of each respective team will print/sign their names to the final minutes prior to the start of the next negotiating session the following day. The minutes will be distributed to the team members at the end of the week. Team decisions/agreements will be signed by the Co-chairs. The parties will be given an original of all signed documents.

GENERAL PROVISIONS:

 

________________________ ________ ________________________ ________

Robert McNamara DATE Kelley Dull DATE

Co-Chair, Management Co-Chair, Union

 

 

 

PREVENTIVE HEALTH SCREENINGS:

Mgmt: What are we trying to capture on proposal given by Union? Include involvement locally, this has been out there and employees have not been allowed to use.

Shouldnít be denied if the employee fits the criteria. DFAS has a Quality of Work Life program that needs to be publicized. There is no proactive approach to this program. A MOU would let the employees know that there is a program that can be used. Some employees would not want a DFAS site to sponsor some types of testing. There has to be some consistency throughout DFAS. Need something that says Ďthis is what our intent is in having this programí and sent out to the whole of DFAS.

 

Darryl is volunteering to write some language to better make use of the Quality of Work Life Program. A joint memorandum of record would be needed. Not all offices have a Quality of Work Life Program or Council. Darryl will work on something and bring it back this week. Want Senior Leadership endorsement of these initiatives. Will this be directly related to Article 16, 17, or 24? Why do we have to link it to anything? It should not specifically link to the articles.

A memorandum was sent to employees from Mr. Bloom that limits admin time that can be approved to 4 hours. The contract states 6 hours for EAP. Darryl asked that the union pull out any issues with the memo. He has not seen it either.

WORKFORCE TRANSITION:

Rick Hastings can come over at 12:00 to be a subject matter expert.

 

334-2210 CONVERSION: According to Darryl conversion was only a change to the series. This was an OPM directed change. Donít understand what the issue is. Union stated; this was supposed to be transparent but there are changes in working conditions. Lets separate the two since the reclassification is not the issue. The issue is the change in working conditions that is being done because of the reclassification. We have an article that addresses the issues regarding call in procedures.

This negotiating group canít really do anything about the status of employees at sites who carry pagers, are available for call in, etc. There is case law from the FLRA on use of a beeper and compensation. Who was responsible for the changes in the PDís? Classification would have done the changes to the PDís. It is a DFAS wide issue about the PD changes. Performance Plans were changed without allowing the employees to participate in creating or making input.

Is it possible to have something signed by Bob and Kelley that puts the Performance Plans back to the way they were until the employees have a chance to have input? Pete and Mark will draft something up addressing the concerns associated with the conversion. Will bring back tomorrow. This will possibly solve this issue.

Union Caucus

We will work on a MOU but we still have concerns about implementation prior to negotiation. We know we have the right to negotiate issues but the Agency is implementing daily without allowing us this right. Darryl stated that where the Union has no right to negotiate, the Agency will move forward. Mark M replied that the Agency can not proceed with an action because they believe the Union has no right to bargain. Instead the agency has to notify the Union of their belief of non-negotiability at which point the Union may or may not file a negotiability appeal. At the last session the Union was given information about what was being done. The Agency did not have a choice but to implement because it was an OPM decision, the 334 series no longer exists. The changes to working conditions were not presented by the Union until today. The change of classification was done through HR, but local management would have done the change in standards. It was not a change in duties but just a conversion of job series. The employees do not look at it this way since the changes took place at the same time.

Is there something this body can do in this type of circumstance?

The classification issue is gone. The issue is the right to bargain. This is a critical point. We will look at this and see where we can look at this later in the agenda.

Agreed to make this an additional agenda item. Completing Bargaining in good faith.

 

E/MSS E-LES:

We are not saying we want Management to go out and tell the employees that they can turn on their hardcopy. We only want the ability to say that it is voluntary. Mr. Bloom feels we should be supporting the agency initiative. Most everyone who uses it loves it but we do have the few who donít like the ELES. When it comes time to mandate its use, which is possible down the road, it is important that we begin to address issues now. We would like to see how the waiver process is being done. We want it in the record today that it is voluntary to use the E-LES because we still have employees being harassed about not turning them off. Why donít we address the issue of the employee and managers issues with E-LES? Are we addressing the 90% that is using or the 10% that are not? We are talking about 100% of employees. We agree this is a good thing but the harassment must stop. Why canít we write language that can be given to the employees that they can pull out when the harassment starts about turning their hardcopy off? Craft a memo for Mr. Bloom to sign that would thank the employees for using this program and include in it that it is a voluntary program but also to point out the successes of E/LES. That is a good idea but should be a separate item. What we need is something signed by the co-chair that tells that participation in E/LES is voluntary. If we have any problems with any supervisor about the E/LES being voluntary tell them to contact Darryl and he will also tell them. Ed volunteered to type a memorandum and bring back to the team. Ed and Teresa will work together to draft a joint memorandum for the Co-Chairs signatures. Carolyn would like the team to take time during the day to let people work on these memorandums that are being delegated for after hours.

For the Record: It is agreed that participation in E/LES is voluntary.

A process needs developed on how to get a certified copy of an LES for home loans etc. and how to get a copy of an LES in an emergency. Maybe add the language that this will jointly be addressed and worked on. Some of the issues or concerns from the pilot will be addressed.

What types of problems have come up on the MyPay system?

Number of individuals receiving hard copy LES.

Where are waivers going for approval?

Who is approving the waiver requests? (Name)

If workforce transition takes up the entire afternoon, we will set aside 2 hours tomorrow morning for teams to write language and will start at 10 am.

Break for Lunch.

WORK FORCE TRANSITION

Rich Hastings is here to address comments and to facilitate on Work Force Transition Program.

Why was the Site Director added to approval in Voluntary PPP Registration? Site directors do not have the authority to grant it. Authority rests with the Business Line Executive. Agreed to management proposed language.

Registration of employees in PPP is Mandatory once RIF notice is issued. Itís in the DOD Priority Placement Program. Certificate can be given for other than DOD agencies so that they will have priority consideration (ICTAP). Agreed to management proposed language for mandatory PPP and ICTAP. Agreed to the Unionís language in use of Government Equipment (computers, faxes, copiers etc).

Proposals for language:

Job Fairs: The agency will make their best effort to hold job fairs subject to local employer participation.

Coordination: Such coordination may include job fairs jointly sponsored by local unions and management subject to local employer participation.

Coordinate with other agencies: DFAS, in conjunction with local Union officials will contact Federal, State, and Local Agencies in the commuting area for the possibility of job placement for affected employees. Coordinated activities include, but are not limited to:

    1. Job Fairs
    2. Media advertisements

Union Caucus

Management added the sentence: "in conjunction with local Union officials".

For the Record: We are negotiating the work force transition plan. Completion of negotiations on this plan does not discharge the agencyís obligation to bargain on current or future reorganizations or restructures.

Per Darryl this is directly related to the CR restructure. Notice was given that this was specifically for the CR restructure. (Union) The Union has the right to negotiate more than just adverse impact, we have the right to negotiate processes, procedures and appropriate arrangements. We also have a contract article which defines how reorganizations should be done.

 

 

If we as a group decide that this plan is to reduce adverse impact on employees what are we here to do. Workforce transition plan has been there for longer than CR restructure has been. We have never received the packet on CR restructure and are not yet negotiating.

What other processes do we need to address? We have a process in the contract to address RIF and reorganizing (Mgmt). Give us the package and weíll tell you, we will make the determination as to what we feel needs to be negotiated. (Union).

Management Caucus.

Agreed to language above for Coordination with other Agencies.

For the Record: It is understood that we will coordinate jointly the activities identified.

The PPP regulation states that you cannot be put into the program if you have pending disciplinary actions.

Will get the regulation for the Union.

What is the definition of Good Business Sense? Itís defined in paragraph. Who makes the determination? It would go up to the Business Line Executive. The Union will have an interest in making sure that PCS costs are paid fairly and equitably. There is not a procedure yet on how it will be decided who receives PCS costs. We are not trying to infringe upon managementís right to spend their money.

We donít want to limit it to what is in the Union language. The Union will be asked by the employees what is meant by good business sense. We cannot explain an unknown definition.

Management Caucus.

Agreement to reconvene tomorrow at 8 for groups and 10 for session to begin.