DFAS/AFGE Council 171
National Negotiation Session Notes
Jan 28, 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
Preventive Health Screenings
Paragraph 1 was ok.
Paragraph 2 agency sponsored activities is listed. Problem with language because it limits the use of the four hours. Explained in next to last paragraph. Would prefer to take out agency-sponsored wording. We have supervisors that will read the paragraph and not allow employees the time off.
Add language: agency and non-agency sponsored preventive health activities.
Paragraph 3 language, stop the sentence at health screenings.
OPM guidance states agency sponsored activities. Where does it say it can be non-agency? In the third paragraph it states using alternative work schedules etc to use for agency sponsored preventive health activities. But a distinction is not made about the 4 hours excused absence. Bring the Quality of Work Life program up to speed and use it for this directive. Everyone is clear on Presidents intent.
Paragraph 4: Problem with providing evidence. We allow employees to self certify when they are sick. It is sometimes difficult to get a note from the doctor. Why compound the problem? It is additional paperwork and should be a level of trust between the supervisor and employee. It is a cumbersome requirement for 4 hours of leave. Would rather have it here because of the possibility of the ones suspected of abuse, when being asked to provide documentation having problems. When employees are going to the blood mobile they do not have to have documentation. We do not have the right to demand outside physicians give our employees a note. Some medical offices charge patients to write a note. If a manager suspects abuse can they put an employee on a requirement for all sick leave to be documented? Anytime an employee takes advantage of a benefit the Agency has the process to take care of these situations. You need to have proof that abuse of leave is happening. If there is a problem then it must be taken care of by using the already approved processes. There are employees that will try to take advantage of this policy, but it will be taken care of as it arises. Parked this paragraph until we finish the rest of the document.
Paragraph 5: Some sites have QWL program some don’t. QWL includes EAP, AWS and other initiatives throughout DFAS. Is there something that can provided for the sites that do not have a specific program? Rich Rardin is the Indy center contact for the QWL.
There are programs that will come out and do classes for free on specific topics.
Proposal for paragraph 4 is "Employees must request and receive approval for excused absence in accordance with established leave request procedures." Delete the rest of the paragraph.
Paragraph 4 approved.
Paragraph 5: Union likes the language in the paragraph, with the addition of, promote after advertise.
Language: DFAS site management and local union representatives are encouraged to advertise and promote the use of programs such as the DFAS Quality of Work Life (QWL) program to offer employees the opportunity to receive preventative health services on government time without change to leave and at the Agency’s expense.
Table until later. Some cannot live with it. There are some tests that can be brought on site that is voluntary to the employee but is at the expense of the employee. Not sure what programs are in the QWL, some could be outside of the ‘on agency time’ portion.
The last part of the line gives it clarity.
Paragraph 6: Took out "such as HIV…"
Paragraph 6 approved with deletion.
Paragraph 7 approved as is.
On January 4, 2001, President Clinton issued an executive memorandum that expanded leave benefits for Federal employees for preventative health screenings.
DFAS and AFGE Council 171 encourage employees to take advantage of screening programs and other preventative health services through options like promoting alternative work schedules; granting leave under the sick and annual leave programs; and granting excused absence to employees to participate in agency and non-agency sponsored preventative health activities.
For employees with fewer than 80 hours of accrued sick leave, the agency will provide four hours of excused absence each year (leave year) without loss of pay or charge to leave for participating in preventative health screenings.
Employees must request and receive approval for excused absence in accordance with established leave request procedures.
DFAS site management and local union representatives are encouraged to advertise and promote the use of programs such as the DFAS Quality of Work Life (QWL) program to offer employees the opportunity to receive preventative health services on government time, without charge to leave, in accordance with established program procedures.
The parties recognize that DFAS can’t offer preventative health services for every possible disease or health risk, nor be able to offer preventative health screenings at a time when every employee needs them. In addition, employees may be more comfortable dealing with their own personal physician for other types of screenings rather than the use of a DFAS provided service.
Authorizing employees four hours of excused absence per year for such screenings, in cooperation with the employees’ own physician or health care providers will complement the current QWL Program and make the whole realm of preventative health screening services more accessible to employees when they need them.
The parties at the local Site level should cooperatively discuss economical and efficient strategies to adequately meet the needs of employees at each site through groups or committees such as Labor-Management Committees (LMC’s), or other mutually agreed upon methods.
Conversion of 334-2210 MOA
Conversion of 334 to 2210
OPM has mandated that 334 career series be converted to 2210. DFAS’s implementation of the OPM requirement will not require any employee formerly classified as a 334 to be removed from the special pay rate. Absent a unit clarification from the FLRA, nothing in the Agency’s reclassification will change the bargaining unit status of affected employees. Having received assurances from DFAS management that this conversion will be transparent to the employee AFGE and DFAS agree to the following:
a. Credit for work under the former PD will be documented in the employee’s Official Personnel Folder (this includes appraisals and SF50’s).
E/MSS and E/LES
For the Record: There are a number of things that were requested in conjunction with this and still need to receive them. In reference to the information requests that are included in the Union proposal. Who would we need to submit a Freedom of Information Act documents to? FOIA.
Proposal on E/LES was approved with correction to wording.
DFAS and AFGE Council 171 previously agreed to a one-year pilot for the use of E/MSS (myPay) to receive Leave and Earnings Statements (ELES) electronically. During the pilot, many efficiencies and benefits were gained through its use. Now that the pilot has ended, the parties agree to encourage continued use on a voluntary basis.
MyPay provides a great opportunity for DFAS to reduce costs. We spend in excess of $10 million annually to print and mail LESs to our customers. Using myPay to view and print your LES and voluntarily electing to turn off the hardcopy distribution mailed to your home can further reduce these costs. Additionally, the electronic LES is available to employees generally two days prior to the pay date.
While we recognize there may be instances where some employees are not able to take advantage of this benefit, DFAS and AFGE Council 171 will continue to work together to develop proactive solutions to facilitate increased participation.
Darryl stated that Management is not willing to bargain E-Biz since they feel they have no obligation to do so.
Ended session at 5:00