DFAS/AFGE Council 171
National Negotiation Session Notes
Jan 31, 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
Monday and Tuesdayís minutes are signed. Both sides are working on Wednesday and Thursday.
Darryl made the suggestion to extend the ground rules for six months. Agreement to extend the ground rules until July 31, 2003.
Language drafted by Teresa and Frank:
In consideration of the Labor-Management Partnership, Management should strive to communicate with and where appropriate involve the Union in significant Management initiated process reviews such as MEPís.
Where process reviews result in changes in performance standards the Agency should consider previously negotiated MOU (November 2001) regarding encouraging Union involvement, as well as, involving employees, IAW current negotiated agreements.
If any adverse impact is identified, this impact will be subject to bargaining as appropriate.
Yes, we need to communicate better.
Bob- Want to tell the Managers that you do not have to involve the Union. But you are encouraged when appropriate to involve the Union because it can be beneficial.
Kelley-Management talks in Management terms. The employees come to the Union and ask for explanation of what was said.
Language approved as written.
Kelley- we would like to know managementís position on this.
Darryl- there were only a few changes in the DOD regulation. The regulation became more open than the language we had written.
Teresa- There is no policy that has been put out by DFAS. The term Flexiplace is no longer used.
Darryl- there are only so many people who can sign into a DISP account at one time.
Kelley-We still need a training package and the training itself. List of who is excluded from telework.
Connie- The telecommuting article does not address the issues about the difference between the Flexiplace and telecommuting article.
Darryl- the new article did not take anything away from the article that was previously negotiated. The agency policy was already negotiated. We came to agreement on the article. We will get it posted as soon as we get back to the office and make sure itís 508 compliant. Hopefully it will be posted on Monday when they return to work.
Connie-But it does.
Mark- What happens when we have a bunch of people who want to telework and they are told by local management that there is no infrastructure for it?
Darryl- We have a group getting together to address this.
Teresa created language to be added to the Ground Rules for the extension. It was agreed to as written and will be added to the back of the Ground rules.
Article will be published by management.
Reg is in place and will be utilized for all employees.
Questions still need answered.
Training for employees
Darryl- E-biz was discussed in Columbus in July. Training for employees was given as asked for. The Council was given the same training as the BLXís.
Kelley- addressing some of our concerns is not the same as negotiating. By identifying problems and getting answers, the problems are still there. We have been told that there have been changes based on our questions but we were never told about the changes.
Mark M-There are some things that the employees want changed or corrected that we have a responsibility to get an agreement to from Management. Right now people are not hesitating to tell other Agency employees how horrible this system is. This is bad publicity for DFAS.
Darryl-I think I understand your political concerns. I think we could advertise some of the changes that have taken place and show that we are trying to do the corrections necessary. If these issues were addressed when we were first briefed there would not have been a problem.
Robin-How could we know what problems there are with a system if it isnít even working yet.
Darryl-Work with the E-Biz PMO and not the contractor to address the issues that are out there.
Robin-we get answers that go around the issue but never actually answers it.
Kelley- We still have 2 more phases of E-Biz. We have people who are coming back from training to say that their work is doubling.
Bob- What participation do you have with the PMO today?
Kelley- None. We have Craig Fitzgibbons but he isnít invited to every meeting. They often canít decide whether to invite him or not.
Ron: We felt that negotiation should have been taken care of at the onset. We have numerous employees with numerous concerns.
Darryl-We had an informal briefing of BMR. In Nov01 we had a formal briefing of BMR. It laid out when and how this was going to happen. In Jan02 notice was sent to the Union with when, how, and schedule. Etc. I donít know what else we could have done to inform the Union of what was going on.
Kelley- At the Executive offsite it was briefed as an overview.
Frank-You asked what else you could do. The answer is negotiate.
Darryl- The union put in an intent to put in a Demand to Bargain. Iím just trying to give you managementís point of view on it.
Connie-It all comes down to the fact that we put in a Demand to Bargain. You negotiated other Demands that were worded the same as this one. We can wordsmith this all day and still come up with the intent to Bargain is still there.
Darryl-We arenít going to bargain to impasse on this issue, as we donít believe we have a duty to bargain.
Connie- Let the record reflect that Management is not prepared to negotiate and we are at impasse.
Teresa-For the record- in looking at the proposals, it looks like there are a lot of proposals that address the employees concerns. Why canít we address some of them with a team or focus group to address the concerns?
Kelley-We want to negotiate the issues and thatís our position.
Questions and suggested changes were given to management.
The Guide is in effect for non-bargaining unit employees.
Would like to suggest that a focus group be set up just like Telework to finish flushing out the issues.
Ed- We need to set a timeframe for these focus groups to complete these issues.
It is agreed we will appoint a working/focus group to handle this issue. The group will consist of 3 union, 3mgmt to be completed in 60 days. Agreed to.
Completing Bargaining in Good Faith
Kelley-The Agency has to understand that they are backing us in the corner sometimes and we have to file actions because of it.
Darryl- This is beginning to be a one sided thing of management not doing what they should. We want some positive feedback as to what the Union will be doing, questions/proposals etc.
Kelley- We receive notification, and put in a demand to bargain. Mgmt then says what is there to bargain.
Mark M- We donít have the time to work on all of this stuff. Even if we all had 100% official time we would still have a hard time getting concerns. We have short windows and canít always meet managementís timeline.
Darryl-a lot of this stuff we give you notice on, I donít know if there is anything to bargain on, but we give it to you just in case. It is the Unions job to find the impact and write proposals/language so mgmt will know what is going to be bargained.
Mark M-Mgmt shouldnít make the decision that these initiatives do not have an impact on the employees. Without a packet of information we cannot make a determination.
Darryl-If you donít have what you need, let me know.
Frank- When we do call for more information we donít get it.
Kelley-We have things being sent out that even the LRís havenít seen. This is not a good partnership.
Bob-We are on the phone every two weeks. Kelley will raise issues to us about this.
Darryl- it is going to be a tough item to deal with. In principle as it relates to the collective bargaining agreement. What the Agency has an issue with is the every day I&I process negotiations. If we need to RIF we canít afford to have that delay based on a possibly unending ratification process. There is a difference in what AFGE National considers an I&I issue and what DFAS HQ considers I&I. Implementation of a law or Regulation is where the Agency has an issue. There will be a proposal sent to Kelley next week of what the Agency can live with on ratification.
Mark M: We are legally bound and required to send these issues out and we must give them 30 days. It is our duty. It is in our constitution. We must adhere to the Constitution.
Kelley: Clarififcation on the process. It goes out to the locals, 30 days prior, they send us their comments. It goes to the members in good standing.
Mark M: The Council will send it out to the locals, and get their comments. If they give us a no vote, we ask them why. When we sent in our proposal for ratification, how the process will work, we lifted it from another Council/others to put in our proposals. We need to info each other, to give them the info. The legal requirement is there, and we have to abide to it.
Mark M.: It is important to realize
Mark M: Anything the Council bargains (Anything National Level) we have to follow the instruction that we get from the lawyers, concerning the constitution.
Darryl: We have an issue (our old article 46 ground rules) that does not effect all the sites, to address the issue, would ratification have to be done?
Ed: Rights of Union, rights of management.
Teresa: Itís apple and oranges, it has to go to the management, it goes to the legal officials.
Ron: The same 30 days statute. Our higher authority is the statute and constiution and we have to adhere to it. We need to expedite the process.
Ratification is what it is.
Mark D: We just had a ratification issue and it was done in just three or four days.
Darryl: We have statutory concerns ourselves. Duly authorized representatives and no agreement for tentative agreements.
Frank: An informal agreement was not done.
Kelley: Basically we have described our process that we have to adbide by.
Deb: Wanted to thank the Co-chairs for their positions.
Darryl: Our intent is to agree to implement the things we agreed to.
Mark M: We should be able to get these things ratified timely.
Negotiations concluded at 12:24.