The new agreement gives a bank 125,000 hours of official time – half the official time granted by afGE representatives under the previous contract, but 75,000 hours more than what the Impass panel granted in its recent decision. The agreement allows 20 shop stewards to use no more than 840 hours of official time per year, meaning that these employees can spend about 40% of their time on union activities and spend the remaining 60% of their time performing the duties for which they were originally hired. In the end, the union was faced with a decision: drop and negotiate with the Agency all ongoing disputes relating to the SSA collective agreement, which included two legal proceedings and nine complaints – or let the deadlock body rule on the remaining articles of the existing AFGE contract. In the meantime, SSA said it would begin implementing the provisions of the presidential personnel regulations under the second option. “The commitment and commitment of all those involved in these difficult negotiations was the reason why an agreement was reached,” Richard Giacolone, an agency commissioner and the president`s nominee for director of the FMCS, said in a statement Monday. “This resolution is proof of the power of good faith negotiations, in which both sides are ready to come to the table, put aside their differences and work towards a mutual agreement that takes into account the interests of both sides. I commend the leaders of SSA and AFGE for their commitment to solving these difficult issues in a spirit of constructive engagement. The Social Security Administration`s unilateral initiative to acquire the sole discretion for employees` ability to telework was hit by a roadblock in November. 14, given that the Chairman of the deadlock body of the Federal Service had found that the Agency had not demonstrated the sufficient need to modify the work of workers and, consequently, to lower the telework rules of the Office of Hearings Operation in collective agreements. “The new contract reflects the agency`s priority in the public service and will take effect on Oct. 27,” an SSA spokeswoman said in a statement to Federal News Network. “The Agency thanks the AFGE and Social Security negotiating teams for their many months of efforts and has set itself up to reach the new agreement.” FMCS congratulated the agency and the union for the agreement reached by both parties. In a May 29 decision, the Federal Service Impasses Panel 12 weighed the proposed article of a new contract between the SSA and the American Federation of Government Employees. The body maintained responsibility for the cases after labour and management officers negotiated a new collective agreement for seven months and finally agreed on more than 50 provisions.
Article 35 – Offices – We may negotiate space actions that are not covered by the Treaty. However, the article was negotiated with the aim of reducing the need for costly and repetitive negotiations on any change in office space. It was a very difficult article on which it was possible to agree. They insisted that we give up our negotiating rights. The agency kept telling us that AFGE had given up on it, so we had to do it too. We defended ourselves on this point and we finally imposed ourselves. Automatic sharing and the hotel will be the future. We expect office space issues if the Agency decides to reduce the number of days employees telework.
In October and November, the union and the Agency agreed on Articles 3 (workers` rights), 16 (training) and 31 (leave). It is important that the Union has retained the language set out in Article 3(2.A), which requires management to treat workers fairly and equitably in all aspects of personnel management, regardless of protected class status. In November, when the parties focused on Article 9, the Agency abruptly changed its behaviour towards the Union. Despite the progress made by the parties in October and November, the Agency claimed that the Union had not negotiated quickly enough. . . .