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Article 47 Grievance Procedure
Posted On: Nov 21, 2013

Article 47

Grievance Procedure

The parties wish to foster an atmosphere of cooperation and mutual respect

between management and employees. To that end, supervisors and employees are

encouraged to communicate regularly with each other and discuss any problems or

concerns and try to resolve them informally. If such informal efforts are

unsuccessful, bargaining unit employees may utilize the grievance procedure as

prescribed in this Article.

Section 1. Purpose

a. The purpose of this Article is to provide a mutually acceptable method for a

prompt and equitable settlement of grievances/disputes.

b. This shall be the procedure through which a just, speedy, and inexpensive

determination of grievances is secured. Therefore, the parties agree that

grievances processed through this procedure should be resolved as early as

feasible and at the lowest cost and organizational level practicable.

c. Consistent with Article 3, Section 5 of this Agreement, bargaining unit

employees and their representatives who utilize the grievance process shall

be free from restraint, interference, coercion, discrimination or reprisal,

consistent with 5 U.S.C. Chapter 71 and this Agreement.

d. This shall be the exclusive procedure under this Collective Bargaining

Agreement available to the parties and employees in the bargaining unit for

the resolution of grievances.

Section 2. Alternative Dispute Resolution

a. The Department and Local 12 recognize that Alternative Dispute Resolution

(ADR) can serve as an effective tool to resolve labor-management disputes.

The benefits of ADR include avoiding protracted and costly litigation,

improving working relationships between management and labor, and

enhancing communication between employees and their supervisors.

Therefore, the parties agree to implement an ADR program.

b. Applicability – For individual employee grievances processed under the

jurisdiction of the Grievance Board under Section 8, ADR may be utilized to

resolve a grievance after the issuance of a Step II decision and prior to the

hearing of the case at the Grievance Board. For all other grievances, the

grievance may be submitted to ADR at any time after the grievance is filed.

c. Procedural Timeframes – When a grievance is submitted to ADR, the

timeframes for further processing the grievances will be suspended

commencing from the day on which the parties agree to proceed to ADR

and concluding when either party declares in writing their position to end

ADR.

d. The ADR process may be any of the ADR techniques available within DOL’s

ADR Program (i.e., Mediation, Facilitation, and Interest Based Problem

Solving), utilizing mediators from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation

Service (FMCS) or the Shared Neutrals Program administered by the

Department of Health and Human Services. The Office of Employee and

Labor-Management Relations (OELMR) will have the responsibility, in

consultation with Local 12, of communicating with the mediation services

for obtaining the mediators, if applicable.

e. The grievant, a union representative, and a management official who can

resolve the issue and grant the remedy requested must participate during

the ADR Process. The parties agree that all information shared during the

ADR process shall be kept confidential and will not be admissible before an

arbitrator or other administrative or judicial court. When FMCS is used, the

ADR process should last no longer than one (1) day unless the parties

mutually agree otherwise. Any settlement agreement shall be reduced to

writing and signed by Management, the grievant, and the Union. If the

grievance is not resolved, the time frames for the Union to pursue the

grievance are resumed.

Section 3. Who May Initiate a Grievance

A grievance may be filed by:

a. any employee in the Local 12 bargaining unit or former bargaining unit

employees who have filed a timely grievance; except that those employees

on temporary limited appointment and those who have not completed

probation may submit a grievance only with respect to working conditions or

rights expressly granted them elsewhere in this Agreement;

b. Local 12; or

c. the U.S. Department of Labor.

Section 4. Definition of a Grievance

A grievance means any complaint, unless expressly excluded and/or limited in this

Article:

a. by any bargaining unit employee concerning any matter relating to the

employment of the employee;

b. by Local 12 concerning any matter relating to the employment of any

bargaining unit employee; or

c. by any bargaining unit employee or Local 12 or the Department of Labor

concerning:

(1) the effect or interpretation, or a claim of breach, of this Collective

Bargaining Agreement; or

(2) any claimed violation, misinterpretation, or misapplication of any law,

rule, or regulation affecting the condition(s) of employment.

Section 5. Exclusions from the Grievance Procedure

The following subject matters referenced in subsections a. and b. below are

excluded from the grievance procedure regardless of the specific allegation(s) or

issue(s):

a. Excluded by Statute from the grievance procedure are:

(1) Any claimed violation of Subchapter III of Chapter 73 of Title 5 of the

U.S. Code (relating to prohibited political activities);

(2) Retirement, life insurance, or health insurance;

(3) A suspension or removal under Section 7532 of Title 5 of the U.S.

Code;

(4) Any examination, certification, or appointment; or

123

(5) The classification of any position that does not result in a reduction in

grade or pay of an employee.

b. Further, this Article does not apply to:

(1) A binding decision made by an authority outside the Department;

(2) The filling of a position which is in the Senior Executive Service

(SES), and the filling of all other positions outside the bargaining

unit;

(3) The judgment of a merit staffing panel or qualifications rating

examiner;

(4) Non-selection from a properly prepared merit staffing certificate;

(5) Failure to recommend and/or disapproval of a quality step increase,

performance award, or other kind of honorary or other discretionary

award;

(6) Failure to adopt a suggestion submitted under the Incentive Awards

Program;

(7) Termination of an employee on a temporary appointment;

(8) Separation of probationary employees unless the probationary status

of the employee is one of the issues raised;

(9) the placement of an employee on a Performance Improvement Plan

(PIP);

(10) Oral counselings or warnings/admonishments; or

(11) Informal telework denials pursuant to Article 12.

Section 6. Rights

a. Nothing in this Agreement shall be construed as precluding discussion

between an employee and his/her immediate supervisor of a matter of

interest or concern to either of them. However, once a matter has been

made the subject of a grievance under this procedure, nothing herein shall

preclude either management or the union from attempting to resolve the

grievance informally at the appropriate level.

b. An employee or group of employees in the bargaining unit filing a grievance

under this procedure may be represented by a Union representative. Any

employee or group of employees in the bargaining unit may present a

grievance under this procedure without representation and have it resolved

without intervention of the Union as long as the resolution is not

inconsistent with the terms of this Agreement and the Union is given an

opportunity to be present during the grievance proceeding.

c. In presenting a grievance, the grievant and the duly designated Union

representative, if any, shall be free from restraint, interference, coercion,

discrimination, and reprisal.

d. Official Time shall be allowed in accordance with Article 45, Section 4 for the

employee and the designated union representative.

e. Where the grievant(s) has designated a Local 12 Representative, all

communications with regard to the grievance and attempts at resolution of

the grievance shall be made through the designated Local 12

Representative.

Section 7. Grievance Form

a. The grievance form (in Appendix D) is used for the filing of grievances

under this Article. The grievance is to be signed and dated by the

grievant(s) or the representative. The grievant(s) shall identify the alleged

violation(s), underlying facts and the remedies sought on the Step I portion

of the grievance form. The Step II grievance appeal shall also be presented

in writing on the Step II portion of the grievance form. The Step II portion

of the grievance form shall contain any additional information as necessary

about the grievance. The Step II grievance may be amended at any time

prior to the issuance of the Step II decision.

b. Trivial or clearly mechanical errors not affecting the substantial rights of a

party shall be disregarded at every stage of the proceedings under this

Article. However, the failure to provide all of the necessary information on

the grievance form is more than a trivial or clearly mechanical error and

shall constitute a basis to return the grievance for inclusion of such

information. If the form is returned to the grievant or the Union

Representative, the time limit for filing will be tolled. Issues and allegations

that are not raised by the Union in the Step 2 process may not subsequently

be considered by an arbitrator should the grievance be invoked to

arbitration.

Section 8. Grievance Board Authority and Procedures

a. Purpose

This Section establishes an internal mechanism of the U.S. Department of

Labor to be known as the Grievance Board and prescribes its procedures.

The Grievance Board’s purpose is to provide prompt and effective binding

arbitration of grievances specified below. Grievance Board Members, as

described in subsection b. below, selected to hear cases shall determine

jurisdiction in cases involving these grievances; shall conduct prompt

hearings in such cases; and decide such cases, or otherwise dispose of

them, so as to ensure the fullest measure of due process for the members

of the bargaining unit while still providing the Department, the grievant, and

the Union an efficient and effective method for resolving grievances.

b. Composition

The parties will establish and maintain a panel of six (6) Grievance Board

members in accordance with the arbitrator selection procedures laid out in

Article

48, Section 1.b. A member may be removed from the panel by mutual

agreement of the parties. An individual may not serve on both the

Grievance Board and the Article 48 arbitration panel. None of the Grievance

Board members will be Management Officials of the Department. Each

Grievance

Board member will serve a two (2) year term, renewable only after a one

(1) year absence from the Grievance Board.

c. Authority

(1) The following individual grievances must be heard by the Grievance

Board:

(a) Leave restriction(s) and leave denial(s),

(b) AWOL charges of one (1) hour or less;

(c) Written letters of reprimand, counseling, warning, or

admonishment; (d) Any grievable telework determination(s),

as provided in Article 12,Section 12;

(e) Individual space concerns;

(f) Performance appraisals with a summary rating of Highly Effective

(or equivalent) or higher;

(g) Individual Safety and Health concerns under Article 33, Section(s)

5, 10, and/or 12;

(h) Allegations solely under Article 3;

(i) Individual child care subsidy determinations and/or amounts;

(j) Denial of Within-Grade Increases;

(k) Transit subsidy and/or parking grievances;

(l) Individual denials of up to 40 hours for administrative leave for

training under Article 21, Section 4;

(m) Merit Staffing Grievances where the grievant alleges that he/she

was improperly excluded from the certificate of eligibles;

(n) Grievances related to the Department’s electronic travel system.

(2) By mutual agreement of the parties, any case eligible for full or oneday

arbitration under Article 48 may be heard by the Grievance

Board.

(3) Any grievance covered by Section (c)(1) and invoked to arbitration

prior to the ratification of this Article may be heard by the Grievance

Board at the election of the grievant and the Union.

(4) Multiple grievances will be consolidated into one (1) case when the

grievant and the Local 12 representative inform management that

the facts of the grievances originate from a particular act or acts.

Once consolidated, the case will default to the most formal grievance

procedure applicable to any single grievance.

d. Grievance Board Procedures

(1) Prehearing procedures

(a) Grievances listed in paragraph c.(1) of this Section shall be filed

with the second-line supervisor using the Grievance Form found in

Appendix D. (However, this does not modify the procedures for

those grievances not heard by the Grievance Board.) In the event

that the action or decision being grieved was performed by the

second-line supervisor, the third-line supervisor shall perform the

functions of the second-line supervisor for the purposes of this

Article. Additionally, in the event that the second-line supervisor is

not the appropriate management official, he/she shall forward it

to the correct official.

(b) The grievance shall be considered filed when it is personally

delivered to or electronically received by the second-line

supervisor. The grievant or Union representative will provide a

courtesy copy to the immediate supervisor and the Agency Labor

Relations Officer.

(c) Grievances shall be filed within twenty-five (25) workdays of

when an employee knew or should have known of the alleged

violation.

(d) Step I shall be waived for all Grievance Board grievances.

(e) For the purposes of this Section only, the Step II official shall be

the second-line supervisor or, if the second-line supervisor lacks

the requisite authority to grant the relief requested, it shall be a

management official with that authority.

(f) Upon receipt of the grievance, Management shall schedule the

Step II grievance meeting within fifteen (15) workdays from the

date that it is filed. The grievant, the Step II official, and the

parties’ representatives shall meet at the Step II meeting. The

Step II official shall render a written Step II decision to the

grievant and Union representative within ten (10) workdays of the

Step II meeting.

(g) Should the Step II official deny the grievance, management will

schedule the case for a Grievance Board hearing date, to be no

fewer than fifteen (15) workdays, but no later than ninety (90)

workdays, from the date that the Step II decision is issued.

(h) Both the second–line supervisor and the grievant, and the parties’

representatives shall meet at least five (5) workdays in advance

of the Grievance Board hearing. At this meeting, the parties shall

make an effort to resolve the grievance or to reach a settlement.

(i) The Step II Decision shall be admissible at the Grievance Board

hearing.

(2) Hearing procedures

(a) A minimum of four (4) hearings will be scheduled per hearing

day, which will be presided over by a single member of the

Grievance Board.

(b) Grievances will be scheduled for hearing in the order in which

they are filed, with the modifications noted in subsection (c)

below. Grievances invoked to arbitration prior to the ratification of

this Article which the grievant and the Union elect to be heard by

the Grievance Board will be heard by the Board, in the order of

election, as specified in subsection (c)(2) below.

(c) Case presentation order

1. Cases will be scheduled for presentation to the Board based

on time estimates submitted by the parties at the time of

scheduling so that at least four (4) cases may be presented to

the Board on a scheduled hearing day. Cases designated by

either party as taking longer than two (2) hours will be heard

first in a hearing day.

2. The parties will make every effort to schedule cases on a firstin,

first- out basis. However, because of the procedures

outlined above, cases might be delayed in getting a hearing

date because of cases having shorter or longer hearing times.

(d) The Grievance Board Member shall ensure that each case

normally lasts no longer than two (2) hours. However, one (1)

case per hearing day may be selected to last as long as three (3)

hours. The Member may, at his or her discretion, permit the other

hearings to last more than two (2) hours; however, the Member

must render a decision in, or otherwise resolve, at least four (4)

grievances per eight (8) hour day.

(e) The Grievance Board Member shall have the responsibility for

assuring that the relevant evidence and facts are brought forth by

the parties and that the hearing is a fair and just one. The

Grievance Board Member shall also manage the allocation of time

for the hearing to ensure that neither party uses an unfair portion

of the time allotted for the hearing, taking into consideration the

applicable burden of proof and any defenses to be raised.

(f) Any party providing documents to the Board at the hearing shall

provide a copy to the other parties and to the exclusive

representative.

(g) The Board Member shall provide copies of his/her

correspondence concerning the case to all parties and the

exclusive representatives.

(h) Each party shall have the right to make an opening statement no

more than five (5) minutes in length.

(i) At his or her discretion, the Grievance Board Member may

question any of the witnesses. The parties have a right to

question their own witnesses, and to cross examine the other

parties’ witnesses within the designated time frame(s).

(j) The parties may submit documentary evidence to the Grievance

Board Member.

(k) Briefs shall not be filed; however, legal authority may be provided

to the Grievance Board Member during or immediately after the

hearing.

(l) No transcripts of any Grievance Board hearing shall be made.

However, the Grievance Board Member may record the hearing.

(m) Each party should submit a brief proposed Order to the

Grievance Board Member stating the requested relief to be

granted. The Grievance Board Member will render an oral decision

at the end of the hearing and a brief written Order by the

conclusion of the hearing day.

(n) All decisions of the Grievance Board are final, and no party may

appeal a Grievance Board Decision in any forum, with the

exception of EEO claims or any other statutory non-waivable

appeal rights.

Section 9. Procedures for Other Grievances

This Section shall constitute the exclusive procedure available to bargaining unit

employees for the resolution of grievances that are not heard by the Grievance

Board. The grievance meeting will be with the contractually designated

management official, unless modified by mutual agreement, and the employee

with his/her designated Union representative. Grievances may be filed

electronically and

grievance decisions may be issued electronically. All timeframes in this Section may

be extended by mutual written agreement of the parties.

a. Step I

(1) A grievance must be filed within twenty-five (25) workdays of when

an employee knew or should have known of the alleged violation.

This is applicable to all grievances under this Article unless a different

timeframe is specified below. The date a grievance is filed will be

determined by when it is personally delivered to or electronically

transmitted to the appropriate Agency official.

(2) All grievances other than those concerning merit staffing should

normally be filed with the immediate supervisor, unless it is mutually

determined that it should be filed elsewhere. This mutual

determination is made between the servicing Labor Relations Officer

and the Local’s Agency Vice President. All grievances concerning

merit staffing should normally be filed with the servicing Human

Resources Officer at Step II, with Step I being automatically waived,

and therefore the Step I portion of the grievance form need not be

completed.

(3) When filing a grievance at Step I, the grievant shall complete the

grievance form as described in Appendix D. The supervisor, the

grievant, and the Union Representative shall have eight (8) workdays

from the filing of the grievance to meet and discuss the grievance.

The meeting shall be arranged with the Union Representative. The

supervisor will communicate the decision on the grievance in writing

within eight (8) workdays from the date of the meeting. When the

Step I decision is issued, it will identify the designated Step II Official

who has the authority to grant or deny the requested remedy.

(4) Representation at Step I shall be provided by a Union Representative

in the same Agency as the grievant, unless a Union Representative

from another jurisdiction or an officer of Local 12 is appointed by the

President in accordance with Article 45, Section 3.

(5) If the grievance is filed with the wrong Agency official, Management

shall forward it to the correct official and so notify the grievant and

Union representative. Even in these instances, the date the Step I

grievance was initially personally delivered or electronically

transmitted shall be considered the date of filing.

b. Step II

(1) A grievance may be appealed to Step II of this procedure within ten

(10) workdays of receipt of a decision unsatisfactory to the aggrieved

employee(s), or if no timely decision is issued at Step I, within ten

(10) workdays after the grievance reply was due at Step I. An appeal

shall be filed by completing the Step II portion of the grievance form.

(2) The Step II appeal shall be filed with designated Step II official. The

Step II appeal shall be considered filed when it is personally delivered

to or electronically transmitted to the appropriate Agency official. The

grievant or the Union representative should provide a copy to the

immediate supervisor and the Agency Labor Relations Officer. If the

appeal is filed with the wrong Agency official, Management shall

forward it to the correct official and so notify the grievant and Union

representative.

(3) A merit staffing grievance is filed at Step II with the servicing Human

Resources Officer within twenty five (25) workdays of when an

employee and/or the Union have learned of the alleged violation.

(4) The Agency official, grievant, and designated Agency Union

representative shall have ten (10) workdays from the date of the

filing of the Step II appeal to meet and discuss the grievance. Where

the Union representative and/or the employee did not cooperate in

meeting with the grievance official within the specified timeframe,

the grievance official will issue a written Step II decision. The Agency

official shall render a written decision to the grievant and Union

representative within ten (10) workdays of the Step II meeting or

when the meeting should have occurred. If no decision is rendered in

a timely fashion, the Union may invoke the grievance to arbitration.

Section 10. Union Grievances

This shall constitute the exclusive procedure(s) available to the Union for the

resolution of grievances.

a. A grievance initiated by the Union must bear at least one (1) signature of an

official or a representative designated by the President or Executive Vice

President of Local 12.

b. Union-Filed Institutional Grievances

A grievance filed by Local 12 which does not seek personal relief for a

particular employee or group of employees, but rather expresses Local 12’s

disagreement with Management’s interpretation or application of the

Agreement and which seeks an institutional remedy, shall be processed as

follows:

(1) On a matter involving more than a single DOL Agency, the grievance

shall be filed with the OELMR. If the matter has not been resolved

after ten (10) workdays of the receipt of the grievance, Local 12 may

invoke arbitration within the next thirty (30) workdays, unless the

parties agree to submit the grievance to mediation, in which case

Local 12 may invoke arbitration within thirty (30) workdays of the

conclusion of the mediation.

(2) On a matter specific and limited to a single DOL Agency, the

grievance shall be filed with the Administrative Officer. If the matter

has not been resolved after ten (10) workdays of the receipt of the

grievance, Local 12 may invoke arbitration within the next thirty (30)

workdays, unless the parties agree to submit the grievance to

mediation, in which case Local 12 may invoke arbitration within thirty

(30) workdays of the conclusion of the mediation.

(3) A grievance filed in accordance with paragraphs (1) or (2) above

must be filed within twenty-five (25) workdays of when the Union

knew or should have known of the alleged violation.

c. Union-Filed Employee Grievances

(1) If the Union files a grievance seeking personal relief for an individual

employee or group of employees, the grievance(s) should be filed in

accordance with the procedures delineated in Article 47, Section 9,

just as if the affected employee(s) had initiated the grievance(s).

(2) Where mutually agreeable by the parties, Union-filed grievances on

the same matter on behalf of two (2) or more employees may be

processed as a single grievance for the purpose of resolving the

grievances.

(a) If the grievants are under the supervision of a single supervisor,

the Step I grievances may be consolidated as a single grievance

with that supervisor.

(b) If the grievants are under the supervision of different supervisors

within a single DOL Agency, the grievances may be consolidated

with the Agency Administrative Officer at Step II. If the matter

has not been resolved after ten (10) workdays of the

consolidation, Local 12 may invoke arbitration within the next

thirty (30) workdays, unless Local 12 and the Department agree

to submit the case to mediation, in which case Local 12 may

invoke arbitration within thirty (30) workdays of the conclusion of

the mediation.

(c) If the grievants are under the supervision of different supervisors

in more than one (1) DOL Agency, the grievances may be

consolidated and filed at Step II with OELMR. If the matter has

not been resolved after ten (10) workdays of the consolidation,

Local 12 may invoke arbitration within the next thirty (30)

workdays, unless Local 12 and the Department agree to submit

the case to mediation, in which case Local 12 may invoke

arbitration within thirty (30) workdays after the conclusion of the

mediation.

Section 11. Department of Labor Grievances

If the Department of Labor wishes to file a grievance, the Director of OELMR will

sign and file a written grievance with the Local 12 President within twenty-five (25)

workdays of when the Department knew or should have known of the alleged

violation. The grievance will detail the nature of the harm, the violations of law,

rule, regulation, and/or collective bargaining agreement violated, and the relief

requested. If the grievance is not resolved, the Local 12 President shall issue a

written Step II decision within fifteen (15) workdays. The Department may invoke

the case to arbitration within thirty (30) workdays of the conclusion of mediation, if

applicable or after Step II decision is issued.

Section 12. Grievance Procedure for Adverse and Performance-Based

Actions

An employee who wishes to appeal an adverse action, as defined in Article 49,

Section 2, may file an appeal with the MSPB or a grievance under this Article, but

not both. An employee shall be deemed to have exercised his/her option

depending upon which forum the employee files in first. Similarly, if an employee

raises an allegation of discrimination in connection with an adverse action, the

employee may elect to file only one of the following: a grievance, or an appeal to

the MSPB, or a formal EEO complaint. An employee shall be deemed to have

exercised his/her option depending upon which forum the employee files in first;

except that the filing of a grievance does not preclude the grievant from using the

Department’s EEO counseling and informal complaint resolution process. An

employee may participate in the EEO counseling and informal complaint resolution

process without prejudice to his or her rights to file a grievance or appeal to the

MSPB, but the employee’s participation in the EEO process does not extend or

otherwise affect the deadlines for filing and processing a grievance and for

appealing to the MSPB.

When an employee elects to appeal an adverse action under the negotiated

grievance/ arbitration procedure, Step I of the grievance procedure is waived. The

Union must initially proceed to Step II of the grievance procedure in accordance

with Section 9 of this Article, and within five (5) workdays in accordance with

Section 18 of this Article in order to have any requisite stay apply. The Union must

proceed to invoke arbitration within thirty (30) workdays after the date of the

decision by filing a completed grievance form signed by the grievant or his/her

union representative.

Section 13. Invocation of Arbitration

The Union or the Department, respectively, may invoke arbitration by giving notice

of such intent to the other (Director of OELMR or the Union) within thirty (30)

workdays of receipt of the Step II decision as provided in Article 48 of this

Agreement. For grievances filed under Sections 9 through 12, the time limits for

invoking arbitration are those specified in those Sections.

Section 14. Grievability/Arbitrability

The arbitrator designated to hear the case on the merits shall have the authority to

make all determinations regarding grievability and arbitrability. If the Department

and/or the Union considers a grievance to be non-grievable or non-arbitrable, that

issue shall be raised and determined as follows:

a. A party challenging the arbitrability of a grievance based on an alleged

failure to timely invoke any Step of the grievance or arbitration procedure

may require that a separate hearing (by meeting or teleconference) be held

to decide the arbitrability issue. The hearing must be requested no later

than thirty (30) workdays before the scheduled arbitration hearing. The

arbitrator shall render a decision on a pre-hearing timeliness challenge no

later than three (3) workdays following the hearing. A hearing on the

merits shall not commence prior to receipt of the arbitrator’s decision. If

the timeliness challenge is denied, the challenging party must pay all costs

related to the challenge. If the timeliness challenge is upheld, the opposing

(losing) party must pay all costs related to this challenge.

b. The arbitrator shall have the authority to make all determinations regarding

grievability and arbitrability. If the Department or the Union considers a

grievance non-grievable or non-arbitrable, it should communicate such

determination to the other party at the earliest possible time. A party raising

the issue of arbitrability of a grievance may require that a separate hearing

(meeting or teleconference) be held to decide the arbitrability issue. The

arbitrator will render a decision no later than three (3) days following the

meeting or teleconference and prior to any hearing on the merits of the

grievance.

Section 15. Termination of Grievance

A grievance shall terminate only at the employee’s request, with Union approval,

for failure to proceed to the next step in a timely fashion, or if an arbitrator

renders a decision, unless appealed, or when a final decision is rendered on an

appeal from the arbitrator’s decision.

Section 16. Modification of Procedures

a. The time limits delineated in this Article may be modified by mutual written

agreement of the parties. Absent such mutual consent, the failure to timely

file an initial grievance or timely appeal the grievance to Step II (for

individual employee grievances), or timely invoke the grievance to

arbitration shall result in a dismissal of the grievance.

b. The parties may mutually agree in writing to waive Step I and II of this

procedure.

c. For expeditious processing of grievances, the parties, by mutual agreement,

may consolidate grievances concerning similar issues into a single

grievance.

Section 17. Failure to Meet Requirements

a. An electronic grievance will be considered filed and signed by the sender on

the date transmitted. For grievances filed by methods other than

electronically, the failure to sign or date the grievance form will not have

the effect of nullifying the grievance.

b. Failure on the part of an aggrieved employee to prosecute his/her grievance

within the stated time periods at any Step of this procedure will have the

effect of nullifying the grievance.

c. Failure on the part of Local 12 or the Department to prosecute its grievance,

filed in its own behalf within the stated time periods at any Step of this

procedure will have the effect of nullifying the grievance.

d. Failure on the part of the Department to meet any of the time requirements

of this procedure will permit the aggrieved employee or Local 12 to move to

the next Step.

Section 18. Stays of Certain Personnel Actions

a. Upon timely filing of a grievance within five (5) workdays after receipt of a

decision to suspend or remove a bargaining unit employee under 5

U.S.C.4303 or 7512 or to suspend an employee under 5 U.S.C. 7502, the

Department agrees to stay only the following types of actions for the

following terms:

(1) Suspensions of one (1) to fourteen (14) days – No stay

(2) Suspensions of fifteen (15) days or more – 45 day stay

(3) Involuntary downgrades- 45 day stay

(4) Removals– No stay

(5) Exception: No stay will be provided for any employee or for any

action specifically excluded from coverage by 5 U.S.C. 4303, 7502, or

7512. No stay will be provided for any other type of adverse action or

for any employee that is not covered or any action that is excluded

from coverage under 5 C.F.R. Part 752, Subpart D. No stay will be

provided for any personnel action taken in response to criminal

allegations.

b. In all cases of stays, if the arbitrator makes an award prior to the conclusion

of the stay, the stay terminates.

c. In such cases, the first step grievance procedure is waived and the grievance

immediately goes to Step II. Step II may be waived, at Local 12’s election, as

provided in Article 49.

d. This Section does not apply to emergency suspensions where retention of the

employee in an active duty status may be injurious to the employee, his/her

fellow workers, or the general public, or may result in damage to Government

property. In such cases, the Department may waive the advance written

notice period; if the Department waives the advance notice period, the

employee will be placed in a non-duty status with pay, for such time as

necessary to affect the suspension.


More Information:
Grievance Form & Step 2 Grievance Form
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