Section 1. General
a. The Department recognizes that the quality of the workplace has a
significant impact on the efficiency of DOL operations. In any design or
redesign of the workplace, the Department will focus on improving the
quality of the workplace. A quality workplace requires the efficient use of
office space and attention to those factors which provide employees
adequate space to do their jobs to the best of their ability. Space occupied
by bargaining unit employees shall be arranged and maintained so as to
ensure a safe and healthy work environment within the workplace.
b. The Department agrees to eliminate plainly inequitable workspace
allocations among employees in the bargaining unit, unless factors beyond
the parties control preclude otherwise.
c. In making space renovations, the Department will design workspace to
meet the needs of the work being performed with the benefit of more
efficient use of space and increased employee effectiveness and morale.
d. The parties recognize that the General Services Administration (GSA) or
tenant restrictions may impose limitations on space options.
e. The Department will notify Local 12 when a decision is made to reallocate
space between DOL Agencies.
Section 2. Space Guidelines
With reference to all space issues, the Agency will use the following guidelines:
a. Employees must be afforded adequate space to perform their duties free of
hazards. All bargaining unit employees not subject to Section 4 of this
Article shall have not less than sixty-four (64) square feet of work space.
b. Where possible, common use equipment shall not be located in employee
c. When overall space is reduced, bargaining unit employees shall not bear a
disproportionate burden of that reduction, without regard to exigent
d. In future redesigns or reconstructions, Management agrees that all of the
window space in any office space will either be utilized as open space, or
that bargaining unit employees shall have the maximum access to daylight
as is feasible, whichever is greater.
Section 3. Assigning Space
Management agrees to notify Local 12 of all changes in work space allocations
and/or office moves. Management will provide the Union with a relevant space
chart and an accurate seniority list, based on several variables, to facilitate the
process. Thereafter, bargaining unit employees themselves, acting solely through
the Union, will decide the criteria for the assigning and selection of offices and/or
work stations. The criteria will based upon some definition of seniority, except
where the technology, functions, or methods of the work performed dictate
otherwise. Local 12 will then develop a seniority list of all bargaining unit
employees within the scope of the space change, based upon the agreed upon
criteria. If the bargaining unit employees are not able to reach consensus on the
criteria to be used, the bargaining unit employees shall select their offices and/or
workstations according to seniority, defined as total length of continuous service in
DOL. The parties agree that management may impose a deadline upon by which
the entire process must be completed, when necessary.
Section 4. Flexiplace/Telework
a. Types of Workspace
The parties recognize that one of the benefits of formal telework is space
savings for the Department, which in turn is a financial savings for the U.S.
taxpayer. Shared Work Space is defined as employees sharing one space
(offices or cubicles). Agencies can implement any of the “shared work
space” as described below.
1) Unassigned Space Arrangement (commonly referred to as “Hot
Desking” or “Hotelling”) – unreserved, unassigned seating that is
available to employees who telework at least three (3) days to use
when required to come into the office on a first come first served
basis. This space should have the same configuration as described in
Section 2.a of this Article. No particular work area is assigned to any
specific employee in any arrangement.
2) Open Bull Pen Space Arrangements – Open style smaller workspaces
with no reserved spaces. These work spaces will have less privacy
than the standard cubicle. Management will provide the necessary
equipment to complete the job functions to all employees utilizing
these spaces, in any arrangement. Each office using this style of
seating will provide “Quiet” rooms and “Conference” space.
b. Employees working a formal telework schedule at least three (3) days a
week away from the office may be required to utilize common/shared work
space. The space would have all the following amenities:
1) In both the shared cubicle and unassigned space arrangements, each
employee will be provided a work area which shall include a work
surface, a PC or docking station, a phone and an individual locked
storage area. Each employee will also be assigned an individual
phone number with a corresponding voicemail account.
2) In the unassigned space arrangement, it is understood that these
work areas are not permanently assigned to any specific employee
and are utilized as available and as needed when the employee
reports to the office. It is also understood that these shared work
spaces will comply with Article 33 of this Agreement.
3) Agencies will be able to utilize shared space (offices or cubicles) or
other arrangements as agreed to by both Parties to this Agreement.
4) Employees working a formal telework schedule at least three (3)
days a week away from the office are entitled to not less than fifteen
(15) square feet of work surface space and not less a sufficient
amount of work space within the employee’s temporary work station
to accomplish all of the duties required by their position. All of these
work areas must be ADA compliant.
c. Employees working a formal telework schedule at least three (3) days a
week away from the office, who then voluntarily reduce the number of days
away from the office to less than three (3), will be permitted to exercise
his/her seniority rights with respect to office selection within ninety (90)
calendar days of the return to the office. Each employee will also be
assigned an individual phone number with a corresponding voicemail
d. If an employee is terminated from participation in a telework schedule or is
reduced to less than three (3) days a week at management’s insistence or
determination, an employee will be permitted to exercise his/her seniority
rights with respect to office selection within thirty (30) calendar days of the
employee’s return to the office.
e. When all employees are required to be in the office at the same time, they
will be given the minimum amount of space necessary to perform their
Section 5. Informal Discussion
It is the intent of the parties to resolve space issues at the lowest possible level.
When a space change is to occur which will have an impact on bargaining unit
employees, the DOL Agency will informally communicate to Local 12 and the
Agency Vice President(s) in regard to a planned space change prior to any plan
Following these discussions, the Union will be given a copy of any and all proposed
space plan(s), and the Union may request bargaining in accordance with Article 41
within ten (10) workdays from the receipt of any plan.