Resources for HHS Employees
HHS is implementing the FSIP decision but that doesn’t mean employees are at the complete mercy of management. Below are guides that outline the agency’s ongoing obligations and provide tips for employees to secure fair treatment. More guides will be posted soon on topics like telework and leave.
Guide to Renewing Your Telework Schedule - Language imposed by the Federal Service Impasses Panel (FSIP) requires HHS employees to renew their telework agreement every six months. NTEU has put together some guidance for HHS employees on renewing, and what to do if your request is denied.
Guide to Performance Plans (One-Pager) - Despite HHS’ efforts to eliminate contract language in this area, management doesn't have carte blanche. This guide explains the agency's obligation to establish and communicate performance standards to employees before they may be held accountable for the standards.
Guide to Your Performance Appraisal (One-Pager) - Dissatisfied with your performance appraisal rating? This guide outlines basic rules the agency must follow and your right to challenge an unfair rating.
Guide to Managing Performance During the Appraisal Period (One-Pager) - This guide outlines employees’ entitlement to performance feedback and provides tips to help ensure fair ratings at the end of the rating period.
NTEU Opposes Management Move to Cut Telework at ORA
NTEU is fighting back after management disregarded a telework settlement agreement negotiated at the Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA). Instead of executing the agreement, HHS took steps to deny ORA employee requests for recurring telework agreements and limit telework participation to two days per pay period.
NTEU responded with a grievance alleging that management's actions not only violate the contract, but also the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010. The grievance also asserts that HHS failed to take the legally-required steps to identify and remove barriers to telework and provide the union with timely and accurate participation data.
A few weeks after NTEU and ORA reached a telework settlement agreement, ORA refused to sign it and asked to return to the bargaining table. The union is committed to fighting the continued attacks on your telework and your rights at the bargaining table. By filing this latest grievance, NTEU is seeking to execute the ORA telework agreement and compel management to comply.
National Grievance Filed Over ACL Reorganization
About 20 employees from regional offices across the country of the Administration for Community Living (ACL) were told to relocate to Washington, D.C., or lose their jobs as part of a reorganization in which HHS did not bargain with NTEU. ACL gave employees less than 30 days to decide whether to accept the reassignment and denied all employee requests for hardship considerations.
NTEU has filed a national grievance/unfair labor practice charge because the process violated the terms of the union’s collective bargaining agreement with HHS.
Even though reassignment letters went out in May and the relocations are supposed to take effect in August, the agency did not give the union formal notice until just last week. It also revealed the reassignments were outlined in a memo dated March 1 but only shared it with employees months later.
The reassignments have created severe financial hardship and stress for these employees and their families, especially because they were given so little time to decide whether to move. Furthermore, the agency refused to consider alternative arrangements such as telework and job swaps that could have mitigated the impact on employees.
Although job relocations are a management right, NTEU is asking the agency to cease and desist until the reassignments are properly bargained and employees are given additional options.
Mediation Over Remaining Contract Articles Resumes Next Month
When the Federal Service Impasses Panel issued a decision in April on 23 contract articles, it sent six other articles back to the bargaining table. NTEU and HHS met earlier this summer for a bargaining session and have term mediation scheduled to begin Aug. 26.
In the meantime, NTEU continues to pursue a national grievance arguing that HHS prematurely implemented 23 articles because only a complete contract can take effect, and the parties have not finished bargaining.