FSIP Issues Decision for Management

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On April 1, the Federal Service Impasses Panel (FSIP) issued the decision NTEU had fully expected: one that generally sides with HHS management at the expense of you and our union.

Following its pattern of the past few years, the FSIP is trying to take away employee rights and limit the ability of federal unions to fight back. Read NTEU’s summary of the of the FSIP decision.

However, NTEU is not afraid to fight and our history shows that we will stay in the fight until we win. The FSIP, with only a few modifications, adopted the language in management’s last best offer. These are the contract articles that management refused to bargain over, going so far as to refuse to even meet with the NTEU team at the bargaining table. NTEU remains convinced that the process is illegal and we have four national grievances about that still pending.

There are some rights the FSIP could not take away.

  • We still have a broad scope grievance procedure. Although management has more discretion, we can grieve abuses of that discretion, whether that is done in a performance appraisal, an award, or leave denial. 

  • And we can grieve and enforce violations of the law when management exercises its discretion in a way that violates it, including committing prohibited personnel practices, engaging in unlawful discrimination, and failing to comply with regulations implementing merit systems principles.  

  • We retained the right to bargain mid-term changes affecting working conditions, including office moves and space changes, because even the FSIP can’t take away that statutory right.

  • We remain committed to vigorously enforcing employees’ statutory right to union representation investigatory interviews and making sure that their interests are put forward in formal meetings.

Imposition of this language does not, however, mean there is a new contract in place for NTEU-represented employees at HHS. These articles are not a complete contract. The FSIP rightly refused to consider six remaining articles yet to be bargained. Your current contract remains in place.

This is the time to fight back and get engaged.

  • Are you angry that the FSIP agrees you can only “expect” to telework one day a week?

  • Are you upset with severely restricted time off between November and January? Thanks to HHS management and the FSIP, you will only be able to take off 5 days during those months.

  • Do you think it is right that management may ask you for a doctor’s note when you are out sick for one day?

This is just some of what HHS management requested and the FSIP delivered.

We need to shine a light on the outrageous actions being taken under the guise of “improving” the federal government workplace. Let’s start with the attack on telework and HHS’ efforts to turn back the clock, force you back into the office, and leave your ability to telework solely in the hands of your managers. Learn more.

If you want to take a deeper dive into how we got here, read a complete overview of how HHS manipulated the system in order to give management nearly complete control of your workplace.

Finally, stand with NTEU. This union refuses to simply accept this turn of events. We will be by your side, working to change this anti-employee environment, until we succeed.