Afge National Agreement 2019
After more than a year of tense negotiations, the Social Security Administration and the American Federation of Government Employees have finally agreed on a new six-year contract. “The commitment and commitment of all those involved in these difficult negotiations was the reason an agreement was reached,” Richard Giacolone, head of the agency and president-elect for the position of director of the FMCS, said in a statement on Monday. “This resolution is proof of the power of good faith negotiations, where both sides are ready to come to the negotiating table, put aside their differences and work towards a mutual agreement that respects the interests of both sides. I commend the leaders of the SSA and AFGE for their commitment to resolving these difficult issues in a spirit of constructive engagement. The new collective agreement, signed by SSA management and AFGE representatives late last week, resolves months of disagreement between the two parties and offers both a few days of stability before the may 2018 injunction on the President`s executive orders is lifted. The new agreement gives a bank 125,000 hours of official time – half the official time afGE bank representatives had under the previous contract, but 75,000 hours more than what gave the deadlock in its recent decision. In addition, the collective agreement allows the union to file complaints about disputes related to an employee`s performance assessment or other matters – another activity that would have prevented the president from making personnel decisions. The agreement allows 20 union representatives to use no more than 840 hours of official time per year, meaning that these workers spend about 40% of their time on union activities and the remaining 60% can perform the tasks for which they were initially recruited. The FMCS congratulated the agency and the union on the agreement between the two parties. “The new contract reflects the agency`s public service priority and will take effect on October 27,” a SSA spokeswoman said in a statement to the Federal News Network. “The Agency thanks both AFGE`s negotiating teams and Social Security for the months of effort they have made and for the success they have achieved in reaching the new agreement.” In the end, the union was faced with a decision: drop all ongoing litigation regarding the SSA`s bargaining contract, which included two lawsuits and nine complaints, and negotiate with the Agency – or have the panel resolve the deadlock on the remaining articles of the existing AFGE contract.
In the meantime, SSA has stated that it will begin implementing the provisions of the Chair`s personnel decisions under the second option. Executive Order (EO) 13836, Developing Efficient, Effective, and Cost-Reducing Approaches to Federal Sector Collective Bargaining, signed by the President on May 25, 2018, requires agencies to submit any long-term collective agreement (CBA) and its expiry date within 30 days of the CBA`s entry into force. EO 13836 also requires OPM to make these CBAs available to the public on the internet. This promotes transparency by allowing the public to consult the types of agreements between federal agencies and industry unions. Agencies are also required to submit arbitration awards to OPM within 10 business days of receipt. OPM has issued a memorandum on the publication of the CBA database, which contains guidelines on agency requirements for CBAs and arbitration awards. “It was a priority for us to try to hold on to what we had and realize that no gain could be achieved in this environment,” Said Mr. Couture. Industrial Relations Agency staff or other appropriate staff may register as users and submit arbitration decisions and CBAs through OPM`s laboratory document submission portal.