American Federation of Government Employees
AFFLIATED WITH THE AFL-CIO
LITIGATION REPORT – September, 2004
Unfair Labor Practice Charges
None were filed over SSA having formal discussions with members of the Special Title II Disability Workload Cadres without providing the Union with advanced notice of the meeting and without providing the Union with an opportunity to be present at the meetings because none of the Cadre members who were at the meetings would agree to provide an affidavit to the FLRA detailing what terms and conditions of employment (i.e., changes in assignments and workloads) were discussed and when they were discussed.
The Local filed a ULP against Muskogee management for failing and refusing to provide copies of the National Agreement to bargaining unit employees who were not Union members. The Union alleged this was prohibited discrimination based on Union-membership. The FLRA dismissed the charge because the non-Union members could have looked at the contract and downloaded it on-line. The Local did not appeal the dismissal.
The Local successfully settled one no-selection complaint. The employee received a priority consideration and was subsequent promoted.
There is another non-selection complaint still. The Union requested an audit of the promotion package.
The Local will represent an employee at an EEO hearing regarding the refusal of SSA to give an employee a reasonable accommodation.
The Local is representing an employee in an EEO complaint that is being scheduled for Alternate Dispute Resolution on retaliation-hostile work environment and refusal to reassign the individual to another office.
The Union is aware of other pending EEO complaints and has offered to represent the employees. The employees have not responded.
Nothing Was Filed
SSA fired /requested the resignation a few of probationary employees. In a couple of cases the employees asked for general advice, the Union was never contacted and asked, by any of the employees for representation.
Management denied an SR’s request for 30 minutes leave on a Friday so that she could get an early start on her anniversary weekend. The manager denied the request, saying, “If I let you go, I’ll have to cover the front desk!”
The Manager called in a candidate of the Well-Qualified List for a promotion to tell the employee how difficult the job was AND that the manager expected the employee, if promoted, to do all their current CR work in addition to the TE work. That blatantly violates Article 26: if one candidate is offered an interview, ALL candidates must be offered an interview. Since the employee got the job and it is only TEMPORARY, NOT TO EXCEED TWO YEARS, the employee, understandably, is reluctant to testify. This is a problem the Union often faces. If the employee testified, there would be NO remedy for that employee; the remedy would be for the other candidates on the WQ list: the selection would HAVE to be re-run and management would have to offer interviews to all the other candidates. Does that mean any of them would get the job? No; the requirement would be to level the playing field, which does not mean a different person has to be selected. Of course, the selecting official just might be angry enough at having been caught doing something wrong, that they would select a different employee just to be spiteful.
The Manager told an employee that her co-worker tried to “screw” her with additional interviews. Luckily, the employee told the Union Rep who confronted the manager. The manager apologized to the Union Rep.
An employee was COUNSELED by the manager (and denied Union representation when requested) about his voice.
An employee kept missing breaks and getting short-changed at lunch. The employee e-mailed the management staff that the interview (EDCS) was running over, that employee’s next TWO appointments were waiting and the employee was going to lunch when the interview at the employee’s desk was concluded. Management assigned the two waiting appointments to two other employees whom management had taken off interviews for the day.
An employee contacted the Union about non-selection. The time frames for filing a grievance and for requesting EEO Counseling had passed.
An employee contacted the Union about a hardship reassignment. Following the Union’s advice about making sure the Dallas Region and the requested region (RO, AD and manager) received copies of the 4100, along with an updated 45, copy of the latest appraisal, bouquet letters and award documentation), the employee found out that the Dallas Region not once but TWICE lost copies of the hardship request. Luckily, the receiving office manager, AD and Region didn’t. The employee was called into his/her current manager’s office and told, “Well, your hardship reassignment came through. ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT IT?” Of course, the employee said, “YES!” and, though unhappy with the manager’s reaction and tone-of-voice, will soon be on his/her merry way to a new duty station!
The Local is representing two employees in grievances concerning the amount of their awards.
The Local is representing an employee who was hit with a two-day suspension (sanctions/table of penalties).
The Local is representing an employee who filed a grievance over management’s violation of her privacy.
The Local filed a Section 10 grievance over management’s failure to issue a timely step one grievance decision.
The Local filed a Section 10 grievance over the Dallas Region’s failure and refusal to provide the Union with a copy of a disciplinary decision when the Union was the named representative. SSA denied the grievance, though admitted the Union would have, but for an unfortunate and unintentional oversight, gotten a copy.
The Local filed a Section 10 grievance on one office’s unilateral change in granting leave during the Christmas holidays.
The Local filed a Section 10 grievance over one office’s failure to notify the Officer-in-Charge that he/she was actually going to be in charge since very one from management decided to go out for a “working lunch
The Local filed a Section 10 grievance over SSA’s refusal to allow the Union to present witnesses at a grievance presentation.
The Local filed a Section 10 grievance over management giving an employee a Training Assistance Plan instead of Performance Assistance Plan.
The Local filed a Section 10 grievance over management’s refusal to permit the Union to have two people at a Section 10 grievance presentation.
Complaints Filed With The Office Of Special Counsel
Management discouraged an employee from applying for a promotion. OSC is investigating the possible violation of 5 CFR 330.1001.
SSA converted a Temp TE (12) to a permanent MSS (12) without posting a merit promotion vacancy. (This happens a LOT). OSC dismissed because it was the same grade and the position does not have a higher grade as part of a career-ladder. Also, the vacancy announcement under which the TE was selected specifically stated that it may be made permanent with out further competition. Absent a confession from some one in management that this was done specifically for the purpose of preventing others from rightfully competing, this is not a prohibited personnel practice, a violation of 5 USC 2302(b)(4). The SAME rationale applied to detailing TEs into MSS, PAS, OS positions for 120 days at a time, followed by additional (like in ad infinitum) 120 day stints.
OSC dismissed a nepotism complaint over a manager hiring a STEP NIECE. A “niece” is a relative, as defined by 5 USC 3110. Hiring a niece would be a prohibited personnel practice. A STEP NIECE is not included in the definition of a relative, as defined in 5 USC 3110.
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September 17, 2004
Ralph C. de Juliis
Executive Vice President