Negotiated Grievance Procedure
Article 11 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between NPS and NFFE Local 1690 outlines the Negotiated Grievance Procedure (NGP). For additional information regarding the NGP, contact HRO or your local Union representative.
Section 1101. General. The Agency and the Union recognize the importance of settling disagreements and disputes promptly, fairly, and in an orderly manner that will maintain the self respect of the employee and be consistent with the principles of good management. To accomplish this, every effort will be made to settle these issues expeditiously and at the lowest level of supervision. The Parties encourage the use of Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) through mediation as a coat effective and timely method of solving grievances, disagreements and/or disputes.
Section 1102. Negotiated Grievance Procedure. This negotiated grievance procedure will be the exclusive procedure available to the Union and Unit employees for resolving grievances, except as provided in this article.
Section 1103. Representation. A grievance may be undertaken by an employee, a group of employees, the Union or the Agency. Only the Union or a representative approved by the Union may represent employees in such grievances. However, any employee or group of employees may personally present a complaint and have it adjusted without representation by the Union provided the adjustment is consistent with the terms of this agreement.
Section 1104. Exclusions. This negotiated grievance procedure will not be available to resolve a grievance concerning any claimed violation of rules on prohibited political activities; retirement, life insurance, or health insurance; a suspension or removal for national security reasons (5 USC 7532); any examination, certification or appointment; classification of a position which does not result in reduction in pay or grade for the employee; or matters concerning a reduction-in-force action.
Section 1105. Filing Options. An aggrieved employee affected by a prohibited personnel practice under 5 USC 2302 (b) (1), which also falls under the negotiated grievance procedure, may raise the matter under a statutory procedure or the negotiated procedure, but not both. An employee will be deemed to have exercised this option when the employee files a timely notice of appeal under an appellate procedure, or files a timely grievance in writing under the negotiated procedure.
Section 1106. Appellate Rights. Any grievance involving an action under 5 USC 4303 (action based on unacceptable performance), or an adverse action under 5 USC 7512 (removal, suspension for more than 14 days, a reduction in grade, or a furlough of 30 days or less), which also falls within the coverage of the negotiated grievance procedure, may be raised under the appellate procedures of 5 USC 7701, or under the negotiated grievance procedure, but not both.
Section 1107. Related/non-Related Grievances. In the event either party should declare a grievance non-grievable or nonarbitrable, the original grievance will be considered amended to include this issue. All disputes of grievability or arbitrability will be referred to arbitration as a threshold issue in the related grievance.
Section 1108. Witnesses. At any step of the grievance procedure, both parties will have the right to call a reasonable number of witnesses, who, if employees of the Agency, will suffer no loss of pay or leave for the time spent in attendance at discussions relative to the grievance. Non-employee witnesses will be the responsibility of and at the expense of the party calling such witnesses. At any step of this procedure, the Agency will, upon request, produce payroll or other reasonably pertinent records to substantiate the contentions of the parties insofar as practicable without violating applicable regulations.
Section 1109. Time limits.
a. All time limits herein may be extended by mutual consent of the employee and/or employee representative and the Agency. Failure of the Agency to observe the time limits for any step of the grievance procedure will entitle the employee to advance the grievance to the next step. Failure of the employee and/or representative to observe the time limits provided for will constitute a basis for termination of the grievance by the Agency.
b. An employee, the Union, or the Agency may present a grievance concerning a continuing practice or condition at any time; however, where the grievance is concerned with a particular act or occurrence, it must be presented within 15 days of the date of the act or occurrence or the date the aggrieved party becomes aware of the act or occurrence.
c. The Agency or the Union may initiate a grievance by informing the Human Resources Officer or Union President, as appropriate, in writing. A description of the incident and corrective action desired will be included. Within 10 days after receipt of the written grievance, the parties will meet in an attempt to resolve the matter. The aggrieved party will be notified in writing of the decision within 15 days of the meeting. If unresolved, the Agency or the Union may initiate a request for arbitration within 15 days after receipt of the decision under the procedures outlined in Article 4 of this agreement.
Section 1110. Multiple Grievances. If two or more Unit employees have substantially identical grievances and wish to pursue them through the grievance procedure, the Union may select one employee’s grievance for processing. The outcome of that grievance will be binding on all employees concerned. The Union will inform the Agency in writing when the provisions of this Section are to be utilized, and will include the names of all grievants as well as the name of the employee whose grievance will be pursued.
Section 1111. Procedure for Handling Employee Grievances. Prior to filing a grievance on a non-disciplinary issue, the Union will informally investigate the complaint and work with the Agency and the employee to resolve it.
Step 1. Within 15 days of the incident or knowledge of the incident giving rise to the grievance, the employee and/or designated Union representative, will present the grievance, in writing, to the employee’s immediate supervisor (or the lowest level management official with authority to render a decision), who will render a decision, in writing, within 5 days from the date presented.
Step 2. If the decision issued at Step 1 does not satisfactorily resolve the grievance and the employee desires to pursue the grievance further, it will go to mediation. Prior to mediation, the parties must agree to either be bound or not bound by the mediator’s recommendation. If they choose not to be bound, the deciding official will be invited to attend the proceedings as an observer.
Step 3. If the decision issued at Step 2 does not satisfactorily resolve the grievance and the employee desires to pursue the grievance it will be submitted within 10 days to the deciding official -- normally the department head/line manager/department chair, but in any case at least one step above the Step 1 official (or the disciplinary action deciding official in the case of grievances on disciplinary actions). The grievant will submit the grievance file, including the written grievance, the decisions thereto, the basis for requesting reconsideration, and indicate the specific remedial action desired. The official to whom the grievance is submitted at this step will make or have made whatever investigation regarding the matter deemed necessary. The official may also, at his or her discretion, meet and discuss the grievance with the Union representative, if any, and the employee. The official to whom the grievance is referred at this step will issue a decision in writing within 15 days after receipt of the grievance. If this decision is not satisfactory or does not resolve the matter, the Union may request the matter be taken to arbitration. Such request must be submitted using the procedures specified in Article 4 of this agreement.
Section 1112. Grievances of Disciplinary Actions. Grievances dealing with disciplinary actions will be filed at Step 2 of the Grievance Procedure. Disciplinary grievances begun at Step 2 of the grievance procedure will follow the time limits for filing as described in Section 1109.