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By Louis C. LaBrecque
Unionized employees at Labor Department agencies have received notices regarding the number of proposed furlough days their agency expects them to take during the remainder of fiscal year 2013, with the number of proposed days varying widely by agency, a union official told BNA March 8.
Alex Bastani, president of Local 12 of the American Federation of Government Employees, said no furloughs are expected through the Sept. 30 end of FY 2013 due to sequestration for employees of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Mine Safety and Health Administration, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, and the Wage and Hour Division.
For other DOL agencies, he said, proposed furloughs are as follows:
According to Bastani, AFGE Local 12 represents approximately 3,300 DOL employees. AFGE's National Council of Field Labor Locals represents another 8,500 DOL employees, he said, estimating that DOL as a whole has approximately 15,000 employees.
The memo stated that “Bargaining unit employees will not be adversely impacted in their performance appraisal due to furloughs.” It also said “Agencies are expected to inform all employees of any changes to agency plans or priorities caused by sequestration.”
“The three DOL Unions will have up to 60 days after a sequestration order is issued to request bargaining for any agency to address employee performance standards impacted by sequestration, in accordance with applicable collective bargaining agreements,” the memo said.
In addition, the memo laid out rules for providing notices of proposed furloughs and for employee requests for specific furlough days. In the event of competing demands for the same furlough days, disputes will be resolved on the basis of seniority in accordance with applicable collective bargaining agreements, the memo said.
DOL did not respond March 8 to a request from BNA for comment regarding its furlough plans.
By Louis C. LaBrecque
Text of the memorandum of understanding is available at /uploadedFiles/Content/News/Legal_and_Business/Bloomberg_Law/Legal_Reports/DOL-Union-Memo(1).pdf.
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