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I & I Bargaining

If management plans to add or reduce the number of employees, reorganize the way work is done, adopt new or different equipment, change or improve operating methods, relocate to new office space, adopt a new work schedule, etc., they must meet their labor relations obligation if bargaining unit employees are affected. Management has rights they may exercise; however, before exercising their rights, they must notify the union if those rights involve changing the working conditions of bargaining unit employees. Not only does management have to notify the union, they must bargain the impact and implementation of the planned changes before any changes can be made. Such bargaining is commonly referred to as Impact and Implementation, or I&I bargaining and is the most common type of midterm bargaining.

  • Management rights (i.e. hire, layoff, assign work, determining budget or organization, contracting out, internal security practices) are protected within the Federal Service Labor Management Statute or 5 U.S.C. Chapter 71. When a decision is made that will change the working conditions of bargaining unit employees, management has a duty to notify the union, and, upon request, bargain on procedures that they will follow in implementing its protected decision, as well as on appropriate arrangements for employees expected to be adversely affected by the decision.
  • If the procedures and appropriate arrangements for a proposed change in condition relates to a provision already contained in the collective bargaining agreement, there is no duty to notify the union. This exception to the duty to give notice of changes in conditions of employment is also referred to as the “covered by” doctrine. This means that the agency does not have to engage in midterm or I&I bargaining of particular matters because they are already covered by the current collective bargaining agreement.
  • There may be a contractual notice period in which management must notify the union. Refer to the unit’s collective bargaining agreement for such a time frame. For example, a contract may require management to notify the union, who in turn has 10 days to respond before management moves forward with implementation. If there is no contractual notice period, it may be based on past practice or may vary based on the extent of the proposed changes.
  • The Statute states that when management is going to change the conditions of employment for employees in the bargaining unit, management has an obligation to provide the union with reasonable and adequate advance notice of the change and has a duty to bargain with the union as appropriate. Therefore, you will need to factor more time into your plans for making a change.
  • If the union does not respond to the notification within the appropriate time, management may implement the proposed changes. If the union does provide a timely request to bargain, management has a duty to bargain and must hold off on making proposed changes.
  • Changes may not be made until proper union notification has been made and any resulting negotiations are completed. Failure to notify the union, or bargain when appropriately requested, is grounds for an Unfair Labor Practice charge because this violates the Statute. This may result in an order for the Coast Guard to return to the status quo, including making impacted employees whole, as well as to retroactively bargain.
  • Changes that are not covered by a management right, i.e. dress codes, elimination of rest periods, elimination of a coffee pot, etc. means the substance of the proposed change is negotiable with the union.
  • Making a change is not always easy when bargaining unit employees are affected. Although this may seem time consuming, we must follow the Statute. Therefore whenever you are planning to make a change, contact your servicing HR Specialist or Command Staff Advisor for advice and guidance and to assist you with proper notification to the union regarding your proposed change(s).

 

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Last Modified 9/19/2013