2. Ten (10) calendar days to answer orally and in writing and to furnish    affidavits and other documentary evidence in support of the answer; and

3.  Be represented.

B. After considering the employee's response, the Administration will issue a written decision. If the decision unfavorable to the employee, the decision may be grieved, beginning with the last (prearbitration) step of the grievance procedure.

Section 6--Removal, Suspension for More Than 14 Days,
Reduction-in-Grade, Reduction-in-Pay, and Furlough of 30 Days or Less

A.  An employee against whom such an action is proposed is entitled to:

1. Advance written notice of thirty (30) calendar days stating the specific reasons for the proposed action.

2. Twenty-five (25) calendar days to answer orally and in writing, and to    furnish affidavits and other documentary evidence in support of the    answer.

3. Be represented.

B. After receiving the employee's response, the Administration will issue a written decision.  If the decision is to effect an action specified in this section, it will specify the reason therefore, the effective date, the action to be taken, and the decision appeal rights.

The employee may appeal the decision to the Merit Systems Protection Board or, the employee may file a written grievance under the terms of this agreement. Any such grievance will be initiated at the last (pre-arbitration) step.

The choice of the appeal forum is irrevocable.  An employee shall be deemed to have exercised his/her option at such time as the employee timely initiates an action under the statutory procedures, or timely files a written grievance at the last (pre-arbitration) step, whichever occurs first.  Any grievance must be initiated no later than 20 days after the effective date of the action.

C. Employees shall be entitled to representation in all phases of these procedures.

Section 7--Requests for Time Extensions on Proposals

The Administration will not unreasonably deny a request for extension of the time to respond to proposals.