properly designated Union representatives in the discharge of  their appropriate responsibilities.  If the Council notifies the Agency, in writing, of such designations, the Agency will honor and  apply them.

b.  With respect to bank time (Section F.1.), local  representatives/assistant local representatives may, upon written  authorization from the Council, use up to the following limits from  their allocation:

Offices with under 70 employees--up to 4 hours per week.

Offices with 70 or more employees--up to 10 hours per week.

Time in excess of 6-month cumulative averages based on a fixed 6-month          calendar period may be approved as necessary on a case-by-case basis.          Local Representatives and local management may choose to schedule          usage of official time on some regular basis, provided that the terms          of this Agreement are not compromised by such scheduling.

G.  Unless otherwise arranged, Union representatives for field offices will be required to request and arrange with appropriate management officials in advance for their usage of official time by using Form SSA-75.  If an exigency of business would not permit the Union representatives to use the official time when requested, another occasion will be determined, keeping in mind the interests of the Union and employees as well as the needs of the Employer.

The Union representative will notify the appropriate management official when he/she returns to duty.  Should the management official determine to record the usage for time and attendance purposes, a copy of the record will be given to the Union representative.

H.  In order to minimize travel expenses where there is a bargaining issue and the frequency of formal meetings and negotiations, the parties will:

o    attempt to resolve labor-management relations issues by other    than face-to-face communications;

o    attempt to combine issues which may be subject to meetings    and/or negotiations.

No undue delay should result from these efforts nor will either party be compromised in the exercise of their rights by such efforts.

I.  The parties agree that many issues which arise at local levels may be resolved by meaningful consultation without formal bargaining.

Accordingly, the parties agree that when a management initiated change is proposed, local representatives will consult in an attempt to reach mutually