Article 4

Negotiations During the Term of the Agreement
on Management Initiated Changes

Section 1--General

A. The Administration will provide the Union reasonable advance notice prior to implementation of changes affecting conditions of employment subject to bargaining under 5 U.S.C. 71.  Upon notice from the Administration of a proposed change, the designated Union representative will notify the designated management representative of its desire to consult and/or negotiate on the change within the timeframe set for the level of negotiations involved.

B. The Union will not be required to submit written proposals in advance of the start of the bargaining period, but agrees to make good faith efforts to submit proposals, in part or in whole, prior to arriving at the bargaining site, whenever practicable.  Bargaining will begin as soon as possible, and not later than the timeframe set for the parties involved.  Additionally, bargaining will not exceed the number of work days designated for each component level.  All issues not resolved at that time may be referred to the Federal Service Impasses Panel for resolution under its rules.

C. The parties recognize that the timeframes set in this Agreement to initiate bargaining are based upon normal circumstances and may occasionally need to be shortened to meet compelling operational needs. The Administration agrees not to set artificial deadlines for implementing changes in order to circumvent the normal timeframes.

D. The parties agree to conduct their negotiations at four (4) levels, three of which are addressed in detail in this article and a fourth or local installation level which is covered in both this article and the appendices to Article 30.

E. The parties agree to utilize telephone consultations/briefings for levels one (1) and two (2) to the maximum extent possible. These briefings should include an explanation of the following:

    1.  A description of the change.
    2.  An explanation of how this change will be implemented.
    3. An explanation of why the proposed change is necessary.
    4. The proposed implementation date.

    The parties agree that this should enable them to identify  the major issues to be bargained and facilitate the negotiation process.