B. Negotiations over conditions of employment that impact on one (1) component shall be represented by at least two (2) negotiators (but not less than the number of management's negotiators) designated by the appropriate council/local president.  Official time shall be granted in accordance with  5 U.S.C. 7131(a) and this agreement.

C. The Union will request consultations and/or negotiations  within seven (7) workdays after the date of receipt of the notice of the change.  If the request is made by mail, an additional five (5) calendar days will be allowed within which the request must be received by the Administration.

D. Bargaining will begin no later than twenty-eight (28) calendar days after the date of receipt of the notice of change.

E. Bargaining at this level will not exceed eight (8) working days for all components except the Headquarters component.  Bargaining within the Headquarters component shall not exceed five (5) working days.  These limits on bargaining are to include necessary travel, preparation, actual bargaining, and mediation.

F. The Administration will pay travel expenses and per diem for two (2) employee Union negotiators or for a larger number to provide parity with the number of negotiators used by management.  Payment of travel expenses and per diem will conform to applicable law, rule, and regulation.

Section 4--Regional/Program Service Centers/Data Operations Centers/Office of Hearings and Appeals (Headquarters) Changes (Level 3)


A. The parties agree that notice of proposed changes which affect only one Field Operations Region, Office of Program Integrity and Review Region, Hearings and Appeals Region, Program Service Center, Data Operations Center, or Hearings and Appeals (Headquarters) will be given to the Union and upon request negotiated at that level.  The designated management representative will provide the designated Union representative with time written notice of the proposed management initiated changes.

B. The Union will request consultations and/or negotiations within seven (7) workdays after the date of receipt of the notice of the change.  If the request is made by mail, an additional five (5) calendar days will be allowed within which the request must be received by the Administration.

C. Negotiations over conditions of employment that impact on the above entities will be represented by two (2) negotiators (but not less than the number of management negotiators) designated by the appropriate Union official.  Official time shall be granted in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 7131(a) and this agreement.