the National Agreement will begin immediately to resolve the impact to both the parties' satisfaction.

C. Temporary Suspension of CWS and/or Credit Hour Plan Notwithstanding any other provision of this agreement, should the Employer, at the office level, determine that management is unable to provide the level of service required to support the internal operations as well as the American public and carry out the daily work of the Agency, the office director may temporarily suspend the 5-4-9 plan and/or credit hours.  Such action is appropriate subject matter for immediate consultation and/or negotiation.

D. Use of Credit Hours in 24-Hour Operations The parties recognize that staffing requirements in fixed shift and 24-hour operations may impose additional problems in the use of credit hours other than those experienced in the remainder of headquarters. The parties agree that in these fixed shift/24-hour operations the priority consideration for the use of credit hours is adequate staffing.

Section 3--General Provisions

A.  Employee and Management Options

The parties understand and agree that credit hours or compressed work schedules will be initiated by the employee and will be subject to approval by the supervisor.  In contrast, the parties understand and agree that overtime and compensatory time (with the exception of religious compensatory time) are initiated by the Employer.

B. Flexible Work Schedules and CWS

For Headquarters components, the flexbands are 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Consequently, employees working a CWS (5-4-9 schedule) must arrange their arrival time so they can complete their nine-and-one-half (9 1/2) hour work schedule by 6 pm.

C. Credit Hour Accrual and Usage

Headquarters employees may earn credit hours in conjunction with any flexible work schedule.  Employees may not participate in the credit hour plan in conjunction with CWS.  The parties agree that participants in the credit hour plan will not accrue and use credit hours in a manner that would be characteristic of a 4/40 compressed work schedule.

Section 4--Special Provisions for Suspension of CWS

A.  CWS may be suspended when employees are attending and/or conducting training classes with fixed beginning and ending times which would