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NFFE/GSA National Council Prevails on Challenge to Negotiating FSS Awards Program

August 7, 2002

Pres. John M. Hanley announced that NFFE's GSA National Council has successfully refuted management's claim that the Federal Services Impasses Panel did not have jurisdiction over the negotiations of Federal Supply Service's National Awards Program.  This means that the agency will have to answer to an Administrative Law Judge, who is a member of the Federal Services Impasses Panel on why they have not bargained in good faith on the awards program for FSS employees.

For anyone not familiar with the issues:
1.  Management wants to give out 5% of total salary in the awards program.  
    NFFE's proposal would allow as much as 10%, depending on the level of

2.  Management proposes to give out 40% of the awards pool in fact tracks. 
    NFFE believes that fact track awards are "whimsical awards" not based on
    anything but favoritism.  Upon questioning FSS bargaining unit members, we
    discovered that they dispute the fairness of the fast track system.  NFFE
    would severely limit the fast track programs to only 10-20% of the overall

3.  Management proposes that if FSS meets their targets, employees would
    receive awards as a percentage of their salaries.  This means that higher
    graded employees would get more than lower graded employees.

    NFFE feels that the FSS succeeds or fails as a team, not as individuals.  Your
    grade means you get less in salary.  It should not mean you automatically get
    less for your awards.  NFFE's proposal is to give all FSS bargaining unit
    members equal dollar amounts regardless of grade.

4.  Management refuses to provide NFFE with meaningful information regarding
    the recipients and amounts of awards.  NFFE feels that when GSA spends
    taxpayer's money, they have no right to hide that information from any
    taxpayer.  It should be made completely available to NFFE to analyze for
    favoritism and conflicts of interest.

These are the four major conflicts/disputes in the negotiations.

The negotiations started in February, 2002.  After a week of face-to-face bargaining, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service was called in.  The FMCS was unsuccessful in attaining an agreement and the case was sent to the Federal Services Impasses Panel.  The agency contested the authority of the FSIP to hear the case.  NFFE cited the appropriate case law and has convinced the FSIP that it does indeed have jurisdiction.

While we still do not know the outcome, we should thank Bob O'Brycki, Val Esteves and Al Curseen for serving on our negotiating team.  We should also thank Gina Taylor and John Paolino of the NFFE National Office for their sound advice along the way.

Stay tuned for updates...