In October and November, the EU and the Agency agreed on Articles 3 (workers` rights), 16 (training) and 31 (leave). It is important that the Union has retained the language in Article 3, Section 2.A, which obliges management to treat workers fairly and equitably in all aspects of personnel management, regardless of protected class status. When the parties focused on Article 9 in November, the Agency abruptly changed its attitude towards the Union. Despite the progress made by the parties in October and November, the Agency stated that the Union was not acting quickly enough. The UNION replied that the basic rules gave the parties to the negotiations until 1 March 2019 and that the parties had just agreed on three articles, in addition to many articles in the previous months. Apart from this, the Agency did not show any interest in the Union`s proposals the rest of the week and asked the Ombudsman to release the parties to the Federal Service Impasses Panel (FSIP). The EU rejected this request on the basis of the Agency`s basic rules and negotiating behaviour. “The commitment and commitment of all those involved in these difficult negotiations was the reason an agreement was reached,” Richard Giacolone, head of the agency and president-elect for the position of director of the FMCS, said in a statement on Monday. “This resolution is proof of the power of good faith negotiations, where both sides are ready to come to the negotiating table, put aside their differences and work towards a mutual agreement that respects the interests of both sides. I commend the leaders of the SSA and AFGE for their commitment to resolving these difficult issues in a spirit of constructive engagement. In addition, the collective agreement allows the union to file complaints about disputes related to an employee`s performance evaluation or other matters – another activity that would have prevented the president from making personnel decisions.

The new agreement gives a bank 125,000 hours of official time – half the official time afGE bank representatives had under the previous contract, but 75,000 hours more than what gave the deadlock in its recent decision. The FMCS congratulated the agency and the union on the agreement between the two parties. The new collective agreement, signed by SSA management and AFGE representatives late last week, resolves months of disagreement between the two parties and offers both a few days of stability before the lifting of the injunction on the President`s executive orders in May 2018. “The new contract reflects the agency`s public service priority and will take effect on October 27,” a SSA spokeswoman said in a statement to the Federal News Network.