Negotiations -- General Overview

The Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute outlines the broad topics that must be negotiated with a labor union, those that are reserved to management and those that may be negotiated at management's election. The obligation to negotiate requires discussion and consideration of the other side's proposals -- it does not compel either side to agree to a proposal or to make a concession.

The negotiating process is designed to promote the balancing of the rights and interests of employees and the union with those of management, and to foster a two-way flow of communication.

Negotiating with the labor union occurs at various times and for different reasons. The most publicized occasion is the formal negotiations for a collective bargaining agreement. These are full scope negotiations. This process results in a written collective bargaining agreement signed by both management and the union establishing various personnel policies, practices, and conditions of employment. The agreement is normally distributed to everyone at the installation affected by its application. The document may be referred to as the contract, the collective bargaining agreement or the labor-management negotiated agreement. It is normally subject to renegotiations every three years but is frequently automatically renewed (rolled over) from year to year.

More frequently, negotiations arise as a result of management proposed changes to bargaining unit employees' conditions of employment which are not addressed in the parties' negotiated agreement or where there is no current agreeement. In these cases, when an agency decides to make changes to conditions of employment during the life of an agreement or when there is no agreement, two types of negotiations may result:

  • 1) negotiations on the decision itself (substance bargaining); and/or

  • 2) negotiations on the effects of the proposed change -- normally referred to as impact and implementation bargaining or I & I bargaining. I&I bargaining occurs when managementís proposed change falls within management rights.

Where the outcome of negotiations may affect or impact on Civilian Personnel Operations Center (CPOC) operations or require the CPOC to take certain actions, close coordination between the Civilian Personnel Advisory Center (CPAC). This interaction between the CPAC and the CPOC, as well as a discussion of the labor relations roles of the CPAC, CPOC, MACOMs and HQDA are detailed in Regionalization Guidance Memorandum 97-1.

Content last reviewed: 1/11/2005-DAH

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This page was last revised: 12/5/2011