FDA unilaterally decided to change their entire visual identity. At first, this seems to be a very minimal change for bargaining unit employees, but this is the first time that the Agency has required that all employees use a signature block in their emails.
Our employees’ Union has received a lot of complaints and questions that the agency has not responded regarding this policy, some of which are:
- What are the potential consequences for employees who, for one reason or another, are unable to comply with this order?
- The Agency has ordered employees to use a very specific signature block template that does not appear to allow affinity customizations that employ commonly use such as Advisory Committee for employees with Disabilities (ACED), Hispanic or Latino Association (HOLA), Blacks in Government (BIG), and NTEU Chapter 254, just to name a few.
- Many employees also include disclaimers to their signature blocks. The current set of instructions does not include provisions for disclaimers.
- Will the Agency offer training and help desk assistance for employees who experience difficulties complying with this mandate due to technical difficulties.
- The current set of instructions does not state how to add the signature block required to BlackBerry emails.
The law requires, and Article 3 of our Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) reaffirms, that the Agency notifies the Union of changes in working conditions, before implementation, to provide opportunity to bargain over, at least, impact and implementation.
NTEU is on the case now and will help employees get the answers to these questions and remedies to smooth over the implementation while minimizing the impact of this change. To this end, I welcome your input on this subject.