In May 2017, NTEU and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) executed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding the Program Alignment and Laboratory Optimization initiatives, which centralized the Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA) structure and specialized laboratory functions across the agency. Pursuant to the MOU, the parties are to work together to develop a Bridge Program for ORA employees who would like to change programs at some point in their career. The purpose of the Bridge Program is to afford employees a means of changing their work specialty or subspecialty.
Last month, the parties met to begin the process of developing the Bridge Program. The initial meeting was disappointing and, based on the agency’s remarks, it is clear that the parties are far apart with regard to the scope and duration of the program. In order to ensure that we develop a Bridge Program that works for bargaining unit employees, we need feedback from ORA employees impacted by Program Alignment regarding how they would use the Bridge Program and what purpose it would serve for them.
This is why I am sharing this message with you: to gather feedback that we can use to support our proposals for the program.
I will continue to provide status updates during the course of the negotiations.
Please provide all comments and feedback regarding the Bridge Program to your chapter president by December 1, 2017.