The agency and the union reached an agreement, memorialized in a memorandum of understanding (MOU), regarding the remodel of the Des Moines Resident Post that resulted in the loss of the conference room and storage room. Both sides compromised to reach this agreement after a long time bargaining and as a result of our chapter’s institutional grievance.
The resulting office, which is assigned to a first-line supervisor, is 279.51 square feet in area, which exceeds the limit of 170 usable square feet (USF) per person, on average, and even the 250 USF limit for agency heads or equivalents, or department level officials, per the HHS Utilization Rate for Office and Related Space. However, item number 1 of the MOU addresses this issue, should the employer decide to remedy this policy violation.
The union expects that the employer understands that the procedures pending per items 3 and 4 are subject to the requirements in Article 3 of the CBA to notify the union and provide opportunity to bargain. I did not specify this requirement in these items because this is already covered by the CBA and the statutory requirement to consult and negotiate with the union on such changes affecting employees.
I recommend that affected employees helpfully communicate with their supervisors and quality system managers (or through QMiS) whenever problems arise regarding privacy, noise levels, availability of the Wi-Fi device or projector, and availability of meeting space. When doing so, please clearly convey that these problems are or can affect performance, productivity, and quality of work. These will serve to document obstacles to your performance (CBA, Article 30, Sections 5 H and I) and need for improvement. If such problems actually affect your performance, I highly recommend that you prepare a PMAP self-assessment in December and include such documentation as evidence (CBA, Article 30, Section 12).
Affected employees should read the MOU and share with me any questions about it. Please also keep me posted on any deviations from this agreement keeping in mind that it is still subject to agency head review within 30 days from today. It will become effective 30 days from today if not reviewed by the agency head.