Fact Sheet: Alternative Work Schedules

HHS has proposed eliminating Article 25 from our NTEU contract. Article 25 gives employees the option to have flexible or compressed work schedules.


What You Stand to Lose

If you participate in a Flexible Schedule—Flexitour or Maxiflex, you would lose:

  • Your right to choose your starting and quitting times within flexible time bands
  • Your right to earn and use credit hours in lieu of leave
  • Your right to meet the 80 hour work requirement—on during days and hours—that best meet your needs through a Maxiflex schedule

If you participate in a Compressed Work Schedule—a 5/4/9 or 4/10 schedule, you would lose:

  • Your day off every week or every other week, to devote to family and personal pursuits

You may be placed on a schedule that is very different from the one you currently have, like if you currently work four 10-hour days per week, that could go away. If you work 7 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., you could be forced to begin work at 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Your schedule will be completely up to the agency and your supervisor.

You will not be able to vary your arrival and departure times, which means that any time you report later than your mandated time of arrival, you will have to use some type of leave. If you arrive “late” several times, you may be placed on leave restriction. You would not be able to challenge any of these issues.

HHS has said it may implement its own AWS program without union or employee input. That is not how NTEU reads the law; the law requires that AWS must be negotiated. If it is not, an agency must have employees work straight 8 hours per day, 5 days per week schedules, or face liability for overtime and premium pay under other laws.

But even if HHS could establish its own AWS program, work schedules would be entirely discretionary, and could be modified or terminated without cause and without recourse.

If you are not currently an NTEU member, contact your chapter president. It takes all of us together to keep what we have earned.


Author: chapterpresident

I have worked in the FDA since 1990 in a variety of positions. I currently serve as chapter president of NTEU Chapter 254, representing FDA employees in Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah.