Hurricane Harvey Approaching Texas Coast

Most FDA offices near Harvey’s path will be closed. Here’s what to do if yours is not.

FDA’s Office of Emergency Operations is tracking the path of Hurricane Harvey in the Gulf of Mexico, which is expected to make landfall in Texas late Friday 8/25/17 or early Saturday 8/26/17. This storm has the potential for a significant storm surge in coastal areas of Texas, accompanied by heavy rainfall and flooding. Multiple storm surge warnings, tropical storm warnings, and hurricane warnings are in effect along the Texas coast. Hurricane Harvey may also impact Louisiana, which is already dealing with saturated ground from previous rainfall.

The National Hurricane Center’s projected path of Harvey is:

The National Hurricane Center’s projected path of Harvey

FDA personnel in the area of the hurricane and those planning travel to the affected area are encouraged to maintain a state of awareness and take appropriate precautions.

Please refer to Article 20, Section 4 C, of the CBA to learn how to request administrative leave (excused absence) if the office is open but you are unable to make it to work due to hazardous weather or other emergency conditions:

If hazardous weather or other emergency conditions occur during the workday and an administrative order to close the workplace has not been issued, the Employer may grant excused absence for all or part of the workday if the employee provides the supervisor with acceptable written justification that a reasonable effort was made to get to work, but severe weather or other emergency conditions prevented him or her from doing so. The Employer’s decision will be fair and equitable. If the employee has a disability, his or her disability must be taken into account in determining what constitutes a reasonable effort. If the supervisor denies a written request for excused absence, upon request, the denial will be in writing.

Revised Travel Staff Manual Guides

FDA proposes to implement revised travel Staff Manual Guides for Other than Coach Class Travel, Miscellaneous Expenses while on Government Travel, and Actual Expense Requests and Lodging Deposits.

Official travelYou may recall that, on June 21, 2017, the FDA rescinded three unilaterally implemented Staff Manual Guides (SMGs) related to travel, in response to a national grievance filed by NTEU. In order to settle the grievance, the FDA agreed to rescind SMG 2340.2, “Updates to Other Than Coach Class Travel;” SMG 2343.2, “Updates to Miscellaneous Expenses While on Official Government Travel;” and SMG 2340.3, “Updates to Actual Expense Request.” Each of those SMGs violated the terms of Article 42 of the CBA as well as Federal Travel Regulations. Continue reading “Revised Travel Staff Manual Guides”

ORA Use of OP Travel Database SOP

The FDA has notified NTEU that it plans to implement a SOP entitled “Use of SOP Travel Database.”

Official travelPursuant to Article 3 of the the CBA, the FDA has notified NTEU that the ORA Office of Partnerships (OP) plans to implement a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) entitled “Use of SOP Travel Database.” Per the notice, ‎the purpose of the SOP is to provide specific work instructions for all OP staff for entering their planned travel and associated costs into a SharePoint list. The list will be used by the OP Budget Lead and management to track and manage the office travel budget.

NTEU plans to negotiate over the matter and has requested a briefing for that purpose.

If you have any comments or questions, please contact your chapter president.