2018 Post MWA Negotiations Consultant Report
NASCOE presents & negotiates items submitted by membership. These suggestions on how to improve efficiency, improve working conditions or improve service to our producers. The Negotiation Team is comprised of the NASCOE Officers, Area Executives, and Area Negotiation Consultants.
The 2018 NASCOE Pre-Negotiation Meeting was held January 12th-15th, 2018 in Grapevine, TX. This being my first negotiation meeting in my position as the Mid-West Area Negotiation Consultant, proved to be truly interesting. I enjoyed seeing the process unfold. I am excited and honored to serve the Midwest members in this capacity and even more honored to be a part of taking these concerns to management.
There were 50 items submitted from across the country. The Midwest accounted for approximately one-third of those submissions. After the submissions had been reviewed and discussed, a group of items were selected to be submitted to management. There were several items taken into consultation with management and several that will be referred to a committee to look into.
I have notified and thank the individuals from the Midwest who took the time to submit an item.
Some of the topics that were reviewed:
NASS Survey—-Accuracy issues.
Staffing/Personnel—–background checks, volunteers, temps, National Mentoring Program, COT’s, understaffed offices, PT’s – options for a floating PT, shared management.
Workload—-printing contracts one by one
Benefits—-business discounts, TSA Pre-check program
IT—-There were actually so many in this category we had to create an “IT Bundle”
Directives—-File Maintenance and Disposition Manuals need updated as changes apply.
Common Payment Reports——-Request to show ALL Non-Payment Reasons at one time.
Form Updates——AD-2017 (having an FSA Section only – adding LAA, block for minors, DOB); FSA-325 (outdated references)
Leave Policy——-This one Rick Csutoras and I were assigned to at the Pre-negotiation Meeting in January. The current policy allows for permanent FSA employees to be granted a maximum of 4 hours admin leave to interview for another FFAS (presumably FPAC now) position. However, there is a restriction to this policy when it involves crossing state lines for such an interview. NASCOE’s Position and Recommendation that we are taking to management on this – – Every permanent, full-time FSA employee should be eligible for a maximum of 4 hours admin leave to interview for another USDA position, regardless of geography or agency. This would bring consistency, equality and potentially increase the hiring pools for such positions.
There were several good submissions and I want to encourage everyone to continue to submit their ideas. The goal is to make our place of employment a better place to work and it will continue to be a work in progress for generations to come as we see our Agency evolve with every farm bill and the changes we see in the political arena.
We will be meeting with Management in April.
MWA Negotiation Consultant