Article 14: Employee Recognition Program

Section 1

A. The Employee Recognition Program is designed to motivate employees and recognize employee contributions with monetary and non-monetary awards.

B. There is no entitlement to any monetary or non-monetary award.  All awards are subject to budgetary considerations and are made at the discretion of the Employer.  Nevertheless, in considering whether or not to grant an award covered by this Article, the Employer will act in a fair and non-discriminatory manner. An employee may grieve the Employer's decision regarding an award covered by this Article in accordance with Article 32 (Grievance), except where such a grievance is expressly excluded by that Article.

C. Employees may be nominated for awards at any time, including at the time of their annual performance appraisal.

D. The Employer will determine how much of its budget will be allocated to the Employee Recognition Program and how the budgeted amount will be allocated among the Divisions, Offices and Regional Offices.  The Employer will determine how much of its budget will be allocated to the Special Act awards for bargaining unit employees as described in Section 2.

Section 2

A. The Employer may grant a Special Act award to an employee in situations in which the employee:

  • makes a highly exceptional or unusually outstanding contribution that is beyond their normal job responsibilities and performance standards;
  • in the face of unusual obstacles or pressures, displays special skills or initiative in completing assignments before deadlines, or in handling additional assignments while maintaining their regular workload;
  • uses notable initiative or creativity in improving a product, activity, program or service; or
  • performs a one-time, short-term assignment in an exemplary manner.

B. Such awards will be commensurate with the nature of the work and may be in the form of cash or paid time-off.

C. A Time-Off Award for a full-time employee will not exceed forty (40) hours for any single event.  A full-time employee will not receive Time-Off Awards exceeding eighty (80) hours in any leave year.  The preceding numbers will be pro-rated for part-time employees.

D. An employee must use a Time-Off Award within one (1) year of the effective date of the award.  If an employee leaves the Agency before using a Time-Off Award, it will expire.  A Time-Off Award cannot be converted to cash.

Section 3

A. The Employer may grant an award to an employee who has made a written suggestion that results in tangible or intangible benefits to the Agency and contributes to the economy, efficiency or effectiveness of government.  The suggestion must identify a specific problem or organizational challenge and the employee's proposed solution.

B. A suggestion addressing matters that fall within the employee's normal responsibilities is not eligible for an award under this Section.

Section 4

A. Each Fiscal Year, the Employer will report to the Union the total amount of awards paid to bargaining unit employees.  This report will contain the date of each award, the type and amount of each award, and the recipient's position, grade and Division/Office.

B. The Employer will provide the Union with other information in accordance with Section 7114 of the Labor Management Relations Statute.