Article 4: Union Rights

Section 1

The NTEU is the exclusive representative of the employees in the bargaining unit and is entitled to act for, and represent the interests of, all employees in the bargaining unit.

The NTEU shall have the right to present its views, either orally or in writing, to the Employer on any matter of concern regarding personnel policies and practices and matters affecting working conditions.

Section 2

The NTEU has the right to attend and send a representative of its own choosing to any formal discussion between the Employer and one or more employees in the bargaining unit or their representatives concerning any grievance or any personnel policy or practice or other general conditions of employment.  Advance notification will be given to the Chapter President, or other individual designated in writing by the NTEU, as soon as the formal discussion is scheduled.  That notice will include the date, time, location and purpose of the formal discussion.  This advance notice will be given unless the Employer is unable to do so because of an emergency.

The NTEU will strive to give advance notice to the Employer that an NTEU representative will be present at the formal discussion.  If the NTEU gives advance notice to the Employer that an NTEU representative will be present, the Employer representative conducting the formal discussion will acknowledge the NTEU representative.  If the NTEU does not give such advance notice, an NTEU representative at a formal discussion who wishes to speak will be expected to identify themself as an NTEU representative before asking questions or making any statement on behalf of the NTEU.

The NTEU representative may ask questions and present a brief statement before the end of the formal discussion outlining the NTEU's position concerning the issues addressed at the formal discussion.  The NTEU representative cannot use their attendance to disrupt the formal discussion or to undermine the Employer's position at the formal discussion.  If that occurs, the Employer retains the right to terminate the formal discussion.

Should the NTEU choose to hold a meeting immediately following any formal discussion that addresses a significant reorganization, a relocation covered by Section 2 of Article 40 (Office Relocations and Openings) or agency-wide conditions of employment, an employee who has not yet taken their break may choose to take their break to attend the NTEU's meeting to discuss these issues.

Section 3

The Employer retains the right to hold informal meetings with an employee without the presence of an NTEU representative.  Informal meetings may include counseling sessions and informal discussions between an employee and their supervisors regarding the employee's performance, work assignments and procedures, application of established office policies and practices, for example leave practices and requests, and discussions of a personal nature.  It is not intended that this language will limit the Union's right to attend formal discussions under 5 U.S.C. § 7114(a)(2)(A) or an examination of an employee under 5 U.S.C. § 7114(a)(2)(B).

Section 4

The NTEU may refuse to represent employees in proposed disciplinary actions and in statutory appeals (for example, adverse actions, unacceptable performance actions, Equal Employment Opportunity complaints and RIF appeals).