Article 41: Labor Management Relations Committees

Section 1

A. The Parties agree to maintain the National Labor-Management Relations Committee (NLMRC) as a non-adversarial forum for managers and employees' union representatives to discuss Agency operations, to promote satisfactory labor relations, and to improve the productivity and effectiveness of the Agency.

1. The NLMRC, as a complement to the existing collective bargaining process, will provide a forum for managers and employees to discuss collaboratively workplace challenges and problems. The Parties shall endeavor to jointly develop solutions by ensuring that employees and their union representatives have pre-decisional involvement in workplace matters to the fullest extent practicable.

2. The Parties shall make a good-faith attempt to resolve informally issues concerning proposed changes in conditions of employment, through discussions in the labor- management forums. To enable that resolution of issues, management shall provide information on such workplace matters to the NLMRC membership, unless prohibited by law.

3. The Parties also agree that the NLMRC will be an appropriate forum to discuss matters of concern or interest to either Party in the broad area of personnel policy or practice unless prohibited by law. However, the meetings will not be used as a forum for airing grievances, disputes, or personnel matters relating to individual employees unless the matter is being raised to bring attention to a broader matter and is not in order to resolve the individual employee issue.

4. As stated in Section 8, Article 22 of this Agreement, the Parties also agree to discuss and address issues related to employee health and safety at the NLMRC meetings.

B. The NLMRC will meet at least quarterly and more often by mutual agreement. It shall be comprised of five (5) management representatives and five (5) NTEU representatives. There will be two Co-Chairs, one from the NTEU and one from management. All five bargaining unit employees shall receive Official Time to participate in meetings. National NTEU personnel may also participate in these meetings and will not be counted as part of the five NTEU representatives. The Co-Chairs should normally exchange agenda items at least seven (7) days in advance of the meetings. Meetings usually will be held in-person but may be held virtually upon agreement of the Co-Chairs.

Section 2

Upon the mutual agreement of the Co-Chairs, the applicable time limits for filing grievances or bargaining proposals will be tolled in order for the Parties to attempt to resolve disputes and bargaining issues through the NLMRC.

Section 3

A. The Parties also agree to establish Local Labor Management Relations Committees (“LLMRC”) in each division and office. Each LLMRC will include up to four management representatives appointed by the Chief Human Capital Officer (“CHCO”) and up to four labor representatives appointed by the NTEU Chapter 293 President. The LLMRCs will be subject to oversight by the NLMRC.

B. The SEC will treat any work performed by an SEC bargaining unit employee in support of an LLMRC as duty time, and not as official time under Article 39 of this agreement, provided that the bargaining unit employee is not an NTEU officer or steward who is entitled to official time under Article 39 of this Agreement.

C. The LLMRCs will provide a collaborative, interest-based forum for management and union representatives to identify and address local issues, which may exist in their workplace. The goal is to address workplace matters while operating in a manner that builds on the NLMRC’s shared goals of increasing trust, pre-decisional input, and improving SEC employee engagement and satisfaction.

D. Local LMRCs should select issues that can be resolved at local levels. Any local issues requiring national level management or action (e.g., benefits, performance management system, compensation) or already covered by the terms of the Parties’ Collective Bargaining Agreement should be raised to the NLMRC and not taken up by the LLMRCs.

E. LLMRCs will primarily focus on jointly promoting employee engagement as measured by the annual Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) in their division and offices. LLMRCs may also work on other matters pursuant to guidance issued by the NLMRC. LLMRCs will meet at least quarterly. LLMRCs will report their activities to the NLMRC semi-annually.

Section 4

A. The Parties agree to establish a permanent NLMRC Subcommittee on Employee Engagement (“SEE”) to work jointly to promote employee engagement as measured by the annual FEVS.

B. The SEE will be Co-Chaired by the CHCO and the NTEU Chapter 293 President. It will consist of no less than three management representatives appointed by the CHCO and three NTEU representatives appointed by the NTEU Chapter 29 President.

C. The CHCO will designate one Agency SEE representative as a “Senior Advisor” to the NLMRC on employee engagement who reports directly to the CHCO. The NTEU Chapter 293 President will designate one NTEU SEE representative as a “Senior Advisor” to the NLMRC on employee engagement who reports directly to the NTEU Chapter 293 President.

D. The SEE will be responsible for all aspects of the annual FEVS process at the SEC related to bargaining unit employees including, but not limited to: the development of SEC specific questions, interpretation of FEVS data, publication of FEVS data, and maintenance of the FEVS Dashboard.

E. The SEE will also collaborate to provide guidance and assistance to Local LMRCs in obtaining “employee feedback” processes in responding to FEVS data and in developing strategies to improve employee engagement in their offices. The nature of this guidance and assistance will be determined by mutual agreement.