AN OPEN LETTER TO PROBATIONARY EMPLOYEES
Below is a letter you should copy and send to all probationary employees to undermine those who tell them that they have no rights.
AN OPEN LETTER TO PROBATIONARY EMPLOYEES,
Welcome to federal employment. It can be a great place to work and pursue a wonderful career. If there is anything the union can do for you, do not hesitate to ask. The names and contact points of our union’s representatives are attached in case you want to talk with us.
The last thing any newly hired employee wants to think about is failing and being fired. But, face it. It can happen even if you do not deserve it. You can be assigned to a manager who has a personality problem with you, the agency budget or workload can shrink creating pressure on managers to reduce the payroll, some member of the public can file a complaint against you, an injury or illness might require more sick leave than you have earned, or someone may just be blaming you by mistake. If you have not learned it already, things can change fast on a job and those changes are not always fair.
If that happens to you or you even think the odds of it happening to you are growing, come see us. Don’t believe anyone who tells you a probationary employee does not have the right to appeal a termination. There are more than a dozen ways to do that by filing a complaint with other federal agencies such as the MSPB, FLRA, EEOC, OSC, and in some cases under the collective bargaining agreement. Many times the union gets problems fixed just by going to the right people and using the long working the relationships we have. And while a private attorney can charge thousands to represent you—if you can even find one who specializes in the problems of a federal probationary employee or knows the management structure of this agency, the union does not charge dues-paying members a dime. If you are not yet a union member, ask one of our representatives about whether we even have to represent a probationary employee in an appeal.
So, best of luck, we are glad you came to work here with us, and do not hesitate to call on us–whether to talk about appeal rights or any of the other rights you have, e.g., performance appraisal fairness rules, the right to telework or to work something other than a 5-day, 8 hour a day schedule, performance awards, leave, etc. Every union representatives was once a newly hired employee just like you and knows what you are about to go through.