Most every union wrestles with how annual leave requests should be approved.  One of the more common struggles is between giving those with seniority preference versus giving the younger employees with families a chance at some of the traditional family holiday.  AFGE’s Food Safety Inspectors just got a decision from the Federal Service Impasses Panel (FSIP) setting out how to prioritize leave requests between full-time employees and temporary employees, who apparently are not in the unit due to their temp status, when they both request the same day off. (AFGE, 2014 FSIP 109 (2015))  It is an approach we have not seen before. Although Panel decisions are not precedent for other cases, it always pays to know how the Panel solves problems.  Here is the portion of the decision explaining what language the parties are ordered to put in their agreement.

The following wording shall be incorporated into the parties’ agreement concerning the impact and implementation of the Employer decision to hire temporary employees:

  1. In the approval of pre-scheduled annual leave, bargaining unit employees’ (BUEs) requests shall take priority over temporary employees. Only after BUEs have made their selections for pre-scheduled annual leave will temporary employees may make their selections for pre-scheduled annual leave.
  2. BUEs subsequently requesting day-to-day/convenience leave will not be denied leave that would otherwise be granted on the basis that leave for the same period has already been granted to a temporary employee (either as pre-scheduled or day-to-day.) Where situations arise where granting the BUE leave will require cancellation of the temporary employee’s leave, supervisors will first explore alternatives for providing necessary coverage that would allow both employees to take leave, including an amicable solution between the employees affected. In the event an alternative solution cannot be achieved, the unit employee shall be granted leave and the temporary employee’s leave cancelled, subject to the following conditions:
  3. If the temporary employee’s leave is pre-scheduled leave, it will not be cancelled unless the BUE’s request has been made at least 21 days prior to the start of the pre-scheduled leave.
  4. The temporary employee’s leave will not be cancelled if it is for: (1) an event that cannot be recreated such as a funeral, wedding, graduation; (2) where a sizable deposit has been made for airline tickets, cruise, hotel, etc.; or (3) where day-to-day leave has been requested for a personal or family emergency.
  5. If the temporary employee’s leave has already been cancelled once to accommodate a BUE leave request.

About AdminUN

FEDSMILL staff has over 40 years of federal sector labor relations experience on the union as well as management side of the table and even some time as a neutral.
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