POPA’S AWARD AGREEMENT ASTONISHING
The Patent Office Professional Association is one of our favorite unions if for no other reason than it knows how to protect benefits once negotiated. It wrote the book on how a union can dig its heals in when management comes looking for take backs. Don’t consider yourself a top notch union negotiator until you have read every page of its record over the years. POPA, 60 FLRA 869 (2005) is only the beginning. Looking over its home page, we noticed that it still has in place incentive award agreements that guarantee big cash awards. That is not an easy feat, but totally deserving given the cash agencies have set aside to reward SES executives. We have taken the liberty of dropping into our post below a page from POPA’s web site (popa.org) that describes its programs. Bravo POPA and thanks for showing us some very sophisticated tactics over the years.
The Special Achievement Award for Superior Performance(SAA award) is earned by patent examiners for 110% of expected production and at least satisfactory level performance in the other elements over four consecutive quarters. For others in the bargaining unit, the award is earned for performance at the outstanding level in at least 50% of all critical elements with the rest being at least satisfactory according to the employee’s Performance Appraisal Plan (PAP) over four consecutive quarters. The base amount of the award shall be 3% of the employee’s base per annum salary as of the end of the award period provided the employee has spent at least 1400 hours performing the job function. The award will be prorated for at least 700 hours but less than 1400 hours.
The Gainsharing Award allows a patent examiner to earn 2% – 7% of the employee’s salary based on the employee’s end of fiscal year performance. It has recently been updated to expand the award levels. For other bargaining unit members, the amount of the award is dependent upon the total numerical score (maximum 500) of the employee’s performance elements for the fiscal year.
NOTE: The hours worked in an employee’s first year are not counted towards the time requirement in order to qualify for the Gainsharing Award.
There is also a Pendency Award that may be earned. Due to its complicated nature reading the entire section of the Docket Management Manual in addition to the new Pendency Award agreement dated April 1, 2013, is advised.