The Office of Personnel Management is requiring all federal agencies to submit their current collective bargaining agreements and associated expiration dates before the end of the calendar year, according to guidance issued by the agency Nov. 20.
The Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 gives federal employees the statutory right to form unions and collectively bargain for agreements with their respective agencies. What is included in those agreements is up to the bargaining within each individual agency.
The guidance, based on a May executive order stipulating new rules for how federal agencies negotiate with federal employee unions, gives agencies 30 days to submit current agreements and requires that any new collective bargaining agreements be submitted to OPM within 30 days of their effective date.
Though portions of the executive order on CBAs were struck down by a judge in August 2018, the requirement that agencies submit their CBAs and arbitration awards to OPM still stands.
“Along with the submission of each CBA, agencies are required to complete and attach two forms provided by OPM. The Collective Bargaining Agreement Submission Form is required in order to provide OPM with pertinent information about the CBA. In addition, agencies are required to complete and attach a Section 508 Conformance Attestation Form attesting to the completion of the conformance standards of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973,” acting OPM Director Margaret Weichert wrote in the guidance.
Section 508, an amendment added in 1998, requires agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities.
Federal agencies must also submit all arbitration awards, or decisions handed down in negotiated grievance proceedings, to OPM within 10 days of issuance.
All agency submissions must be in a machine-readable format, as OPM is seeking to develop a collective bargaining database to make all government CBAs accessible to the public.