AFGE Local 2113
Official-Time ULP of July 2001

On 5 July 2001, Alan Lunin, Labor Relations specialist for Capt D. R. Gagnon, Commanding Officer, NAWCTSD, wrote a letter to Lorraine Tuliano, president of AFGE Local 2113, giving notice that no further official time would be authorized for union activities until new negotiations had been completed with regard to official time. On or about 10 July 2001, Alan Lunin held a meeting with supervisors at which he directed them not to authorize any further official time for any union activities until further notice. Subsequent to that meeting, supervisors began denying official time for union activities.

It was Local 2113's position that the Command's new policy violated numerous statutes and sections of the LMA and the agreement of 15 February 2001 between Management and Local 2113 reaffirming intent to abide by the LMA. This position was explained in a letter, dated 10 July 2001, from Lorraine Tuliano to Capt Gagnon, which cited these statutes and sections of the LMA and urged Capt Gagnon to immediately rescind the new policy. Captain Gagnon refused to withdraw the new policy, and he articulated this in a letter dated 11 July 2001.

Preliminary efforts to resolve this matter were unsuccsessful, and on 20 July 2001, a complaint of an Unfair Labor Practice was subsequently issued by the Atlanta Regional Director of the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) against NAWCTSD in connection with this matter. A hearing was scheduled to be held before an administrative-law judge in Orlando on 21 Aug 2001.

Before the hearing date, a settlement was reached, and the policy was terminated. Annual Leave which had been used instead of authorized official time (on union matters during the life of the policy) was restored. Unpaid time which had been used instead of official time was compensated as comp time. Time limits (for filing deadlines, grievances, etc. during the life of policy) were extended.

Immediately following the signing of the settlement agreement, and without negotiating with the Union, Management implemented a new procedure for managers for approving official time, but this should have no effect on bargaining-unit members. Do not be misled. The provisions of the LMA have not changed and still apply. Supervisors have been asked to collect data including the number of hours approved and how the time is to be used. The ULP settlement (and LMA) specifically list categories:
  1. perform representational functions
  2. answer any management initiated correspondence
  3. conduct negotiations
  4. receive, investigate, prepare, and present grievances, EEO complaints, appeals, etc.
  5. be present during the grievance proceeding
Authorized uses of official time are described in many places in the LMA and in existing statutes. The LMA describes procedures for obtaining authorization to use official time.

Management officials may attempt to negotiate with you or press you for more detail in order to help them to form their own opinions as to what is a "reasonable" amount of time for union activities. Do not be intimidated into negotiating or providing unnecessary details. Many Management officials have never performed union activities and therefore have little if any experience on which to base such estimates. Furthermore, the time required to perform a specific task can vary widely depending on the task, the climate in which it must be performed, and the experience and skills of the person(s) performing the task. Official time has already been negotiated. Management is barred by law from participating in the management of a labor union, and it is improper for any management official to attempt to do so. For the procedure for obtaining official time for working on grievances or any other union matter, consult the LMA. In many cases, management has options only to approve or deny the time. If time is denied, restrictions apply as to why it may be denied, and in many such cases, the denying official must then also inform you as to when you may expect to be released to perform the function.

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This page was last updated on October 11, 2001