AFGE Local 2113 Proposed revision to Labor Management Agreement concerning the Government Travel Card
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July 1, 2002
PROPOSAL TO INCORPORATE CHANGES TO THE LABOR MANAGEMENT AGREEMENT FOR THE GOVERNMENT TRAVEL CHARGE CARD
The Employer and AFGE Local 2113 agree to delete the Labor Management Agreement, Article 23, Section 12 text shown below,
Section 12. Charge Cards: The use of contractor issued travel charge cards is encouraged. While declining to apply for or accept the card is permissible, advances in such cases will be in accordance with Section 7.
and agree to substitute the following:
Section 12. Government Travel Charge Card (GTCC):
a. Legal Requirement to Use Government Travel Charge Card. The Travel and Transportation Reform Act of 1998, "TTRA" (Public Law 105_264) imposes the requirement that most official travel shall be charged on the Government Travel Charge Card and that the employer must have certain procedures in place regarding travel.
1. The GTCC is an employer tool to be used in carrying out official travel. It is a contractor-issued, government charge card for official business only and is not a personal credit card of the employee. The government shall own the credit card and employees' personal credit histories, if obtained by the GTCC vendor, shall be used for the sole purpose of determining what type of travel card will be issued.
2. Employees shall not be held responsible for any GTCC not within his or her control.
3. The Negotiated Grievance Procedure of Article 7 shall be the exclusive process for resolving employee disputes relating to issuance and use of the GTCC. Employees will be notified of the provisions of this agreement via e-mail.
4. Employees shall not be required to apply for or subject themselves to any credit card or
credit card conditions, or to sign or to become a party to a third party agreement containing new or changed conditions of employment until such matters have been fully negotiated between the parties under the procedures contained in Article 6 of the LMA.
5. Employees shall not be required to use their personal credit cards or advance their personal funds for government business.
6. Employees shall not be contacted at home or required to use their homes for storage of business records relating to the GTCC.
7. Employees may choose to have charge card debts paid by split disbursement, with the government forwarding the amount indicated by the employee on the claim form directly to the GTCC vendor. At a minimum, the amount forwarded to the vendor shall include the cost of lodging and transportation. Any amount of reimbursement due in excess of that paid to the vendor shall be remitted to the employee via electronic funds transfer. Employees shall be responsible for paying all GTCC charges not covered by the government's remittance to the vendor under the split disbursement process, including any charges made by persons the employee allows to use the card.
8. Employees not choosing split disbursement may elect electronic transfer of funds to an existing commercial checking or savings account. Employees without a commercial checking or savings account, may upon prior arrangement, elect to receive reimbursement by Government check.
9. Employees shall not be responsible for charges made to a lost or stolen GTCC in excess of the amount normally charged by the vendor to any commercial personal credit card holder (i.e., VISA or MASTERCARD holder), and shall not be charged for any amount after the employee reports the GTCC as stolen.
b. Dispute Resolution
1. In the event of a billing dispute or other disagreement with the terms and conditions governing use of the GTCC, the employee is responsible for notifying the vendor of the nature of the dispute. The employee may request the assistance of the employer's local GTCC program coordinator in filing a dispute. Should it become necessary, the employee may dispose of the card by whatever method is appropriate, including turning in it to the employer for appropriate disposition. Employees are obligated to cooperate fully in pursuing resolution to disputes.
2. The resolution of any disputes with the GTCC vendor or contractor, acting as the employer's agent, shall be conducted during the employee's normal duty hours and at the employee's normal place of duty. If an employee is contacted at home, he or she shall refer the agent to the duty station and provide the duty phone number and normal hours of work. Employees may have a union representative present during conversations and meetings regarding such disputes.
3. It is understood that by activating, signing or using the GTCC and/or the account, or signing the individually-billed card account setup or application form of the Department of Defense Travel Card Program, the employee shall not be personally bound by the terms and conditions of any vendor agreement between the employer and the vendor. It is understood that the employee is responsible for and bound by, the terms and conditions of his or her employment with respect to the use of the GTCC.
4. The progressive discipline procedures of the LMA, Article 9, shall apply to employees who do not properly use the GTCC.
5. Employees shall be assigned an account either as a restricted or a standard account. Restricted accounts generally have lower credit limits or are subject to more restrictions on their use. Circumstances wherein a restricted account may be established include, but are not limited to:
(a) cases where the cardholder has instructed the vendor not to obtain credit reports; and,
(b) cases where the program coordinator has requested or approved a restricted card.
c. Privacy Act
1. Employees will not be required to waive any legal rights under the Privacy Act or to disclose any personal information to any third party vendor or contractor, or the vendor's agents or attorneys except as required by applicable law, rule, regulation, or the terms of any card agreement entered into by the employee.
2. Should the vendor require any account information, the employee may be contacted directly at the work site. To the extent the Privacy Act is implicated by travel card use or administration, the employer shall comply with the provisions of the Privacy Act.
3. No vendor attorney shall interview, or otherwise have contact with employees without the union being provided an opportunity to be present during such occasions.
4. Frequent travelers shall be required to apply for a contractor-issued GTCC. As used in this Article, the term "frequent travelers" means employees who are expected to travel on official government business three or more times per year.
d. Employees Who Have a Government Travel Charge Card (GTCC) (Frequent Travelers)
1. Employees having a GTCC are expected to use the charge card to obtain a cash advance for actual out-of-pocket expenses related to official travel (e.g., meals, incidental expenses, parking, tolls, fuel, etc.). If the employee chooses to decline the charge card or chooses not to use it, the employee shall not be issued a travel advance by the activity. Only allowable expenses for official travel shall be reimbursed. The GTCC is to be used only for expenses directly related to travel on official Government business.
2. Employees who are required to travel for extended periods, or on recurring trips of short duration shall have their ATM limit raised to allow the employee access to a minimum of 100% of the estimated meals and incidental expense rate by the APC at the time the orders are issued.
e. Employees Who Do Not Have a GTCC.
1. Travel advances shall be provided by the activity at the standard rate (normally 100% of the estimated per diem and miscellaneous expenses and 100% of the estimated transportation costs) provided that the request for the advance is made sufficiently in advance to permit the advance to be processed.
2. Travel advances shall be deposited directly to the employee's designated account by electronic funds transfer (EFT). If the employee does not maintain an account allowing electronic funds transfer, the employee must provide a written statement to that effect. In such cases, the employee shall be provided a travel advance by government-issued check.
3. Normally, travel advances shall not be made for travel expenses of less than fifty (50) dollars unless a specific request with supporting justification is made.
f. Credit Checks.
1.Where an employee is required to use the GTCC, and the employer requires a check of the employee's credit history, the results of the inquiry shall not adversely affect the employee's performance evaluation or desirability for employment. Information obtained shall be considered highly confidential and shall be safeguarded from improper use. Access to information obtained shall be limited to authorized individuals on a "need to know" basis.
2. All access to any employee's credit history, or credit information maintained by the activity shall be recorded. Recorded information shall include the name of the person accessing the record, the date, and the purpose of the inquiry. Employees, or their representative designated in writing, shall have reasonable access to matters covered by this article.
Add new section:
Section 20. Official Travel for Union Representatives:
a. Union representatives who are employees of the activity shall be able to use official no-cost travel orders issued by the activity for travel related to official representational functions as authorized by the LMA. Requests for no-cost travel orders under this Section shall be initiated by the Union President or individual traveler for signature by the traveler's supervisor for each occasion on which the Union representative will travel under official no-cost travel orders.
b. All expenses for Union initiated travel incurred by Union representatives while traveling under official no-cost orders shall be the sole responsibility of the Union to pay unless the parties agree otherwise.
c. The Union representative on no-cost travel orders will be authorized to use the Government travel office airline ticketing procedures as long as no cost accrues to the Government for issuing such airline tickets.
This page was last updated on February 28, 2003