POPA Policy on Representation
The Executive Orders affecting union official time have been overcome by Executive Orders signed by President Biden.
General Consultation and Questions:
Consultation and Questions from bargaining unit members who are not paying union dues will be limited to subject matter on which POPA has negotiated agreements or other matters for which POPA serves as the exclusive representative of bargaining unit employees.
To best respond to bargaining unit employees, we encourage employees to continue to send questions and inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Equal Employment Opportunity:
POPA is available to represent dues-paying members who need to file a reasonable accommodation request. To request representation, employees should email email@example.com. A consultation is available for non-dues-paying members.
POPA does not provide representation in EEO complaints. Employees may represent themselves, or designate an attorney or other individual as their representative.
POPA will continue to negotiate agreements on behalf of the entire bargaining unit.
POPA will once again be representing employees in meritorious grievances. Employees are still permitted to file pro se grievances.
Requests to potentially file a grievance must be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Grievances must be filed within 20 calendar days of when one knew or should have know the aggrieved incident occurred, so requests to file grievances should be sent as soon as possible. POPA may not be able to handle a request for grievance filed too close to the 20 calendar day deadline.
Errors called on an examiner:
For dues-paying members (dues-paying for purposes of error review means dues-paying prior to the date the office action on which the error is alleged was posted), POPA is available to review and provide feedback for responses to alleged errors before the examiner submits them to management. Requests for review must be submitted to email@example.com. Due to workload, resources and complexity of the alleged errors, sufficient time must be allowed for POPA to review the response prior to the response due date to management.
Investigatory Meetings (IMs):
POPA will represent any member of the bargaining unit. To request POPA representation at an IM, the employee must call the POPA hotline 571-272-7161 as soon as possible.
Adverse Actions/Disciplinary Actions:
Proposals for suspension and/or removal:
POPA representation is limited to dues-paying members in good standing. Dues-paying members in good standing may be afforded the opportunity to have POPA representation for the process including review of the proposal, consultation, guidance and representation at oral replies. A brief consultation may be available for non-dues-paying members.
Regardless of dues-paying status, any bargaining unit employee has the option of:
(1) representing themselves or
(2) appointing an attorney to represent them at the oral reply.
Any request for POPA representation in regards to an adverse action or disciplinary action must be made through the POPA hotline at 571-272-7161. Requests for representation must be made in advance. POPA may not be able to provide representation if the request is made too close to the deadline. Time is needed to review the case and talk with the employee.
For purposes of representation for proposed adverse actions and discliplinary actions, bargaining unit employees will be considered dues-paying members in good standing if:
- For proposed adverse actions based on performance, the employee joined before the start of the time period which lead to the written warning performance improvement period (currently, 2 quarters before the written warning)
- For proposed adverse actions and suspensions based on conduct, the employee joined prior to the date of the earliest specification in the proposal
For employees who are not dues-paying members:
Up until 11:59 pm on December 31, 2019, bargaining unit members may join POPA and be considered dues-paying for representational purposes as discussed above. Bargaining unit members who join POPA after that date will be considered dues-paying for representational purposes as discussed below.
For proposed adverse actions and disciplinary actions:
- If an employee submits their dues deduction form to join POPA after December 31, 2019 at 11:59 pm, the employee will be considered dues-paying for representational purposes if the entirety of the time period of the alleged conduct or performance issue occurred after the day their dues deduction form was received at firstname.lastname@example.org. Dues deduction forms are available on popa.org.
- For proposed adverse actions based on performance, the beginning of the time period will be the start of the quarter that triggered the earliest performance improvement period (PIP).
- For proposed adverse actions and suspensions based on conduct, the beginning of the time period will be the date of the earliest specification in the proposal.
FAQs and concerns:
- For a proposed removal based on performance, what is a considered the “entirety of the time period of the alleged performance issue” for representational purposes?
Answer: For proposals based on performance, the beginning of the time period will be the beginning of the quarter that triggered the earliest performance improvement period. A proposed removal for performance builds on a FY quarter where performance in a major element(s) (production, DM, quality) is below marginal. This quarter is defined as a “triggering quarter” for representational purposes.
The triggering quarter will be stated in the proposal, e.g. “second quarter of FY 2019.”
- If I join POPA on April 6, 2020, and I receive a proposed removal based on performance on April 6, 2020 will I be considered a dues-paying member for purposes of representation?
Answer: If an employee joins after December 31, 2019 at 11:59pm, the employee will be considered dues-paying for representational purposes if the entirety of the time period of the alleged performance issue occurred after the day the dues deduction form is received by POPA. Since your triggering quarter occurred at least 6 months prior, POPA will not represent you in the matter of your proposed removal.