POPA Policy on Representation
The implementation of the President’s Executive Orders have had a significant negative impact on federal unions and POPA’s ability to continue representation as we have over the decades. The extent of our representational activities for individual bargaining unit members and as an Association are necessarily curtailed.
The following Policies and Practices have been established by POPA in response to the limitations imposed by the Executive Orders.
General Consultation and Questions:
Consultation and Questions on topics will be limited to subject matter on which POPA has negotiated agreements for non-dues paying bargaining unit members. We will continue to provide general consultation or questions on other topics to dues-paying bargaining unit members.
Send all questions and inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Note that response times will be longer since POPA will need to assign a representative and get approval for using union time to consult with an employee.
Employees are discouraged from approaching POPA representatives in their offices, unless otherwise directed. This is because any union time must be requested and approved in advance by management.
Within the confines of the executive orders, POPA will continue to negotiate agreements on behalf of the entire bargaining unit.
Because POPA is prohibited from using official time for grievances, except in an extraordinary circumstance which would have an impact on other members of the bargaining unit, POPA will not provide a representative to bargaining unit members in grievances. All bargaining unit member grievances will be filed pro se.
Please see the grievance guidance previously sent out to POPA-covered employees.
Once the pro se grievance is filed, POPA will no longer be able to consult with the grievant about the subject of the grievance.
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 will be limited to dues-paying members. Dues-paying members in good standing (as defined in the POPA standing rules) will continue to be afforded the opportunity to have POPA representation for the process including review of the proposal, consultation, guidance and representation at oral replies.
If you are not a dues-paying member, POPA will not advise you in regards to your proposal or represent you at an oral reply.
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.
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 email@example.com. 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.