Department of Commerce

Predecisional Involvement of Union at the Branch Level at NPC

Notification to the Union of all BC-290s issued in the branch - this issue has come up in the Labor Management Communications and Training Workgroup that I have been attending. When discussing pre-decisional Union involvement in management decisions, I brought to the group's attention that although this should obviously be done in many upper management situations, it would be a more effective change at the branch level. For instance, informing the Local, in real time, of trends of employees' offenses (with the current "opt-in" notification procedure, we often cannot see the extent of offensive behaviors). With this type of information, the Local can reach people on the floor quickly, through a desk drop, emails to the Union Body, one-on-one conversations, etc., and prevent more infractions of the same offenses from taking place, instead of letting the BC-290s pile up and waiting until the next quarterly meeting to address a disgruntled mass of employees, uninterested in what management has to say. If we can prevent a BC-290 from happening, we can prevent costly, wasteful hours spent on its processing, the stress it causes the employee, the damage to the employee/supervisor relationship and morale in the unit or branch, and more hours possibly spent in grievance procedures related to said BC-290. With wasteful spending being so closely investigated in our present political and economic climate, management could show large, provable savings by adopting this simple communications practice. Additionally, "rehabilitating" the employee sooner lessens the likelihood that the employee is issued discipline and/or terminated. This will save the agency in recruiting and training costs, and will increase the chances of career advancement for existing employees with more knowledge about the work processes and policies at NPC than outside candidates applying for the same vacancies.

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Idea No. 11989