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ARTICLE 12: NEGOTIATIONS DURING THE TERM OF THE AGREEMENT

1.  The Parties to this agreement have the responsibility to conduct negotiations and other dealings in good faith and in such a manner as will further the public interest.

2.  MANAGEMENT OBLIGATION:

a.  The Employer agrees to give reasonable advance written notice to the Union and the opportunity to negotiate any new or change in personnel policy or practice affecting working conditions of unit employees, which is proposed during the life of the Agreement.  Negotiation as appropriate on issues which are Management rights will also be handled in accordance with this Article.  

b.  Notification may include a final date for the Union to request negotiations with respect to the proposed change.

In no case shall such final date be less than fifteen (15) calendar days from receipt of the notification of the proposed change. When the notification does not include a final date for the Union to request negotiations, and the Union wishes to negotiate, the Union shall make such a request within thirty (30) calendar days from the date of receipt of the notification. Nothing herein shall preclude the Parties, by mutual consent, from extending or reducing any time limits imposed under this Section.

3.  UNION OBLIGATION:

a.  When the Union desires to negotiate with respect to a change proposed by the Employer, the Union shall notify the management official from whom the notification was received. Such notification will be in writing, and within the specified time, if any, or within the standard time period.

b.  If the Union believes it needs more or better information in order to respond to the proposal, it must request that information within five (5) days of receipt of the proposal. The request will be made by telephone and directed to the named Employer representative. The employer's representative will provide the information in writing within five (5) days of the request. The time limits for the union response will be extended 10 days if it requests information under this provision.

c.  Any subsequent Union response shall state the specific language the Union wishes to offer for negotiations.

d.  If the Union does not respond within the specified period of time of notification of a proposed change in policy affecting conditions of employment, then the policy may be implemented.

e.  If negotiable proposals are submitted by the Union, they shall be negotiated by the Parties at a time mutually agreed upon. Any necessary face to face negotiations will take place in Washington, D.C., unless otherwise agreed to by the Parties.

f.  In any negotiations in accordance with the provisions of this Article, the number of Union negotiators will not be less than two.  Bargaining unit employees on official time shall not exceed the number of Employer negotiators.

g.  To the extent feasible, where the designated repre­sentatives of the Parties are not in the same commuting area, the Parties agree to use the mail and telephone to conduct negotiations under this Agreement in order to reduce costs.

4. MID-TERM NEGOTIATIONS

Either party may submit a proposal during the life of this contract provided it has not previously been the subject of negotiations of this contract.  The other party must respond within 20 days, agreeing to the proposal or negotiations, or claiming non-negotiability.  Negotiations will be scheduled within 30 days unless extended by mutual agreement.

5.  NEGOTIATIONS PROCEDURES:

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