a. The Employer will provide official time, and, as appropriate, travel and per diem to Union negotiators to attend bargaining sessions.
b. Union officials will be on official time when negotiating during regular duty hours. Overtime will not be paid to members of the Union negotiating team while in negotiations.
c. Upon reaching agreement on all articles, the agreement shall be signed by the members of both negotiating teams, ratified by the Union members in a manner prescribed by the Union and, upon ratification, signed by the Union President, and approved by the Employer.
6. : When initiating a proposal in accordance with this Article, the Employer will provide the Union representative a "reasonable" amount of official time to develop a Union response. The Employer will inform the Union the amount of time, if any, it considers "reasonable" at the same time it presents its Employer proposal to that Union representative. If the Union representative disagrees with the amount of official time provided for preparation of a response, the Union representative immediately will initiate a discussion with the appropriate Employer representative designated for this purpose. The Employer will not delay negotiations on, or the implementation of, proposals pending the resolution of disagreements over the amount of official time that would be appropriate for the Union representative to develop a response. Agreements reached through formal bargaining at the Local 1998 level shall be signed by the Union President and whomever is authorized by the Employer.
7. : When the Parties cannot agree on a negotiable matter and an impasse has been reached, the item shall be set aside. After all the negotiable items on which agreement can be reached have been disposed of, the Parties shall again attempt to resolve any impasses. Either or both Parties may seek the services of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. When the services of mediation do not resolve the impasse, either Party may seek the services of the Federal Service Impasses Panel.
8. : If management alleges a union proposal is nonnegotiable, it will raise the issue of negotiability in a timely fashion in the early stages of the negotiations process. Upon written request, the Union will be provided with a written statement of the rationale for a claim of nonnegotiability. The Union may proceed to the FLRA in accordance with procedures of the FLRA. If the Union alleges a management proposal is nonnegotiable, it will advise management immediately.