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Agreement Between Passport Services and the - page 24 / 71

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ARTICLE 15: MERIT SYSTEM, PROMOTION, AND DETAIL

1.  GENERAL:  All personnel actions involving career progression shall be consonant with the spirit and intent of the merit system and the Civil Service Reform Act. The Employer will respond to the Union's requests for information concerning the staffing of vacancies within the bargaining unit. When appropriate, the Employer agrees to include information in training sessions for bargaining unit employees to enhance their understanding of the merit system and to assure fair promotion procedures. The Employer will ensure that all qualified employees have equal opportunity for promotion in accordance with Article 17 of this Agreement.

2.  VACANCIES: Vacancy announcements shall be appropriately publicized so that all employees have an equal opportunity to compete. The Union shall be furnished with copies of all announcements of bargaining unit vacancies concurrently with their posting.

a.  When a position is to be filled under the provisions of the Merit Promotion Plan, it shall be fully identified as to grade, title, organizational location, and whether permanent or temporary. If a position is announced as temporary and the announcement does not state that it may become permanent, the position will be announced again if it does become permanent.

b.  The qualification requirements and selective placement factors for positions to be filled through merit promotion procedures shall be fully relevant to such positions.

c.  Merit Promotion procedures will apply to selection by transfer, reinstatement or reassignment to positions with known promotion potential greater than present position of candidate or position last held in the competitive service.

d.  Bargaining unit job opportunity announcements will be open for three (3) weeks from the date of the announcement.

3.  EVALUATION PANELS:

a.When there are ten or more qualified candidates, a Merit Promotion Panel will be convened to evaluate and rank candidates on job related factors.

b.  When there are fewer than ten qualified candidates, no Merit Promotion Panel will be convened.

4.   PROMOTION EVALUATION FACTORS: Factors and weights used by the Employer to rank candidates must be fair, job related, applied equitably and form the sole basis for determining best qualified individuals in the merit promotion plan. Employees have the right to review and have copies upon request of the factors and weights for positions for which they are applying.

5.  SELECTIONS:  The selecting official may choose any candidate from the best qualified list.

6.  NONSELECTED EMPLOYEE RIGHTS: A nonselected employee who requests information regarding nonselection for a bargaining unit position advertised in accordance with the Department of State's Merit Promotion Plan may request representation by the Union. The following information about specific promotion actions shall be made available to an employee and/or representative upon request:

a.  Whether the employee was considered for promotion, and, if so, whether he/she was eligible on the basis of the minimum qualification requirements for the position;

b.  Whether the employee was one of those in the group from which the selection was made;

c.  Who was selected for the promotion; and

d.  In what area, if any, the employee should improve to increase chances of future consideration.

e.  Union representatives shall be allowed to review any document used in the filling of vacancies where the Union demonstrates that a “particularized need” meets the criteria of FLRA case law and, in accordance with that criteria, is not in conflict with applicable law.

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