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Agreement Between Passport Services and the - page 29 / 71

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ARTICLE 17: EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY

1.  POLICY:  The Employer and the Union reaffirm their commitment to the policy of providing equal employment opportunities to all employees and to prohibit discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, or marital status. No employee will be reprised against for participation in protected EEO activity. The Employer will have a positive, continuing and resultsoriented program of affirmative action. The Parties agree that Equal Employment Opportunity shall be administered in accordance with authorizing legislation and applicable regulations.

2.  MUTUAL CONCERN:  The Union and the Employer agree to discuss with each other perceived general areas of discrimination, and potential remedies. The Employer will provide the Union a copy of the Department of State's multiyear Affirmative Employment Plan.

3.  Upon request, the Department's office of Equal Employment Opportunity will meet at a mutually agreeable time and place with a representative of the Union to discuss general EEO matters related to personnel practices, policies and/or working conditions affecting Passport employees. The Union representative will be granted official or duty time as appropriate.

4.  EEO COUNSELORS:

a.  EEO counselors shall meet the criteria and perform the functions prescribed by the Department's Equal Opportunity Programs.  Union representatives who do not otherwise have a conflict of duty, may serve as EEO counselors, except on cases where they are the representative.

b.  Management shall solicit nominations for EEO counselor vacancies through announcement at local staff meetings. Management will ensure that all employees are made aware of the vacancy.

c.  Any employee may nominate him/herself for a position.

d.  It is agreed by the Parties that the Union may submit nominees for EEO counselor positions. The office of S/EEOCR will appoint the EEO Counselors and will give consideration to the Union nominees.

5. The establishment and implementation of the Affirmative Employment Plan (AEP) is a fundamental Department of State objective. The Employer will continue to provide overall management support and budgetary planning to achieve affirmative action objectives throughout the bargaining unit. The AEP includes as part of that plan an outline of the action the Employer is to take to prevent sexual harassment.

6. AEP AND THE EEO COMPLAINT PROCESS:

a.  The Employer shall make available to employees written information describing the AEP and the EEO complaint procedure. The names and telephone numbers of EEO counselors will be posted on bulletin boards and kept current.

b.  When feasible, employees may request EEO counselors of their choosing.

c.  Union representatives representing employees in EEO complaints will have, subject to applicable procedures, access to the EEO counselor and Investigative Reports and the personnel records of the complainant.  If they are serving as personal representatives, they will use duty time in accordance with EEO regulations.  If they are serving as Union representatives, they will receive official time in accordance with this agreement.

7. GRIEVANCES AND EEO COMPLAINTS:

a.  Any employee who wishes to file or has filed a complaint shall be free from coercion, interference, and reprisal. Any employee who seeks to file a complaint shall have the right to select a representative of his/her choosing, who may be a Union representative, in accordance with the CSRA (P. L. 95454) and this Agreement.

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