The FSIP decision provides for a total of 22 proposals submitted either by HHS or by NTEU during several months of contentious negotiations. The decision itself rewrites parts of the existing HHS-NTEU collective agreement, and if the CBA`s articles progress unchallenged, it is possible to lay the groundwork for a large number of changes to current telework, leave and official time policy in the department. According to the third arbitrator, HHS committed a „clear and clear violation“ of its 2010 collective agreement with NTEU and argued that it was premature for the agency to unilaterally implement the terms of a decision of the Bundesdienstes Impasses Panel before obtaining a new collective agreement with the union. The new proposal states: „The Agency will not set a minimum number of days per week so that workers with a telework agreement can declare their work official. However, staff should expect to be reported at least four days a week to the official office and department. For employees with a compressed work schedule, the employee`s normal day (s) is counted as a day outside the official workplace for the purposes of that language. NTEU filed a complaint in April last year after the Federal Service Impasses Panel, a seven-member body that is part of the Federal Labor Relations Authority, ruled on more than a dozen NTEU-HHS tariff proposals and confirmed a majority of the amendments proposed by HHS to amend the existing agreement with the union. „NTEU is working with the support of our allies in Congress to restore a normal negotiation process that allows management and work to reach an agreement that benefits the agency, workers and taxpayers,“ Reardon said in a statement. In April, the imzinal body, which resolves disputes between unions and agencies during contract negotiations, adopted a largely pro-management decision on various provisions of a proposed collective agreement between HHS and NTEU.
But the panel refused to impose six articles of the new treaty and ordered the parties to return to the negotiating table. In the final days of 2019, an arbitrator issued a decision making it clear that HHS did not have the legal right to apply a partial collective agreement. In the application of the NTEU complaints, an arbitrator found that HHS illegally imposed an order from the Federal Service Impasses Panel (FSIP) during the ongoing contract negotiations. „The evidence has been very clear that there has never been an integrated and comprehensive agreement,“ Kaplan wrote.