Collective Bargaining Agreement with AFSCME Local 2910


Section 1. The Library recognizes the rights of employees specified in this Agreement as well as those rights contained in applicable LCRs including, but not limited to 2010-3.1 (Resolution of Problems, Complaints and Charges of Discrimination in Library Employment and Staff Relations under the Equal Opportunity Program), 2023-1 (Personal Conduct and Personal Activities of the Staff of the Library of Congress: Purpose, Policy, and General Standards of Conduct), and 2023-2 (Conduct in Official Positions).

Section 2. Each employee, without exception, has the right, freely and without fear of penalty or reprisal, to form, join, and assist the Guild or to refrain from any such activity, and each employee shall be protected in the exercise of this right. Except as otherwise provided in 5 USC Ch. 71, such rights include the right (a) to act for a labor organization in the capacity of a representative and the right, in that capacity, to present the views of the labor organization to heads of agencies and other officials of the executive branch of government, the Congress, or other appropriate authorities; and (b) to engage in collective bargaining with respect to conditions of employment through authorized representatives. The Library shall take action required to assure that employees in the bargaining unit are apprized of their rights and that no interference, restraint, coercion, or discrimination is practiced to encourage or discourage membership in a union.

Section 3. Employees shall be informed in advance of the purpose of meetings held pursuant to LCR 2017-5 (Obligations of Management and Staff to Fulfill Position Requirements), LCR 2013-4 (Within Grade Increases), LCR 2020-3 (Policies and Procedures Governing Adverse Actions), or Article 15 (Performance Evaluation).

Section 4. The Library agrees that prior to taking a written or sworn statement from a bargaining unit employee on a matter about which there is reasonable cause to believe may result in disciplinary action being initiated against the employee, the Library will inform the employee of the purpose of the Library's action and that he/she may have a Guild representative present. The Library agrees that prior to interrogating an employee on a matter about which there is reasonable cause to believe may result in disciplinary action being initiated against the employee, the Library will inform the employee of the purpose of the Library's action, and the employee may, upon request, have a Guild representative present if such representative is available within one (1) workday to assist the employee or as otherwise agreed.

Section 5. Representation At Meetings

  1. An employee shall have the right, upon request, to be represented by a Guild steward or officer at:
    1. the presentation of a notice of adverse action proposed pursuant to LCR 2020-3 (Policies and Procedures Governing Adverse Actions); and
    2. meetings concerning any grievance, or any personnel policy, or practice, or other general condition of employment.

  2. Except as otherwise provided for in this Agreement or in the case of emergencies, the Library will notify employees of staff meetings in a timely manner. "Timely notice" is defined here as notice provided at least forty-eight (48) hours in advance when practicable, and at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance except in case of emergency.

  3. The Library shall annually inform its employees of their right to representation under this article.

  4. The rights of any employee to representation under the provisions of this section shall not be construed to preclude an employee from being represented by an attorney or other representative, other than the Guild, of the employee's own choosing in any regulatory or appeal action not under Article 36 (Negotiated Grievance Procedure). The employee may exercise grievance or appellate rights which are established by law, rule, or regulation.

Section 6. In an adverse action an employee may file either a grievance or an appeal under LCR 2020-3, but not both. If an employee covered by this Agreement decides to file a grievance, the grievance process will begin at Step 2. An employee shall be deemed to have exercised his/her option when a grievance is timely filed or an appeal under LCR 2020-3 is initiated, whichever occurs first. However, this provision in no way precludes an employee from grieving a Library determination with regard to a hearing officer's decision.

Such decisions of hearing officers on appeals of adverse actions taken under LCR 2020-3 shall be final and binding upon the Parties unless the Librarian or his/her designees determines within twenty (20) working days that the decision is arbitrary or capricious, or otherwise not in accordance with applicable law, rule or regulation. In such an event the Librarian or his/her designee shall issue a decision setting forth the bases for his/her conclusions. Such decisions by the Librarian or his/her designee shall be subject to Article 36 (Negotiated Grievance Procedure). Grievances regarding such decisions will begin at Step 2. In all other cases, the Librarian's or his/her designee's decision shall affirm the hearing officer's decision in its entirety.

Section 7. Each employee shall have an amount of time as specified to prepare for the following:

  1. twenty-four (24) hours for the preparation of a grievance or complaint and for the preparation of an appeal;
  2. thirty-six (36) hours in cases of discrimination;
  3. ten (10) hours for appeal of a performance rating, denial of a within grade, or classification appeal; and
  4. fifteen (15) hours for preparation in dispute resolution proceedings.

Additional time will be granted upon reasonable request. This use of official time shall not include time spent presenting grievances, complaints, and/or appeals to appropriate management officials or hearing officers. Employees shall not abuse this grant of official time. All time spent pursuant to this section shall be recorded on a form by the supervisor of the employee and initialed by the employee and his/her supervisor. The form shall specify the purpose for which the time is being used.

Section 8. The Library will not require or request any employee to invest money or donate to charities, provided, however, the Library may give employees the opportunity to avail themselves of such activities. The Parties agree that employees are encouraged to contribute and participate in such activities. However, the Library shall ensure that no coercion is used to either make employees participate in or contribute to such activities. The Library will not require employees to participate in activities, meetings, or undertakings not related to the performance of official duties.

Section 9. The Library will not require any employee to disclose, nor will the Library disclose, his/her race, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, political or union affiliation, physical or mental disability, except as required by law and directives of higher authority to which the Library is subject.

Section 10. Employees shall have the right during working hours to contact the following officials or offices:

  1. appropriate Guild representatives;
  2. Human Resources Services;
  3. Equal Employment Opportunity Counselors, Officers or Dispute Conveners;
  4. a supervisor or management official of a higher rank than the employee's immediate supervisor;
  5. Dispute Resolution Center;
  6. Office of the General Counsel;
  7. Health Services Office; and
  8. other official internal common service offices.

Normally, an employee will be allowed to telephone or visit the aforementioned offices. Upon notification to his/her supervisor an employee may be requested to delay making a visit when workload or other organization exigencies require that the employee remain at his/her worksite. Employees have the responsibility to exercise their right judiciously and expeditiously. Employees may be required to state the general purpose of the contact but will not be required to discuss in detail with their supervisor the reasons they wish to contact any of the above officials or offices.

Section 11. In the event of a dispute between an employee and a private individual or a firm with respect to an alleged debt or financial obligation, where the debt has not been reduced to a judgment by a court of competent jurisdiction, the Library will neither act as an arbitrator nor will the Library take any action against any employee with respect to an alleged debt.

Section 12. In the event an employee does not receive the correct amount due on his/her regular payday the Library will take the following action:

  1. upon notification by the affected employee, the Library will take prompt action to see that the employee receives a supplemental check, normally within two (2) workdays, when an employee has been underpaid for regular hours of work;
  2. upon notification by the affected employee of an error in premium pay, including night differential, Sunday premium, holiday pay and overtime, the timekeeper, after verification and certification, will submit a corrected time sheet in the next transmission period after discovery of the error, and the retroactive monies will be in the paycheck for that pay period; and
  3. retroactive pay adjustments for two (2) or more pay periods for any reason will be computed and processed as soon as possible, normally within thirty (30) days.

Section 13. The Library agrees to offer notary services to all employees to meet official needs. Notaries will provide free service to employees to meet their personal needs provided such arrangements do not interfere with official work. A list of notaries will be provided in the telephone directory.

Section 14. The Library shall make available to each employee information concerning services offered to employees.

Section 15. Employees have the right to receive without charge a copy of:

  1. their official current position description;
  2. position descriptions when they are applying for a posted vacancy; and
  3. position descriptions related to appeals, complaints, or grievances.

In addition, employees shall receive upon reasonable request for the purposes of career development only, and at cost of photoduplication, copies of other position descriptions throughout the Library.

Section 16. Services for Disabled Employees

  1. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and appropriate LCRs, the Library shall provide assistance upon request and when needed for the accomplishment of official work.
  2. The Library shall supply a TTY as needed in divisions where there are one or more deaf employees. Additional TTYs shall be maintained by the Library to meet employee needs within a reasonable period of time.
  3. The Library will make available upon request qualified persons to interpret for deaf employees and to read for visually handicapped employees for the accomplishment of official work.

  4. The Library shall make available to its visually handicapped employees LCRs, Special Announcements, and this Agreement in the most readily available format, including copies in machine readable format or braille, or through a staff person who serves as a reader. The Library shall make reasonable effort to comply with an employee's request for a particular format.

Section 17. The Library affirms the right of employees to dress as they choose. In exercising this right, employees shall dress in good taste as reflected by a neat and clean appearance and appropriate dress. To the extent occupational demands require it, the Library may require affected employees to wear uniforms, work clothes, and protective devices and equipment.

Section 18. The Library recognizes employees' right of privacy, particularly with regard to conduct off duty and off Library premises. Employees recognize a cognate responsibility, as public employees, to conduct themselves in a manner that will not bring opprobrium or discredit to the Library or themselves.

Section 19. The Library shall not require an employee to make a report concerning any of his/her activities or undertakings unless such activities or undertakings are financially underwritten by the Library.

Section 20. LCRs affecting conditions of employment become operative once they have been published and distributed. Special Announcements become operative when they are published.

Section 21. The Library shall take appropriate measures, within the capabilities of its available resources, to provide employees with the means to secure their valuables. The Library shall provide lockers with locks to those employees whose work requires them to change their clothes.

Section 22. Each employee shall be furnished with a Library of Congress identification card containing his/her name, signature, photograph, and employee number. Because the Library has determined that the identification card must be worn visibly rather than carried, the card shall be equipped with a chain or a clip. At the request of the employee, a protective cover will be provided which can be placed over the employee's name and social security number.

Section 23. The Library shall provide smocks or aprons, gloves and face masks for those employees who must handle books which are in poor condition or who work in dusty areas.

Section 24. Employees will be given E-MAIL accounts, necessary training and documentation, and reasonable access to equipment to enable them to use E-MAIL in fulfillment of their official duties and responsibilities.

Section 25. Confidentiality of Communications

  1. Each employee may use the interoffice mail system in the Library for official business and as otherwise provided for in this Agreement. Official Library mail received at the Library through regular postal deliveries and internal Library mail addressed to unit employees marked "personal" or "confidential" shall normally be forwarded unopened, except in those situations where operational needs may warrant the opening of the mail by other than the addressee.
  2. Staff electronic mail communications normally shall be held confidential and not be subject to third party scrutiny, unless required to meet operational needs. The Parties agree that this provision does not apply to communications of a record nature (e.g. minutes of meetings, or notes mailed to staff regarding work procedures, policies, and the like).

Section 26. The Parties agree to continue, unless changed through this Agreement, any common employee benefits, practices, and understandings mutually acknowledged by the Parties and not specifically inconsistent with this Agreement. Nothing contained in this section shall diminish the right of the Library to exercise its rights set out in Article 2 (Management Rights). Prior to enforcing an LCR involving personnel policies, practices, and conditions of employment, where the Library believes that it may have been lax in enforcement, the Library agrees to consult with the Guild concerning the matter.

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