Collective Bargaining Agreement with AFSCME Local 2910

Section 1. The purpose of this article is to provide a means of evaluating employee performance. Successful implementation of this article should also serve to strengthen supervisor-employee relations and contribute to the improvement of employee performance.

Section 2. Performance Requirements

  1. A performance requirement states how many times, how well, in what time, or in what manner a duty must be performed to be considered satisfactory.
  2. The Library will not change or introduce new performance requirements without first meeting, consulting, and bargaining with the Guild over implementation procedures and arrangements for employees adversely affected, pursuant to Article 8 (Midterm Bargaining).
  3. The supervisor is responsible for providing each employee with a written copy of appropriate performance requirements at the beginning of the employee's rating period, and for discussing the requirements with the employee so as to establish a mutual understanding with regard to the employee's performance.
  4. In the absence of formally established, written performance standards, the supervisor may require that the employee maintain a reasonable level of performance. In describing a reasonable level of performance, the supervisor may refer to the performance of other employees or groups of employees similarly situated. Each employee shall receive a copy of all such requirements at the beginning of the rating period.
  5. Performance requirements in and of themselves may not be grieved, unless violative of applicable law or this Agreement. However, unfair or inequitable application of a requirement may be grieved.

Section 3. Performance Appraisal and Discussions

  1. Performance Appraisal

  2. Performance appraisal is a continuous process of observation and evaluation. It should reveal how well actual performance meets requirements, which aspects of performance need improvement, and which aspects so exceed requirements as to deserve special recognition. A thorough knowledge of the conditions under which the work is performed and the elements needed for adequate performance is essential for appraisal. The following appraisal factors are to be considered by the supervisor in appraising an employee's performance. These factors are not all-inclusive, nor will they apply necessarily in each instance; rather they are intended to serve, to the extent applicable, to assist the supervisor in evaluating the employee's performance. The factors are:

    Appraisal Factors
    Quality and quantity of work
    Understanding job techniques
    Skill and efficiency in carrying out assignments
    Promptness in completing work
    Ability to deal with the public and get along with others
    Effectiveness of written and oral expression
    Awareness and responsiveness to Library and service unit missions
    Resourcefulness, creativity, and initiative
    Ability to plan and carry out assignments

  3. Discussions
    Informal discussions between supervisor and employee are a normal part of supervision and should be frequent enough to assure mutual understanding of changing job responsibilities, performance requirements, and any problems the employee encounters in his/her work.

    Additionally, a more formal appraisal should be made for the employee's official performance rating. All formal appraisals will be discussed with the employee.

Section 4. Basis of Performance Ratings
Performance ratings shall be based on the duties actually performed and the performance requirements in effect during the period covered by the rating. Normally the duties performed are listed in the official position description, which in such case serves as the basis of the rating. However, the duties actually assigned to the employee during the rating period shall constitute the basis of his/her rating even if they do not appear in the official position description.

Section 5. Levels and Kinds of Ratings

  1. Level of Rating The Library has determined that employees will be rated against the following four (4) levels of performance:
    1. Outstanding - An "Outstanding" rating may be assigned only when all aspects of performance not only exceed normal requirements, but are outstanding and deserve special commendation.
    2. Excellent - An "Excellent" rating is assigned when performance substantially exceeds requirements in most of the important job elements and exceeds normal requirements of other job elements.
    3. Satisfactory - A "Satisfactory" rating is assigned when performance falls within a band of performance ranging from just above unsatisfactory to just below excellent.
    4. Unsatisfactory - An "Unsatisfactory" rating is assigned when the employee clearly fails to satisfactorily perform one or more duties which are critical to the job, and the overall impact of the employee's performance is such that removal from the position will be considered unless there is prompt, substantial improvement.

  2. Kinds of Ratings
    1. Entrance Ratings - Entrance ratings are the "satisfactory" ratings automatically assigned employees when they first enter on duty, or when an employee changes to a different position.
    2. Regular Ratings - A regular rating shall cover not more than one (1) year's service immediately prior to the rating date, nor less than three (3) months of service. The employee will receive an annual rating as prescribed in Section 7.

Section 6. Uses of Performance Ratings in Personnel Actions

  1. Performance ratings shall be used as are appropriate in consideration of promotions, transfers, and reductions-in-force.

  2. An employee given an "Outstanding" rating shall be seriously considered by the rating official for a recommendation for a quality increase or an incentive award. [LCRs 2013-5 (Quality Increases) and 2017-3 (Suggestion and Incentive Awards Program)]

  3. An employee whose performance substantially exceeds normal requirements in one or more of the most important job elements may be considered for a special achievement award under 5 USC 45 and LCR 2017-3.

  4. An employee under the regular General Schedule (GS) who is given a rating of "Satisfactory" or better shall be granted or denied a within-grade increase in accordance with LCR 2013-4 (Within Grade Increases) and applicable laws. An employee shall be granted a within-grade increase when it is determined that he/she is performing at an acceptable level of competence.

  5. An employee under a regular Wage Schedule (WS) who has a rating of "Satisfactory" or better, shall, after completing the prescribed period of service, advance automatically to the next higher step of his/her grade.

  6. An employee whose performance rating is "Unsatisfactory" must be removed from his/her current position. The employee may be reassigned, transferred or demoted to a position for which he/she is qualified and in which satisfactory performance could be expected, or may be separated from the Library.

Section 7. Time of Annual Performance Ratings
Except as stated in Section 9, performance ratings shall be made annually, normally when periodic step increases are due. When the employee has reached the step in the grade which requires a waiting period of more than fifty-two (52) weeks or when an employee has reached the maximum step of the grade, the employee shall be assigned a rating at least once a year.

Section 8. The Rating Period
The rating period begins on the day following the end of the last rating period, or on the date of assignment to the current position, whichever is later. It ends on the rating date or at the end of a period of postponement, whichever is later.

Section 9. Postponement of Ratings

  1. The performance rating will be postponed:
    1. if an employee has not served three (3) months in the same position; or
    2. if the ninety-day (90-day) period following a warning of unsatisfactory service has been completed on the rating date.

  2. Performance ratings may be postponed:
    1. if for any reason (e.g., detail to another position or extended leave without pay) the employee has not been in a work status for a minimal period of three (3) months in the position to which he/she is regularly assigned. If the employee has been detailed in excess of thirty (30) days during any portion of the evaluation period, the regular supervisor shall make the performance rating whenever possible with the supervisor who directed the detail;
    2. if there has been a recent change in supervisors and the new supervisor feels that he/she is unable to appraise an employee because of insufficient opportunity to observe performance;
    3. if the supervisor or employee is on leave or otherwise unavailable at the regular rating time;
    4. if an adverse action or disability retirement is pending; or
    5. if the employee's performance at rating time is "unsatisfactory" because of temporary circumstances (such as family or health problems), but is expected to improve to a "satisfactory" level in the near future.

  3. The postponement of a rating may occur only once and will not ordinarily exceed three (3) months.

Section 10. The Rating Process

  1. Approximately ninety (90) days before the due date, Human Resources Services shall forward to division chiefs or other appropriate officials a list of employees whose performance ratings are due. These lists shall be used as check sheets to ensure that the authorized performance rating forms are completed by the supervisor and returned to Human Resources Services at the end of the rating period.
    1. A supervisor is required to assign or recommend an appropriate adjective rating which must be justified in writing on a form jointly developed by the Parties.
    2. Formal discussions with employees recommended for "Outstanding" or "Unsatisfactory" ratings will not be held until the rating has been approved.
    3. Employees receiving a "Satisfactory" or "Excellent" rating shall be allowed a notice period of at least twenty-four (24) hours and up to five (5) working days to comment orally upon their formal performance appraisals prior to the signing of the appraisals by any supervisory or management official(s).
    4. Each employee shall be furnished a duplicate copy of the complete rating form, which shall constitute formal notification of the performance rating.
    5. The original of the form will be filed in the employee's Official Personnel Folder (OPF) in the Employment Office.

  2. Assigning Satisfactory or Excellent Ratings Employees rated "Satisfactory" or "Excellent" will be told so by the supervisor during the rating discussion.
    1. "Satisfactory" and "Excellent" ratings must be justified in writing and provide concise examples of how the employee performed at that level. See Sections 5A2 and 5A3.
    2. At the close of the discussion the employee will be asked to sign the form in the space provided. The employee's signature signifies only that the performance appraisal has been discussed with him/her. In a case where an employee declines to sign, the rater shall note this on the form. If the employee believes his/her supervisor's comments are inaccurate, reasons for the disagreement may be given on the official rating form which becomes part of the record. The original rating form will be forwarded to the Employment Office for retention in the employee's OPF. The duplicate of the form shall be given to the employee.
    3. The supervisor shall initiate a recommendation in cases where there should be recognition for high quality performance by either a Quality Within-Grade Increase, or cash or honorary awards under the Incentive Awards Program.

  3. Assigning Outstanding Ratings
    If, in the judgment of the supervisor, the performance of an employee satisfies the criteria for an "Outstanding" rating, the supervisor will recommend that such a rating be awarded. With the criteria in mind, the rater will prepare a narrative statement in duplicate on the form developed jointly by the Parties.

    The justification should be a brief but substantive statement with specific examples to make clear the manner in which the performance is considered to have substantially exceeded the performance requirements. Any available supporting evidence, such as production records or commendations, together with a copy of the current Position Description (PD) should be attached to the form. The rater shall initiate a recommendation in cases where there should be recognition for high quality performance by either a Quality Within Grade Increase, or cash or honorary awards under the Incentive Awards Program. Recommendations for "Outstanding" ratings must be forwarded through channels to the service unit head for final action. Recommendation for

    "Outstanding" ratings initiated by service unit heads shall be forwarded to the Librarian for final action.
    If the "Outstanding" rating is approved, all copies shall be signed and dated to indicate approval of the rating. Both copies shall be returned through channels to the rater for the discussion with the employee. Disapproval of an "Outstanding" rating recommendation will be returned through channels to the rater, in which case the rater shall prepare a "Satisfactory" or "Excellent" rating. The rater will discuss the rating with the employee, obtain the employee's signature, and forward the rating form to the Employment Office for retention in the employee's OPF.
  4. Assigning Unsatisfactory Ratings
  1. General. Before being rated "Unsatisfactory" an employee shall be given ninety (90) days prior warning and a reasonable opportunity to demonstrate satisfactory performance. The warning shall be contained in a written notice prepared by the rater or by the division chief or equivalent. All warnings prepared by raters below the level of division chief shall be initialed by the division chief. The warning, a copy of which shall be sent to the Director of Human Resources for review before delivery to the employee in order to determine the adequacy of the warning, shall inform the employee of the following:

    a. how the requirements of the position were not met;
    b. how the employee's performance may be improved;
    c. that ninety (90) days in which to improve will be given in advance of his/her performance rating;
    d. that a rating of "Unsatisfactory" will be given unless there is an improvement in performance;
    e. that the employee may discuss the matter with his/her rater; and
    f. what efforts will be made by the supervisor to help the employee to improve by, for example, providing additional on-the-job or formal training, special assignments, or other means.

  2. Subsequent Procedures if Performance Improves Sufficiently
    If the employee's performance does improve within the warning period sufficiently to warrant a "Satisfactory" rating, the rater shall assign a "Satisfactory" rating. The rater will discuss the rating with the employee, obtain the employee's signature, and forward the form to the Employment Office for retention in the employee's OPF.

  3. Subsequent Procedures if Performance Does Not Improve
    If the employee's performance does not improve sufficiently during the warning period to justify a "Satisfactory" rating, the rater will prepare in duplicate an "Unsatisfactory" rating.

    The rater will state the facts of the prior warning, wherein the performance is unsatisfactory, what has been done to assist the employee to improve his/her performance, and any additional facts pertinent to the making of the "Unsatisfactory" rating. The rating will be approved by the division chief and service unit head and be submitted for review by the Director of Human Resources prior to the discussion with the employee. If the rating is disapproved, it will be returned through channels to the rater for reconsideration and preparation of a "Satisfactory" rating or further evidence of unsatisfactory performance. If the rating is approved as "Unsatisfactory," both copies shall be returned to the division for the discussion with the employee. The rater shall inform the employee of his/her right to appeal the rating as provided in Section 11 of this article.

    An employee who receives an "Unsatisfactory" rating will be reassigned, transferred, changed to a lower grade, or separated for inefficiency thirty (30) days after notification in writing by the Director of Human Resources that such action is being taken. Any such action against an employee will be stayed during the hearing of an appeal. Action to assign an official rating of "Unsatisfactory" may be initiated at any time during the rating period subject to the warning provisions of this section. As an alternative to giving an "Unsatisfactory" rating, the Library may separate, transfer, demote or reassign an employee with permanent or indefinite status under administrative procedures set forth in LCR 2020-3 (Policies and Procedures Governing Adverse Actions), with right of appeal in accordance with the provisions of LCR 2020-3. For similar actions, during the qualifying period see LCR 2010-11(Personnel Appointments, Assignments, Qualifying/Probationary Periods, and Terminations).

Section 11. Performance Rating Review and Appeals

  1. Impartial Review The service unit head, upon request of an employee, shall be responsible for providing an impartial administrative review of the employee's performance rating.
    1. A request for impartial review will be accepted by the service unit head or his/her designee only if it is filed within fifteen (15) calendar days after the date the employee received notice of his/her rating. The service unit head has fifteen (15) calendar days to reply. In the absence of a timely response from the service unit head to a request for a review of an "Unsatisfactory" performance rating, the appellant may grieve the rating within ten (10) workdays pursuant to Article 36 (Negotiated Grievance Procedure).
    2. An employee may request in writing an extension of the time limits for service unit review only. The service unit head may extend the time limits for good and sufficient reasons.
    3. An impartial review of an "Excellent", "Satisfactory" or an "Unsatisfactory" rating by the service unit head will be in the nature of an informal review of the rating received. The employee will be accorded an opportunity to present, orally or in writing, any factual material which he/she believes will substantiate a request for a higher rating. The service unit head will consider the supporting data submitted, confer with the rating officer, and attempt to reconcile any differences.

  2. Grievances Employees are encouraged to deal directly with their supervisors to settle performance rating disagreements. If such steps are not satisfactory, employees may proceed to dispute resolution pursuant to Article 35 (Alternative Dispute Resolution), or grieve their rating pursuant to Article 36 (Negotiated Grievance Procedure).

Section 12. Responsibility for the Process Human Resources Services is assigned responsibility for providing guidance on all aspects of the rating program.

Section 13. Within-Grade Determinations

  1. An employee whose performance of the critical elements of his/her position during the requisite period is at an acceptable level of competence shall be granted a within-grade salary increase pursuant to 5 USC 5335 and LCR 2013-4 (Within Grade Increases).

  2. The employee's supervisor shall inform the employee in writing at least ninety (90) days in advance of a within-grade due date when the supervisor has determined that the employee's work is not at an acceptable level of competence. The employee shall have the right to utilize the ninety (90) day warning period to improve his/her performance. If because of administrative oversight or any other reason the supervisor fails to provide the employee a written ninety (90) day notice, the employee shall be given ninety (90) days from the date of the notice to improve his/her performance. If the employee's performance improves to an acceptable level of competence, the within-grade shall be granted retroactively.

  3. An employee who is denied a within-grade increase may proceed to dispute resolution pursuant to Article 35 (Alternative Dispute Resolution), or grieve pursuant to Article 36 (Negotiated Grievance Procedure).

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