The Parties agree to support and encourage professional employees in developing their knowledge, skills, and abilities, and in contributing to the more effective utilization of available human and material resources in service to the Library of Congress and the nation's library and information community. The provisions of this article are intended to create and foster a work environment conducive to the professional development of bargaining unit employees.
Section 1. Cooperation
- The Parties agree to establish a joint advisory Professional Policies and Development Committee comprising three (3) members from the Guild and three (3) members from management. The Committee shall meet monthly at a mutually agreeable time and place to give consideration to and make recommendations concerning the following:
- current and future career development and training programs, policies, and procedures; and
- effective implementation of the provisions of this article.
- The Parties to this Agreement will participate actively in the Committee, making full use of available resources to accomplish its chosen tasks in a deliberate yet timely manner. Committee recommendations shall be submitted to the Library. The Committee shall be informed within a reasonable period of time of the status and disposition of Committee recommendations.
- Members of the Committee shall be afforded time off from regular duties, not to exceed forty (40) hours annually, without loss of pay or charge to leave, for the purpose of performing the work of the Committee.
Section 2. The Library recognizes its obligation to offer to employees the opportunity for appropriate training, career planning, and development opportunities. Such opportunities shall be given consistent with affirmative action and other broad staff development goals, and will be founded upon compliance with and subject to the following:
- the Government Employee Training Act and regulations issued pursuant thereto;
- the Equal Employment Opportunity Act, as amended;
- the LC Affirmative Action Plan;
- the LCR 2017 series;
- available LC resources allocated for training purposes; and
- the Library's determination of organizational needs.
- The Library will maintain a record of completed training courses or career development activities in the format adopted as the Official Personnel File (OPF). A record of each satisfactorily completed internal training course or career development activity will be filed in or entered into the employee's OPF. Such record from an external source shall be added upon the employee's request.
- The Parties accept the principle that each employee is responsible for applying effort, time, and initiative in increasing his/her potential through self-development and training. The Parties will encourage employees to take advantage of training and educational opportunities that enhance work efficiency and provide needed skills for advancement.
Section 3. Training
"Training" is defined as activity undertaken to increase the knowledge, proficiency, ability, skill, and qualifications of employees in the performance of duties in their current position.
- It shall be a major goal to improve in general the job performance of all professional employees through the establishment of fair and equitable opportunities for training within clearly defined career fields (e.g., librarians, archivists, computer specialists).
- The following approaches to employee training will be utilized when determined by the Library to be in its and the employee's best interest:
- in-service, out-service, or on-the-job training to improve employee capabilities to perform his/her current duties;
- cross training and rotational assignments in complementary positions;
- enrollment of employees in part-time educational programs at local educational institutions and/or in correspondence courses; and
- long-term training in Federal and non-Federal educational institutions.
- Supervisors shall discuss with employees training needs and opportunities that would help the employee to improve performance in his/her current position, normally at the time of the performance evaluation.
- Employees shall receive a degree of training and/or orientation determined appropriate by the Library for any job in which they are placed.
- Job-related training shall be provided as equitably as possible among employees of an organizational unit who require such training.
Section 4. Career Development
- "Career Development" is defined as activity undertaken to increase the knowledge, proficiency, ability, skill, and qualifications of employees in the performance of those duties which they could reasonably be expected to perform in the future. These include potential duties in a different job or occupation at the same or higher level than the one currently held. The tasks of the Professional Policies and Development Committee (PPDC) shall include the following possible career development program initiatives:
- improve employee access to information concerning detail opportunities by publicizing an ongoing list of professional detail opportunities, of both traditional and longer-term duration, in order to better utilize employee skills in accomplishing the mission and goals of the Library and by promoting cross-departmental and cross-divisional mobility;
- developing, in cooperation with managers in the service units, innovative positions embodying duties from two (2) or more traditional positions, in order to experiment with new work flows and divisions of labor, and to provide staff with more flexibility in duties performed;
- publicizing staff exchange opportunities, including temporary job exchanges and interagency and university exchanges, to facilitate increased participation in staff exchanges outside the Library; and
- providing career counseling to groups of employees interested in broadening their professional experience and developing their knowledge, skills, and abilities.
- The Committee will work with appropriate experts to develop a survey form for voluntary reporting of staff skills, knowledge, and abilities to produce an automated skills inventory. The Committee will develop guidelines for use of the skills database that will ensure appropriate access and confidentiality.
- Employees shall be given reasonable opportunity and reasonable official time necessary to discuss their career development with their supervisors and the Training and Development Office staff.
- Both Parties recognize that an employee may become dissatisfied with his/her job because of limited advancement possibilities or changing career goals. In such cases the Library agrees that:
- an employee may request a meeting with the appropriate Library representative on official time for the purpose of career counseling; and
- an employee's request for a lateral transfer to a different job or a transfer to a lower-grade job shall not be considered a factor in any personnel action concerning that employee.
- The Library agrees to play an active role in nominating members of the bargaining unit for various specialized career development programs, such as those sponsored by the Council on Library Resources, Association of College and Research Libraries, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
- When an institution of higher learning requires verification of on-the-job experience, the Library shall provide verification of said experience to the institution upon the employee's request.
Section 5. The Library will provide appropriate information accessible to all bargaining unit members.
- The Library agrees to publicize new information on training activities, including upward mobility and self-development opportunities. At the division level, the Library will inform staff at least annually of the projected availability of training funds. The Library will take into consideration comments and suggestions from staff regarding these funds.
- The Library will issue guidelines on processing the SF 182 (Request, Authorization, Agreement, and Certification of Training) or its successor to inform supervisors and employees of the procedures for requesting and recommending training.
- Copies of training announcements will be sent to service unit offices and the Guild as they become available and will be displayed. Special program announcements will be sent to service units and the Guild. The Library will make USDA announcements available to employees.
Section 6. Employees shall normally receive written notice of selection for training or educational opportunity for which they applied or were nominated within fifteen (15) days of the date of receipt of the request for training by the Training and Development Office. In case of non-selection, the employee may request and receive an explanation for the denial.
Section 7. The Library shall make payment for all allowable and authorized expenses in connection with approved training requests.
Section 8. An employee will be granted official time away from the work-site to participate in Library approved training courses or programs, when appropriate.
Section 9. Each employee may request to participate in non-mandatory training. When such non-mandatory training is authorized, the employee shall minimize whenever possible the use of official time for such training in order to reduce the burden on Library resources.
If participation in training is required, supervisors may adjust the employee's flexible work schedules to accommodate such required training when they determine it to be in the best interests of the Library. In such cases a reasonable effort will be made to take the individual employee's personal scheduling of the workday into consideration.
Section 10. New Processes and Training
- The Library agrees to notify the Guild as soon as practicable of proposed installation of any new equipment, machinery, or process which would result in changes in work assignments or require additional training of members of the bargaining unit. The Parties will meet, consult, and bargain over the impact and implementation of changes in conditions of employment not covered by this Agreement.
- The Parties agree, upon request by either Party, to meet and discuss, in good faith, the possibility of instituting programs to train or retrain employees in new skills so as to assure an adequate supply of available employees trained in these new skills. Written requests for such a meeting shall identify the purpose thereof.
- In order to effect a smoother transition to automated processes, the Library will meet with the Guild and consult in good faith over the establishment of training courses or on-the-job training to enable affected employees effectively to perform their job duties as well as provide for requisite staff development.
- The Library agrees to make every reasonable effort to minimize Reductions-In-Force (RIFs) as the result of the introduction of new equipment and new processes.
Section 11. Library Intern Program
- The Library shall provide for Guild representation on a committee established to restructure or evaluate the Intern Program.
- All qualified bargaining unit employees up to and including the GS-12 level shall be afforded the opportunity to apply for and participate in any such program. Such employees shall be able to apply directly to Human Resources Services without waiting for nomination from their division chiefs.
- Internal applicants with more than five (5) years of service at the Library shall be evaluated primarily on their work records at the Library. Experience may also be substituted for education to meet the eligibility requirements.
Section 12. The Parties recognize that professionals must keep abreast of their field by reading professional literature and maintaining familiarity with changing technology and resources available in the field; and that professionals must, of necessity, accomplish a substantial amount of this professional development work on their own time. With supervisory approval, employees may be given a reasonable amount of official time for accessing the Internet and/or professional reading that serve the mission of the Library. Subject to the availability of funds, the Library will make professional journals and technical publications, Internet capable facilities, and Internet training and resource material available at the division level to members of the bargaining unit.
Section 13. Participation in Professional Organizations
- The Library recognizes that membership and participation in professional associations and attendance and participation in conferences, seminars, workshops, etc. both inside and outside the Library for purposes of professional development are voluntary and may be positive factors in the nurturing of the individual's career and professional self-development. The Parties also recognize that such membership and participation can make the individual a better employee of the Library, and that the Library is entitled to assign employees to attend conferences, seminars, workshops, etc. in connection with work.
- Employees who are denied funding to attend meetings of professional organizations or participate in other job-related conferences, seminars, workshops, etc., and employees who have not requested such funding may request excused absence (EA) to attend such meetings. Employees may also request EA for attendance at conferences, seminars, and meetings outside the Library. If attendance will serve the best interest of the Library, including instances in which such attendance will contribute to improved performance or professional competence, the employee may be granted EA, subject to operational and workload requirements. If not all requests can be granted, preference will be given to those requests which best serve the mission and goals of the Library as determined by the Library. The Library shall make every reasonable effort to make decisions regarding EA in a timely manner to accommodate any necessary planning adjustments.
- The Library recognizes the right of professional employees to serve on any professional association committees, task forces, etc., without Library authorization, provided the employee clearly represents his/her own views and not those of the Library unless authorized to represent the Library.
Section 14. Travel at the expense of the Library may be authorized only when it is necessary in connection with the performance of functions that have a relationship to the Library's programs, when funds are available, and when it is requested and approved in advance.
- Employees who are required to travel in or for the performance of their official duties shall be considered absent in duty status (ADS) when in the Washington Metropolitan area and absent in duty status travel (DST) when outside that area. The Library shall authorize travel funds for employees upon appropriate submission of an approved travel request and authorization (LW 28/55), subject to the availability of funds.
- Employees who wish to attend meetings of professional associations may request that financial support be provided. If the Library determines that an employee's attendance is sufficiently in the best interest of the Library, such support may be provided, subject to availability of funds, and the employee shall be considered ADS or DST.
Section 15. The Library's policy shall be to actively encourage and solicit employee contributions to Library publications. The Library shall give credit to employees and groups of employees who make significant contributions to its publications. Workload permitting, and provided the Publishing Office or other appropriate office has agreed to consider an employee's contribution, the employee may be authorized to use a reasonable amount of official time to prepare articles for publication by the Library.
Section 16. In order to promote the free exchange of ideas and information on new developments in various fields, the Guild and the Library agree to sponsor jointly a series of professional forums and lectures on topics related to the functions of the Library, such as reference service, cataloging practices and policies, and automation activities. The forums shall be open to all interested employees, may take place on official time, and employees may be authorized to attend on official time.
Section 17. Program meetings at which Library officials hold discussions with employees on professional services and duties performed by employees shall be held on official time. Employees at outlying annexes shall be allowed a reasonable amount of official time to travel to such meetings.
Section 18. The Library will make a reasonable effort to continue to utilize the specialized professional skills of employees as instructors in training courses. Employees so designated will be given adequate official time for preparation and will be given appropriate recognition for this work.
Section 19. A sabbatical to be taken on leave without pay (LWOP) may be granted upon request to any employee after seven (7) years of continuous service if in the interests of the Library. The employee may take up to one (1) year of LWOP pursuant to Article 24 (Leave), after giving three (3) months notice to his/her supervisor. Calculation of the next seven (7) consecutive year period will begin after the sabbatical has ended.
Section 20. The Guild will be given notice and opportunity to bargain over any new recruitment, training, or exchange programs.
Library of Congress
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