Section 1. The purpose of this article is to provide for a mutually agreeable procedure for the use of alternative forms of discipline in the case of alleged misconduct by bargaining unit staff. This program applies to all employees with permanent or indefinite employment status.
Section 2. The Parties agree that the use of alternative discipline will in many cases improve communications and interpersonal working relationships between supervisors and employees; correct behavioral problems in the work place; and reduce the costs and delays inherent in traditional disciplinary actions. To this end, division and office heads, and supervisors, are encouraged, but not required to use alternative discipline.
Section 3. Alternative discipline may be used in any situation where a traditional form of discipline or adverse action for misconduct has been proposed. It may not be used:
(a) without the informed consent of the employee involved;
(b) in lieu of a penalty mandated by statute (e.g. willful misuse of a government-owned
or -leased vehicle 31 USC 1349 (b)); or
(c) in performance cases.
- A written notice of a proposed adverse action issued pursuant to applicable regulations shall make reference to this article as part of the notice. Employees may request, once and in writing, the use of alternative discipline at any stage of an adverse action process, from the pre-proposal through hearing phase. An employee's request to be considered for alternative discipline will suspend the time frames for adverse action procedures provided for under applicable regulations. The Parties agree that suspension of such time frames shall be made without prejudice to the employee's future rights.
- Within five (5) work days of receipt of an employee request to be considered for alternative discipline, the manager or supervisor initiating the disciplinary action may arrange a meeting with the employee and his/her representative (as applicable) to discuss the possibility of substituting an alternative form of discipline for the originally proposed action. Alternative discipline is to be applied on a case by case basis.
- All uses of alternative discipline must be memorialized by a written agreement, to be known as a Positive Action Contract (PAC), between the employee, his/her representative (as applicable), and the appropriate Library manager or supervisor.
- The manager or supervisor initiating the disciplinary action shall arrange a meeting with the employee and his/her representative (as applicable) for purposes of reviewing the terms of the PAC and formally offering the PAC to the employee. An employee has five (5) work days after an offer has been made to accept a proposed PAC. Failure to accept the proposed PAC will result in the resumption of the traditional discipline process, at the stage it was at prior to the request for alternative discipline.
- The PAC must contain the following:
- a description of the misconduct, and the rules, regulations, or laws that have been violated;
- a statement of what traditional adverse action penalty is appropriate under the facts and circumstances of the case, or what penalty was originally proposed;
- an admission by the employee of the commission of the misconduct, an acceptance of responsibility for it, and an assurance that the conduct will not be repeated;
- a description of the alternative discipline to be invoked;
- the employee's stipulation that failure to complete the agreement may result in the resumption of the traditional disciplinary process;
- a statement that the agreement is non-precedential in nature;
- a statement that terms and conditions of the agreement are confidential, but may be discussed, in accordance with the provisions of this Agreement, as well as applicable law and/or regulation, with parties who in the performance of their duties, have a need to know such terms and conditions;>
- the duration of the PAC; and
- signatures of the employee, his/her representative (as applicable), and the Library official having the authority to approve the alternative discipline.
Section 6. The following are examples of the forms of alternative discipline that may be proposed by management or the employee:
(a) a letter of alternative discipline;
(b) in lieu of a formal letter of reprimand, the employee admits in writing to having
committed an infraction and agrees to avoid a future infraction, accepting that a repeated
infraction may result in a more severe penalty (e.g., suspension);
(c) leave without pay in lieu of suspension;
(d) reduced suspension, with the balance of the penalty held in abeyance pending the
completion of the alternative discipline;
(e) donation of annual leave to the voluntary leave transfer or leave bank programs in lieu
(f) counseling or training;
(g) a formal apology;
(h) incremental service of suspensions (e.g., serving a five day suspension as one day a
pay period for five pay periods);
(i) community service (e.g., serving in an alcoholic rehabilitation center); or
(j) any other forms of appropriate alternative discipline that management may approve.
Section 7. In the event of subsequent misconduct by an employee, the alternative discipline agreement will be considered a prior disciplinary action for purposes of consideration of progressive discipline, and may be cited as such in a notice of proposed adverse action.
Section 8. The signed PAC will be placed in the employee's Official Personnel Folder (OPF) during the term of the agreement, and will remain in the OPF until the fulfillment of its terms and conditions, or two (2) years, whichever is shorter. With regard to all personnel records and files, the provisions of Article 12 (Personnel Records) shall, unless otherwise provided for, be followed.
Section 9. The existence of an alternative discipline agreement does not preclude the Library from taking disciplinary action with respect to subsequent misconduct not covered by the PAC.
Section 10. The employee shall be notified in writing of an alleged violation of the PAC and informed that the traditional disciplinary procedures may be resumed pursuant to applicable regulations. Such notice shall also inform the employee of his/her appeal rights under applicable regulations. Employees and their representative (as applicable) will be given five (5) work days in which to meet and discuss with management the alleged violation of the alternative discipline agreement before any action is initiated by the Library.
Section 11. Should the Parties fail to resolve the issues concerning the alleged violation of the PAC, the employee may file a grievance, pursuant to Article 4 (Equal Employment Opportunity) and/or Article 36 (Negotiated Grievance Procedure) of this Agreement; or file an EEO formal complaint, but not both.
Section 12. The Library shall provide the Guild with the following information annually:
(a) sanitized copies of all PACs concerning its bargaining unit;
(b) the grade, position, sex, and race of all bargaining unit members entering into such
(c) any subsequent disciplinary action taken with respect to the infraction; and
(d) the number of agreements whose terms and conditions have been completed, and the
number which have been canceled before such completion.
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