CBA Negotiations Updates
What’s the SPC and why does it matter? Many of the items listed in the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) surround policies and rules. We were encountering roadblocks as to what the Senior Policy Committee (SPC), the team responsible for updating policies and rules in the Peace Corps Manual, would be willing to reevaluate. In short, we needed to know what was their process for reviewing policies. So, HR invited SPC representatives to our last negotiation meeting this week to provide some clarity.
What was discussed? David van Hoogstraten and Megan Kunkle of the General Counsel shared who’s who on the SPC, what they do, and how they do it. Did you know that ideas for changes come from all parts of the agency to the SPC, which is housed in the Office of General Counsel? The SPC also includes representatives from offices that work directly on policy--including HR, health services, and the ICDEIA offices--and the agency’s associate directors. And that’s about as far as we got. Unfortunately, agency-wide tech issues prevented the discussion from continuing but we look forward to having David and Megan come back.
Why is this important? In addition to ensuring equity and respect for all bargaining unit employees, volunteering for the Union has many perks and insights to offer and let’s us see what’s behind the green curtain (and if you don’t get that reference, it’s from the classic movie, the Wizard of Oz, when *spoiler alert* Dorothy pulls back the curtain to reveal an everyday Oz citizen operating the switchboard to create a projected and all-encompassing wizard.)
The impact: Understanding and breaking down the process for reviewing, updating, and approving policies and rules that affect how we work helps us become stronger advocates. The more people who are informed, the more protected everyone becomes. We hope you agree and will consider joining the Union and the CBA Negotiations Team.
If you find yourself in need of legal representation or have a legal question, union membership offers a free initial 30-minute consultation and 25% discount off attorney’s hourly or flat rate fees. AFSCME has over 6,800 participating law firms. Register at this link to get emailed instructions on how to access a lawyer through the referral website.