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Article 34 Space
Posted On: Oct 29, 2013

Article 34


Section 1. General

a. The Department recognizes that the quality of the workplace has a

significant impact on the efficiency of DOL operations. In any design or

redesign of the workplace, the Department will focus on improving the

quality of the workplace. A quality workplace requires the efficient use of

office space and attention to those factors which provide employees

adequate space to do their jobs to the best of their ability. Space occupied

by bargaining unit employees shall be arranged and maintained so as to

ensure a safe and healthy work environment within the workplace.

b. The Department agrees to eliminate plainly inequitable workspace

allocations among employees in the bargaining unit, unless factors beyond

the parties control preclude otherwise.

c. In making space renovations, the Department will design workspace to

meet the needs of the work being performed with the benefit of more

efficient use of space and increased employee effectiveness and morale.

d. The parties recognize that the General Services Administration (GSA) or

tenant restrictions may impose limitations on space options.

e. The Department will notify Local 12 when a decision is made to reallocate

space between DOL Agencies.

Section 2. Space Guidelines

With reference to all space issues, the Agency will use the following guidelines:

a. Employees must be afforded adequate space to perform their duties free of

hazards. All bargaining unit employees not subject to Section 4 of this

Article shall have not less than sixty-four (64) square feet of work space.

b. Where possible, common use equipment shall not be located in employee


c. When overall space is reduced, bargaining unit employees shall not bear a

disproportionate burden of that reduction, without regard to exigent


d. In future redesigns or reconstructions, Management agrees that all of the

window space in any office space will either be utilized as open space, or

that bargaining unit employees shall have the maximum access to daylight

as is feasible, whichever is greater.

Section 3. Assigning Space

Management agrees to notify Local 12 of all changes in work space allocations

and/or office moves. Management will provide the Union with a relevant space

chart and an accurate seniority list, based on several variables, to facilitate the

process. Thereafter, bargaining unit employees themselves, acting solely through

the Union, will decide the criteria for the assigning and selection of offices and/or

work stations. The criteria will based upon some definition of seniority, except

where the technology, functions, or methods of the work performed dictate

otherwise. Local 12 will then develop a seniority list of all bargaining unit

employees within the scope of the space change, based upon the agreed upon

criteria. If the bargaining unit employees are not able to reach consensus on the

criteria to be used, the bargaining unit employees shall select their offices and/or

workstations according to seniority, defined as total length of continuous service in

DOL. The parties agree that management may impose a deadline upon by which

the entire process must be completed, when necessary.

Section 4. Flexiplace/Telework

a. Types of Workspace

The parties recognize that one of the benefits of formal telework is space

savings for the Department, which in turn is a financial savings for the U.S.

taxpayer. Shared Work Space is defined as employees sharing one space

(offices or cubicles). Agencies can implement any of the “shared work

space” as described below.

1) Unassigned Space Arrangement (commonly referred to as “Hot

Desking” or “Hotelling”) – unreserved, unassigned seating that is

available to employees who telework at least three (3) days to use

when required to come into the office on a first come first served

basis. This space should have the same configuration as described in

Section 2.a of this Article. No particular work area is assigned to any

specific employee in any arrangement.

2) Open Bull Pen Space Arrangements – Open style smaller workspaces

with no reserved spaces. These work spaces will have less privacy

than the standard cubicle. Management will provide the necessary

equipment to complete the job functions to all employees utilizing

these spaces, in any arrangement. Each office using this style of

seating will provide “Quiet” rooms and “Conference” space.

b. Employees working a formal telework schedule at least three (3) days a

week away from the office may be required to utilize common/shared work

space. The space would have all the following amenities:

1) In both the shared cubicle and unassigned space arrangements, each

employee will be provided a work area which shall include a work

surface, a PC or docking station, a phone and an individual locked

storage area. Each employee will also be assigned an individual

phone number with a corresponding voicemail account.

2) In the unassigned space arrangement, it is understood that these

work areas are not permanently assigned to any specific employee

and are utilized as available and as needed when the employee

reports to the office. It is also understood that these shared work

spaces will comply with Article 33 of this Agreement.

3) Agencies will be able to utilize shared space (offices or cubicles) or

other arrangements as agreed to by both Parties to this Agreement.

4) Employees working a formal telework schedule at least three (3)

days a week away from the office are entitled to not less than fifteen

(15) square feet of work surface space and not less a sufficient

amount of work space within the employee’s temporary work station

to accomplish all of the duties required by their position. All of these

work areas must be ADA compliant.

c. Employees working a formal telework schedule at least three (3) days a

week away from the office, who then voluntarily reduce the number of days

away from the office to less than three (3), will be permitted to exercise

his/her seniority rights with respect to office selection within ninety (90)

calendar days of the return to the office. Each employee will also be

assigned an individual phone number with a corresponding voicemail


d. If an employee is terminated from participation in a telework schedule or is

reduced to less than three (3) days a week at management’s insistence or

determination, an employee will be permitted to exercise his/her seniority

rights with respect to office selection within thirty (30) calendar days of the

employee’s return to the office.

e. When all employees are required to be in the office at the same time, they

will be given the minimum amount of space necessary to perform their


Section 5. Informal Discussion

It is the intent of the parties to resolve space issues at the lowest possible level.

When a space change is to occur which will have an impact on bargaining unit

employees, the DOL Agency will informally communicate to Local 12 and the

Agency Vice President(s) in regard to a planned space change prior to any plan

being developed.

Following these discussions, the Union will be given a copy of any and all proposed

space plan(s), and the Union may request bargaining in accordance with Article 41

within ten (10) workdays from the receipt of any plan.

AFGE Local 12
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