One area that changed in the Master Agreement that became effective on September 13, 2019, is Union Training. Many of the previous requirements are no longer in place, such as the requirements for Local Lodge Training Plans and Management approval of the National Union Training Catalog. Local Lodges no longer have a bank of Training Hours. ALL Official Time, including that for Union-Sponsored Training, comes out of the overall allotted “pot” of Official Time.
Article 31 now reads:
Article 31 - REPRESENTATIONAL SKILLS TRAINING
- Attending and presenting training for the purpose of improving union representational skills is authorized for official time under the provisions of Article 5. However, the Agency will not pay for travel associated with such training.
Article 5 covers what Union Officials need to do to attend Union-sponsored training. In order for a Union Official to seek official time to attend Union training they still need to request release from their supervisor. The biggest change is that the Agency will no longer pay for any costs, other than Official Time, related to the training. Local Lodges will need to determine how they will reimburse Union Officials for costs related to Union Training.
The Forest Service Council (FSC) is working on direction related to Union Training courses, and once it’s been completed it will be sent out to Local Lodges.