There are two important characteristics that enable you to distinguish meetings at which the union must be provided an opportunity to be represented (formal discussions) from other discussions you may have with your employees. These characteristics concern:
- who will be at the meeting;
- and the subject of the discussions
Who will be at the meeting: A formal discussion requires that the meeting include:
- one or more representatives of the agency (e.g., supervisors, management officials, personnelists, or attorneys);
- and one or more employees in the bargaining unit or their representative(s).
The subject of the meeting: A meeting does not become a formal discussion unless the subject of the discussion also concerns grievances, working conditions or possible adverse actions.
- Grievances: A discussion between the described parties concerning any grievance presented under a negotiated grievance procedure is a formal discussion.
- Working Conditions: Specifically, discussions on changing any of the following matters will meet the subject test of a formal discussion:
- other general conditions of employment, i.e. work place moves, equipment or software application changes, work schedules, etc.
- Investigations/Adverse Actions: A discussion between the described parties concerning any investigation into possible misconduct and any discussion concerning any adverse action relating to non-performance or misconduct.