Update on Contract Negotiations

The most recent communication from NTEU President Colleen Kelley, dated December 14, 2004, to chapter presidents explains FDA's response to NTEU's ground rules for contract negotiations as unreasonable, noncooperative and counterproductive.


  • NTEU/FDA Collective Bargaining Agreement became effective October 1, 1999 and remained in effect for 5 years.
  • Mid-term negotiations were opened on August 12, 2002 to modify Pay and Benefits, Awards, and Grievances.
  • FDA chapters solicited input from members on changes/modifications/additions to the CBA prior to the September 30, 2004 expiration date of the CBA.
  • NTEU notified FDA of our intent to reopen the CBA for amendment and modifications on June 24, 2004.
  • FDA notified NTEU of its intent to terminate all permissive subjects of the CBA on August 3, 2004. Note: permissive subjects included matters that did not concern conditions of employment; other than limited provisions of the CBA, all articles remained in effect until a new CBA was negotiated.
  • NTEU submitted ground rules to FDA on July 28, 2004 proposing that negotiations begin in October 2004 and that a mediator/arbitrator resolve any articles at impasse after several weeks of face-to-face negotiations.
  • FDA submitted counter proposals on November 29, 2004 that rejected all of NTEU's proposals including the mediation/arbitration provision. The agency favors the Federal Service Impasse Panel in order to break impasse rather than mediation or arbitration processes.
NTEU is now responding to the November 29, 2004 counter proposals, and we hope for a more favorable outcome. In the meantime, the contract remains in effect. Once ground rules are established, both parties will negotiate a new contract (rather than modify the current contract).