SUMMARY: FDA and NTEU have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Mandatory Foreign Inspection Assignments.
Attached is a copy of the FDA-NTEU MOU on Mandatory Foreign Inspection Assignments. The MOU provides a number of benefits and procedural protections to FDA bargaining unit employees assigned to perform foreign inspections, among them:
· A provision that up to 15 hours of overtime or compensatory time per week will be authorized in advance for workdays in excess of eight hours for all trips involving transoceanic travel. For all other trips (e.g., Canada and Mexico) employees will be authorized up to 10 hours of overtime or compensatory time per week;
· A process by which affected FDA bargaining unit employees will have an opportunity to volunteer for foreign inspections before mandatory assignments are handed down;
· A commitment from the agency that from October 1, 2003 to September 20, 2004, qualified employees (GS-12 or below) will not be assigned to perform a foreign inspection trip more than once per year;
· A process by which employees with personal emergencies may be excused from a foreign inspection assignment;
· A commitment from the agency that from October 1, 2003 to September 30, 2004, qualified employees (GS-12 or below) will normally be limited to a period of no more than two (2) weeks;
· A provision mandating that FDA will request that the firms being inspected in countries given travel advisories or warnings by the State Department and other countries, as determined by management, provide a driver and/or a company contact for employee(s) assigned to inspect the firm; and
· A commitment from the agency that cell phones that connect internationally will be provided to all employee teams performing foreign inspections for the duration of their time abroad. In the event that a cell phone compatible with the country in which the foreign inspection is being performed is unavailable, an international calling card will be provided to the foreign inspection team.
Please direct any questions or concerns to Dan DiJames, National Negotiator, at email@example.com.