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Article 13: Performance Appraisal System

Section 1

The Employer's Performance Appraisal System is the systematic process by which the Employer involves a permanent employee in maximizing his/her contribution to the accomplishment of Agency mission and goals.  It encourages communication between an employee and his/her supervisor, provides a mechanism to evaluate employee performance, identifies an employee's strengths and weaknesses, and provides a mechanism to address deficient performance effectively.

Section 2

A. The Employer will establish a performance evaluation plan (Plan) for each employee.  The Plan will consist of critical elements, which are aspects of the employee's work where acceptable performance is essential to his/her position. Each element will have a performance standard that, at a minimum, states the expectations or requirements established by the Employer that must be met by the employee in order for his/her performance to be rated as acceptable in that element. An employee's performance will be rated in each element of his/her Plan. If an employee's performance is unacceptable in any one critical element, the overall rating will be unacceptable.

B. Elements and standards must be reasonably related to the duties set forth in the employee's position description.  Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 4302(b)(1), the Employer will establish performance standards which will, to the maximum extent feasible, permit the accurate evaluation of job performance on the basis of objective criteria related to the job in question for each employee or position under the performance appraisal system. Written performance appraisals will be based on a comparison of the employee's performance on his/her work throughout the entire rating period for the employee to the elements and standards of his/her position.  An employee should discuss in a timely manner with his/her supervisor the factors the employee believes have affected his/her performance, such as the use of approved official time for representational functions, the authorized performance of collateral
duties, lack of customary training, or unavailability of required resources.  The Employer will take into account any mitigating impact of such factors when evaluating the employee's performance.

C. Prior to making changes to any performance plans, the Union will be provided at least fourteen (14) calendar days to comment on the proposed plans before they are finalized by the Employer.  The NTEU also retains the right to negotiate over changes to employee performance plans, as permitted by law.  An employee will not be held accountable or responsible for any changes to the elements and standards under his/her performance plans until they are received by the employee.

Section 3

The appraisal period will be from May 1 to April 30 the following year, unless adjusted due to individual circumstances.

Section 4

A Plan normally will be delivered to an employee within thirty (30) days of the beginning of each appraisal period.  If an employee permanently changes positions during the appraisal period, he/she normally will receive a new Plan for the new position within thirty (30) days of the assignment to the new position.  The Employer and the employee will sign and date the Plan.  The employee's signature only acknowledges receipt and discussion of the Plan.

The Employer will advise the employee in writing of any computerized tracking systems used to monitor his/her performance (reports identifying the number of tasks performed or the amount of time it took to perform those tasks).  Unless an employee has access to these reports, at least semi­annually the Employer will provide the employee copies of his/her reports.

Section 5

An employee will be given at least one progress review during the appraisal period, during which the Employer will provide oral or written feedback on the elements and describe how the employee's work product compares with the performance standards.  Absent a significant business reason, the Employer will provide this progress review within forty five (45) days of the mid-point of the employee's appraisal period.  The Employer will not give the employee a rating of record (the written performance appraisal) at this time.

When the Employer identifies deficient performance, the Employer will identify for the employee specific examples of the deficient performance and what the employee must do to improve performance to an acceptable level.  Such notice should take place as soon as possible after the deficient performance is identified, normally not less than thirty (30) days prior to giving the employee an unacceptable rating.  The Employer may, however, give an employee an unacceptable rating if the employee's performance during the thirty (30) day period prior to rating is so unacceptable that the Employer must take more immediate action.

Section 6

A. Normally, within sixty (60) days after the end of the appraisal period, each employee will receive a written performance appraisal from his/her immediate supervisor (rating official) that will be based on his/her performance compared to the standard for each element.  At a minimum, the written performance appraisal will indicate whether the employee's performance was acceptable or unacceptable in each element.  The appraisal also will include a brief narrative summary of the employee's achievements and areas for improvement and/or growth in the coming rating period.

B. Performance appraisals will be made in a fair and non-discriminatory manner.

C. An employee may receive a written performance appraisal up to ninety (90) days before the conclusion of the appraisal period if:

  • the employee changes positions or separates from the Employer within ninety (90) days before the end of the appraisal period; or
  • the rating official departs within ninety (90) days before the end of the appraisal period.

D. If an employee changes positions or is assigned to a new supervisor at any time during the appraisal period, other than within ninety (90) days before the end of the appraisal period, the Employer should include, in the written performance appraisal at the end of the rating period, information about the employee's performance provided by the previous supervisor.

E. An employee must be under his/her current Plan for at least one hundred twenty (120) days before receiving a written performance appraisal.

F. The performance of collateral duties or the use of approved official time for Union representational functions will not be considered as a negative factor when evaluating an employee against his/her performance standards.  An employee performing such collateral duties or Union representational functions will be provided an annual evaluation/performance rating if he/she has spent five hundred twenty (520) hours or more on normal duties assigned by an Agency supervisor during the appraisal period.

G. The Employer and employee will sign and date the written performance appraisal. The employee's signature acknowledges receipt and discussion of the appraisal and does not necessarily signify the employee's agreement.  An employee may attach a written response to his/her written performance appraisal.