MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING between the GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION (GSA) and the NATIONAL FEDERATION OF FEDERAL EMPLOYEES COUNCIL

OF GSA LOCALS RE: GSA Social Media Policy, CIO 2106, and Handbook

U5 MOU

Section 1. Conflict with National Agreement In the event that any personnel policies outlined in the order CIIO 2106 and Handbook conflict with the provisions of the NFFE National Agreement, the terms and conditions of the Agreement prevail. No past practices shall be abridged as a result of the order or this MOU. Section 2. Employee Rights and Responsibilities in Using New Social Media A. The agency encourages the use of social media technologies to enhance communication, collaboration. B. Employee¶s are not required to use or participate in social media unless it is clearly established as being within their official duties and using agency sanctioned tools. C. The agency recognizes that employees have the right to direct and to pursue their private lives without interference by the employer. This right extends to communications using current and future technology, and transport services. Employees are authorized reasonable, personal use of any agency provided terminals or electronic equipment for communication. The use of ³privacy settings´ for personal use of third party sites is encouraged. D. The agency recognizes that the public interest is best served through a free exchange of opinions, ideas, and information, and will not act to curb such exchanges, between and among parties, co-workers, and/or clients, either internal or external. E. As the technology evolves, the order and its accompanying handbook describes and defines at best, in very general terms, only guiding principles for use of these technologies by employees. The use of social media technology remains separate and apart from the standards of professional practice and conduct applied to performance of government business on a day-to-day basic. F. Employee will be held only to objective standards in application of this order, and never purely subjective criteria of either a recipient, or any management official. The exercise of undefineable standards such as ³common sense,´ or ³sound judgment´ are not recognized as valid conduct requirements imposed upon employees regarding the intent or content of any or all communication. Section 3. Designated Representatives of the Union A. Employees who have been designated representatives of the Union are not subject to or bound by any provisions concerning the use of social media. Union and management officials are recognized as equal parties in matters of public interest and concern related to the use of social media. B. The Union retains its right to use agency equipment and support services, on official time, to discuss workplace issues with members of the bargaining unit, to issue press releases, and to communicate with other government entities, the Executive Office, members of Congress, media outlets and the public, or respond to postings from any source. C. Communications by designated representatives though websites, broadcast email messages, electronic and print bulletin boards, and any social media, in order to resolve disputes and discuss issues that affect conditions of employment are protected activities.

Section 4. Restricted Communication The Agency recognizes that communication, in the conduct of agency business, may be prohibited only if it clearly constitutes: 1. a clear breach of security, resulting in substantial and specific danger to public or employees¶ health or safety; 2. a compromise of confidentiality, such as required by Federal Acquisition Regulations; 3. a violations of the Privacy Act; or 4. interferes with the exercise of an employee¶s right to representation and/or appeal of a personnel action, discredits a designated representative of and/or the NFFE National Council, or discourages membership, per the Labor-Management Relations Statute. Section 5. Matters of Public Concern The authority of the agency regarding communication extends only to matters under the limited jurisdiction of that which is directly relevant to fulfillment of the mission. All speech related to a matter of public, social or community concern is protected. The agency¶s interest in promoting the efficiency of a public service does not authorize the imposition of censorship, or monitoring the public and/or private communications of employees. Section 6. Administration of Social Media A. No management official at any level is authorized to impose censorship, or design and apply to one or more employees their own standards of conduct. No memorandums will be issued to that effect, or supplement this order. The agency recognizes that no standard has to date been established regarding the content of any communication. The only communications prohibited are those which can clearly be established to be in violation of an existing law, rule or regulation, and clearly in the conduct of government business required by the agency. B. The content of any message is never based solely upon the opinion of the recipient, or an interpretation by a manager. C. Discussions with employees regarding conduct or corrective measures about performance shall be done in private to avoid embarrassment. Inclusion of one or more parties as recipient by a manager to such a message to an employee, beyond the need to know, is regarded as a breach of privacy, and is prohibited. Supervisors shall not order a response by an employee within a specified time. D. The agency is not authorized to undertake any personnel action on the basis of a private communication through the application of an alleged ³nexus´ harmful to the employer. E. The GSA Standards of Conduct prescribe the fundamental rules of ethics in the conduct of government business. These rules may not be supplemented or extended by this order, or by any supervisory personnel. F. The agency agrees to make a reasonable accommodation or adjustment to a work environment that will enable an employee with a disability to participate in social media if required. Section 7. Whistleblower Protection, Belief of Wrongdoing Employees may discuss and/or report, through social media, any activity if they believe it to constitute wrongdoing, such as a violation of law, rule, or regulation, gross mismanagement, a gross waste of funds, an abuse of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety, freely without fear or penalty or reprisal.

Section 8. Compliance With Orders When an employee reasonably believes that an order or instruction violates any law, rule or regulation, or agency policy, the employee has the right to express those beliefs to the supervisor, or any other management official using social media. Section 9. Communication with Congress on Representation Matters A. Employees have the right, either individually or collectively, to petition Congress or any member thereof, or to furnish representational information to either house of Congress, or any committee or member thereof. (Article 4, Employee Rights, Section 14, NFFE National Agreement). The use of agency equipment is acceptable for this purpose. B. Routine sharing of views or opinions of candidates running for office, current issues or social events, or legislation pending, is not prohibited. Section 10. Searches and/or Investigations A. Employees have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the use of social media, and the employer will not conduct a search of the internet, email, or an employee¶s social media messages except in conjunction with a formal investigation concerning an alleged criminal activity. The employer under no circumstances is authorized to undertake a search for administrative purposes. B. An investigation into an employee¶s alleged conduct is not authorized and may not be conducted by electronic media, and must be done on a face-to-face basis. C. There will be not clandestine or surreptitious investigations of an employee¶s use of electronic media without prior notification and/or involvement of law enforcement personnel, and established just cause for potential criminal activity. Supervisory personnel are under no circumstances, at any time, granted law enforcement authority to investigate the communications of any employee under their authority. Section 11. Public Domain A. Employees are not obligated to assume that all of their communications are in the public domain. B. An employee may request to have a NFFE designated representative present at any meeting to discuss use of social media with any other relevant investigative or affected office, or any management personnel of their service. C. The use of a disclaimer is only recommended, and not required. D. The Parties recognize that the distinction between official and personal communications is not absolute, and may be difficult to determine. E. The procedures, specifically the ³Guiding Principles, outlined in the agency order are not obligatory, and constitutes only a recommended practice. Section 12. Training on Use of Social Media A. All employees will be afforded at least two (2) hours of classroom training on the acceptable personal usage of social media. The curriculum will be jointly developed by both the agency and the Union. On-line instruction or courses are authorized only for field personnel. B. The Union will be notified of any scheduled training, and afforded the opportunity to make a brief presentation, and distribute relevant information on use of social media. C. Union officials will not be required to complete any training concerning the use of social media.

Section 13. Implementation A. A copy of this Order will be furnished electronically by the chief Information Officer, upon agreement, to all employees in the NFFE bargaining unit, posted and maintained on the agency¶s website at all times. B. The Union will be furnished with a briefing at any time, upon request, concerning compliance with the above provisions agreement, and administration of the program. Any issues not addressed in this memorandum of understanding may be raised by the Union at these meetings, and appropriate actions and/or negotiations will be undertaken by management to address and/or correct the situation. This MOU was be reopened by the Union to address evolving or new technology. For the Agency: For the Union:

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