Performance matters are covered in our contract in Articles 30 (Performance Appraisal) and 13 (Unacceptable Performance Actions).
Employees' performance should be evaluated annually based on performance plans that include at least three and no more than seven critical elements that are based on major duties in an employee's position description. Performance plans are specific descriptions of relevant work activities, assignments, and responsibilities. The appraisal period generally is from October 1 through September 30. It may not be based on less than 90 days working under the same performance plan.
Supervisors are required to consider employee comments and suggestions regarding proposed performance elements and standards but are not required to adopt them.
All standards must meet the "SMART" criteria; they must be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. Standards may not be absolute, requiring perfection. The Union has a right to bargain when management proposes to change your performance standards.
You have an absolute right to Union representation when management determines that your performance is unacceptable in a critical element, thereby requiring you to be put on a performance improvement plan (PIP). Other than PIP situations, you do not have the right to Union representation during your mid-year review or your annual performance appraisal.
Have you received a poor performance evaluation? Has your supervisor mentioned that a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) is being considered as part of an evaluation of your individual work performance? Beware! In the Union's experience, the use of a PIP is often the beginning of the removal or demotion process. A PIP is a serious process, and often involves a performance evaluation that occurs before you can effectively pass the PIP. Your supervisor may tell you that a PIP is intended as a benefit to help you perform better. All too often, managers promise to provide special assistance to ensure employees succeed during a PIP period, yet the promised assistance never materializes. Instead, employees find themselves facing a potential demotion or removal some months later. There is an extremely high removal and demotion rate once HUD managers initiate a PIP!
If you have been placed on a PIP, or have just received a poor performance evaluation, contact the Union immediately!
If you have questions or concerns about your appraisal or your performance standards, contact the Union. As a rule, remember that the burden is on the employee to prove that you deserve a rating above "fully successful" and it is on management to prove that ratings below "fully successful" are valid.