The National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 1450, filed an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) against Mr. Stephen F. Gargano (GS-15), Deputy Director, U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD), Santa Ana Home Ownership Center, on December 21, 2015.
The Federation charged that Deputy Director Gargano retaliated against a HUD Santa Ana Single Family Underwriter. The employee has been employed with HUD for more than 10-years.
The employee filed an appeal under Article 9 of the HUD-NFFE 1450 collective bargaining agreement. The appeal was advanced to request that a recent performance rating be re-evaluated using a production standard of 10-work days instead of 10-calendar days. That was the standard in place for the performance year in question.
The Federation assisted the employee in completing the required documentation and gathering all supporting documentation.
After receipt of the appeal, Deputy Director Gargano wrote to the employee on December 14, 2015, that he was “willing to reduce” the performance rating even lower — rather than increase it as requested in the appeal.
The employee was deeply affected by the punitive and chilling response.
The response was grossly inappropriate. The employee had simply appealed the performance rating utilizing the proper internal HUD process.
The Federation worked with the San Francisco office of the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) to remedy the situation.
Asked how the case could be settled, the Federation sought the most low-cost and simple action — a written apology.
Deputy Director Gargano apologized in writing on January 22, 2016, stating:
“I apologize for the strong wording in my 12-14-15 response to your 11-18-15 grievance concerning your 2015 Performance Appraisal. It was not meant to be threatening or retaliatory in any way; and your rating was not intended to be reduced, nor will be reduced.”
The aggrieved employee was satisfied with the apology and in an effort to rehabilitate situations like this at the lowest levels possible, the Federation withdrew the charge on February 1, 2016, based on the apology made in good faith.
The appeal is scheduled to go to Arbitration in November 2016.