AFGE has received several emails regarding hazard pay, there is no hazard pay. Management has authorized retention bonuses for employees that meet certain criteria. AFGE spoke with the director and it was stated that these retention bonuses were for employees who were directly working with COVID patients or were possibly exposed working in high risk areas. Unfortunately, this is a management right under the code of federal regulations and the agency is under no obligation to bargain with the union. Essentially we have no jurisdiction in this matter.
5 U.S. Code §â€¯5754.Retention bonuses
(b)The Office of Personnel Management may authorize the head of an agency to pay a retention bonus to an employee if—
(1)the unusually high or unique qualifications of the employee or a special need of the agency for the employee’s services makes it essential to retain the employee; and
(2)the agency determines that, in the absence of a retention bonus, the employee would be likely to leave—
(A)the Federal service; or
(B)for a different position in the Federal service under conditions described in regulations of the Office.
(c)The Office may authorize the head of an agency to pay retention bonuses to a group of employees in 1 or more categories of positions in 1 or more geographic areas, subject to the requirements of subsection (b)(1) and regulations prescribed by the Office, if there is a high risk that a significant portion of employees in the group would be likely to leave in the absence of retention bonuses.