Topics Associated with Appraisals:
- Appraisal Appeal
- Appraisal Questions & Answers
- NTEU Score of Office and Region Performance Ratings
- Appraisal Rating Levels and Rating Criteria Summary Chart
Contact the NTEU Union office (O1G22) at 301-415-3600 or email “NTEU” for assistance.
A grievances per Article 51 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, can be used to seek changes to your official performance rating of record which remains in your personnel file for 3 years.
An NTEU steward will help employees assemble the necessary information to justify some, if not all, of the following possible changes to your appraisal:
- Raise the overall appraisal summary level rating.
- Raise many of the individual appraisal element ratings.
- Add more accomplishments to make each appraisal element more accurate.
- Delete negative language in an element if the rating in that element is FS or higher.
The appraisal appeal presentation to raise ratings should contain justification, focusing on: quantity, quality, timeliness and amount of supervision for your past year’s work efforts and accomplishments.
An example of what an NTEU appeal would look like follows.
To: Immediate Supervisor (signature on appraisal coversheet)
cc: 2nd Level Supervisor (signature on appraisal coversheet)
cc: NRC Chief Policy & Labor Relations, Human Resources
NTEU is filing a request for a Step A Grievance on behalf of John Doe with regards to his/her appraisal. This request is filed under the provisions of Articles 46.14 and 25.8 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). John received his appraisal on [date], thus this grievance is filed timely within 15 workdays.
As a remedy, NTEU requests that Elements 2 and 4 be raised from a Fully Successful (FS) to an Excellent (E) rating. NTEU further requests that all of John’s accomplishments throughout the past year be accurately reflected in the appropriate elements. Also, remove any negative language if the rating is FS or higher. NTEU will present details to support these remedies at the appeal meeting. Please reply to NTEU with the date and location of the meeting within the next 10 days, as required by the CBA.
—Signed, NTEU Steward
Q: What is the Purpose of the Appraisal?
A: Appraisals are attached to your application for consideration for promotion. NTEU views this to be the overriding purpose of an appraisal, and the motivating factor to pursue needed changes if the appraisal rating or content is not accurate. Merit-selection rating panels and selecting officials may place significant importance on the applicants appraisal, highly considering the past supervisor’s opinions.
A: Provide a means for the supervisor to communicate areas for improvement. NTEU suggests that frequent verbal communications are more effective to achieve improvement in lieu of waiting until the end of the appraisal year.
A: Should provide the basis for a performance award.
Q: What is a close-out Appraisal (mid-year appraisal)?
A: Effective November 1, 2009 employees transferred or promoted to a new job must receive a close-out appraisal from their past supervisor that will be given appropriate weight for the annual end of year appraisal in October.
Q: What if I get a new supervisor during the appraisal period?
A: Your departing supervisor must provide written feedback before moving on to the new supervisory position. The employee should question any written feedback that does not include a numerical summary level rating for the partial appraisal period. The written feedback must be given appropriate weight for the annual end of year appraisal in October. Any subsequent employee or NTEU appeal questioning whether appropriate weight was received, would be basically impossible without a numerical summary level rating from the departing supervisor.
Q: If I am rated Outstanding should I get an award?
A: All performance awards amounts within each Office (either as a percentage of each employee’s salary or as fixed dollar amounts) will be tied directly to employee annual performance ratings.
A: Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued a regulation (5 CFR 451) that became effective on February 12, 2007 that requires there be a meaningful distinction between awards and performance. Prior to this regulation the agency gave awards to some employees with an Excellent performance rating without giving all Outstanding performers an award. Employees rated outstanding and not provided an award, should contact NTEU (301-41-3600), since together we may ensure the agency adheres to the regulation and discuss appeal options.
Q: What is the 120 day requirement?
A: Employees not having worked under one set of elements and standards for 120 days by October 31st will be appraised as soon as they achieve the 120 days, making the subsequent rating period less than 12 months.
A: Temporary details and rotation of assignment greater than 120 days require an appraisal. Thus if your initial temporary job is only 90 days and then gets extended…you should be requesting the temporary supervisor to provide elements and standards to ensure clear communications of your job expectations so you can better be assured of a higher rating. The temporary detail or rotation appraisal will be given appropriate weight for your annual rating of record in October.
Q: What is a performance counseling memo?
A: A counseling memo is required when performance “in any element” is below fully successful to differentiate from summary level performance, to give the employee earlier notification and a longer opportunity to improve. The counseling memo is required at any time during the rating period and not just at the mid-year review, mandating supervisor immediate communication of the performance degradation. Employees may consider the memo early notice of the supervisor’s perception and capitalize on the time left to improve until October’s annual rating of record. Supervisor’s should consider the memo mandatory notice before formally rating an employee below FS.
Q: My supervisors appraisal of me appears to be written by a computer?
A: Some supervisors have been using a web-based computer program to generate text language which the supervisor then simply supplements with an example of your work. This may no longer satisfy policy requirements for a brief narrative for each critical element, rating performance against the written Fully Successful standard. When performance exceeds or does not meet the Fully Successful standard, justification should be included to clearly and explicitly justify the assignment or a rating above or below the Fully Successful level.
Q: Could an employee appealing their appraisal, experience reprisal from the supervisor?
A: Presentation of a factual, objective, unemotional appeal should be viewed by management as an employee exercising his right to due process. Appealing your appraisal now may cause your supervisor to spend more time next year more accurately appraising, which might prevent a subsequent appeal.
Q: Should I add my comments to the appraisal, or appeal through NTEU?
A: You should do both if the appraisal contains inaccuracies. Your comments become a permanent part of the appraisal, and should be written objectively towards a target audience of rating panel members or selecting officials reviewing your application for promotional consideration. A successful appeal would include your ability to change your earlier comments that no longer apply.
Q: Do I have to sign my appraisal if I disagree?
A: Yes, CBA, Article 25.18 states: “Signature on NRC Form-412 acknowledges receipt of the appraisal, and not acceptance or agreement with the appraisal or rating. MD10.67, Part II.E.3.c says: “The employee’s signature acknowledges receipt of the rating indicating that he/she has been provided the opportunity to meet with the supervisor to discuss the contents of the appraisal. The employee’s signature carries no implication that the employee concurs in the appraisal or in the supervisor’s comments.”
Q: How much time do I have to review/sign my appraisal and to attach my comments for the permanent appraisal record?
A: 5 days from your receipt of the appraisal. Don’t be pressured by your supervisor to sign any sooner to meet the agency’s October 31st deadline.
Q: Should I write my comments in the 1-inch space on the appraisal coversheet?
A: No. Write “see attached” in the coversheet 1-inch comment area. This permits you to modify your comments later if any appeal may have successfully changed appraisal language. You might then want to change your comments, and it is difficult to do this on the coversheet since the page contains original signatures.
Q: Can I comment on changes to next year’s Elements and Standards?
A: Yes, you have 10 days to comment on any changes of what your supervisor will be expecting from you in the future prior to signing.
Q: Are there quotas for the number of Outstanding and Excellent appraisal ratings?
A: Management Directive 10.67, Part II, item D.6, “Prohibition of Forced Distribution,” says “By OPM regulation, NRC may not prescribe a distribution of ratings that interferes with the appraisal of actual employee performance against performance standards.”
Q: How long do I have for NTEU to file an appraisal appeal?
A: 15 working days from receipt of your appraisal.
Q: If my summary rating drops should I have been warned?
A: CBA Article 25.9 says, “all employees should be given feedback at other times during the year, especially if their performance deteriorates significantly. If you summary rating is Minimally Successful or Unsatisfactory see an NTEU steward for help.
Contact the NTEU Union office with any other appraisal questions at 301-415-3600.
NTEU prepared the table below to compare the percentage of Os, Es, and FSs given in the different NRC Offices and Regions to measure management’s evaluation of employee performance. NTEU did this by developing a scoring system to weight the “O”, “E,” and “FS” performance appraisal percentages with similar point values used in the actual appraisal process. This gives a single Office-level and Region-level NTEU score.
NTEU Scoring Method
Outstanding (O) = 4 points
Excellent (E) = 3 points
Fully Successful (FS) = 2 points
NTEU’s Score of Performance Ratings =
( %Os x 4 ) + ( %Es x 3 ) + ( %FSs x 2 )
The NTEU “Score of Office / Region Performance Ratings” ranges from 3.01 to a perfect 4.0.
What does this mean?
Either 1) Employees are truly lower or higher performers in different offices and regions, or
2) Employee evaluations are not consistently administered.
Score Color Definitions
Green = 3.49 or above , Large percentage of Os
Pink = Near 3.44, the NRC average
Red = 3.39 or below, Large percentage of Es and FSs
NRC 2014 Appraisals
2586 Bargaining Unit Employees
|Office / Region||NTEU||NTEU||NTEU||NTEU||NTEU||NTEU||NTEU||NTEU||NTEU|
|Alphabetically Ordered||Performance Ratings||Score||Score||Score||Score||Score||Score||Score||Score|
|CSO||50||33||17||3.33||4||3.6||Office formed in 2008|
|EDO||No b/u employees||No b/u employees||3.25||4||4|
|FSME||Part of NMSS||3.18||3.25||Office formed from NMSS & STP|
|NRO*||29||65||6||3.4||3.26||3.15||3.22||Office formed in 2007|
|SBCR||No bargaining Unit employees||4||2||No bargaining unit employees|
*6 offices/regions rated a total of 8 employees below FS.
See 2009 award amounts associated appraisal scores charted by Office/Region.
|Performance Levels & Rating Criteria
Reference: Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), Article 25,
Management Directive 10.67, Part I (B)(20)
|Performance Rating Criteria|
|OUTSTANDING||Very High||Rare & Exceptional||Significantly Ahead
of Established Schedules or Deadlines
|EXCELLENT||High||Unusually Good or High||Ahead
of Established Schedules or Deadlines
|Less Than Normal
[Feedback if performance deteriorates significantly, CBA Article 25.9]
Schedules or Deadlines
[Feedback if performance deteriorates significantly, CBA Article 25.9]
|Minimally Successful||Performance is not Unacceptable but needs improvement to achieve Fully Successful.
Within-grade step increases require acceptable performance, CBA, Article 24.
Close supervisory review, discussion, training and correction of work products. Counseling memo, CBA, Article 25.9. 60 day advanced notice to deny within-grade step increase, CBA, Article 24.4.
|Unacceptable||Fails to meet established performance standards in one or more critical elements which mandate an overall summary rating of “Unacceptable”.||
Action must be taken for a Performance Improvement Requirements Memorandum (PIRM), CBA Article 25.10