Tue, 10/13/2009

 13 Oct 09



Air Force User Agreement Statement Notice and Consent Provision


1.  The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) and Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC), hereafter referred to as the Union and Management, enter into this MOA regarding the above matters as they apply to bargaining unit employees covered by the Master Labor Agreement (MLA) between the Parties.


2.  Under DoD direction, the Air Force has mandated that every employee with access to Air Force networks sign a “User Agreement” (attached) to acknowledge his/her consent to monitoring and the limited privacy rights entailed.  Both Union and Management agree on the legitimate need to protect government networks, prevent unauthorized use and abuse, and detect employee violations of law and regulation and rules of conduct.  As documented in our previous MOA concerning Air Force Instruction (AFI) 33-115, dated 3 March 2003, we also recognize that a reasonable degree of privacy is conducive to effective email communication.  To safeguard these mutual interests, the following provisions will apply.


3.  By signing the User Agreement, employees acknowledge they are subject to unrestricted monitoring of network communications.  This means there is no such thing as a “private” email, per se.  Nonetheless, employees will be protected from disclosure of email content that violates no particular policy.  Although information technologists will store email traffic to support mission requirements, supervisors will not capriciously accumulate and store employees’ email communications.  In its records, AFMC will maintain only such information about an individual as is relevant and necessary to accomplish its mission.  As a safeguard against abuse, information technologists will follow the confidentiality obligations associated with their positions and the terms of this agreement.  To assure that ordinary network users are aware of their rights to communicate through email without fear of unnecessary intrusion or dissemination of personal information, AFMC A6/7 will forward the following Supplemental Statement to functional representatives who will provide current bargaining employees initial notice of this information:


            Supplemental Statement for Employees


            Under the terms of this User Agreement, employees acknowledge that their emails are subject to unrestricted monitoring by information technology professionals for the sole purpose of detecting harm to the network, violation of rules of conduct, security violations and other violations of established Air Force rules.  Aside from such violations, no information obtained from monitoring will be provided to persons without a need to know.  Except where a violation of government policy is involved, your email content will be afforded a reasonable degree of privacy.


4.  Union representatives are considered “personal representatives” under the terms of the User Agreement when performing representational duties.  Union stewards and union officials are free to discuss representational matters with fellow union members and the employees they represent without government interference.  They do not have immunity from Air Force rules of authorized network use and abuse, but they have a right to privacy when communicating in their capacity as representatives.  To assure that union representatives are aware that such communications are confidential, Labor Relations Officers will provide initial notification of the following Supplemental Statement to current union representatives:


            Supplemental Statement for Union Representatives


            Under the terms of this user agreement, emails to and from union representatives dealing with representational matters are entitled to the confidentiality protections provided by law, regulation and negotiated union agreements.  Union emails are subject to unrestricted monitoring by information technicians and security personnel for the sole purpose of enforcing established rules of conduct, security, and appropriate use of government networks.  No union communications or work products will be disclosed to members of management or the personnel office except as necessary for enforcing rules of conduct, security and appropriate network use.  The representational content of any disclosed emails shall remain confidential except when relevant to the alleged misconduct or abuse.


5.   The following paragraph reiterates the existing agreement (AFI 33-115 MOA of 2003) regarding the monitoring of email:


The parties agree that monitoring of employee email is necessary for the enforcement of policies regarding computer security and the “appropriate use” of computer resources.  It is also recognized that a reasonable degree of privacy is conducive to effective e-mail communication.  To minimize the potential for abuse, monitoring privileges will be restricted to individuals responsible for enforcing these policies.  Such individuals will not be permitted to share information obtained through the monitoring of email except to report a suspected violation of security or “appropriate use” of computer resources policies through appropriate channels.


6.  All remedies available under the MLA or 5 U.S.C. 71 are available to the parties if either party believes the other has failed to comply with any of the requirements of this MOA.


 FOR MANAGEMENT                                              FOR THE UNION


//SIGNED//                                                                  //SIGNED//

_____________________                                          _____________________

JOHN A. BARTOLI                                                    TOM ROBINSON   

Chief, Communications Operations Division                  Executive Assistant

AFMC/A6O                                                                AFGE Council 214


//SIGNED//                                                                  //SIGNED//

______________________                                        ______________________

GINA L. WILLIAMSON                                            KRISTINE KEELER

Labor Relations Specialist                                             Executive Assistant

AFMC/A1KL                                                              AFGE Council 214


Attached:  User Agreement 2009

MOA - AF Users Agreement Stmt Notice & Consent Provision, 13 Oct 09.pdf335.73 KB