Survey Manual

370.252.1 - Association Membership - Professional or Other Association

This chapter outlines the policy of the Survey on its dealings with professional or other associations.


OPR: Admin/Office of Personnel

1. General. The Geological Survey, in accordance with FPM 252 and 370 DM 252, recognizes the importance and benefits professional associations can have with respect to the operations of the Survey. This chapter outlines the policy of the Survey on its dealings with professional or other associations.

2. Labor-Management Relations Implications. The Survey's dealings with professional or other associations under this chapter may not take on the character of negotiations or consultations as defined in 5 USC 71, the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute, or adversely impact its relationships with labor organizations under this Statute. Otherwise, an agency may consult with any association on matters related to its missions and programs or on matters of concern to the local community and the general public. As used in this chapter, consultation refers to the Survey's formal or informal exchange of comments, views or opinions with an association on matters of mutual concern to the group and the Survey. This would apply, for example, to civil organizations, consumer groups, and committees concerned with the problems of the aged. This would also apply to consultation with professional associations on Federal programs; for example, with the American Association for the Advancement of Science on a matter such as earthquake studies. Any questions concerning labor-management relations implications in dealing with professional associations or other groups should be referred to the labor relations contact person in the appropriate servicing personnel office. If a question cannot be answered locally, it should be referred to the Bureau Labor Relations Officer by the regional labor relations official. If necessary, the matter may be referred to the Department's Division of Labor-Management Relations.

3. Relationships with Professional or Other Associations. A professional association is a type of association with which the Survey is likely to have relationships on matters outside of personnel policies, practices, and matters affecting working conditions because the goals of the association are related to the Survey's missions and programs. In some cases, the relationship would extend to Survey membership in the association. The association may cooperate with the Survey in sponsoring research relating to the Survey's programs or in acting as a sounding board for Survey policy and legislative proposals. The Survey may also grant privileges to an association when it determines that such action would be beneficial to the Survey's programs or would be warranted as a service to employees who are members of the association. Examples of such privileges would be the use of messenger or mail service and Survey bulletin boards for publicizing meetings or the use of official facilities for meeting.

Procedures regarding attendance at meetings, non-official expression and acceptance of contributions, awards, and payments from non-Government organizations incident to training and attendance at meetings can be found in the following Survey Manual chapters:

A. SM 317.1 which covers attendance at meetings;

B. SM 370.735.4 which states Survey policy and procedures on non-official expression; and

C. SM 370.410.7 which covers acceptance of contributions, awards and payments from non-Government organizations.

Any questions not answered in this chapter that may arise regarding dealings with professional or other associations at the local level and that do not involve labor relations implications should be directed through Division channels to the Division Administrative Officer.

4. Allotment of Dues. The voluntary allotment for payment of dues by employees to professional or other associations is provided for in related Survey Manual chapters. Specifically, the policy regarding dues withholding agreements with professional or other associations is stated in SM 370.550.4. The policy on allotments in general is stated in SM 370.550.3 and the procedures for making voluntary allotments for payment of dues are outlined in SM 344.4.

5. Payment of Membership Dues in Professional Societies and Associations. Payment of dues for organization membership in professional societies and associations is appropriate when it is administratively determined that membership will be of primary benefit to the agency and essential to carrying out the activities authorized by the appropriation charged. The membership must be in the name of the organization (370 DM 252).