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When Quarters Are Limited, How Should We Decide Who Gets Them?
The tool you need is a Unit Quarters Policy. Each unit should develop its own policy. Having a well-developed quarters policy will make managing your quarters much easier. It will assure that all renters know what is expected of them and decrease perceptions of favoritism and inequitable treatment.
Any unit with employees who are covered by the Master Agreement between the Forest Service and the National Federation of Federal Employees or other union agreement must notify the local of its intent to develop a unit quarters policy, and be prepared to include union representatives in partnership negotiations or other bargaining methods specified in the Union agreement.
A unit quarters policy should address issues such as:
Procedures and priorities for assignment of available
Occupant maintenance responsibilities
Damage to quarters beyond normal wear and tear
Alterations and improvements to quarters
Standards for conduct in quarters
Guidance concerning some of the above issues is contained in Forest Service Manual 6445Government-Furnished Quarters and in Forest Service Handbook 6709.11Health and Safety Manual, part 39. Your unit's quarters policy must conform to the direction contained in the manual and handbook, but they leave plenty of room to model your policy to match local conditions and expectations. Click on the title to see an Example Quarters Policy, an Example Bunkhouse/Crewquarters Agreement, or an Example Dorm and Kitchen Policy.
Once you have developed a unit quarters policy, you can use it to determine how to assign quarters units when you have more employees than available quarters.
If you don't have a unit quarters policy and don't have time to develop one, you will need to determine what has been done in the past on your unit, and follow the precedent already established.