1. The seniority of each SPO is their relative position with respect to other SPOs in their seniority group. Seniority will not determine service credits, which are outlined in Article XV entitled "Continuity of Service".

  2. Seniority will be determined by, and ties of seniority will be broken by, the following sequence:

    1. Hiring date into Patrol.

    2. Continuity of Service as defined in Article XV.

    3. Birth date with the earliest birth date being more senior.

    4. Last four (4) digits of the employee's Social Security number with the higher number determining the more senior employee.

  3. Layoffs will be made on the basis of seniority, starting with the SPO with the least seniority in the bargaining unit.

    In the event that an Involuntary Reduction of Force of approximately ten (10%) percent would be necessary in the Hanford Patrol bargaining unit, a Voluntary Reduction of Force would be offered. The effective date and "window" period would be determined at the time the program was announced.

  4. Seniority does not apply to promotions or transfers to jobs outside the bargaining unit.

  5. New SPOs will be considered probationary employees while assigned to the Basic Training Academy and for a period of one hundred eighty (180) calendar days after completion of the Basic Training Academy. If no “Q” clearance has been issued within the first ninety (90) days after graduation from the Basic Training Academy, a maximum of ninety (90) days will be added once the “Q” clearance has been issued. During this time period they will acquire no seniority credit; however, at the end of this period, if retained, they will be placed on the seniority list and their seniority will start from their date of hire.

    The Union may represent such SPOs on grievances relating to pay, hours of work or conditions of employment.

  6. SPOs who are promoted or transferred to classifications outside of Hanford Patrol but within the Company will retain their seniority only for a period of ninety (90) working days unless they are transferred in lieu of layoff, in which case the provisions of Section 10. of this Article will apply. During the ninety (90) working day period, the Company may send them back if they do not make satisfactory progress or the employee may elect to return to the bargaining unit provided there is a vacancy (after all other internal Patrol transfers are honored).

  7. Rehiring following a reduction of force will be in the reverse order of layoff. SPOs offered re-employment will be notified by certified or registered letter, return receipt requested and mailed to the last address on record in the Company's Employment Office.

  8. If the SPO does not report or give satisfactory explanation within two (2) weeks, seniority will be extinguished.

  9. Seniority will accumulate for periods not exceeding twelve (12) months for SPOs having less than five (5) years' seniority and not exceeding eighteen (18) months for SPOs having five (5) or more but less than ten (10) years' seniority and not exceeding twenty-four (24) months for SPOs having ten (10) or more years' seniority for absences due to:

    1. Reduction of Force

    2. Illness

    3. Leave of Absence

    4. Plant Injury

    At the expiration of the applicable period, seniority will be extinguished. Individuals subsequently re-employed will have no starting seniority.

  10. SPOs who have accepted a different job in lieu of layoff will accumulate seniority for periods not exceeding twelve (12) months. At the end of the applicable period, seniority will be extinguished. If a former SPO that is accruing seniority returns to the bargaining unit during this twelve (12) month period, they must meet all the requirements of the position they left from or the position that is available.

  11. SPOs who return from leave of absence or illness will be given reemployment on the basis of their accumulated seniority and qualifications as outlined in Article V provided that reductions in force have not removed all SPOs with equal or less seniority in their seniority group. Reinstatement will be at the going rate at the time of their return.

  12. Seniority will accumulate, as provided by federal laws, for absences due to Military Service.

  13. Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, a SPO may retire at their option as provided in the Company Pension Plan.

  14. This Agreement is applicable to retired SPOs who may return to active employment with the Company on a temporary basis.