Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, Chicago District, Chicago, Illinois, A/SLMR No. 1120

 



[ v01 p138 ]
01:0138(14)CA
The decision of the Authority follows:


 1 FLRA No. 14
                                            APRIL 9, 1979
 
 MS. SHARYN DANCH
 ASSISTANT COUNSEL
 NATIONAL TREASURY EMPLOYEES UNION
 1730 K STREET, N.W., SUITE 1101
 WASHINGTON, D.C.  20006
 
                          RE:  DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY, INTERNAL 
                               REVENUE SERVICE, CHICAGO DISTRICT, 
                               CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, A/SLMR No. 1120,
                               FLRC No. 78A-145
 
 DEAR MS. DANCH:
 
    THE AUTHORITY HAS CAREFULLY CONSIDERED YOUR PETITION FOR REVIEW OF
 THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY'S DECISION, AND THE AGENCY'S OPPOSITION THERETO,
 IN THE ABOVE-ENTITLED CASE.
 
    IN THIS CASE, AS FOUND BY THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY INSOFAR AS
 PERTINENT HEREIN, DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY, INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE,
 CHICAGO DISTRICT, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (THE ACTIVITY) HELD A MEETING WITH
 UNIT EMPLOYEES WHICH DEALT WITH THE GENERAL TOPIC OF "FRAUD AWARENESS"
 AND STRESSED THE NEED FOR EMPLOYEE AWARENESS OF POSSIBLE FRAUDULENT
 CONCEALMENT OF INCOME BY TAXPAYERS.  THE TWO-HOUR SESSION WAS CONDUCTED
 AT THE ACTIVITY'S CHICAGO DISTRICT OFFICE BY THREE OF ITS OFFICIALS.
 ATTENDANCE BY BARGAINING UNIT EMPLOYEES IN THE SPECIAL ENFORCEMENT
 GROUPS WAS COMPULSORY.  IN UNDERSCORING THEIR POSITION THAT "FRAUD
 AWARENESS" WAS THE CHICAGO DISTRICT'S GREATEST PRIORITY, THE ACTIVITY'S
 SPOKESMAN TOLD EMPLOYEES THAT THEIR PROMOTION EVALUATIONS WOULD CONTAIN
 COMMENTS REGARDING THE FRAUD CASES THAT THEY HAD WORKED ON, AND THAT
 PROMOTION RANKING PANELS HAD BEEN INSTRUCTED TO AWARD EXTRA POINTS TO
 AGENTS WORKING ON FRAUD CASES.  THEREAFTER, APPROXIMATELY ONE-HALF HOUR
 WAS DEVOTED TO QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS BETWEEN UNIT EMPLOYEES AND THE
 ACTIVITY'S REPRESENTATIVES.  THE NATIONAL TREASURY EMPLOYEES UNION AND
 NTEU CHAPTER 10 (THE UNION) WAS NOT NOTIFIED IN ADVANCE OF THIS MEETING,
 ALTHOUGH ONE OF THE ATTENDING EMPLOYEES WAS A UNION STEWARD WHO
 CUSTOMARILY REPRESENTED THE UNION AT FORMAL DISCUSSIONS BETWEEN
 MANAGEMENT AND EMPLOYEES.
 
    THE UNION SUBSEQUENTLY FILED AN UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICE COMPLAINT
 ALLEGING, IN PERTINENT PART, THAT THE ACTIVITY VIOLATED SECTION 19(A)(1)
 AND (6) OF THE ORDER BY HOLDING THE "FRAUD AWARENESS" MEETING WITH UNIT
 EMPLOYEES WITHOUT PROVIDING THE UNION AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE REPRESENTED,
 AS REQUIRED BY SECTION 10(E) OF THE ORDER.
 
    THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOUND THAT THE CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING THE
 "FRAUD AWARENESS" MEETING DID NOT GIVE RISE TO A VIOLATION OF SECTION
 19(A)(1) AND (6) OF THE ORDER.  IN SO FINDING, THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY
 STATED:
 
    . . . I FIND THAT THIS MEETING WAS A FORMAL DISCUSSION WITHIN THE
 MEANING OF SECTION 10(E)
 
    BECAUSE IN THIS MEETING . . . THE (ACTIVITY) RAISED THE ISSUES OF
 PERSONNEL FILE ENTRIES AND
 
    PROMOTION EVALUATIONS, ITEMS WHICH ARE CLEARLY PERSONNEL POLICIES AND
 PRACTICES AND MATTERS
 
    AFFECTING WORKING CONDITIONS OF UNIT EMPLOYEES.  HOWEVER, UNDER THE
 PARTICULAR CIRCUMSTANCES
 
    HEREIN, I FIND THAT THE (UNION) COMPLAINANTS WERE NOT DEPRIVED OF
 THEIR SECTION 10(E) RIGHT TO
 
    BE REPRESENTED AT A FORMAL DISCUSSION, AS THEY HAD ACTUAL NOTICE OF
 AND WERE REPRESENTED AT
 
    THE MEETING.  THUS, THE EVIDENCE ESTABLISHES THAT THE UNION STEWARD
 WHO CUSTOMARILY ATTENDED
 
    SUCH FORMAL DISCUSSIONS WAS, IN FACT, PRESENT AT THE MEETING AND HAD
 AN OPPORTUNITY TO
 
    REPRESENT THE (UNION) DURING THE DISCUSSION WHICH ENSUED.  /1/ AS A
 RESULT, I FIND THAT THE
 
    (UNION) SUFFERED NO DETRIMENT FROM THE LACK OF FORMAL NOTICE.
 
    ACCORDINGLY, THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY DISMISSED THE UNION'S COMPLAINT.
 
    IN YOUR PETITION FOR REVIEW ON BEHALF OF THE UNION, YOU ALLEGE THAT
 THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY'S DECISION RAISES THE FOLLOWING MAJOR POLICY
 ISSUE:
 
    WHETHER THE PRESENCE OF AN EMPLOYEE, WHO IS ALSO A UNION STEWARD, AT
 A 10(E) MEETING
 
    SATISFIES THE REQUIREMENT OF THE ORDER THAT THE EXCLUSIVE
 REPRESENTATIVE "SHALL BE GIVEN THE
 
    OPPORTUNITY TO BE REPRESENTED," WHERE THE UNION HAS NOT BEEN NOTIFIED
 AND THE EMPLOYEE HAS
 
    BEEN INSTRUCTED TO ATTEND BY HIS M