U.S. Department of Treasury, Bureau of Government Financial Operations (Activity) and National Treasury Employees Union (Petitioner) 



[ v01 p543 ]
01:0543(62)RO
The decision of the Authority follows:


 1 FLRA No. 62
 
 U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY,
 BUREAU OF GOVERNMENT FINANCIAL OPERATIONS
 Activity
 
 and
 
 NATIONAL TREASURY EMPLOYEES UNION
 Petitioner
 
                                            Assistant Secretary
                                            Case No. 22-09106(RO)
 
                    DECISION AND DIRECTION OF ELECTION
 
    UPON AN AMENDED PETITION DULY FILED UNDER SECTION 6 OF EXECUTIVE
 ORDER 11491, AS AMENDED, A HEARING WAS HELD BEFORE HEARING OFFICER
 BRIDGET SISSON.  THE HEARING OFFICER'S RULINGS MADE AT THE HEARING ARE
 FREE FROM PREJUDICIAL ERROR AND ARE HEREBY AFFIRMED.  /1/
 
    THE FUNCTIONS OF THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF LABOR FOR
 LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS UNDER EXECUTIVE ORDER 11491, AS AMENDED, WERE
 TRANSFERRED TO THE AUTHORITY UNDER SECTION 304 OF REORGANIZATION PLAN
 NO. 2 OF 1978 (43 F.R. 36040), WHICH TRANSFER OF FUNCTIONS IS
 IMPLEMENTED BY SECTION 2400.2 OF THE AUTHORITY'S TRANSITION RULES AND
 REGULATIONS (44 F.R. 7).  THE AUTHORITY CONTINUES TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR
 THE PERFORMANCE OF THESE FUNCTIONS AS PROVIDED IN SECTION 7135(B) OF THE
 FEDERAL SERVICE LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS STATUTE (92 STAT. 1215).
 
    UPON THE ENTIRE RECORD IN THE SUBJECT CASE, INCLUDING THE BRIEFS
 FILED BY THE PARTIES, THE AUTHORITY FINDS:
 
    1.  THE LABOR ORGANIZATION INVOLVED CLAIMS TO REPRESENT CERTAIN
 EMPLOYEES OF THE ACTIVITY.
 
    2.  THE PETITIONER, NATIONAL TREASURY EMPLOYEES UNION, HEREINAFTER
 CALLED NTEU, SEEKS AN ELECTION IN A UNIT COMPOSED OF ALL NONPROFESSIONAL
 GENERAL SCHEDULE (GS) AND WAGE GRADE (WG) EMPLOYEES EMPLOYED IN SEVEN OF
 THE ACTIVITY'S DISBURSING CENTERS (CENTERS), /2/ EXCLUDING ALL
 PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYEES, MANAGEMENT OFFICIALS, CONFIDENTIAL EMPLOYEES,
 EMPLOYEES ENGAGED IN FEDERAL PERSONNEL WORK IN OTHER THAN A PURELY
 CLERICAL CAPACITY, SUPERVISORS AND GUARDS.  SUCH A UNIT CONSTITUTES A
 RESIDUAL UNIT OF THE ACTIVITY'S NONPROFESSIONAL EMPLOYEES.
 ADDITIONALLY, NTEU REQUESTS THAT THE EMPLOYEES IN THE PETITIONED FOR
 UNIT BE PERMITTED TO VOTE FOR INCLUSION INTO ITS EXISTING EXCLUSIVELY
 RECOGNIZED UNIT OF THE ACTIVITY'S NONPROFESSIONAL HEADQUARTERS
 EMPLOYEES.  THE ACTIVITY, ON THE OTHER HAND, TAKES THE POSITION THAT
 ONLY SEPARATE UNITS IN THE CHICAGO, DENVER, KANSAS CITY AND SAN
 FRANCISCO CENTERS ARE APPROPRIATE FOR THE PURPOSE OF EXCLUSIVE
 RECOGNITION;  THAT THE HONOLULU AND ANCHORAGE CENTERS TOGETHER
 CONSTITUTE AN APPROPRIATE UNIT;  THAT THE MANILA CENTER SHOULD BE
 EXCLUDED ON THE BASIS THAT THERE ARE NO ELIGIBLE BARGAINING UNIT
 EMPLOYEES EMPLOYED AT THAT LOCATION;  AND THAT IF THE AUTHORITY
 DETERMINES THAT NTEU'S REQUEST TO PERMIT THE EMPLOYEES IN THE PETITIONED
 FOR UNIT TO VOTE FOR INCLUSION INTO ITS EXISTING HEADQUARTERS UNIT IS
 PROPER, THE NTEU SHOULD WAIVE ITS STATUS AS EXCLUSIVE REPRESENTATIVE IN
 ITS EXISTING UNIT AND ALLOW THE EMPLOYEES IN THE HEADQUARTERS UNIT TO
 VOTE AS WELL.
 
    THE ACTIVITY, HEADQUARTERED IN WASHINGTON, D.C. AND HEADED BY A
 COMMISSIONER AND DEPUTY COMMISSIONER, PROVIDES BANKING SERVICES FOR THE
 FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.  ORGANIZATIONALLY, THE ACTIVITY IS COMPRISED OF AN
 OPERATIONS PLANNING AND RESEARCH STAFF AND FIVE ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER'S
 OFFICES:  ADMINISTRATION, BANKING AND CASH MANAGEMENT, COMPTROLLER,
 GOVERNMENT-WIDE ACCOUNTING, AND DISBURSEMENT AND CLAIMS.  LOCATED WITHIN
 THE OFFICE OF THE ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER FOR DISBURSEMENT AND CLAIMS IS
 THE DIVISION OF DISBURSEMENT WHICH IS DIVIDED INTO A HEADQUARTERS
 ELEMENT AND 11 DISBURSING CENTERS LOCATED THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES
 AND THE PHILIPPINES.  THE DISBURSING CENTERS ARE THE SOLE FIELD ELEMENT
 IN THE ACTIVITY AND ARE EACH HEADED BY A DIRECTOR.  SEVEN OF THESE
 CENTERS ARE ENCOMPASSED BY THE INSTANT PETITION.  THE NONPROFESSIONAL
 EMPLOYEES IN THE REMAINING FOUR CENTERS, AUSTIN, BIRMINGHAM,
 PHILADELPHIA AND WASHINGTON, ARE REPRESENTED IN SEPARATE CENTER-WIDE
 UNITS BY LABOR ORGANIZATIONS OTHER THAN NTEU AND WERE COVERED BY VALID
 COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENTS AT THE TIME OF THE FILING OF THE
 INSTANT PETITION.  THE NTEU REPRESENTS A UNIT OF NONPROFESSIONAL
 HEADQUARTERS EMPLOYEES, INCLUDING THOSE EMPLOYEES IN THE HEADQUARTERS
 ELEMENT OF THE DIVISION OF DISBURSEMENT.
 
    THE MISSION OF THE CENTERS IS TO PROVIDE CENTRAL PAYMENT SERVICES FOR
 THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT THROUGH CHECK DISBURSEMENTS FOR FEDERAL
 AGENCIES,
 LETTERS OF CREDIT PROGRAMS AND SETTLEMENT OF CLAIMS ARISING FROM LOSS OR
 FORGERY OF CHECKS.  ALL THE EMPLOYEES IN THE PETITIONED FOR UNIT ARE
 ENGAGED IN THIS COMMON MISSION AND PERFORM ESSENTIALLY THE SAME KIND OF
 WORK.  HOWEVER, THE DIFFERING WORK LOADS AND VARYING WORK PROCESSES
 ACROSS THE CENTERS NECESSITATE THE USE OF DIFFERENT TYPES OF EMPLOYEES
 WITH VARYING DEGREES OF SKILL AND TRAINING REQUIRED AND RESULT IN
 VARIATIONS IN WORKING CONDITIONS.  FOR EXAMPLE, THE LARGER CENTERS, IN
 TERMS OF VOLUME OF PAYMENTS MADE ANNUALLY, OPERATE WITH MULTIPLE SHIFTS.
  IN THESE CENTERS THE DIRECTORS DETERMINE SHIFT ROTATION, ESTABLISH THE
 BASIC WORKING HOURS AND DECIDE WHETHER OR NOT A CENTER WILL OPERATE ON
 FLEXTIME.  FACILITIES SUCH AS AVAILABILITY OF PARKING, PUBLIC
 TRANSPORTATION AND CAFETERIA SERVICES ARE NOT UNIFORM ACROSS THE
 CENTERS.
 
    SEVERAL OF THE LARGER CENTERS PROVIDE CERTAIN PAYMENT SERVICES ON A
 NATIONWIDE BASIS, IN ADDITION TO THE REGIONAL CLIENTELE ALL CENTERS
 SERVE.  FOR EXAMPLE, A CENTER MAY BE DESIGNATED THE MAIN OFFICE FOR A
 PARTICULAR TYPE OF PAYMENT BUT OTHER CENTERS WILL ACTUALLY ISSUE THE
 CHECKS TO RECIPIENTS RESIDING WITHIN THE GEOGRAPHIC AREA UNDER THE
 JURISDICTION OF THE ISSUING CENTER.  ANY INQUIRIES ARISING IN THE
 GEOGRAPHIC AREA OF AN ISSUING CENTER WOULD BE HANDLED BY THE CENTER
 DESIGNATED AS THE MAIN OFFICE.
 
    THE RECORD REVEALS LITTLE INTERCHANGE OF EMPLOYEES BETWEEN CENTERS
 AND WHAT INTERCHANGE DOES OCCUR IS LIMITED TO HIGHER MANAGEMENT LEVELS.
 THE AREA OF CONSIDERATION FOR PROMOTIONS AT THE GS-13 LEVEL AND BELOW IS
 CENTER-WIDE.  THE AREA OF CONSIDERATION FOR REDUCTIONS-IN-FORCE IS THE
 LOCAL COMMUTING AREA.
 
    PERSONNEL POLICIES FOR ALL THE ACTIVITY'S EMPLOYEES ARE CENTRALLY
 ESTABLISHED AND ARE CONTAINED IN A MANUAL OF ADMINISTRATION.  DRAFTS OF
 PROPOSED REGULATIONS ARE OFTEN CIRCULATED AMONG CENTER DIRECTORS FOR
 THEIR COMMENTS AND EVALUATION.  PERSONNEL BULLETINS, WHICH SUPPLEMENT
 THE MANUAL OF ADMINISTRATION, ARE ALSO CENTRALLY ESTABLISHED AND ARE
 APPLICABLE TO ALL EMPLOYEES, ALTHOUGH IN THE LARGER CENTERS, CENTER
 DIRECTORS HAVE ISSUED MEMORANDA PERTAINING TO LOCAL CONDITIONS, SUCH AS
 USE OF LEAVE, HOURS OF WORK, HAZARDOUS WEATHER CONDITIONS, ETC.  CENTER
 DIRECTORS HAVE BEEN DELEGATED THE AUTHORITY TO CLASSIFY POSITIONS
 THROUGH THE GS-7 LEVEL, HIRE, PROMOTE, HANDLE GRIEVANCES AND
 DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS AND EITHER GIVE OR RECOMMEND AWARDS.
 
    THE MANUAL OF ADMINISTRATION AUTHORIZES CENTER DIRECTORS TO NEGOTIATE
 WITH LABOR ORGANIZATIONS WHICH HAVE BEEN CERTIFIED AS THE EXCLUSIVE
 REPRESENTATIVE OF THEIR EMPLOYEES.  THIS MANUAL PROVIDES, HOWEVER, THAT
 THE ACTIVITY'S LABOR RELATIONS OFFICER MUST BE KEPT FULLY INFORMED AND
 CONSULTED PRIOR TO AND DURING CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS, AND MUST BE
 CONSULTED ON ALL SIGNIFICANT LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS SITUATIONS,
 INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO UNIT DETERMINATIONS, REPRESENTATION
 ELECTIONS, HEARINGS, CONTRACT PROPOSALS AND NEGOTIATIONS AND ANY
 SUBSEQUENT CONTRACT ADMINISTRATION PROBLEMS.  THE RECORD REVEALS THAT
 THE LABOR RELATIONS OFFICER HAS PARTICIPATED OVER THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS
 IN ALL CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS BETWEEN THE ACTIVITY AND THOSE LABOR
 ORGANIZATIONS HOLDING EXCLUSIVE RECOGNITION AND HAS PROVIDED TECHNICAL
 LABOR RELATIONS ADVICE UPON REQUEST OF THE CENTER DIRECTORS.  THE LABOR
 RELATIONS OFFICER ALSO HAS REVIEW AUTHORITY OVER ALL COLLECTIVE
 BARGAINING AGREEMENTS, WHICH MUST BE APPROVED BY THE ACTIVITY'S
 COMMISSIONER.  THERE ARE NO EMPLOYEES CLASSIFIED AS LABOR RELATIONS
 SPECIALISTS AT THE CENTERS, ALTHOUGH ADMINISTRATIVE PERSONNEL OFFICERS
 IN THE LARGER CENTERS OR THE CENTER DIRECTOR OR DESIGNEE IN THE SMALLER
 CENTERS HANDLE LABOR RELATIONS MATTERS.
 
    BASED ON ALL THE FOREGOING, WE FIND THAT THE PETITIONED FOR UNIT IS
 APPROPRIATE FOR THE PURPOSE OF EXCLUSIVE RECOGNITION AS IT EQUALLY
 SATISFIES THE UNIT DETERMINATION CRITERIA.  MOREOVER, THE PETITIONED FOR
 UNIT MEETS THE OBJECTIVE OF PROMOTING A MORE COMPREHENSIVE BARGAINING
 UNIT STRUCTURE.  /3/
 
    THUS, IT IS NOTED THAT ALL THE EMPLOYEES IN THE PETITIONED FOR UNIT
 ARE ENGAGED IN A COMMON MISSION WITH COMMON OVERALL SUPERVISION, PERFORM
 ESSENTIALLY THE SAME KIND OF WORK, AND SHARE COMMON PERSONNEL POLICIES,
 MANY OF WHICH ARE CENTRALLY ESTABLISHED.  SUCH A UNIT WILL ALSO PROMOTE
 EFFECTIVE DEALINGS AS EVIDENCED BY THE FACT THAT LABOR RELATIONS
 POLICIES ARE ESTABLISHED AT THE ACTIVITY'S HEADQUARTERS WHICH
 PARTICIPATES IN CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS, RETAINS FINAL APPROVAL AUTHORITY
 OVER ALL COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENTS AND IS EMPOWERED TO MONITOR
 ALL LABOR RELATIONS ACTIVITIES AT THE CENTER LEVEL.  FURTHER, BY RAISING
 THE LEVEL OF NEGOTIATIONS, THEREBY EXPANDING THE SCOPE OF BARGAINING,
 THE PARTIES WILL BE ABLE TO ADDRESS A WIDER RANGE OF ISSUES OF CRITICAL
 CONCERN TO ALL EMPLOYEES.  THE PROPOSED UNIT WILL ALSO LEAD TO
 EFFICIENCY OF OPERATIONS TO THE EXTENT THAT RESOURCES CAN BE ALLOCATED
 MORE EFFICIENTLY WHEN THERE IS A SINGLE AGREEMENT TO NEGOTIATE AND
 ADMINISTER.  FINALLY, THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE CLAIMED UNIT, WHICH
 CONSTITUTES A RESIDUAL UNIT OF THE ACTIVITY'S NONPROFESSIONAL EMPLOYEES,
 WILL PREVENT FURTHER FRAGMENTATION BY ESTABLISHING ONE ADDITIONAL UNIT
 FOR ALL THE REMAINING UNREPRESENTED NONPROFESSIONAL EMPLOYEES.
 
    ACCORDINGLY, THE FOLLOWING EMPLOYEES CONSTITUTE A UNIT APPROPRIATE
 FOR THE PURPOSE OF EXCLUSIVE RECOGNITION UNDER EXECUTIVE ORDER 11491, AS
 AMENDED:  /4/
 
    ALL NONPROFESSIONAL GENERAL SCHEDULE AND WAGE GRADE EMPLOYEES OF THE
 U.S. DEPARTMENT OF
 
    TREASURY, BUREAU OF GOVERNMENT FINANCIAL OPERATIONS, EXCLUDING ALL
 SUCH EMPLOYEES IN EXISTING
 
    EXCLUSIVELY RECOGNIZED UNITS, PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYEES, MANAGEMENT
 OFFICIALS, CONFIDENTIAL
 
    EMPLOYEES, EMPLOYEES ENGAGED IN FEDERAL PERSONNEL WORK IN OTHER THAN
 A PURELY CLERICAL
 
    CAPACITY, SUPERVISORS AND GUARDS.  /5/
 
    AS NOTED ABOVE, THE NTEU REQUESTED THAT THE CLAIMED EMPLOYEES BE
 GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT THEY DESIRE TO BE
 REPRESENTED IN ITS EXISTING HEADQUARTERS UNIT.  WE FIND SUCH REQUEST TO
 BE CONSISTENT WITH THE PURPOSES AND POLICIES OF THE ORDER, /6/ AND NOTE
 THAT THE EMPLOYEES IN THE PETITIONED FOR DISBURSING CENTERS ARE
 ORGANIZATIONALLY RELATED TO THE HEADQUARTERS ELEMENT OF THE DIVISION OF
 DISBURSEMENT, WHICH IS A PART OF NTEU'S EXISTING HEADQUARTERS UNIT.
 ACCORDINGLY, IF A MAJORITY OF THE EMPLOYEES IN THE UNIT FOUND
 APPROPRIATE VOTES FOR NTEU, THEY WILL BE TAKEN TO HAVE INDICATED THEIR
 DESIRE TO BE INCLUDED IN THE EXISTING UNIT CURRENTLY REPRESENTED BY THE
 NTEU AND THE APPROPRIATE REGIONAL DIRECTOR WILL ISSUE A CERTIFICATION TO
 THAT EFFECT.
 
                           DIRECTION OF ELECTION
 
    AN ELECTION BY SECRET BALLOT SHALL BE CONDUCTED AMONG THE EMPLOYEES
 IN THE UNIT FOUND APPROPRIATE AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE, BUT NOT LATER THAN
 60 DAYS FROM THE DATE BELOW.  THE APPROPRIATE REGIONAL DIRECTOR SHALL
 SUPERVISE THE ELECTION, SUBJECT TO THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY'S
 REGULATIONS.  ELIGIBLE TO VOTE ARE THOSE IN THE UNIT WHO WERE EMPLOYED
 DURING THE PAYROLL PERIOD IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING THE DATE BELOW,
 INCLUDING EMPLOYEES WHO DID NOT WORK DURING THAT PERIOD BECAUSE THEY
 WERE OUT ILL, OR ON VACATION OR ON FURLOUGH, INCLUDING THOSE IN THE
 MILITARY SERVICE WHO APPEAR IN PERSON AT THE POLLS.  INELIGIBLE TO VOTE
 ARE EMPLOYEES WHO QUIT OR WERE DISCHARGED FOR CAUSE SINCE THE DESIGNATED
 PAYROLL PERIOD AND WHO HAVE NOT BEEN REHIRED OR REINSTATED BEFORE THE
 ELECTION DATE.  THOSE ELIGIBLE SHALL VOTE WHETHER OR NOT THEY DESIRE TO
 BE REPRESENTED FOR THE PURPOSE OF EXCLUSIVE RECOGNITION BY THE NATIONAL
 TREASURY EMPLOYEES UNION.
 
    ISSUED, WASHINGTON, D.C., JUNE 14, 1979
 
                       RONALD W. HAUGHTON, CHAIRMAN
 
                       HENRY B. FRAZIER III, MEMBER
 
                     FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
 
    /1/ WITH RESPECT TO THE ACTIVITY'S REQUEST FOR REVERSAL OF THE
 HEARING OFFICER'S REJECTION OF CERTAIN OF ITS EXHIBITS, WE FIND THAT AS
 THE EXHIBITS IN QUESTION WERE NOT NECESSARY AND RELEVANT TO A FULL
 CONSIDERATION OF THE ISSUES INVOLVED HEREIN, THE HEARING OFFICER'S
 RULINGS WERE NOT PREJUDICIAL.  ACCORDINGLY, THE ACTIVITY'S REQUEST IS,
 HEREBY, DENIED.
 
    /2/ THE DISBURSING CENTERS ENCOMPASSED BY THE INSTANT PETITION ARE
 LOCATED IN CHICAGO, ILLINOIS;  DENVER, COLORADO;  KANSAS CITY, KANSAS;
 SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA;  HONOLULU, HAWAII;  ANCHORAGE, ALASKA;  AND
 MANILA PHILIPPINES.
 
    /3/ CF. DEFENSE SUPPLY AGENCY, DEFENSE CONTRACT ADMINISTRATION
 SERVICES REGION (DCASR), SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, DEFENSE CONTRACT
 ADMINISTRATION SERVICES DISTRICT (DCASD), SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, A/SLMR
 NO. 461, FLRC NO. 75A-14;  DEFENSE SUPPLY AGENCY, DEFENSE CONTRACT
 ADMINISTRATION SERVICES REGION, SAN FRANCISCO, A/SLMR NO. 559, FLRC NO.
 75A-128;  DEFENSE SUPPLY AGENCY, DEFENSE CONTRACT ADMINISTRATION
 SERVICES REGION (DCASR), SAN FRANCISCO, DEFENSE CONTRACT ADMINISTRATION
 SERVICES DISTRICT (DCASD), SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, A/SLMR NO. 564, FLRC NO.
 76A-4, (4 FLRC 668 (DEC. 30, 1976), REPORT NO. 119);  DEPARTMENT OF
 STATE, PASSPORT OFFICE, CHICAGO PASSPORT AGENCY, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS,
 A/SLMR NO. 1108, FLRC NO. 76A-147 (DEC. 28, 1978).
 
    /4/ IN CONFORMITY WITH SECTION 902