Veterans Administration and National Association of Government Employees




[ v02 p225 ]
02:0225(25)CU
The decision of the Authority follows:


 2 FLRA No. 25
 
 VETERANS ADMINISTRATION
 
 and
 
 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF
 GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES
 
                                            A/SLMR No. 1016
                                            FLRC No. 78A-123
 
                          DECISION ON APPEAL FROM
                      ASSISTANT SECRETARY'S DECISION
 
                            BACKGROUND OF CASE
 
    THIS CASE IS BEFORE THE AUTHORITY ON THE AGENCY'S PETITION FOR REVIEW
 OF THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY'S DECISION IN A/SLMR NO. 1016.  /1/ IN HIS
 DECISION, THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOUND APPROPRIATE A CONSOLIDATED UNIT
 CONSISTING OF ALL EMPLOYEES IN THE UNITS EXCLUSIVELY REPRESENTED BY THE
 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES (NAGE) IN THE DEPARTMENT OF
 MEDICINE AND SURGERY OF THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION (VA).
 
    MORE PARTICULARLY, THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOUND THAT THE
 CONSOLIDATED UNIT SOUGHT BY NAGE IS APPROPRIATE FOR THE PURPOSE OF
 EXCLUSIVE RECOGNITION UNDER THE THREE CRITERIA SET FORTH IN SECTION
 10(B) OF THE ORDER.  IN SO FINDING, THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY NOTED THAT
 THE PROPOSED CONSOLIDATED UNIT CONSTITUTES ALL OF THE UNITS EXCLUSIVELY
 REPRESENTED BY NAGE WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT OF MEDICINE AND SURGERY, ONE
 OF THE THREE MAJOR DEPARTMENTS WITHIN THE VA, WHICH PROVIDES MEDICAL
 CARE AND TREATMENT FOR VETERANS.  THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY FURTHER NOTED
 AND RELIED ON SEVERAL COUNCIL DECISIONS INVOLVING THE CONSOLIDATION OF
 UNITS IN WHICH THE COUNCIL CONSTRUED THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY'S
 ESTABLISHMENT OF A PRESUMPTION IN FAVOR OF CONSOLIDATIONS " . . . AS A
 RECOGNITION AND AFFIRMATION OF THE STRONG POLICY IN THE FEDERAL
 LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS PROGRAM OF FACILITATING CONSOLIDATION . . . .
  /2/ HE ALSO NOTED THE COUNCIL'S INDICATION, IN THOSE DECISIONS, THAT
 SUCH AFFIRMATION ACCURATELY REFLECTS THE COUNCIL'S 1975 REPORT AND
 RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE EFFECT THAT THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY SHOULD BE
 MINDFUL OF FACILITATING THE CONSOLIDATION OF EXISTING UNITS WHICH
 CONFORM TO THE APPROPRIATE UNIT CRITERIA OF SECTION 10(B) OF THE ORDER.
 
    BASED UPON THE FOREGOING POLICY CONSIDERATIONS AND THE PARTICULAR
 FACTS OF THE INSTANT CASE, THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY CONCLUDED THAT THE
 PROPOSED CONSOLIDATED UNIT IS APPROPRIATE FOR THE PURPOSE OF EXCLUSIVE
 RECOGNITION UNDER THE ORDER.  IN THIS REGARD HE STATED:
 
    THUS, AS INDICATED ABOVE, THE UNIT SOUGHT ENCOMPASSES ALL THE
 EMPLOYEES WITHIN THE
 
    DEPARTMENT OF MEDICINE AND SURGERY REPRESENTED BY THE NAGE WHICH, IN
 EFFECT, INCLUDES
 
    ESSENTIALLY ALL THE NONPROFESSIONAL EMPLOYEES AT THE VARIOUS
 HOSPITALS INVOLVED.  ALL THE
 
    EMPLOYEES WITHIN THE PETITIONED FOR CONSOLIDATED UNIT SHARE A COMMON
 MISSION, ESSENTIALLY
 
    SIMILAR JOB CLASSIFICATIONS AND WORKING CONDITIONS, AND SIMILAR LABOR
 RELATIONS PRACTICES IN
 
    ACCORDANCE WITH THE VA'S DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY.  MOREOVER, ALTHOUGH
 THE RECORD SHOWS THAT
 
    THE VA AND THE NAGE NEGOTIATED SEPARATE AGREEMENTS COVERING THE
 VARIOUS UNITS AT THE
 
    INDIVIDUAL ACTIVITIES INVOLVED HEREIN, MANY OF THE SUBJECTS INCLUDED
 IN SUCH AGREEMENTS ARE
 
    DEALT WITH UNIFORMLY, INCLUDING, AMONG OTHERS, SUCH SUBJECTS AS
 EVALUATION OF PERFORMANCE,
 
    ANNUAL RATINGS, TRAINING, POSITION CLASSIFICATION, EQUAL EMPLOYMENT
 OPPORTUNITY, LEAVE, HEALTH
 
    AND SAFETY.
 
    UNDER ALL OF THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, I FIND THAT THE EMPLOYEES IN THE
 PETITIONED FOR
 
    CONSOLIDATED UNIT, WHICH INCLUDES ESSENTIALLY ALL THE NONPROFESSIONAL
 EMPLOYEES AT THE
 
    PARTICULAR FACILITIES INVOLVED, SHARE A COMMUNITY OF INTEREST.
 
    I FIND FURTHER THAT THE PETITIONED FOR CONSOLIDATED UNIT WILL PROMOTE
 EFFECTIVE DEALINGS
 
    AND EFFICIENCY OF AGENCY OPERATIONS.  THUS, THE RECORD REFLECTS THAT
 ALL PERSONNEL AND
 
    ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORITY FOR THE VA LIES WITH THE ADMINISTRATOR OF
 THE VA.  IN THIS
 
    CONNECTION, THE AGENCY'S CENTRAL PERSONNEL OFFICE (CPO) DEVELOPS
 AGENCY POLICY ON MATTERS
 
    RELATING TO PERSONNEL, WHICH IS SET FORTH IN THE VA PERSONNEL MANUAL
 AND WHICH IS DISSEMINATED
 
    TO THE FIELD, AND THE VARIOUS FACILITIES MUST IMPLEMENT THOSE
 POLICIES LOCALLY WITHIN THAT
 
    FRAMEWORK.  THE CPO ALSO ADVISES THE FIELD FACILITIES ON RECRUITMENT
 AND PLACEMENT OF
 
    INDIVIDUALS IN CATEGORIES DIFFICULT TO RECRUIT AND HAS PREPARED
 RECRUITMENT BULLETINS OR
 
    ADVERTISING TO BE PLACED IN PUBLICATIONS.  IT ALSO PROVIDES ADVICE ON
 THE ADMINISTRATION OF
 
    THE WAGE PROGRAMS AND SALARY.  WITH RESPECT TO LABOR-MANAGEMENT
 RELATIONS, THE RECORD REVEALS
 
    THAT THE LABOR RELATIONS OPERATIONS DIVISION OF THE CPO INCLUDES
 APPROXIMATELY SIX LABOR
 
    RELATIONS SPECIALISTS.  IT ADVISES THE FIELD FACILITIES ON LABOR
 RELATIONS MATTERS AND ALSO
 
    PROVIDES ADVICE TO THE CHIEF MEDICAL DIRECTOR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF
 MEDICINE AND SURGERY IN
 
    CONNECTION WITH APPROVAL OF NEGOTIATED AGREEMENTS.  ALTHOUGH THE COP
 HAS ONLY OCCASIONALLY
 
    BECOME DIRECTLY INVOLVED IN LOCAL NEGOTIATIONS, THE RECORD REVEALS
 THAT WHEN ITS INVOLVEMENT
 
    HAS BECOME NECESSARY AND IT HAS BEEN CALLED UPON, THE STAFF HAS
 ENTERED INTO LOCAL
 
    NEGOTIATIONS.
 
    THE EVIDENCE ESTABLISHES THAT LOCALLY NEGOTIATED AGREEMENTS OR
 AMENDMENTS TO ORIGINAL
 
    AGREEMENTS ARE SENT TO THE LABOR RELATIONS OPERATIONS DIVISION OF THE
 COP FOR REVIEW, AND THE
 
    LATTER, IN TURN, FORWARDS THE AGREEMENTS TO THE VARIOUS SPECIALTY
 AREAS WHICH RETURN THE
 
    AGREEMENTS WITH THEIR COMMENTS.  THE LABOR RELATIONS OPERATIONS
 DIVISION THEN PREPARES
 
    MEMORANDA EITHER APPROVING OR DISAPPROVING THE AGREEMENT INVOLVED, OR
 APPROVING WITH
 
    EXCEPTIONS TO CERTAIN AGREEMENT PROVISIONS.  THE FINAL APPROVAL
 NEGOTIATED AGREEMENTS FOR THE
 
    DEPARTMENT OF MEDICINE AND SURGERY IS MADE BY THE CHIEF MEDICAL
 DIRECTOR.  FURTHER, FIELD
 
    ACTIVITIES MUST PROMPTLY NOTIFY THE COP WHEN REQUESTS ARE MADE TO
 NEGOTIATE NEW AGREEMENTS, OR
 
    TO CHANGE EXISTING ONES;  WHEN REQUESTS ARE MADE TO USE THE SERVICES
 OF THE FEDERAL MEDIATION
 
    AND CONCILIATION SERVICE OR THE FEDERAL SERVICE IMPASSES PANEL;  WHEN
 NEGOTIABILITY APPEALS
 
    ARE TO BE MADE TO THE COUNCIL;  OR WHEN QUESTIONS OF GRIEVABILITY ARE
 RAISED WITH THE ASSISTANT
 
    SECRETARY.  IN ADDITION, WHERE NEGOTIATED AGREEMENTS PROVIDE FOR
 AUTOMATIC RENEWAL UPON
 
    NOTICE, SUCH NOTICES MAY NOT ISSUE WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE CPO.
 
   .          .          .          .
 
 
    BASED ON THESE FACTORS, INCLUDING PARTICULARLY THE CENTRALIZATION OF
 PERSONNEL FUNCTIONS
 
    AND POLICIES AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL, I FIND THAT THE PROPOSED
 CONSOLIDATED UNIT WILL PROMOTE
 
    EFFECTIVE DEALINGS. FURTHER, I FIND THAT AS THE PROPOSED CONSOLIDATED
 UNIT, COVERING ALL THE
 
    EMPLOYEES REPRESENTED BY THE NAGE IN THE DEPARTMENT OF MEDICINE AND
 SURGERY, WILL PROVIDE FOR
 
    BARGAINING IN A SINGLE UNIT RATHER THAN IN THE EXISTING 19 BARGAINING
 UNITS, IT WILL PROMOTE A
 
    MORE COMPREHENSIVE BARGAINING UNIT STRUCTURE AND WILL, THEREFORE,
 PROMOTE THE EFFICIENCY OF
 
    THE AGENCY'S OPERATIONS, AND IS CONSISTENT WITH THE POLICY OF THE
 ORDER SET FORTH ABOVE.
 
    ACCORDINGLY, THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY DIRECTED, PURSUANT TO SECTION
 10(B)(4) OF THE ORDER, THAT ELECTIONS BE CONDUCTED IN A VOTING GROUP
 COMPRISED OF ALL PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYEES IN THE UNIT FOUND APPROPRIATE,
 AND IN A VOTING GROUP OF ALL NONPROFESSIONAL EMPLOYEES IN THAT UNIT.
 /3/
 
    UPON CONSIDERATION OF VA'S PETITION FOR REVIEW AND THE STATEMENT IN
 SUPPORT THEREOF FILED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE AS AMICUS CURIAE
 PURSUANT TO SECTION 2411.49 OF THE COUNCIL'S RULES, THE AUTHORITY
 DETERMINED THAT THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY'S DECISION RAISES A MAJOR POLICY
 ISSUE CONCERNING THE APPLICATION OF THE APPROPRIATE UNIT CRITERIA OF
 SECTION 10(B) OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 11491, AS AMENDED, TO PROPOSED
 CONSOLIDATIONS OF EXITING UNITS.  THE AUTHORITY ALSO GRANTED THE VA'S
 REQUEST FOR A STAY PURSUANT TO SECTION 2400.2 OF THEAUTHORITY'S
 TRANSITION RULES WHICH INCORPORATES BY REFERENCE SECTION 2411.47(E) OF
 THE COUNCIL'S RULES OF PROCEDURE.  BOTH PARTIES FILED BRIEFS ON THE
 MERITS, AS FURTHER PROVIDED IN SECTION 2400.2 OF THE AUTHORITY'S
 TRANSITION RULES AND REGULATIONS WHICH INCORPORATES BY REFERENCE SECTION
 2411.16(A) OF THE COUNCIL'S RULES.  THE OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT
 AND THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION ALSO FILED BRIEFS ON THE MERITS
 AS AMICI CURIAE.  THE AUTHORITY HAS CAREFULLY CONSIDERED THESE DOCUMENTS
 AS WELL AS THE ENTIRE RECORD IN THE CASE IN REACHING ITS DECISION
 HEREIN.
 
                                  OPINION
 
    AS PREVIOUSLY INDICATED, THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOUND THAT A
 CONSOLIDATED UNIT OF ALL EMPLOYEES IN THE 19 UNITS EXCLUSIVELY
 REPRESENTED BY NAGE IN THE VAS'S DEPARTMENT OF MEDICINE AND SURGERY IS
 APPROPRIATE FOR THE PURPOSE OF EXCLUSIVE RECOGNITION UNDER THE ORDER.
 THE MAJOR POLICY ISSUE RAISED HEREIN CONCERNS THE APPLICATION OF THE
 APPROPRIATE UNIT CRITERIA OF SECTION 10(B) OF THE ORDER TO PROPOSED
 CONSOLIDATIONS OF EXISTING UNITS.  MORE PARTICULARLY, THE QUESTION
 PRESENTED HEREIN IS WHETHER THE INSTANT DECISION IS CONSISTENT WITH AND
 PROMOTES THE PURPOSES AND POLICIES OF THE ORDER.
 
    AFTER HAVING ACCEPTED THE INSTANT CASE ON THE FOREGOING MAJOR POLICY
 ISSUE, THE AUTHORITY ISSUED ITS DECISION IN VETERANS ADMINISTRATION,
 WASHINGTON, D.C., ASSISTANT SECRETARY CASE NO. 22-08518(UC), 1 FLRA NO.
 55 (JUNE 12, 1979), REPORT NO. 8.  IN THAT CASE, THE AUTHORITY
 CONCLUDED, BASED UPON THE PARTICULAR FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES PRESENTED,
 THAT A PROPOSED CONSOLIDATED UNIT CONSISTING OF ALL PROFESSIONAL AND
 NONPROFESSIONAL EMPLOYEES WITHIN THE VA FOR WHICH THE AMERICAN
 FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO (AFGE) AND CERTAIN OF ITS
 CONSTITUENT LOCALS ARE THE CURRENT EXCLUSIVE REPRESENTATIVES IS
 APPROPRIATE FOR THE PURPOSE OF EXCLUSIVE RECOGNITION UNDER THE CRITERIA
 OF SECTION 10(B) OF THE ORDER.  IN SO CONCLUDING, THE AUTHORITY, AFTER
 REVIEWING THE MISSION, FUNCTION, ORGANIZATION AND OPERATIONS OF THE VA,
 STATED AS FOLLOWS:
 
    IN 1975 EXECUTIVE ORDER 11491 WAS AMENDED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER 11838 TO
 ESTABLISH A POLICY
 
    WHICH WOULD FACILITATE THE CONSOLIDATION OF EXISTING EXCLUSIVE
 BARGAINING UNITS.  IN ITS
 
    REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS WHICH ACCOMPANIED THE ISSUANCE OF
 EXECUTIVE ORDER 11838, THE
 
    FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS COUNCIL EMPHASIZED THAT "THE CREATION OF MORE
 COMPREHENSIVE UNITS IS A
 
    NECESSARY EVOLUTIONARY STEP IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF A PROGRAM WHICH
 MEETS THE NEEDS OF THE
 
    PARTIES IN THE FEDERAL LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS PROGRAM AND BEST
 SERVES THE PUBLIC
 
    INTEREST." THE REPORT FURTHER STATED THAT A "CONSOLIDATED UNIT . . .
 MUST STILL CONFORM TO
 
    THE APPROPRIATE UNIT CRITERIA CONTAINED IN THE ORDER" AND THAT "(I)N
 MAKING HIS DETERMINATION
 
    ON THE APPROPRIATENESS OF (A) PROPOSED CONSOLIDATED UNIT, THE
 ASSISTANT SECRETARY SHOULD BE
 
    MINDFUL OF THE POLICY OF FACILITATING THE CONSOLIDATED OF EXISTING
 BARGAINING
 
    UNITS." (LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS IN THE FEDERAL SERVICE(1975), AT
 35.) THEREAFTER, IN A
 
    SERIES OF CASES INVOLVING THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY'S APPROVAL OF
 PROPOSED CONSOLIDATED UNITS,
 
    THE COUNCIL REAFFIRMED "THE STRONG POLICY IN THE FEDERAL
 LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS PROGRAM OF
 
    FACILITATING THE CONSOLIDATION OF EXISTING BARGAINING UNITS WHICH
 STILL CONFORM TO THE THREE
 
    APPROPRIATE UNIT CRITERIA CONTAINED IN SECTION 10(B) OF THE ORDER"
 (SUPRA N.2).  IN EACH CASE
 
    THE COUNCIL DENIED REVIEW OF THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY'S DECISION,
 NOTING THAT THE ASSISTANT
 
    SECRETARY HAD AFFIRMATIVELY FOUND, BASED ON THE ENTIRE RECORD, THAT
 THE PROPOSED CONSOLIDATED
 
    UNIT AT ISSUE "SATISFI(D) EACH OF THE CRITERIA SPECIFIED IN SECTION
 10(B) OF THE ORDER AND
 
    (WOULD) PROMOTE A MORE COMPREHENSIVE BARGAINING UNIT STRUCTURE
 CONSISTENT WITH THE PURPOSES OF
 
    THE ORDER."
 
    THE AUTHORITY WENT ON TO FIND THEREIN THAT THE UNIT SOUGHT,
 ENCOMPASSING ALL THE EMPLOYEES WITHIN THE VA EXCLUSIVELY REPRESENTED BY
 AFGE, SATISFIED THE APPROPRIATE UNIT CRITERIA OF SECTION 10(B) OF THE
 ORDER.  IN THIS REGARD, IT WAS FOUND THAT THE EMPLOYEES SHARE A CLEAR
 AND IDENTIFIABLE COMMUNITY OF INTEREST IN THAT THEY SHARE A COMMON
 MISSION, COMMON JOB CLASSIFICATIONS AND COMMON WORKING CONDITIONS, AND
 WORK UNDER SIMILAR PERSONNEL AND LABOR RELATIONS POLICIES AS DELEGATED
 BY THE VA ADMINISTRATOR;  AND THAT THE PROPOSED CONSOLIDATED UNIT WILL
 PROMOTE EFFECTIVE DEALINGS AND EFFICIENCY OF THE AGENCY'S OPERATIONS IN
 VIEW OF THE CENTRALIZATION OF PERSONNEL AND LABOR RELATIONS FUNCTIONS
 AND POLICIES AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL OF THE VA, THE ESTABLISHMENT OF BROAD
 OPERATING POLICIES FOR THE VA AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL, AND THE REDUCTION
 OF EXISTING BARGAINING UNITS, THEREBY REDUCING FRAGMENTATION AND
 PROMOTING A MORE EFFECTIVE AND COMPREHENSIVE BARGAINING UNIT STRUCTURE.
 
    IN THE INSTANT CASE, AS SET FORTH ABOVE (SUPRA P. 2), THE ASSISTANT
 SECRETARY SIMILARLY CONCLUDED, BASED UPON THE FOREGOING POLICY
 CONSIDERATIONS AND FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES PRESENTED, THAT THE PROPOSED
 CONSOLIDATED UNIT CONSISTING OF ALL EMPLOYEES IN THE 19 UNITS
 EXCLUSIVELY REPRESENTED BY NAGE WITHIN VA'S DEPARTMENT OF MEDICINE AND
 SURGERY ALSO SATISFIES EACH OF THE THREE APPROPRIATE UNIT CRITERIA
 CONTAINED IN SECTION 10(B) OF THE ORDER AND WILL PROMOTE A MORE
 COMPREHENSIVE BARGAINING UNIT STRUCTURE CONSISTENT WITH THE PURPOSES AND
 POLICIES OF THE ORDER.  MORE SPECIFICALLY, AS PREVIOUSLY STATED, THE
 ASSISTANT SECRETARY RELIED ON A SERIES OF DECISIONS (SUPRA N.2) IN WHICH
 THE COUNCIL DENIED REVIEW OF FINDINGS THAT PROPOSED CONSOLIDATED UNITS
 SIMILAR TO THE ONE INVOLVED HEREIN SATISFIED THE THREE CRITERIA OF
 SECTION 10(B) AND WERE CONSISTENT WITH THE PURPOSES AND POLICIES OF THE
 ORDER.  IN LIGHT OF SUCH PRECEDENT AS WELL AS THE RECENT VETERANS
 ADMINISTRATION DECISION (SUPRA P. 4) WHICH WAS ALSO ISSUED UNDER E.O.
 11491, AS AMENDED, THE AUTHORITY IS CONSTRAINED TO CONCLUDE THAT THE
 ASSISTANT SECRETARY'S FINDING THAT THE PROPOSED CONSOLIDATED UNIT IS
 APPROPRIATE FOR THE PURPOSE OF EXCLUSIVE RECOGNITION IN THE
 CIRCUMSTANCES PRESENTED IS CONSISTENT WITH THE PURPOSES AND POLICIES OF
 THE ORDER /4/ AND THEREFORE MUST BE SUSTAINED.  /5/
 
                                CONCLUSION
 
    FOR THE REASONS SET FORTH ABOVE, AND PURSUANT TO SECTION 2400.2 OF
 THE AUTHORITY'S TRANSITION RULES WHICH INCORPORATES BY REFERENCE SECTION
 2411.18(B) OF THE COUNCIL'S RULES OF PROCEDURE, THE ASSISTANT
 SECRETARY'S DECISION IS HEREBY SUSTAINED.
 
    ISSUED, WASHINGTON, D.C., DECEMBER 7, 1979
 
                       RONALD W. HAUGHTON, CHAIRMAN
 
                       HENRY B. FRAZIER III, MEMBER
 
                        LEON B. APPLEWHAITE, MEMBER
 
                     FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
 
    /1/ THE AGENCY'S PETITION FOR REVIEW WAS FILED WITH THE FEDERAL LABOR
 RELATIONS COUNCIL PURSUANT TO SECTION 4(C) OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 11491, AS
 AMENDED, AND WAS PENDING BEFORE THE COUNCIL THEREUNDER ON DECEMBER 31,
 1978.  ON THAT DATE, THE FUNCTIONS OF THE COUNCIL 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).
 
    /2/ EDUCATION DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION AND WELFARE,
 WASHINGTON, D.C., A/SLMR NO. 822, FLRC NO. 77A-88 (MAR. 1, 1978), REPORT
 NO. 145;  INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE, WASHINGTON, D.C. AND NATIONAL
 TREASURY EMPLOYEES UNION, A/SLMR NO. 831, FLRC NO.  77A-112 (MAR. 1,
 1978), REPORT NO. 145;  AND BUREAU OF FIELD OPERATIONS, OFFICE OF
 PROGRAM OPERATIONS, SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF
 HEALTH, EDUCATION AND WELFARE, CHICAGO REGION V.A., A/SLMR NO. 876, FLRC
 NO. 77A-136 (MAR. 1, 1978), REPORT NO. 145.  SEE ALSO INTERNAL REVENUE
 SERVICE, WASHINGTON, D.C., A/SLMR NO. 853, FLRC NO. 78A-12 (MAR. 12,
 1978), REPORT NO. 150.
 
    /3/ NAGE WAS THEREAFTER CERTIFIED AS THE EXCLUSIVE REPRESENTATIVE OF
 SEPARATE CONSOLIDATED UNITS OF PROFESSIONAL AND NONPROFESSIONAL
 EMPLOYEES.
 
    /4/ IN SO CONCLUDING, THE AUTHORITY IS AWARE THAT THE RECORD
 DISCLOSES THAT NAGE EXCLUSIVELY REPRESENTS SOME 11,000 OR SUBSTANTIALLY
 LESS THAN A MAJORITY OF THE EMPLOYEES IN THE DEPARTMENT OF MEDICINE AND
 SURGERY OF VA IN THE UNITS SOUGHT TO BE CONSOLIDATED HEREIN.  HOWEVER,
 THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY AFFIRMATIVELY FOUND THAT THE PROPOSED
 CONSOLIDATED UNIT MEETS EACH OF THE THREE APPROPRIATE UNIT CRITERIA
 CONTAINED IN SECTION 10(B) AND FURTHER THAT SUCH UNIT WILL PROMOTE THE
 PURPOSES AND POLICIES OF THE ORDER.  IN SUSTAINING THAT FINDING, THE
 AUTHORITY NOTES THAT NOTHING CONTAINED IN THE ORDER OR IN THE COUNCIL'S
 1975 REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS REQUIRES THAT A LABOR ORGANIZATION MUST
 EXCLUSIVELY REPRESENT A MAJORITY OF ALL EMPLOYEES WITHIN AN AGENCY OR
 PRIMARY NATIONAL SUBDIVISION THEREOF IN ORDER TO CONSOLIDATE ITS
 SEPARATELY REPRESENTED BARGAINING UNITS THEREIN.  INDEED, SUCH A
 REQUIREMENT WOULD SUBSTANTIALLY DEROGATE FROM THE POLICY OF FACILITATING
 CONSOLIDATION, THEREBY REDUCING UNIT FRAGMENTATION AND PROMOTING
 BROADER, MORE COMPREHENSIVE UNITS.
 
    /5/ IN CONFORMITY WITH SECTION 902(B) OF THE CIVIL SERVICE REFORM ACT
 OF 1978 (92 STAT. 1224), THE INSTANT CASE WAS DECIDED SOLELY ON THE
 BASIS OF E.O. 11491, AS AMENDED, AND AS IF THE NEW FEDERAL SERVICE
 LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS STATUTE (92 STAT. 1191), HAD NOT BEEN
 ENACTED.  THE DECISION DOES NOT PREJ