National Treasury Employees Union and NTEU Chapter 12 (Union) and Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, Birmingham District, Alabama (Activity) 

 



[ v02 p466 ]
02:0466(64)NG
The decision of the Authority follows:


 2 FLRA No. 64
 
 NATIONAL TREASURY EMPLOYEES UNION
 AND NTEU CHAPTER 12
 (Union)
 
 and
 
 DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY,
 INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE,
 BIRMINGHAM DISTRICT, ALABAMA
 (Activity)
 
                                            Case No. 0-NG-158
 
                     DECISION ON NEGOTIABILITY APPEAL
 
    IN JUNE OF 1979, IRS, BIRMINGHAM DISTRICT (THE ACTIVITY) ISSUED A
 POLICY REQUIRING REVENUE AGENTS TO ASSIST TAX AUDITORS IN AUDITS UNDER
 CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES.  THEREAFTER, NTEU, CHAPTER 12 (THE UNION) SOUGHT
 TO RESCIND THE AGENCY MEMORANDUM SETTING FORTH THE ALLEGED NEW POLICY
 AND GENERALLY REQUESTED "THAT THE CHANGE IN PRACTICE AND POLICY BE
 NEGOTIATED AS PROVIDED FOR IN THE CONTRACT." THE AGENCY RESPONSE TO THAT
 REQUEST INCLUDED THE ALLEGATION THAT "THE WORK ASSIGNMENT PRACTICE . . .
 IS NOT NEGOTIABLE" UNDER SECTION 7106 OF THE STATUTE.
 
    ON SEPTEMBER 5, 1979, THE UNION FILED A PETITION FOR REVIEW WITH THE
 AUTHORITY.  IN ITS PETITION, THE UNION CONTESTS THE AGENCY ALLEGATION,
 WHICH IT DESCRIBED AS STATING THAT "ANY POTENTIAL PROPOSALS BY THE UNION
 REGARDING THE PROCEDURES FOR DETERMINING WHICH REVENUE AGENTS WOULD BE
 ASSIGNED TO CONDUCT OFFICE AUDIT INTERVIEWS WOULD BE NONNEGOTIABLE." IN
 THIS REGARD, NEITHER THE UNION'S LETTER TO THE AGENCY REQUESTING AN
 ALLEGATION NOR THE PETITION FOR REVIEW CONTAINS A MORE EXPLICIT PROPOSAL
 INDICATING THE PRECISE MATTER SOUGHT TO BE NEGOTIATED.
 
    IN ITS SUBMISSION TO THE AUTHORITY, THE AGENCY ASSERTS THAT THE
 PETITION DOES NOT PRESENT A PROPER NEGOTIABILITY ISSUE AND, THEREFORE,
 SHOULD BE DISMISSED.  /1/
 
    IN SUPPORT OF THIS ASSERTION, THE AGENCY ARGUES THAT NO BARGAINING
 PROPOSAL IS PENDING BETWEEN THE PARTIES.  THE AGENCY CONCLUDES, IN THIS
 REGARD, THAT THE UNION IS ESSENTIALLY ATTEMPTING TO RESOLVE AN UNFAIR
 LABOR PRACTICE CHARGE THROUGH THE USE OF NEGOTIABILITY PROCEDURES.  /2/
 FURTHER, THE AGENCY ALLEGES THAT ASSIGNMENT OF WORK IS NONNEGOTIABLE,
 AND, ALTHOUGH PROCEDURES PERTAINING TO ASSIGNMENT MIGHT BE NEGOTIABLE,
 THE UNION HAS NEVER REQUESTED TO NEGOTIATE THE IMPACT AND IMPLEMENTATION
 OF THE POLICY.
 
    RESPONDING TO THE AGENCY'S SUBMISSION, THE UNION ASSERTS THAT THE
 NEGOTIABILITY PROCEDURES SET FORTH IN THE STATUTE AND THE AUTHORITY'S
 RULES ARE APPROPRIATE FOR THE RESOLUTION OF THE MATTER AT ISSUE.  AS TO
 THE MERITS OF THE DISPUTE, THE UNION ARGUES THAT IT "HAS NOT QUESTIONED
 THE RIGHT OF THE AGENCY TO ASSIGN REVENUE AGENTS THE WORK IN QUESTION.
 WHAT NTEU MAINTAINS IS THAT THE METHODS FOR DETERMINING WHICH REVENUE
 AGENT IS ASSIGNED ARE NEGOTIABLE." IT FURTHER CONTENDS THAT IT "VERY
 CLEARLY REQUESTED TO NEGOTIATE THE MATTER IN QUESTION." /3/
 
    IN