Decision on Request for General Statement of Policy or Guidance




[ v03 p244 ]
03:0244(36)PS
The decision of the Authority follows:


 3 FLRA No. 36
 
                                            Case No. 0-PS-12
 
          DECISION ON REQUEST FOR GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY OR
                                 GUIDANCE
 
    THE AUTHORITY RECEIVED A REQUEST FROM THE NATIONAL FEDERATION OF
 FEDERAL EMPLOYEES FOR A CLARIFICATION BY THE AUTHORITY OF THE
 AUTHORITY'S INTERPRETATION AND GUIDANCE, FLRA NO. O-PS-1 (APR. 19,
 1979), REPORT NO. 1, REGARDING THE REVOCATION OF WRITTEN DUES
 ASSIGNMENTS UNDER SECTION 7115(A) OF THE FEDERAL SERVICE
 LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS STATUTE (5 U.S.C. 7115(A)).
 
    THE AUTHORITY'S ABOVE-REFERENCED INTERPRETATION AND GUIDANCE
 CONCERNED THE PROPER INTERPRETATION AND APPLICATION OF SECTION 7115(A)
 OF THE STATUTE AS IT RELATES TO WHEN WRITTEN DUES ASSIGNMENTS IN EFFECT
 ON JANUARY 11, 1979, MAY BE TERMINATED THROUGH REVOCATIONS BY THE
 EMPLOYEES CONCERNED AND THE STATUS OF SUCH ASSIGNMENTS UNDER PREVIOUSLY
 NEGOTIATED AGREEMENTS WITH REFERENCE TO THE SAVINGS PROVISIONS OF THE
 STATUTE.  THE AUTHORITY'S CONCLUSIONS WAS AS FOLLOWS:
 
    IT IS THE AUTHORITY'S INTERPRETATION AND GUIDANCE THAT:
 
    1.  THE REQUIREMENT OF SECTION 7115(A), NAMELY THAT "ANY SUCH (DUES)
 ASSIGNMENT MAY NOT BE
 
    REVOKED FOR A PERIOD OF 1 YEAR," DOES NOT APPLY IN THOSE SITUATIONS
 WHERE THE PARTIES TO AN
 
    EXISTING COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT HAVE MUTUALLY AGREED IN
 SUBSTANCE TO RENEW OR
 
    CONTINUE THE SIX-MONTH INTERVALS FOR THE REVOCATION OF DUES
 ASSIGNMENTS.
 
    2.  THE 1-YEAR PERIOD PROVIDED IN SECTION 7115(A) FOR DUES
 REVOCATIONS APPLIES WHERE A
 
    LABOR ORGANIZATION OR AN AGENCY OBJECTS TO SUCH A RENEWAL OR
 CONTINUATION;  AND SUCH 1-YEAR
 
    PERIOD BEGINS TO RUN FROM EITHER OF THE FOLLOWING DATES, WHICHEVER IS
 LATER:
 
    A) THE ENDING DATE OF THE PRECEDING SIX-MONTH INTERVAL DURING WHICH
 THE EMPLOYEE COULD HAVE
 
    REVOKED HIS OR HER DUES AUTHORIZATION;  OR
 
    B) THE DATE ON WHICH THE EMPLOYEE AUTHORIZED DUES WITHHOLDING.
 
    IN THIS CONTEXT, THE REQUEST ASKS THE AUTHORITY TO CLARIFY ITS
 INTERPRETATION AND GUIDANCE THROUGH A RESPONSE TO THE FOLLOWING
 QUESTIONS:
 
    1.  IF THE UNION DURING THE LIFE OF THE AGREEMENT ASKS TO CHANGE TO A
 ONCE A YEAR DATE,
 
    MUST THE REVOCATION DATE IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING BE USED OR MAY THE
 PARTIES DECIDE UPON ANOTHER
 
    DATE OF THEIR OWN?
 
    2.  MAY THE PARTIES SIMPLY PUT INTO THE AGREEMENT THAT REVOCATION
 WILL ONLY BE ALLOWED ON
 
    THE ANNIVERSARY OF AN SF/1187 WITHOUT USING A SPECIFIC DATE ALSO?
 
    3.  IF THE PARTIES ARE RENEGOTIATING AND WISH TO SPECIFY A PARTICULAR
 DATE, MUST THEY USE
 
    THE PRECEDING DATE OR MAY THEY CHANGE THE REVOCATION DATE?
 
    4.  IF THE PARTIES HAVE HAD ONE ANNUAL DATE FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS AND
 WISH TO CHANGE TO
 
    ANOTHER MONTH WHEN THEY RENEGOTIATE THE AGREEMENT, IS THIS POSSIBLE
 UNDER THE AUTHORITY'S
 
    DECISION?
 
    THE AUTHORITY HAS CAREFULLY CONSIDERED THIS REQUEST AND HAS
 DETERMINED THAT IT DOES NOT SATISFY THE STANDARDS GOVERNING THE ISSUANCE
 OF GENERAL STATEMENTS OF POLICY AND GUIDANCE SET FORTH IN SECTION 2427.2
 OF THE RULES OF THE FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY, WHICH PROVIDE IN
 PERTINENT PART:
 
    SEC. 2427.5 STANDARDS GOVERNING ISSUANCE OF GENERAL STATEMENTS OF
 POLICY AND GUIDANCE.
 
    IN DECIDING WHETHER TO ISSUE A GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY OR
 GUIDANCE, THE AUTHORITY SHALL
 
    CONSIDER:
 
    (A) WHETHER THE QUESTION PRESENTED CAN MORE APPROPRIATELY BE RESOLVED
 BY OTHER MEANS;
 
    (B) WHERE OTHER MEANS ARE AVAILABLE, WHETHER AN AUTHORITY STATEMENT
 WOULD PREVENT THE
 
    PROLIFERATION OF CASES INVOLVING THE SAME OR SIMILAR QUESTION(.)
 
    THE QUESTIONS PRESENTED IN THE REQUEST CAN BE MORE APPROPRIATELY
 RESOLVED BY OTHER MEANS.  FOR EXAMPLE, FROM THE VARIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES
 DESCRIBED IN THE REQUEST, IT APPEARS THAT THE PROCEDURES SET FORTH IN
 THE STATUTE AND APPROPRIATE REGULATIONS FOR THE RESOLUTION OF
 NEGOTIABILITY DISPUTES PROVIDE A MECHANISM FOR THE ADJUDICATION OF THE
 QUESTIONS RAISED IN THE REQUEST.  IN THE ALTERNATIVE, THE UNFAIR LABOR
 PRACTICE PROCEDURES COULD BE UTILIZED IN APPROPRIATE SITUATIONS.
 
    MOREOVER, AUTHORITY ACTION ON THE REQUEST IS NOT WARRANTED SINCE IT
 WOULD NOT PREVENT THE PROLIFERATION OF CASES INVOLVING THE SAME OR
 SIMILAR QUESTIONS.  THE VARYING SITUATIONS UNDER WHICH LOCAL PARTIES
 HAVE SOUGHT OR ARE SEEKING TO ESTABLISH REVOCATION DATES FOR WRITTEN
 DUES ASSIGNMENTS AND THE DIFFERING POSITIONS AGENCIES HAVE TAKEN OR MAY
 TAKE WITH REFERENCE TO SUCH EFFORTS ARE NOT AMENABLE TO A GENERAL
 STATEMENT OF POLICY OR GUIDANCE BY THE AUTHORITY THAT WOULD PREVENT THE
 PROLIFERATION OF CASES.
 
    ACCORDINGLY, THE REQUEST IS DENIED.
 
    ISSUED, WASHINGTON, D.C., MAY 23, 1980
 
                       RONALD W. HAUGHTON, CHAIRMAN
 
                       HENRY B. FRAZIER III, MEMBER
 
                        LEON B. APPLEWHAITE, MEMBER
 
                     FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY