Decision on Request for General Statement of Policy or Guidance

 



[ v03 p361 ]
03:0361(56)PS
The decision of the Authority follows:


 3 FLRA No.56
 
                                            Case No. 0-PS-17
 
          DECISION ON REQUEST FOR GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY OR
                                 GUIDANCE
 
    THE AUTHORITY RECEIVED A REQUEST FROM THE NATIONAL TREASURY EMPLOYEES
 UNION (NTEU) THAT THE AUTHORITY ISSUE A MAJOR POLICY DETERMINATION
 CONCERNING THE QUESTION OF WHETHER AN AGENCY IS REQUIRED TO MAINTAIN THE
 STATUS QUO WHEN THE EXCLUSIVE REPRESENTATIVE APPEALS THE AGENCY'S
 DETERMINATION THAT A PROPOSAL IS NONNEGOTIABLE PURSUANT TO SECTION 7117
 OF THE FEDERAL SERVICE LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS STATUTE.  /1/
 
    THE SPECIFIC MATTER AT ISSUE, SUBSTANTIALLY AS STATED BY NTEU, IS AS
 FOLLOWS:
 
    WHETHER THE PROVISIONS OF THE STATUTE REQUIRE AN AGENCY ENGAGED IN
 NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE
 
    EXCLUSIVE REPRESENTATIVE TO MAINTAIN THE STATUS QUO WHEN THE
 EXCLUSIVE REPRESENTATIVE PURSUANT
 
    TO SECTION 7117 OF THE STATUTE APPEALS TO THE AUTHORITY THE AGENCY'S
 DETERMINATION THAT A
 
    PROPOSAL OF THE EXCLUSIVE REPRESENTATIVE IS NONNEGOTIABLE.
 
    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 2427.5
 OF THE AUTHORITY'S RULES AND REGULATIONS, 45 F.R. 3516, WHICH PROVIDES
 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 QUESTION PRESENTED IN THIS REQUEST FOR A MAJOR POLICY
 DETERMINATION CAN BE MORE APPROPRIATELY RESOLVED BY OTHER MEANS.  AS
 NTEU ITSELF POINTS OUT IN ITS REQUEST, PROCEDURES ARE PROVIDED IN THE
 STATUTE AND APPROPRIATE REGULATIONS FOR THE RESOLUTION OF UNFAIR LABOR
 PRACTICES, SUCH AS A REFUSAL TO NEGOTIATE IN GOOD FAITH.  MOREOVER,
 WHERE AN AGENCY ENGAGED IN NEGOTIATIONS ALLEGED TAKES UNILATERAL ACTION
 TO ALTER THE STATUS QUO AND THEREBY FAILS TO MEET ITS OBLIGATION TO
 BARGAIN IN GOOD FAITH, THE UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICE PROCEDURES PROVIDE AN
 APPROPRIATE MECHANISM TO RESOLVE ISSUES OF FACT AND LAW RELATING
 THERETO.
 
    AUTHORITY ACTION ON THIS REQUEST ALSO IS NOT WARRANTED SINCE IT WOULD
 NOT PREVENT THE PROLIFERATION OF CASES INVOLVING THE SAME OR SIMILAR
 QUESTION.  IN THE REQUEST, IT IS INDICATED THAT THE QUESTION PRESENTED
 IS CURRENTLY FACING MANY OTHER PARTIES.  HOWEVER, GIVEN THE VARIETY OF
 DISPUTED CIRCUMST