Federal Aviation Administration, Southern Region, Balboa, Canal Zone, Airway Facilities Branch (Activity) and Professional Airways Systems Specialists National (Petitioner) and Federal Aviation Science and Technological Association (Intervenor); Federal Aviation Administration (Activity) and Federal Aviation Science and Technological Association (Petitioner) 



[ v03 p709 ]
03:0709(114)RO
The decision of the Authority follows:


 3 FLRA No. 114
 
 FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION,
 SOUTHERN REGION, BALBOA, CANAL ZONE,
 AIRWAY FACILITIES BRANCH /1/
 Activity
 
 and
 
 PROFESSIONAL AIRWAYS SYSTEMS
 SPECIALISTS NATIONAL
 Petitioner
 
 and
 
 FEDERAL AVIATION SCIENCE AND
 TECHNOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION
 Intervenor
                                            Case No. 2-RO-1 /2/
 
 
 FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION
 Activity
 
 and
 
 FEDERAL AVIATION SCIENCE AND
 TECHNOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION
 Petitioner
                                            Case No. 2-CU-1 /3/
 
                            DECISION AND ORDER
 
    UPON PETITIONS FILED WITH THE FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY UNDER
 SEC. 7111(B) OF THE FEDERAL SERVICE LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS STATUTE,
 5 U.S.C. 7101-7135, A CONSOLIDATED HEARING WAS HELD BEFORE A HEARING
 OFFICER OF THE AUTHORITY.  THE AUTHORITY HAS REVIEWED THE HEARING
 OFFICER'S RULINGS MADE AT THE HEARING AND FINDS THAT THEY ARE FREE FROM
 PREJUDICIAL ERROR.  THE RULINGS ARE HEREBY AFFIRMED.
 
    UPON THE ENTIRE RECORD IN THIS CASE, INCLUDING BRIEFS FILED BY THE
 ACTIVITY (FAA) AND FEDERAL AVIATION SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGICAL
 ASSOCIATION (FASTA) THE AUTHORITY FINDS:
 
    THE LABOR ORGANIZATIONS INVOLVED CLAIM TO REPRESENT CERTAIN EMPLOYEES
 OF THE ACTIVITY.  IN ITS PETITION IN CASE NO. 2-RO-1, THE PROFESSIONAL
 AIRWAYS SYSTEMS SPECIALISTS NATIONAL (PASS) SEEKS AN ELECTION IN A UNIT
 CONSISTING OF ALL AMERICAN CITIZENS WHO ARE NON-PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYEES
 OF THE CANAL ZONE AIRWAY FACILITIES SECTOR, EXCLUDING ALL PROFESSIONAL
 EMPLOYEES, EMPLOYEES ENGAGED IN FEDERAL PERSONNEL WORK IN OTHER THAN A
 PURELY CLERICAL CAPACITY, MANAGEMENT OFFICIALS, LOCAL HIRES,
 CONFIDENTIAL EMPLOYEES AND SUPERVISORS.
 
    FASTA SOUGHT, AND WAS GRANTED, INTERVENTION ON THE PETITION FILED BY
 PASS.  FASTA ALSO FILED A CLARIFICATION OF UNIT (CU) PETITION IN CASE
 NO. 2-CU-1 SEEKING TO CLARIFY THE STATUS OF THE SAME EMPLOYEES WITH
 RESPECT TO A NATIONWIDE UNIT FOR WHICH FASTA HOLDS EXCLUSIVE
 RECOGNITION.  THE FASTA UNIT IS DESCRIBED AS FOLLOWS:
 
    INCLUDED:  ALL EMPLOYEES OF THE AIRWAY FACILITY DIVISION LOCATED IN
 THE REGIONS OF THE
 
    FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION.
 
    EXCLUDED:  PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYEES, EMPLOYEES ENGAGED IN FEDERAL
 PERSONNEL WORK IN OTHER
 
    THAN A PURELY CLERICAL CAPACITY, MANAGEMENT OFFICIALS, GUARDS,
 SUPERVISORS AS DEFINED IN
 
    EXECUTIVE ORDER 11491, AS AMENDED, AIRWAY FACILITY EMPLOYEES ASSIGNED
 TO THE WASHINGTON
 
    HEADQUARTERS, THE NATIONAL AERONAUTICAL FACILITIES EXPERIMENTAL
 CENTER, ATLANTIC CITY, NEW
 
    JERSEY, THE AERONAUTICAL CENTER, OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA, AND THE
 AIRWAYS FACILITIES DIVISION
 
    EMPLOYEES REPRESENTED EXCLUSIVELY AT THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS:  THE
 ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA AIRWAY
 
    FACILITIES SECTOR, THE MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA AIRWAY FACILITIES
 SECTOR, CHICAGO O'HARE AIRWAY
 
    FACILITIES SECTOR, THE LONGMONT, COLORADO AIRWAY FACILITIES SECTOR,
 THE TAMPA, FLORIDA AIRWAY
 
    FACILITIES SECTOR, THE OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA AIRWAY FACILITIES, THE
 MCCLELLAN AIR FORCE BASE
 
    AIRWAY FACILITIES SECTOR, THE ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO MAINTENANCE
 ENGINEERING FIELD OFFICE,
 
    THE OKLAHOMA FIELD MAINTENANCE PARTY, THE EASTERN REGION
 HEADQUARTERS, THE PACIFIC-ASIAN
 
    REGION, THE TULSA, OKLAHOMA AIRWAY FACILITIES SECTOR, THE DENVER,
 COLORADO AIRWAY FACILITIES
 
    SECTOR;  THE ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO AIRWAY FACILITIES SECTOR, THE
 ATLANTA, GEORGIA AIRWAY
 
    FACILITIES SECTOR 18200, ATLANTA MUNICIPAL AIRPORT AND THE ALASKAN
 REGION.
 
    CITING FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION (FAA) AND FEDERAL AVIATION
 ADMINISTRATION, EASTERN REGION, 5 A/SLMR 776, A/SLMR NO. 600 (1975), THE
 FAA TAKES THE POSITION THAT THE EMPLOYEES INVOLVED IN THE PETITIONS ARE
 PART OF THE NATIONWIDE UNIT REPRESENTED BY FASTA INASMUCH AS THAT UNIT
 WAS ESTABLISHED AS A RESIDUAL UNIT OF ALL UNREPRESENTED AIRWAY
 FACILITIES DIVISION EMPLOYEES IN THE REGIONS OF FAA.  THUS, FAA ARGUES
 THAT THERE COULD BE NO REMAINING UNREPRESENTED NON-PROFESSIONAL AIRWAY
 FACILITIES EMPLOYEES IN ITS REGIONS FOLLOWING ESTABLISHMENT OF THE
 NATIONWIDE RESIDUAL UNIT.  FAA MAINTAINS THAT THE UNIT PETITIONED FOR BY
 PASS IS INAPPROPRIATE IN THAT THE EMPLOYEES OF THE BALBOA, CANAL ZONE,
 AIRWAY FACILITIES BRANCH DO NOT POSSESS A COMMUNITY OF INTEREST WHICH IS
 SEPARATE AND DISTINCT FROM THAT OF EMPLOYEES IN THE EXISTING FASTA UNIT.
  MOREOVER, FAA ARGUES THAT THE UNIT PROPOSED BY PASS WOULD NOT PROMOTE
 EFFECTIVE DEALINGS OR EFFICIENCY OF AGENCY OPERATIONS.
 
    FASTA MAKES, ESSENTIALLY, THE SAME ARGUMENT AS FAA AND MOVES THAT THE
 PETITION FILED BY PASS BE DISMISSED.
 
    PASS'S POSITION, AS STATED AT THE HEARING, IS THAT THE EMPLOYEES IN
 THE UNIT FOR WHICH IT PETITIONS SHARE A COMMUNITY OF INTEREST AND THAT
 UNITS OF SIMILAR SCOPE AS THAT PETITIONED FOR EXIST WITHIN THE AIRWAY
 FACILITIES DIVISION OF FAA.
 
    PURSUANT TO SEC. 3(C) OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 11491, AS AMENDED, /4/ THE
 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION DETERMINED THAT THE ORDER WOULD NOT APPLY
 TO EMPLOYEES ASSIGNED TO DEPARTMENTAL ACTIVITIES IN THE PANAMA CANAL
 ZONE.  AS A RESULT OF THIS EXCLUSION THE EMPLOYEES AT ISSUE WERE NOT
 INCLUDED FASTA'S NATIONWIDE UNIT, OR ANY OTHER UNIT OF EXCLUSIVE
 RECOGNITION.  THERE IS NO PROVISION COMPARABLE TO SEC. 3(C) IN THE
 FEDERAL SERVICE LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS STATUTE (STATUTE).
 
    THE AIRWAY FACILITIES BRANCH LOCATED IN BALBOA, CANAL ZONE, IS
 COMPOSED OF THE FOLLOWING:  THE ENVIRONMENTAL SUPPORT UNIT, LOGISTICS
 STAFF, TECHNICAL STAFF, DEVELOPMENTAL RELIEF STAFF, COMMUNICATIONS
 NAVAIDS UNIT, AND RADAR UNIT. THE BRANCH ALONG WITH TWO OTHER
 ORGANIZATIONAL ELEMENTS (CENTER/RADAR APPROACH CONTROL AND INTERNATIONAL
 FLIGHT SERVICE STATION) CONSTITUTE THE BALBOA AREA OFFICE.  THE BALBOA
 AREA OFFICE IS PART OF THE SOUTHERN REGION OF FAA.  THE AIRWAY
 FACILITIES BRANCH IS HEADED BY A BRANCH CHIEF WHO REPORTS TO THE AREA
 MANAGER, BALBOA AREA OFFICE, WHO, IN TURN, REPORTS TO THE REGIONAL
 DIRECTOR OF THE SOUTHERN REGION. BASED ON EVIDENCE SUBMITTED, IT APPEARS
 THAT THE ORGANIZATION OF THE BALBOA AIRWAY FACILITIES BRANCH IS SIMILAR
 TO THAT OF THE AIRWAY FACILITIES SECTORS THROUGHOUT THE SOUTHERN REGION.
 
    THE MISSION AND FUNCTION OF THE BRANCH ARE, PRIMARILY, MAINTENANCE OF
 EQUIPMENT AND FACILITIES AND ASSURANCE THAT OPERATIONS ARE IN ACCORDANCE
 WITH ESTABLISHED STANDARDS. THE RECORD REVEALS THAT THERE ARE
 APPROXIMATELY 49 EMPLOYEES ASSIGNED TO THE AIRWAY FACILITIES BRANCH.
 THE MAJORITY ARE ELECTRONIC TECHNICIANS AND THE REST ARE, PRINCIPALLY,
 CLERICAL SUPPORT STAFF AND MECHANICS.  THE PRIMARY DUTIES OF ELECTRONIC
 TECHNICIANS ARE THE PERFORMANCE OF CORRECTIVE AND PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE
 ON EQUIPMENT AND ASSURANCE THAT EQUIPMENT IS OPERATING ACCORDING TO
 STANDARDS.  THE RECORD REVEALS THAT THEIR DUTIES ARE THE SAME AS THOSE
 OF OTHER ELECTRONIC TECHNICIANS THROUGHOUT THE AIRWAY FACILITIES
 DIVISION OF THE FAA AND THAT THEY UTILIZE THE SAME HANDBOOKS AND ATTEND
 THE SAME TRAINING CENTER (THE AERONAUTICAL CENTER LOCATED IN OKLAHOMA
 CITY, OKLAHOMA).  ACCORDING TO THE UNREFUTED TESTIMONY MOST OF THE
 BRANCH EMPLOYEES COME FROM THE SOUTHERN REGION.  UPON SELECTION FOR A
 POSITION IN THE BALBOA BRANCH, AN EMPLOYEE MUST SIGN AN AGREEMENT
 CONSENTING TO FULFILL A TWO YEAR CONTRACT WITH FAA IN BALBOA.  UPON
 EXPIRATION OF THE TWO YEARS, THE EMPLOYEE MAY OPT TO REMAIN IN BALBOA OR
 RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES.  IF THE EMPLOYEE CHOOSES THE LATTER, THE
 RECEIVING REGION MUST RELOCATE HIM/HER.  THE PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT
 DIVISION OF THE SOUTHERN REGION IS RESPONSIBLE FOR PROVIDING SERVICES IN
 THE AREAS OF PERSONNEL, TRAINING, LABOR RELATIONS AND OCCUPATIONAL
 SAFETY TO THE BALBOA BRANCH.
 
    ACCORDING TO UNDISPUTED TESTIMONY, THE VAST MAJORITY (ESTIMATED AT
 80% TO 90%) OF THE ELIGIBLE AIRWAY FACILITIES EMPLOYEES ARE IN THE
 NATIONWIDE FASTA UNIT.  THE REMAINDER ARE IN UNITS WHICH ARE VARIED IN
 SCOPE - SOME ARE REGION-WIDE, SOME ARE SECTOR-WIDE AND SOME CONSIST OF
 ORGANIZATIONAL ELEMENTS SMALLER THAN SECTORS.
 
    THE RECORD ALSO REVEALED THAT IN 1979 FAA EMBARKED ON A PROGRAM TO
 PHASE OUT ITS OPERATIONS IN PANAMA OVER A FIVE YEAR PERIOD.  THUS BY
 OCTOBER 1984 THE FAA WILL HAVE "TRANSITIONED OUT" OF BALBOA.  IN THE
 INTERIM, THE FAA IS TRAINING PANAMANIANS TO TAKE OVER THE FACILITIES
 THERE.  THUS, DURING THE TRANSITION PERIOD THE CHARACTER OF THE STAFF
 WILL CHANGE AS PANAMANIANS ARE TRAINED AND CERTIFIED TO TAKE OVER THE
 FUNCTIONS AND ARE USED TO SUPPLEMENT THE WORKFORCE.  THOSE EMPLOYEES
 WHO
 ARE RELIEVED BY PANAMANIANS WILL APPARENTLY BE RETURNING TO AIRWAY
 FACILITIES DIVISION ACTIVITIES WHICH ARE COVERED BY EXISTING
 RECOGNITIONS.
 
    BASED ON THE FACT THAT THE EMPLOYEES OF THE BALBOA AIRWAY FACILITIES
 BRANCH SHARE A COMMON MISSION, FUNCTION, JOB CLASSIFICATIONS AND DUTIES
 WITH OTHER EMPLOYEES OF THE AIRWAY FACILITIES DIVISION, THE BULK OF WHOM
 ARE IN THE NATIONWIDE FASTA UNIT, THE AUTHORITY CONCLUDES THAT A
 COMMUNITY OF INTEREST EXISTS BETWEEN THE EMPLOYEES OF THE BALBOA BRANCH
 AND THOSE OF THE NATIONWIDE FASTA UNIT.  FURTHER, NOTING ESPECIALLY THE
 TRANSITIONAL NATURE OF THAT BRANCH, THE AUTHORITY CONCLUDES THAT THEIR
 INCLUSION IN THE NATIONWIDE UNIT WILL REDUCE FRAGMENTATION AND PROMOTE
 EFFECTIVE DEALINGS AND EFFICIENCY OF AGENCY OPERATIONS.  THUS, UNDER THE
 PARTICULAR CIRCUMSTANCES INVOLVED, AND NOTING THAT THERE IS NO
 PRE-EXISTING UNIT ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO A UNIT DETERMINATION MADE BY
 THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF LABOR FOR LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS, THE
 AUTHORITY FINDS THAT THOSE EMPLOYEES OF THE BALBOA AIRWAY FACILITIES
 BRANCH, WHO WERE PREVIOUSLY EXCLUDED FROM COVERAGE UNDER E.O. 11491, AS
 AMENDED. BECAUSE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION'S DETERMINATION
 MADE PURSUANT TO SEC. 3(C) OF E.O. 11491, AS AMENDED, ARE APPROPRIATELY
 A PART OF, AND SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN, THE NATIONWIDE UNIT REPRESENTED BY
 FASTA.  IN VIEW OF THIS AND THE FACT THAT AN AGREEMENT COVERING THAT
 UNIT BECAME EFFECTIVE ON DECEMBER 1, 1977, FOR A PERIOD OF TWO YEARS,
 THE PETITION FILED BY PASS IN CASE NO. 2-RO-1 IS UNTIMELY AND SHALL BE
 DISMISSED.
 
    AT THE HEARING THE REPRESENTATIVE OF PASS REQUESTED THAT THE
 AUTHORITY TAKE NOTICE OF, AS IF THE FILES WERE INCORPORATED INTO THE
 RECORD, THE PROCEEDINGS IN TEN OTHER REPRESENTATION CASES APPARENTLY
 RELATING TO SEVERAL UNITS FOR WHICH PASS HOLDS EXCLUSIVE RECOGNITION IN
 THE AIRWAY FACILITIES DIVISION. THE HEARING OFFICER DID NOT RULE ON THE
 REQUEST.  IN ITS BRIEF, FASTA OBJECTED TO THE MOTION.  THE MOTION IS
 HEREBY DENIED.  THE RECORD BEFORE THE AUTHORITY IS SUFFICIENT UPON WHICH
 TO BASE OUR DECISION HEREIN.
 
                                   ORDER
 
    IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT THE PETITION IN CASE NO. 2-RO-1 BE, AND IT
 HEREBY IS, DISMISSED.
 
    IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT THE CONSOLIDATED UNIT FOR WHICH THE FEDERAL
 AVIATION SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION WAS CERTIFIED ON APRIL
 27, 1977,BE, AND IT HEREBY IS, CLARIFIED BY INCLUDING THE EMPLOYEES OF
 THE AIRWAY FACILITIES BRANCH, BALBOA AREA OFFICE, SOUTHERN REGION,
 FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION.
 
    ISSUED, WASHINGTON, D.C., JULY 23, 1980.
 
                       RONALD W. HAUGHTON, CHAIRMAN
 
                       HENRY B. FRAZIER III, MEMBER
 
                        LEON B. APPLEWHAITE, MEMBER
 
                     FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
 
                          CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
 
    COPIES OF THE DECISION ON REQUEST FOR REVIEW OF THE FEDERAL LABOR
 RELATIONS AUTHORITY IN THE SUBJECT PROCEEDING HAVE THIS DAY BEEN SENT TO
 THE PARTIES BELOW:
 
    MR. WILLIAM B. PEER
 
    COUNSEL, PASS
 
    BARR AND PEER, SUITE 701
 
    1899 L STREET, N.W.
 
    WASHINGTON, D.C.  20036
 
    MR. HOWARD JOHANNSSEN
 
    PRESIDENT, PASS
 
    444 N. CAPITOL STREET
 
    SUITE 820
 
    WASHINGTON, D.C.  20001
 
    MR. STANLEY Q. LYMAN
 
    EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT
 
    FASTA/NAGE
 
    2139 WISCONSIN AVENUE, N.W.
 
    WASHINGTON, D.C. 20007
 
    MR. EDWARD J. GILDEA
 
    ASSISTANT GENERAL COUNCIL
 
    FASTA/