Department of the Navy, Navy Regional Data Automation Center, Jacksonville, Florida (Activity/Petitioner) and American Federation of Government Employees, Local 696, AFL-CIO (Labor Organization); Department of the Navy, Regional Accounting and Disbursing Center, Jacksonville, Florida (Activity/Petitioner) and American Federation of Government Employees, Local 696, AFL-CIO (Labor Organization) 



[ v04 p107 ]
04:0107(18)CU
The decision of the Authority follows:


 4 FLRA No. 18
 
 DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY
 NAVY REGIONAL DATA
 AUTOMATION CENTER,
 JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA
 Activity/Petitioner
                                            Case No. 4-CU-18
 
 and
 
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
 EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, LOCAL 696
 Labor Organization
 
 
 DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY,
 REGIONAL ACCOUNTING AND
 DISBURSING CENTER,
 JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA
 Activity/Petitioner
                                            Case No. 4-CU-19
 
 and
 
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
 EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, LOCAL 696
 Labor Organization
 
 
                    DECISION AND ORDER CLARIFYING UNIT
 
    UPON PETITIONS /1/ DULY FILED WITH THE FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS
 AUTHORITY UNDER SECTION 7111(B)(2) 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 THE BRIEFS OF THE
 PARTIES, THE AUTHORITY FINDS:
 
    THE AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 696, HEREIN
 CALLED AFGE, WAS MOST RECENTLY CERTIFIED, ON FEBRUARY 1, 1977, IN A
 CONSOLIDATED UNIT OF ALL GRADED, APPROPRIATED FUND EMPLOYEES EMPLOYED BY
 THE NAVAL AIR STATION, FLORIDA, EXCLUDING PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYEES,
 MANAGEMENT OFFICIALS, EMPLOYEES ENGAGED IN FEDERAL PERSONNEL WORK IN
 OTHER THAN A PURELY CLERICAL CAPACITY AND SUPERVISORS AS DEFINED IN
 EXECUTIVE ORDER 11491, AS AMENDED.  AT THE TIME OF CERTIFICATION, THERE
 WERE APPROXIMATELY 600 EMPLOYEES IN THE BARGAINING UNIT.  A COLLECTIVE
 BARGAINING AGREEMENT WAS IN EFFECT BETWEEN THE NAVAL AIR STATION, HEREIN
 CALLED NAS, AND AFGE FOR THE ABOVE DESCRIBED UNIT FROM DECEMBER 9, 1977,
 TO DECEMBER 8, 1979.  ATTEMPTS WERE BEING MADE TO NEGOTIATE A NEW
 CONTRACT AT THE TIME OF THE HEARING.  PENDING THE OUTCOME OF THE
 REPRESENTATION ISSUE, THE PARTIES HAVE AGREED TO CONTINUE TO APPLY THE
 TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE NAS AGREEMENT TO THE EMPLOYEES IN ISSUE.
 
    CASE NO. 4-CU-18
 
    PRIOR TO THE REORGANIZATION WHICH RESULTED IN THE INSTANT PETITION,
 INCLUDED IN THE NAS UNIT WAS A DATA PROCESSING DEPARTMENT, WHICH
 SERVICED ALL OF NAS AS WELL AS ITS SATELLITE STATION AT CECIL FIELD.  ON
 JULY 1, 1978, THE NAVY REGIONAL DATA AUTOMATION CENTER, JACKSONVILLE,
 FLORIDA, HEREIN CALLED NARDAC OR PETITIONER, WAS CREATED TO PROVIDE
 REGIONAL DATA PROCESSING SERVICES TO NAVY ACTIVITIES.  ALL OF THE
 APPROXIMATELY 110 EMPLOYEES OF THE NAS DATA PROCESSING DEPARTMENT WERE
 TRANSFERRED-IN-PLACE TO THE NARDAC.
 
    THE PETITIONER CONTENDS THAT NARDAC SHOULD BE EXCLUDED FROM THE NAS
 BARGAINING UNIT BECAUSE THE ESTABLISHMENT OF NARDAC AS A SEPARATE,
 INDEPENDENT COMMAND AND THE TRANSFER OF THE DATA PROCESSING PEOPLE TO
 NARDAC EFFECTIVELY DESTROYED ANY COMMUNITY OF INTEREST WHICH PREVIOUSLY
 EXISTED BETWEEN THESE EMPLOYEES AND NAS.  PETITIONER FURTHER CLAIMS THAT
 THE CONTINUED INCLUSION IN THE NAS UNIT WOULD NOT PROMOTE EFFECTIVE
 DEALINGS OR EFFICIENCY OF AGENCY OPERATIONS, AND WOULD HINDER AN
 EFFECTIVE LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS PROGRAM.
 
    AFGE MAINTAINS THAT, DESPITE THE REORGANIZATION, LABOR-MANAGEMENT
 RELATIONS HAVE CONTINUED AS BEFORE, WORKING CONDITIONS HAVE REMAINED THE
 SAME, AND THE PHYSICAL LOCATION OF THE EMPLOYEES HAS NOT CHANGED.  THUS,
 IT BELIEVES THE NAS UNIT SHOULD CONTINUE TO INCLUDE THE NARDAC
 EMPLOYEES.
 
    THE RECORD REFLECTS THAT WITH THE CREATION OF NARDAC, THE ENTIRE DATA
 PROCESSING FUNCTION WAS ELEVATED IN THE NAVY HIERARCHY IN ORDER TO GIVE
 THE FUNCTION MORE PRIORITY.  THE CENTRAL OFFICE-- NAVAL DATA AUTOMATION
 CENTER, HEREIN CALLED NAVDAC,-- LOCATED IN WASHINGTON, D.C. REPORTS
 DIRECTLY TO THE CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS.  NARDAC, JACKSONVILLE IS ONE
 OF 16 REGIONAL OFFICES CREATED BY THE REORGANIZATION WHICH REPORTS TO
 NAVDAC.
 
    NARDAC NOW, AS A REGIONAL COMMAND, SERVICES A MUCH LARGER AREA, FROM
 KEY WEST, FLORIDA TO CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA.  AS A RESULT OF THE
 EXPANDED RESPONSIBILITY, MORE TECHNICAL COMPUTER EQUIPMENT WAS OBTAINED
 WHICH HAD MANY MORE SOPHISTICATED CAPABILITIES.  TO FULLY UTILIZE THE
 NEW EQUIPMENT, EXTENSIVE TRAINING OF THE EXISTING STAFF HAS BEEN OR IS
 BEING ACCOMPLISHED.  APPROXIMATELY 50% OF THE STAFF HAVE, THROUGH THE
 TRAINING PROVIDED, INCREASED THEIR TECHNICAL SKILL LEVELS SINCE THEIR
 TRANSFER TO NARDAC.  SEVERAL NEW FUNCTIONS HAVE BEEN ADDED TO NARDAC
 WHICH DID NOT EXIST WHEN THE DATA PROCESSING DEPARTMENT EXISTED IN NAS:
 IT FORMED ITS OWN MANAGEMENT SERVICES DEPARTMENT WHICH HANDLES NARDAC'S
 BUDGET, ACCOUNTING, CONTRACT MONITORING AND PERSONNEL LIAISON;  IT NOW
 PERFORMS DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT WORK (PROGRAM SYSTEMS) WHEREAS
 PREVIOUSLY THE DEPARTMENT PERFORMED ONLY PROGRAM MAINTENANCE WORK;  ITS
 TECHNICAL SUPPORT DEPARTMENT HAS BEEN EXPANDED SO THAT IT NOW HAS THE
 LEAD ASSIGNMENT FOR SOFTWARE DESIGN FOR THE WHOLE NAVDAC COMMUNITY.
 
    NAS PROVIDES NARDAC, THROUGH AN EXTENSIVE SUPPORT AGREEMENT, ALL
 PERSONNEL SERVICES, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF POSITION CLASSIFICATION WHICH
 IS BEING CENTRALIZED IN THE NAVDAC HEADQUARTERS.  THE POSITION
 DESCRIPTIONS FOR ALL NARDAC EMPLOYEES ARE BEING REWRITTEN TO ENSURE
 CONSISTENCY THROUGHOUT NAVDAC. ALL HIRING, PROMOTING AND OTHER PERSONNEL
 AUTHORITY IS RETAINED BY THE NARDAC COMMANDING OFFICER, WITH SERVICING
 SUPPORT FROM NAS.  THE BUDGET IS CONTROLLED BY NARDAC.  ANY COSTS
 INCURRED BY NAS AS A RESULT OF THE SERVICING AGREEMENT, WITH CERTAIN
 EXCEPTIONS, ARE REIMBURSABLE BY NARDAC.  THE NARDAC CONSTITUTES A SINGLE
 COMPETITIVE LEVEL FOR REDUCTION-IN-FORCE PURPOSES.  ALL VACANCY NOTICES
 ARE NOW POSTED NAS-WIDE HOWEVER, THE NARDAC COMMAND OFFICER BELIEVES
 SUCH AN AREA OF CONSIDERATION IS TOO LIMITED.  THE POSITIONS ARE HIGHLY
 SPECIALIZED AND THE EMPLOYEES HAVE LITTLE OR NO INTERCHANGE WITH OTHER
 NAS EMPLOYEES.  THEY ARE LOCATED IN A PHYSICALLY SECURE AREA, APART FROM
 THE REST OF THE WORK FORCE.  THEY DO SHARE THE SAME BUILDINGS WITH OTHER
 NAS EMPLOYEES AND THEY SHARE ALL FACILITIES.  NARDAC IS ON A FLEXI-TIME
 PROGRAM, WHICH WAS ESTABLISHED BY THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF NARDAC
 WHEREAS NAS IS ON A STRAIGHT EIGHT-HOUR SYSTEM.
 
    THE NARDAC EMPLOYEES ARE, FOR THE MOST PART, ENGAGED IN THE SAME KIND
 OF WORK AS WHEN THEY WERE IN NAS, ALTHOUGH THE WORK HAS BECOME MORE
 SPECIALIZED.  THE HIGHEST GRADE FOR THE DATA PROCESSING PEOPLE IN NAS
 WAS A GS-13 BUT IN NARDAC THERE ARE POSSIBILITIES TO A GS-15 LEVEL.
 ADDITIONAL SUPERVISORY LEVELS HAVE ALSO BEEN ADDED AS A RESULT OF THE
 INCREASED FUNCTIONS OF NARDAC.  SINCE BEING TRANSFERRED TO NARDAC THE
 STAFF HAS INCREASED FROM 110 EMPLOYEES TO 138 EMPLOYEES.
 
    UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES OUTLINED ABOVE, THE AUTHORITY FINDS THAT THE
 EMPLOYEES OF NARDAC, AFTER THE REORGANIZATION INVOLVED HEREIN, NO LONGER
 SHARE A COMMUNITY OF INTEREST WITH THE OTHER NAS EMPLOYEES IN THE
 EXISTING UNIT REPRESENTED BY AFGE.  IN THIS REGARD, NOTED PARTICULARLY
 IS THE FACT THAT THE NARDAC EMPLOYEES ARE NOW PART OF A NEW EXPANDED
 ORGANIZATIONAL COMMAND WITH A SEPARATE AND DISTINCT MISSION;  THEY ARE
 UNDER SEPARATE SUPERVISION AND AUTHORITY;  THEY HAVE LITTLE OR NO
 INTERCHANGE WITH OTHER NAS EMPLOYEES;  AND ALTHOUGH THE NAS PROVIDES
 PERSONNEL SUPPORT TO NARDAC THROUGH AN EXTENSIVE SUPPORT AGREEMENT, THE
 PERSONNEL POLICIES AND PRACTICES AND WORKING CONDITIONS ARE CONTROLLED
 BY THE COMMAND OFFICER OF NARDAC.  BASED ON THE FOREGOING, THE AUTHORITY
 FINDS THAT THE NARDAC EMPLOYEES CONSTITUTE A FUNCTIONALLY DISTINCT GROUP
 OF EMPLOYEES WHO SHARE A COMMUNITY OF INTEREST SEPARATE AND DISTINCT
 FROM THE EMPLOYEES IN THE EXISTING UNIT AND THAT THEIR CONTINUED
 INCLUSION IN THE EXISTING UNIT WOULD NOT PROMOTE EFFECTIVE DEALINGS OR
 EFFICIENCY OF AGENCY OPERATIONS.  ACCORDINGLY, THE AUTHORITY SHALL ORDER
 THAT THE CERTIFICATION FOR THE NAS BARGAINING UNIT BE CLARIFIED TO
 EXCLUDE THE NARDAC EMPLOYEES.
 
    CASE NO. 4-CU-19
 
    THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, AS EARLY AS 1977, BEGAN RESTRUCTURING AND
 CONSOLIDATING THE FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING FUNCTIONS THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY
 IN ORDER TO CENTRALIZE FINANCIAL FUNCTIONS AND RESOURCES FOR MAXIMUM
 EFFECTIVENESS.  JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA WAS DETERMINED TO BE, ULTIMATELY,
 ONE OF THE REGIONAL OFFICES.  IN LINE WITH THIS DIRECTION, AROUND
 DECEMBER 1977, THE FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IN NAS WAS RENAMED THE
 FINANCIAL INFORMATION PROCESSING DEPARTMENT.  TO IMPLEMENT THIS AIM AT
 CONSOLIDATION, FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING FUNCTIONS BEING HANDLED AT
 INDIVIDUAL ACTIVITIES BEGAN TO BE AND CONTINUE TO BE TRANSFERRED TO THE
 REGIONAL FINANCIAL INFORMATION PROCESSING DEPARTMENTS (FIPD).  PRIOR TO
 JANUARY 1979, THE NAS FIPD HAD ACQUIRED THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE CECIL
 FIELD ACCOUNTING FUNCTION, THE BOND AND PAYROLL DISTRIBUTION AND
 ACCOUNTING FUNCTION PREVIOUSLY PERFORMED BY THE NAVY FINANCE OFFICE, AS
 WELL AS A BILL-PAYING FUNCTION.  IN ADDITION, TO SUPPORT THESE NEW
 RESPONSIBILITIES, MORE SOPHISTICATED COMPUTER EQUIPMENT WAS PROCURED.
 
    ON JANUARY 29, 1979, THE REGIONAL ACCOUNTING AND DISBURSING CENTER,
 HEREIN CALLED RAADC OR PETITIONER, WAS ESTABLISHED AS A SEPARATE COMMAND
 TO HANDLE ALL OF THE FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING FUNCTIONS FOR ASSIGNED NAVY
 ACTIVITIES IN FLORIDA.  ALL THOSE APPROXIMATELY 68 EMPLOYEES IN THE FIPD
 OF NAS WERE MASS-TRANSFERRED IN PLACE TO RAADC.  IN OCTOBER 1979, RAADC
 ASSUMED THE ACCOUNTING FUNCTIONS OF KEY WEST.  OTHER TRANSFERS OF
 FUNCTION ARE APPARENTLY PENDING FROM OTHER LOCATIONS BUT HAVE NOT YET
 BEEN ACCOMPLISHED.
 
    THE PETITIONER, AS IN CASE NO. 4-CU-18, CONTENDS THAT RAADC SHOULD BE
 EXCLUDED FROM THE NAS BARGAINING UNIT BECAUSE THE ESTABLISHMENT OF RAADC
 AS A SEPARATE, INDEPENDENT COMMAND, AND THE TRANSFER OF THE FIPD TO
 RAADC, EFFECTIVELY DESTROYED ANY COMMUNITY OF INTEREST WHICH PREVIOUSLY
 EXISTED BETWEEN THOSE EMPLOYEES AND NAS.  FURTHER, IT CLAIMS THAT
 CONTINUED INCLUSION IN THE NAS UNIT WOULD NOT PROMOTE EFFECTIVE DEALINGS
 OR EFFICIENCY OF AGENCY OPERATIONS, AND WOULD HINDER AN EFFECTIVE
 LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS PROGRAM.
 
    AFGE MAINTAINS, AS IN THE PREVIOUS CASE, THAT THE EMPLOYEES OF RAADC
 SHOULD CONTINUE TO REMAIN A PART OF THE NAS UNIT.
 
    THE RECORD ESTABLISHES THAT AS A REGIONAL COMMAND, RAADC IS
 RESPONSIBLE FOR PROVIDING INTEGRATED DISBURSING AND ACCOUNTING (IDA)
 SUPPORT FOR ASSIGNED NAVY ACTIVITIES IN FLORIDA AS PART OF THE IDA
 FINANCIAL INFORMATION PROCESSING SYSTEM;  PROVIDING TECHNICAL GUIDANCE
 TO ACCOUNTING MATTERS;  PLANNING, MANAGING AND DIRECTING THE ACCOUNTING
 PROGRAM IN SUPPORT OF THESE ACTIVITIES;  PERFORMING THE PAYMENT
 CERTIFICATION AND DISBURSING FUNCTIONS UNDER THE IDA PROGRAM;  AND
 COORDINATING AND MONITORING DEVELOPMENT AND DESIGN OF NEW FINANCIAL
 SYSTEMS APPLICATIONS.  THIS REORGANIZATION CONSOLIDATED OVER 200
 ACTIVITIES WHICH WERE HANDLING THEIR OWN FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING INTO 16
 REGIONAL OFFICES.  AS A SEPARATE AND NEW COMMAND, RAADC REPORTS DIRECTLY
 TO THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF, ATLANTIC FLEET (CINCLANTFLT), LOCATED IN
 NORFOLK, VIRGINIA WHO IN TURN REPORTS TO THE CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS.
 
    THE PERSONNEL SERVICES FOR RAADC ARE PROVIDED BY NAS, AS THEY ARE FOR
 NARDAC, BUT THE COMMANDING OFFICER RETAINS THE AUTHORITY FOR ALL
 PERSONNEL MATTERS (INCLUDING HIRING, PROMOTING, ETC.) AND WORKING
 CONDITIONS.  THE POSITION DESCRIPTIONS FOR RAADC EMPLOYEES ARE BEING OR
 ARE ABOUT TO BE REWRITTEN TO REFLECT THE CHANGED MISSION AND DUTIES OF
 THE EMPLOYEES.  RAADC CONSTITUTES A SINGLE COMPETITIVE LEVEL FOR
 REDUCTION-IN-FORCE PURPOSES.  THERE IS LITTLE INTERCHANGE BETWEEN THE
 RAADC EMPLOYEES AND THE REMAINING NAS EMPLOYEES, AND THE RAADC VACANCIES
 ARE MOSTLY FILLED FROM WITHIN RAADC, OR FROM OTHER COMMANDS, BUT VERY
 FEW ARE FILLED BY NAS EMPLOYEES.
 
    AS A RESULT OF THE REORGANIZATION, ADDITIONAL DEPARTMENTS WERE ADDED
 TO ACCOMPLISH THE ADDED RESPONSIBILITIES AND STAFF AND ADDITIONAL
 SUPERVISORY LEVELS WERE ADDED THERETO.  THE RAADC EMPLOYEES ARE, FOR THE
 MOST PART, ENGAGED IN THE SAME KIND OF WORK AS WHEN THEY WERE IN NAS,
 ALTHOUGH THE WORK HAS BECOME MORE SPECIALIZED.  THEY DO CONTINUE TO WORK
 IN THE SAME LOCATION AND USE THE SAME FACILITIES AS WHEN THEY WERE WITH
 NAS.  SINCE THE REORGANIZATION, LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS HAVE
 CONTINUED AS BEFORE.  WITHOUT ANY FORMAL AGREEMENTS, HOWEVER, THE
 COMMANDING OFFICER OF RAADC HAS ASSUMED THE FUNCTIONS OF THE HEAD OF THE
 UNIT FOR THE RAADC EMPLOYEES-- THOSE FUNCTIONS ASSIGNED BY THE CONTRACT
 TO THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF NAS.  THE UNION HAS HAD MONTHLY MEETINGS
 WITH THE HEAD OF RAADC AND WERE ABLE TO PROCESS GRIEVANCES UP TO AND
 INCLUDING ARBITRATION.  THROUGHOUT THIS PERIOD, NONE OF THESE ACTIONS
 WERE CLEARED OR COORDINATED WITH THE NAS COMMANDING OFFICER.
 
    BASED ON THE FOREGOING, THE AUTHORITY FINDS THAT FOR THE SAME REASONS
 NOTED UNDER CASE NO. 4-CU-18 FOR NARDAC, THE RAADC EMPLOYEES CONSTITUTE
 A FUNCTIONALLY DISTINCT GROUP OF EMPLOYEES WHO SHARE A COMMUNITY OF
 INTEREST SEPARATE AND DISTINCT FROM THE EMPLOYEES IN THE NAS UNIT AND
 THEIR CONTINUED INCLUSION IN THE EXISTING UNIT WOULD NOT PROMOTE
 EFFECTIVE DEALINGS OR EFFICIENCY OF AGENCY OPERATIONS.  ACCORDINGLY, THE
 AUTHORITY SHALL ORDER THAT THE CERTIFICATION FOR THE NAS UNIT BE
 CLARIFIED TO EXCLUDE THE RAADC EMPLOYEES
 
                                   ORDER
 
    IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT THE UNIT SOUGHT TO BE CLARIFIED, IN WHICH
 EXCLUSIVE RECOGNITION WAS GRANTED TO THE AMERICAN FEDERATION OF
 GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 696, ON FEB