Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Western Region, Department of the Treasury, San Francisco, California (Respondent) and National Treasury Employees Union, Chapter 81 (Charging Party)



[ v04 p288 ]
04:0288(40)CA
The decision of the Authority follows:


 4 FLRA No. 40
 
 BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO AND
 FIREARMS, WESTERN REGION
 DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY,
 SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
 Respondent
 
 and
 
 NATIONAL TREASURY EMPLOYEES UNION,
 CHAPTER 81
 Charging Party
 
                                            Case No. 9-CA-93
 
                            DECISION AND ORDER
 
    THE ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE IN THE ABOVE-ENTITLED PROCEEDING ISSUED
 HIS RECOMMENDED DECISION AND ORDER FINDING THAT RESPONDENT HAD ENGAGED
 IN THE UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICE ALLEGED IN THE COMPLAINT, AND RECOMMENDING
 THAT IT CEASE AND DESIST THEREFROM AND TAKE CERTAIN AFFIRMATIVE ACTIONS
 AS SET FORTH IN THE ATTACHED ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE'S RECOMMENDED
 DECISION AND ORDER.  THEREAFTER, THE RESPONDENT FILED EXCEPTIONS TO THE
 ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE'S RECOMMENDED DECISION AND ORDER.
 
    PURSUANT TO SECTION 2423.29 OF THE AUTHORITY'S RULES AND REGULATIONS
 (5 CFR 2423.29) AND SECTION 7118 OF THE FEDERAL SERVICE LABOR-MANAGEMENT
 RELATIONS STATUTE (5 U.S.C. 7101-7135), THE AUTHORITY HAS REVIEWED THE
 RULINGS OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE MADE AT THE HEARING AND FINDS
 THAT NO PREJUDICIAL ERROR WAS COMMITTED.  THE RULINGS ARE HEREBY
 AFFIRMED.  UPON CONSIDERATION OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE'S
 RECOMMENDED DECISION AND ORDER, AND THE ENTIRE RECORD IN THE SUBJECT
 CASE, INCLUDIN8 THE RESPONDENT'S EXCEPTIONS, THE AUTHORITY HEREBY ADOPTS
 THE ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE'S FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND
 RECOMMENDATIONS, TO THE EXTENT CONSISTENT HEREWITH.
 
                                   ORDER
 
    PURSUANT TO SECTION 2423.29 OF THE FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS
 AUTHORITY'S RULES AND REGULATIONS AND SECTION 7118 OF THE STATUTE, THE
 AUTHORITY HEREBY ORDERS THAT THE BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO AND
 FIREARMS, WESTERN REGION, DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY, SAN FRANCISCO,
 CALIFORNIA, SHALL:
 
    1. CEASE AND DESIST FROM:
 
    (A) FAILING AND REFUSING TO PROVIDE TO DONALD PRUETT OR ANY AGENCY
 EMPLOYEE, WHILE ENGAGED IN REPRESENTING THE NATIONAL TREASURY EMPLOYEES
 UNION, CHAPTER 81, THE EMPLOYEES' EXCLUSIVE REPRESENTATIVE, DURING UNION
 - AGENCY NEGOTIATIONS OF A COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT, OFFICIAL
 TIME FOR SUCH PARTICIPATION INCLUDING NECESSARY TRAVEL TIME AS OCCURS
 DURING THE EMPLOYEE'S REGULAR WORK HOURS AND WHEN THE EMPLOYEE WOULD
 OTHERWISE BE IN A WORK OR PAID LEAVE STATUS.  IN ADDITION, NECESSARY
 TRANSPORTATION AND PER DIEM EXPENSES SHALL BE PAID BY THE EMPLOYING
 ACTIVITY OR AGENCY.
 
    (B) IN ANY LIKE OR RELATED MATTER, INTERFERING WITH, RESTRAINING, OR
 COERCING EMPLOYEES IN THE EXERCISE OF THEIR RIGHTS ASSURED BY THE
 STATUTE.
 
    2.  TAKE THE FOLLOWING AFFIRMATIVE ACTIONS IN ORDER TO EFFECTUATE THE
 PURPOSES AND POLICIES OF THE STATUTE:
 
    (A) PROVIDE UNION REPRESENTATIVE DONALD PRUETT OFFICIAL TIME FOR THE
 PERFORMANCE OF HIS REPRESENTATIONAL DUTIES ON FEBRUARY 23, 1979, AND
 MAKE HIM WHOLE FOR THE ANNUAL LEAVE HE UTILIZED ON THAT DATE, AND UPON
 SUBMISSION OF AN APPROPRIATE VOUCHER, PAY TO DONALD PRUETT WHATEVER
 TRAVEL AND PER DIEM EXPENSES AN EMPLOYEE ENGAGED IN OFFICIAL AGENCY
 BUSINESS WOULD BE ENTITLED.
 
    (B) POST AT ITS VARIOUS OFFICES IN THE WESTERN REGION WHEREIN UNIT
 EMPLOYEES ARE LOCATED, COPIES OF THE ATTACHED NOTICE MARKER "APPENDIX."
 COPIES OF SAID NOTICE, TO BE FURNISHED BY THE REGIONAL DIRECTOR FOR
 REGION 9, AFTER BEING SIGNED BY AN AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE, SHALL BE
 POSTED BY IT IMMEDIATELY UPON RECEIPT THEREOF AND BE MAINTAINED BY IT
 FOR 60 CONSECUTIVE DAYS THEREAFTER, IN CONSPICUOUS PLACES, INCLUDING ALL
 PLACES WHERE NOTICES TO EMPLOYEES ARE CUSTOMARILY POSTED.  REASONABLE
 STEPS SHALL BE TAKEN TO INSURE THAT SAID NOTICES ARE NOT ALTERED,
 DEFACED, OR COVERED BY ANY OTHER MATERIAL.
 
    (C) NOTIFY THE FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY, IN WRITING, WITHIN
 30 DAYS FROM THE DATE OF THIS ORDER AS TO WHAT STEPS HAVE BEEN TAKEN TO
 COMPLY HEREWITH.
 
    ISSUED, WASHINGTON, D.C., SEPTEMBER 29, 1980
 
                        RONALD W. HAUGHTON,    CHAIRMAN
                        HENRY B. FRAZIER III,    MEMBER
                        LEON B. APPLEWHAITE,    MEMBER
                        FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                 APPENDIX
 
        NOTICE TO ALL EMPLOYEES PURSUANT TO A DECISION AND ORDER OF
 
           THE FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY AND IN ORDER TO
 
          EFFECTUATE THE POLICIES OF CHAPTER 71 OF TITLE 5 OF THE
 
            UNITED STATES CODE FEDERAL SERVICE LABOR-MANAGEMENT
 
                                 RELATIONS
 
                   WE HEREBY NOTIFY OUR EMPLOYEES THAT:
 
    WE WILL NOT FAIL OR REFUSE TO PROVIDE TO DONALD PRUETT OR ANY AGENCY
 EMPLOYEES, WHILE ENGAGED IN REPRESENTING THE NATIONAL TREASURY EMPLOYEES
 UNION, CHAPTER 81, THE EMPLOYEES' EXCLUSIVE REPRESENTATIVE, DURING UNION
 - AGENCY NEGOTIATIONS OF A COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT, OFFICIAL
 TIME FOR SUCH PARTICIPATION INCLUDING NECESSARY TRAVEL TIME AS OCCURS
 DURING THE EMPLOYEE'S REGULAR WORK HOURS AND WHEN THE EMPLOYEE WOULD
 OTHERWISE BE IN A WORK OR PAID LEAVE STATUS.  IN ADDITION, NECESSARY
 TRANSPORTATION AND PER DIEM EXPENSES SHALL BE PAID BY THE EMPLOYING
 ACTIVITY OR AGENCY.
 
    WE WILL NOT IN ANY LIKE OR RELATED MANNER, INTERFERE WITH, RESTRAIN
 OR COERCE OUR EMPLOYEES IN THE EXERCISE OF THEIR RIGHTS ASSURED BY THE
 STATUTE.
 
    WE WILL PROVIDE UNION REPRESENTATIVE DONALD PRUETT OFFICIAL TIME FOR
 THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS REPRESENTATIONAL DUTIES ON FEBRUARY 23, 1979, AND
 MAKE HIM WHOLE FOR THE ANNUAL LEAVE HE UTILIZED ON THAT DATE AND, UPON
 SUBMISSION OF AN APPROPRIATE VOUCHER, PAY TO DONALD PRUETT WHATEVER
 TRAVEL AND PER DIEM EXPENSES AN EMPLOYEE ENGAGED IN OFFICIAL AGENCY
 BUSINESS WOULD BE ENTITLED.
 
                           (AGENCY OR ACTIVITY)
 
    DATED:  . . .  BY:  . . .
 
                                 SIGNATURE
 
    THIS NOTICE MUST REMAIN POSTED FOR 60 CONSECUTIVE DAYS FROM THE DATE
 OF POSTING AND MUST NOT BE ALTERED, DEFACED OR COVERED BY ANY OTHER
 MATERIAL.
 
    IF EMPLOYEES HAVE ANY QUESTIONS CONCERNING THIS NOTICE OR COMPLIANCE
 WITH ANY OF ITS PROVISIONS, THEY MAY COMMUNICATE DIRECTLY WITH THE
 REGIONAL DIRECTOR, REGION 9, FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY, WHOSE
 ADDRESS IS:  450 GOLDEN GATE AVENUE, ROOM 11408, P.O.  BOX 36016, SAN
 FRANCISCO, CA 94102, AND WHOSE TELEPHONE NUMBER IS (415) 556-8105.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 -------------------- ALJ$ DECISION FOLLOWS --------------------
 
    MICHAEL SITCOV, ESQUIRE
                            FOR THE RESPONDENT
 
    STEPHANIE ARTHUR, ESQUIRE
                          FOR THE GENERAL COUNSEL
 
    DAVID HANDSHER, ESQUIRE
                          FOR THE CHARGING PARTY
 
    BEFORE:  SALVATORE J. ARRIGO
    ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE
 
                                 DECISION
 
                           STATEMENT OF THE CASE
 
    THIS MATTER AROSE UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE FEDERAL SERVICE
 LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS STATUTE, 92 STAT. 1191, 5 U.S.C. 7101 ET
 SEQ., (HEREIN REFERRED TO AS THE STATUTE).  ESSENTIALLY, THE CASE
 INVOLVES WHETHER RESPONDENT IS OBLIGATED UNDER THE STATUTE TO GRANT
 OFFICIAL TIME, TRAVEL AND PER DIEM EXPENSES TO AN EMPLOYEE-UNION
 REPRESENTATIVE RELATIVE TO HIS PARTICIPATION IN COLLECTIVE BARGAINING
 NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE RESPONDENT.
 
    UPON AN UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICE CHARGE FILED ON JUNE 21, 1979, THE
 GENERAL COUNSEL OF THE FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY, BY THE
 REGIONAL DIRECTOR FOR REGION 9, ISSUED A COMPLAINT AND NOTICE OF HEARING
 ON JANUARY 29, 1980, ALLEGING THAT THE BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO AND
 FIREARMS, WESTERN REGION, AND ACTIVITY WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT OF THE
 TREASURY, ENGAGED IN UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICES WITHIN THE MEANING OF
 SECTIONS 7116(A)(1) AND (8) OF THE STATUTE BY REFUSING TO GRANT TO
 DONALD PRUETT, A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE NATIONAL TREASURY EMPLOYEES
 UNION, CHAPTER 81, (THE UNION) OFFICIAL TIME IN WHICH TO ENGAGE IN
 NEGOTIATIONS OVER THE IMPACT AND IMPLEMENTATION OF RESPONDENT'S
 PROPOSALS CONCERNING AN OFFICE RELOCATION.  /1/ RESPONDENT DENIED THE
 COMMISSION OF ANY UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICE AND A HEARING BEFORE THE
 UNDERSIGNED WAS CONDUCTED ON FEBRUARY 27, 1980.
 
    AT THE HEARING ALL PARTIES WERE REPRESENTED BY COUNSEL AND AFFORDED
 FULL OPPORTUNITY TO ADDUCE EVIDENCE AND CALL, EXAMINE AND CROSS EXAMINE
 WITNESSES.  BRIEFS WERE FILED BY RESPONDENT AND COUNSEL FOR THE GENERAL
 COUNSEL.
 
    UPON THE ENTIRE RECORD IN THIS MATTER, MY OBSERVATION OF THE
 WITNESSES AND THEIR DEMEANOR, AND FROM MY EVALUATION OF THE EVIDENCE, I
 MAKE THE FOLLOWING:
 
                             FINDINGS OF FACT
 
    AT ALL MATERIAL TIMES THE UNION HAS BEEN THE EXCLUSIVE COLLECTIVE
 BARGAINING REPRESENTATIVE FOR AN APPROPRIATE UNIT OF RESPONDENT'S
 EMPLOYEES.  HEADQUARTERS FOR RESPONDENT'S WESTERN REGION IS APPARENTLY
 LOCATED IN SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, AND THE REGION IS COMPOSED OF
 VARIOUS SATELLITE OFFICES, INCLUDING AREA OFFICES AND POST OF DUTY
 OFFICES.
 
    BY LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 21, 1978, RESPONDENT NOTIFIED THE UNION'S
 PRESIDENT, JOSEPH SHEEAN, OF SAN FRANCISCO, THAT IT INTENDED TO RELOCATE
 THE LODI, CALIFORNIA AREA OFFICE TO SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA, AND
 ESTABLISH A REDUCED POST OF DUTY OFFICE IN LODI.  IT WAS ANTICIPATED
 THAT THE ACTION WOULD REQUIRE RELOCATING NINE EMPLOYEES FROM LODI TO
 SACRAMENTO.  UNION PRESIDENT SHEEAN RESPONDED ON DECEMBER 1, 1978,
 ADVISING RESPONDENT THAT THE UNION WISHED TO NEGOTIATE THE DECISION TO
 MOVE OR, ALTERNATIVELY, THE IMPACT THE MOVE WOULD HAVE ON BARGAINING
 UNIT EMPLOYEES.  THE UNION NAMED DONALD PRUETT, A STEWARD IN
 RESPONDENT'S FRESNO AREA OFFICE WHO LIVED IN MADERA, CALIFORNIA, TO
 REPRESENT IT IN THE MATTER.
 
    BY LETTER DATED JANUARY 4, 1979, PRUETT INFORMED RESPONDENT OF THE
 UNION'S DESIRE TO NEGOTIATE REGARDING "THE CONDITION AND SUITABILITY OF
 THE FACILITIES TO BE USED BY BARGAINING UNIT MEMBERS . . . " AS WELL AS
 THE OPTIONS AVAILABLE TO UNIT EMPLOYEES WHO DID NOT VOLUNTEER FOR
 REASSIGNMENT OR WHO VOLUNTEERED BUT CHOSE NOT TO MOVE THEIR RESIDENCES.
 /2/
 
    RESPONDENT DECIDED THAT SINCE PRUETT AND RESPONDENT'S OWN CHIEF OF
 FIELD OPERATIONS, THOMAS CRONE, HAD NOT YET SEEN THE FACILITIES UNDER
 DISCUSSION, IT WOULD BE TO EVERYONE'S BEST INTEREST TO CONDUCT THE
 NEGOTIATIONS AND VIEW THE VARIOUS NEW FACILITIES AT THE SAME TIME.
 ACCORDINGLY, MARDELL KEEHAN, PERSONNEL SPECIALIST FOR RESPONDENT,
 TELEPHONED UNION REPRESENTATIVE PRUETT AND INFORMED HIM THAT THE PARTIES
 WOULD MEET AT 9:30 A.M. ON FEBRUARY 23, 1979, AT THE SITE OF THE NEW
 SACRAMENTO AREA OFFICE.  /3/ NOTHING WAS SAID AT THE TIME RELATIVE TO A
 SPECIFIC FORMAT, TIME OR LOCATION FOR NEGOTIATIONS ON THE ISSUES RAISED
 BY THE REARRANGEMENT OF THE OFFICES.
 
    ON FEBRUARY 21, 1979, PRUETT CALLED BOTH PERSONNEL SPECIALIST KEEHAN
 AND CHIEF OF FIELD OPERATIONS CRONE AND ASKED THEM IF THE FEBRUARY 23
 MEETING COULD BE INCORPORATED WITH A "QUARTERLY" MEETING UNDER THE
 COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT OR WOULD HE BE PERMITTED TO TAKE "BANK
 TIME" FOR THE PERIOD.  /4/ PRUETT'S REQUEST WAS DENIED AND HE WAS TOLD
 THAT HE WOULD HAVE TO TAKE EITHER ANNUAL LEAVE OR LEAVE WITHOUT PAY FOR
 THE MEETING.  /5/
 
    AS SUGGESTED BY RESPONDENT, THE PARTIES MET ON FEBRUARY 23, 1979,
 AROUND 9:30 A.M. AT THE NEW SACRAMENTO AREA OFFICE.  /6/ PRUETT
 REPRESENTED THE UNION AND RESPONDENT WAS REPRESENTED BY KEEHAN, CRONE
 AND TWO OTHER MANAGEMENT EMPLOYEES.  THE GROUP EXAMINED THE FUTURE WORK
 SPACE WHICH, AT THE TIME, WAS AN OPEN AREA ALTHOUGH THE FLOOR WAS MARKED
 WITH TAPE FOR WALL PARTITIONS AND PHONE OUTLETS.  THE CAFETERIA
 FACILITIES WERE EXAMINED AND THE PARTIES DISCUSSED RELATED MATTERS SUCH
 AS THE MANNER IN WHICH WALLS WOULD BE CONSTRUCTED, THE FUTURE LOCATION
 OF WORK DESKS AND ACCESS TO REST ROOMS.  PRUETT INDICATED THAT THE WORK
 AREA WAS ACCEPTABLE BUT EXPRESSED DISSATISFACTION WITH PARKING
 FACILITIES AND MANA8EMENT REPLIED THAT THE PARKING ARRANGEMENTS AT
 SACRAMENTO WERE, NEVERTHELESS, BETTER THAN A NUMBER OF OTHER OFFICES.
 
    AFTER ABOUT AN HOUR AT THE SACRAMENTO LOCATION THE GROUP PROCEEDED TO
 LODI WHERE THEY HAD LUNCH.  AFTER LUNCH THE PARTIES MET AT THE NEW LODI
 POST OF DUTY OFFICE.  THE PREMISES WERE EXAMINED AND THE COLLOQUY THAT
 OCCURRED WAS MUCH THE SAME AS THAT WHICH TRANSPIRED AT SACRAMENTO.  THE
 GROUP REMAINED AT THE LODI OFFICE BETWEEN THIRTY AND FORTY-FIVE MINUTES
 BEFORE ADJOURNING TO THE OLD LODI AREA OFFICE.
 
    THE SESSION AT THE OLD LODI AREA OFFICE ENCOMPASSED A CONSIDERATION
 OF THE VARIOUS PROPOSALS WHICH THE UNION MADE IN ITS LETTER TO
 RESPONDENT DATED JANUARY 4, 1979, SUPRA.  PRUETT AGAIN EXPRESSED
 SATISFACTION WITH THE NEW FACILITIES EXCEPT FOR THE PARKING ARRANGEMENTS
 AT SACRAMENTO.  HOWEVER, RESPONDENT MAINTAINED THAT NO CLOSER PARKING
 WAS AVAILABLE.  DURING THE MEETING THE PARTIES ALSO DISCUSSED EXCUSING
 LATE ARRIVAL OF EMPLOYEES AT THE NEW SACRAMENTO AREA OFFICE WHILE
 EMPLOYEES WERE ADJUSTING THEIR COMMUTING SCHEDULES AND THE JOB
 ASSIGNMENTS OF TWO EMPLOYEES WHO WERE INVOLUNTARILY TRANSFERRED TO
 SACRAMENTO.  AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE MEETING, WHICH LASTED
 APPROXIMATELY AN HOUR AND A HALF, PRUETT RETURNED TO HIS HOME IN MADERA
 AND KEEHAN AND CRONE DROVE BACK TO THEIR RESIDENCES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO
 AREA.  /7/
 
    BY LETTER TO PRUETT DATED MARCH 8, 1979, RESPONDENT SUMMARIZED THE
 DECISIONS MADE AT THE FEBRUARY 23, MEETING, AS FOLLOWS:
 
    "ON FEBRUARY 23, 1979, THE IMPACT OF THE ABOLISHMENT OF THE LODI AREA
 OFFICE AND THE
 
    ESTABLISHMENT OF THE SACRAMENTO AREA OFFICE WAS DISCUSSED IN THE
 CONTEXT OF THE THREE ITEMS
 
    LISTED IN YOUR LETTER DATED JANUARY 4, 1979.  BASED ON THIS
 DISCUSSION THE FOLLOWING DECISIONS
 
    WERE MADE:
 
    "1.  ALL PARTIES AGREED THAT THE NEW SACRAMENTO AND LODI FACILITIES
 ARE ACCEPTABLE.  AS WAS
 
    INDICATED DURING THE MEETING, THE SACRAMENTO PARKING FACILITIES ARE
 THE CLOSEST THAT COULD BE
 
    OBTAINED AT THIS TIME. MANAGEMENT WILL CONTINUE TO TRY TO OBTAIN
 CLOSER PARKING AS SPACE
 
    BECOMES AVAILABLE.
 
    "2.  ARTICLE 16, SECTION 6 PROVIDES THAT A SUPERVISOR FOR ADEQUATE
 REASONS, MAY EXCUSE AN
 
    EMPLOYEE WITHOUT CHARGE TO LEAVE WHO IS UNAVOIDABLY OR NECESSARILY
 ABSENT FOR LESS THAN ONE
 
    HOUR OR TARDY;  HOWEVER, ALL EMPLOYEES WILL BE EXPECTED TO ADJUST
 THEIR COMMUTE SCHEDULES TO
 
    ARRIVE AT THEIR NEW WORK LOCATIONS ON TIME.
 
    "THE AREA SUPERVISOR WILL HOLD A GROUP MEETING WITH ALL EMPLOYEES TO
 DISCUSS THESE MATTERS
 
    AND ANY RELATED QUESTIONS THAT EMPLOYEES MIGHT HAVE.
 
    "3.  THE AREA SUPERVISOR WILL HOLD INDIVIDUAL DISCUSSIONS (OR JOINT
 DISCUSSIONS IF
 
    PREFERRED BY THE EMPLOYEES) WITH JOHN THALKEN AND RICHARD BILGER.
 THE SUPERVISOR WILL
 
    INDICATE REALISTIC, ANTICIPATED ASSIGNMENTS FOR THE TWO INSPECTORS.
 ALSO, HE WILL INFORM THEM
 
    THAT, AS IN THE CASE FOR ANY ATF EMPLOYEE, THEY MAY APPLY FOR
 CONSIDERATION FOR ANY ANNOUNCED
 
    VACANCY."
 
    PRUETT ACKNOWLEDGED AT THE HEARING THAT RESPONDENT'S MARCH 8 SUMMARY,
 ABOVE, ACCURATELY REFLECTS THE AGREEMENTS REACHED BY THE PARTIES ON
 FEBRUARY 23.
 
                                  ISSUES
 
    COUNSEL FOR THE GENERAL COUNSEL CONTENDS THAT THROUGHOUT FEBRUARY 23,
 1979, THE PARTIES WERE ENGAGED IN COLLECTIVE BARGAINING NEGOTIATIONS AND
 UNDER THE PRINCIPLES ANNOUNCED BY THE FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
 IN INTERPRETATION AND GUIDANCE, 2 FLRA NO.  31, (DECEMBER 19, 1979),
 PRUETT WAS ENTITLED TO OFFICIAL TIME, TRAVEL AND PER DIEM EXPENSES
 INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE NEGOTIATIONS.
 
    RESPONDENT ACKNOWLEDGES THAT NEGOTIATIONS ON IMPACT OF THE OFFICE
 RELOCATIONS OCCURRED ON FEBRUARY 23, 1979.  HOWEVER, RESPONDENT CONTENDS
 THAT PRUETT IS NOT ENTITLED TO BE 8RANTED OFFICIAL TIME FOR ANY PART OF
 FEBRUARY 23, NOR ENTITLED TO ANY TRAVEL OR PER DIEM EXPENSES.
 RESPONDENT ARGUES THAT:
 
    1.  THE GUIDANCE AND INTERPRETATION CONTAINED IN 2 FLRA NO. 31 IS
 ARBITRARY AND CAPRICIOUS, AN ABUSE OF DISCRETION AND CONSTITUTES THE
 ESTABLISHMENT OF A POLICY WHICH IS BEYOND THE STATUTORY AUTHORITY OF THE
 AUTHORITY.
 
    2.  THE CASE HEREIN WAS INITIATED PRIOR TO JANUARY 11, 1979, THE
 EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE STATUTE, AND THE POLICY CONTAINED IN 2 FLRA NO.
 31, ENUNCIATED IN DECEMBER 1979, SHOULD NOT APPLY RETROACTIVELY TO
 GOVERN THE INSTANT CASE.  ACCORDINGLY, RESPONDENT CONTENDS THAT THE
 SITUATION HEREIN SHOULD BE GOVERNED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER 11491, AS
 AMENDED, UNDER WHICH OFFICIAL TIME WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN REQUIRED FOR THE
 FEBRUARY 23, 1979, NEGOTIATIONS.
 
    3.  ON THE FACTS OF THE CASE " . . . LITTLE, IF ANY, TIME SPENT
 DURING (FEBRUARY 23) WOULD QUALIFY AS NEGOTIATIONS, AND THE GENERAL
 COUNSEL HAS FAILED TO ESTABLISH HOW MUCH TIME SHOULD BE GRANTED, IF
 ANY." RESPONDENT URGES THAT SUBSTANTIALLY ALL OF THE ACTIVITIES OF
 FEBRUARY 23 PERTAINED TO GATHERING INFORMATION IN PREPARATION FOR
 NEGOTIATIONS AND NOT THE NEGOTIATIONS THEMSELVES.  FURTHER, ACCORDING TO
 RESPONDENT, PRUETT'S CLAIM IS NOT VALID IN THAT NO TRAVEL VOUCHER WAS
 EVER SUBMITTED CLAIMING TRAVEL AND PER DIEM EXPENSES FOR FEBRUARY 23.
 
    4.  THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM AND TRAVEL EXPENSES PURSUANT TO 2 FLRA
 NO. 31 IS CONTRARY TO LAW IN THAT MONEY HAS NOT BEEN SPECIFICALLY
 APPROPRIATED FOR THIS PURPOSE.
 
                        DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS
 
    IN ITS INTERPRETATION AND GUIDANCE, 2 FLRA NO. 31, THE AUTHORITY
 CONCLUDED THAT THE OFFICIAL TIME PROVISIONS OF SECTION 7131(A) OF THE
 STATUTE ENCOMPASS ALL NEGOTIATIONS OF A COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT
 BETWEEN AN EXCLUSIVE REPRESENTATIVE AND AN AGENCY.  /8/ IN REACHING THIS
 CONCLUSION THE AUTHORITY RELIED ON THE LITERAL LANGUAGE AND LEGISLATIVE
 HISTORY OF SECTION 7131(A) AS SUPPORTED BY THE EXPRESS FINDINGS AND
 PURPOSES OF THE STATUTE REFLECTED IN SECTION 7101(A), WHICH STATES THAT
 "LABOR ORGANIZATIONS AND COLLECTIVE BARGAINING IN THE CIVIL SERVICE ARE
 IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST." THE AUTHORITY FURTHER CONCLUDED THAT EMPLOYEES
 WHO ARE ON OFFICIAL TIME UNDER SECTION 7131 OF THE STATUTE WHILE
 REPRESENTING AN EXCLUSIVE REPRESENTATIVE IN THE NEGOTIATION OF A
 COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT ARE "ENTITLED TO PAYMENTS FROM AGENCIES
 FOR THEIR DUTY TIME AND TRAVEL AND PER DIEM EXPENSES."
 
    AS AN ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE I AM CONSTRAINED TO FOLLOW THE
 AUTHORITY'S PRONOUNCEMENTS.  THEREFORE, TO ADDRESS ARGUMENTS WHICH
 ATTACK A STATUTORY INTERPRETATION MADE BY THE AUTHORITY OR QUESTION THE
 AUTHORITY'S POWER OR JUDGMENT IN TREATING A MATTER WOULD SERVE NO USEFUL
 PURPOSE, ESPECIALLY WHERE, AS HERE, THE AUTHORITY'S POSITION IS CLEAR
 AND UNMISTAKABLE.  ACCORDINGLY, I REJECT RESPONDENT'S ARGUMENT
 CHALLENGING THE AUTHORITY'S DECISION IN 2 FLRA NO. 31 AS BEING ARBITRARY
 AND CAPRICIOUS, AN ABUSE OF DISCRETION AND BEYOND ITS STATUTORY
 AUTHORITY.  SIMILARLY, I REJECT RESPONDENT'S CONTENTION THAT THE PAYMENT
 OF PER DIEM AND TRAVEL EXPENSES, AS REQUIRED BY THE AUTHORITY IN 2 FLRA
 NO. 31, IS CONTRARY TO LAW.
 
    FURTHER, I FIND NO MERIT IN RESPONDENT'S ARGUMENT THAT THE CASE
 HEREIN WAS INITIATED PRIOR TO JANUARY 11, 1979, THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF
 THE STATUTE, AND THEREFORE A FINDING OF VIOLATION OF THE STATUTE HEREIN
 WOULD INVOLVE RETROACTIVE APPLICATION OF THE STATUTE.  TRUE, THE UNION'S
 REQUEST TO NEGOTIATE WAS MADE IN ITS LETTER OF DECEMBER 1, 1979, SUPRA,
 AND THE UNION SUBMITTED ITS PROPOSALS ON JANUARY 4, 1979, SUPRA.
 HOWEVER THE REQUEST AND REFUSAL TO GRANT OFFICIAL TIME OR EXPENSES TO
 THE UNION'S REPRESENTATIVE DID NOT OCCUR UNTIL FEBRUARY 21, 1979, AND
 THEREAFTER.  IN MY VIEW IT WAS THE DEMAND AND REFUSAL TO GRANT PRUETT
 OFFICIAL TIME TO ENGAGE IN NEGOTIATIONS THAT INITIATED THE CASE HEREIN.
 THE STATUTE WAS IN EFFECT ON THE DATES OF THE DEMAND AND REFUSAL AND THE
 AUTHORITY, BY ITS DECEMBER 19, 1979, INTERPRETATION AND GUIDANCE ON
 OFFICIAL TIME, CREATED NO NEW RIGHTS BUT MERELY GAVE ITS VIEW ON THE
 SCOPE AND MEANIN8 OF SECTION 7131 OF THE STATUTE, AS ENACTED.  THUS, I
 CONCLUDE THAT THE EFFECT OF THE AUTHORITY'S STATEMENT ON THIS MATTER
 GOVERNS ALL SITUATIONS INVOLVING OFFICIAL TIME FOR NEGOTIATIONS WHICH
 OCCURRED AFTER JANUARY 11, 1979, THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE STATUTE.
 
    I ALSO REJECT RESPONDENT'S CONTENTION THAT "LITTLE, IF ANY, TIME
 SPENT DURING FEBRUARY 23, 1979 WOULD QUALIFY AS NEGOTIATIONS . . . "
 TESTIMONY FROM RESPONDENT'S OWN WITNESSES, DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE OF
 RECORD, MOST NOTABLY RESPONDENT'S MARCH 8, 1979 LETTER TO THE UNION,
 SUPRA, AND ADMISSIONS BY RESPONDENT IN ITS BRIEF BELIEVE A CLAIM THAT NO
 NEGOTIATIONS WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE STATUTE TOOK PLACE ON FEBRUARY
 23.  INDEED, RESPONDENT'S WITNESSES TESTIFIED THAT THE LAST ONE AND A
 HALF HOUR, OR TWENTY-FIVE PERCENT OF THE DAY'S MEETING WHICH BEGAN AT
 9:30 A.M. AND CONCLUDED AT 3:30 P.M. ON FEBRUARY 23, 1979, WAS SPENT ON
 IMPACT NEGOTIATIONS.
 
    MOREOVER, I CONCLUDE THAT THE ENTIRE FEBRUARY 23 ACTIVITIES OF THE
 PARTIES CONSTITUTED NEGOTIATIONS WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 7131(A)
 OF THE STATUTE WHEN CONSIDERED IN ALL THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE
 SITUATION.  THUS, RESPONDENT'S LETTER TO THE UNION OF FEBRUARY 21,
 SUPRA, SETTING THE DATE FOR THE NEGOTIATIONS, ALTHOUGH STATING THAT
 NEGOTIATIONS WOULD OCCUR AT THE OLD LODI AREA OFFICE, DID NOT ESTABLISH
 A TIME WHEN THE NEGOTIATIONS WOULD COMMENCE.  NOR CAN THE LETTER BE
 FAIRLY INTERPRETED TO INDICATE THAT NO DISCUSSIONS TANTAMOUNT TO
 NEGOTIATIONS WOULD TAKE PLACE BEFORE THE END OF THE TOUR OF THE NEW
 FACILITIES.  RESPONDENT ITSELF DECIDED THAT IT WOULD BE TO EVERYONE'S
 BEST INTEREST TO CONDUCT THE NEGOTIATIONS AND VIEW THE VARIOUS NEW
 FACILITIES AT THE SAME TIME.  RESPONDENT SET THE PLACE WHERE THE DAY'S
 ACTIVITIES WERE TO BEGIN WITHOUT DELIMITING IN ANY WAY WHAT WOULD BE
 OPEN FOR DISCUSSION AT ANY TIME.  WHILE THE ACTIVITIES OF THE PARTIES AT
 THE NEW SACRAMENTO AREA OFFICE AND THE NEW LODI POST OF DUTY OFFICE
 INVOLVED, IN LARGE MEASURE, BOTH PARTIES GATHERING INFORMATION ABOUT THE
 PHYSICAL CONDITION AND SUITABILITY OF THE TWO SITES, THERE WAS SOME
 DISCUSSION AT THESE LOCATIONS WITH REGARD TO PRUETT'S ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
 THAT THE BUILDING LAYOUTS WERE ACCEPTABLE TO THE UNION AND HIS CONCERN
 WITH THE PARKING ARRANGEMENT AT SACRAMENTO.
 
    ALSO, IT IS NOTED THAT PRESPONDENT'S LETTERS TO THE UNION OF FEBRUARY
 27 AND MARCH 21, 1979, SUPRA, REJECTING PRUETT'S CLAIM FOR OFFICIAL
 TIME, WHILE ACKNOWLEDGING THAT NEGOTIATIONS OCCURRED, DID NOT SEEK TO
 SEGREGATE PORTIONS OF FEBRUARY 23 AS NEGOTIATING OR NON-NEGOTIATING
 TIME.  NOR DID RESPONDENT'S LETTER OF MARCH 8, SUMMARIZING THE DECISIONS
 REACHED ON FEBRUARY 23, INDICATE THAT THE PARTIES ONLY ENGAGED IN
 NEGOTIATIONS AT THE OLD LODI AREA OFFICE AT THE END OF THAT DAY.
 
    INDEED, IT IS APPARENT THAT BOTH PARTIES BEFORE, DURING AND
 IMMEDIATELY AFTER FEBRUARY 23, CONSIDERED THE DAY'S ACTIVITIES AND
 DISCUSSIONS TO CONSTITUTE A CONTINUOUS PERIOD OF NEGOTIATION ON THE
 OFFICE RELOCATIONS WITH THE FINAL SESSION OF THE DAY CULMINATING IN A
 SPECIFIC AGREEMENT ON THE UNION'S PROPOSALS.  ACCORDINGLY, CONSIDERING
 THE TOTAL CONTEXT OF ALL THE CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING THE FEBRUARY 23,
 1979, MEETING, I CONCLUDE THAT THE ENTIRE DAY WAS SPENT IN THE PROCESS
 OF NEGOTIATION WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE STATUTE.
 
    WITH REGARD TO RESPONDENT'S POSITION THAT NO TRAVEL VOUCHER WAS
 SUBMITTED BY PRUETT AND THEREFORE NO CLAIM OF VIOLATION OF THE STATUTE
 CAN BE MAINTAINED, THE UNCONTESTED RECORD ON THIS MATTER REVEALS TWO
 REQUESTS FOR OFFICIAL TIME AND FOUR SEPARATE REPLIES BY RESPONDENT'S
 AGENTS THAT NO OFFICIAL TIME WOULD BE GRANTED TO PRUETT FOR THE FEBRUARY
 23 NEGOTIATIONS.  IT IS REASONABLE TO INFER THAT SINCE PRUETT WAS
 CLEARLY AND REPEATEDLY INFORMED BY MANAGEMENT REPRESENTATIVES THAT
 OFFICIAL TIME AND EXPENSES WOULD NOT BE FORTHCOMING, A VOUCHER
 REQUESTING THE SAME WOULD NOT BE AUTHORIZED FOR PAYMENT.  IT IS
 AXIOMATIC THAT THE LAW DOES NOT REQUIRE A FUTILE GESTURE AND ON THE
 STATE OF THE RECORD HEREIN, FURTHER CONSIDERATION OF RESPONDENT'S
 ARGUMENT IS UNWARRANTED.
 
    ACCORDINGLY, IN VIEW OF THE ENTIRE FOREGOING I FIND AND CONCLUDE THAT
 BY ITS FAILURE AND REFUSAL TO PROVIDE UNION REPRESENTATIVE DONALD PRUETT
 WITH OFFICIAL TIME AND WHATEVER TRAVEL AND PER DIEM EXPENSES HE MAY HAVE
 BEEN ENTITLED TO WERE HE CONSIDERED TO BE ON OFFICIAL AGENCY BUSINESS
 WHILE PERFORMING UNION REPRESENTATIONAL DUTIES ON FEBRUARY 23, 1979,
 RESPONDENT FAILED AND REFUSED TO COMPLY WITH SECTION 7131 OF THE STATUTE
 AND THEREBY VIOLATED SECTIONS 7116(A)(1) AND (8) OF THE STATUTE.  /9/
 
    HAVING FOUND AND CONCLUDED THAT RESPONDENT VIOLATED SECTIONS
 7116(A)(1) AND (8) OF THE STATUTE, I RECOMMEND THAT THE AUTHORITY ISSUE
 THE FOLLOWING:
 
                                   ORDER
 
    PURSUANT TO SECTION 7118(A)(7) OF THE FEDERAL LABOR-MANAGEMENT
 RELATIONS STATUTE AND SECTION 2423.29 OF THE FINAL RULES AND
 REGULATIONS, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO AND
 FIREARMS, WESTERN REGION, DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY, SAN FRANCISCO,
 CALIFORNIA, SHALL:
 
    1.  CEASE AND DESIST FROM:
 
    (A) FAILING AND REFUSING TO PROVIDE TO DONALD PRUETT OR ANY AGENCY
 EMPLOYEE, WHILE ENGAGED IN REPRESENTING THE NATIONAL TREASURY EMPLOYEES
 UNION, CHAPTER 81, THE EMPLOYEES' EXCLUSIVE REPRESENTATIVE, DURING UNION
 - AGENCY NEGOTIATIONS OF A COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT, OFFICIAL
 TIME AND WHATEVER TRAVEL AND PER DIEM EXPENSES AN EMPLOYEE ENGAGED IN
 OFFICIAL AGENCY BUSINESS WOULD BE ENTITLED.
 
    (B) IN ANY LIKE OR RELATED MATTER, INTERFERING WITH, RESTRAINING, OR
 COERCING EMPLOYEES IN THE EXERCISE OF THEIR RIGHTS ASSURED BY THE
 STATUTE.
 
    2.  TAKE THE FOLLOWING AFFIRMATIVE ACTION IN ORDER TO EFFECTUATE THE
 PURPOSES AND POLICIES OF THE STATUTE:
 
    (A) PROVIDE UNION REPRESENTATIVE DONALD PRUETT OFFICIAL TIME FOR THE
 PERFORMANCE OF HIS REPRESENTATIONAL DUTIES ON FEBRUARY 23, 1979, AND
 MAKE HIM WHOLE FOR THE ANNUAL LEAVE HE UTILIZED ON THAT DATE, AND UPON
 SUBMISSION OF AN APPROPRIATE VOUCHER, PAY TO DONALD PRUETT WHATEVER
 TRAVEL AND PER DIEM EXPENSES AN EMPLOYEE ENGAGED IN OFFICIAL AGENCY
 BUSINESS WOULD BE ENTITLED.
 
    (B) POST AT ITS VARIOUS OFFICES IN THE WESTERN REGION WHEREIN UNIT
 EMPLOYEES ARE LOCATED, COPIES OF THE ATTACHED NOTICE MARKED "APPENDIX."
 COPIES OF SAID NOTICE, TO BE FURNISHED BY THE REGIONAL DIRECTOR FOR
 REGION 9, AFTER BEING SIGNED BY AN AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE, SHALL BE
 POSTED BY IT IMMEDIATELY UPON RECEIPT THEREOF AND BE MAINTAINED BY IT
 FOR 60 CONSECUTIVE DAYS THEREAFTER, IN CONSPICUOUS PLACES, INCLUDING ALL
 PLACES WHERE NOTICES TO EMPLOYEES ARE CUSTOMARILY POSTED.  REASONABLE
 STEPS SHALL BE TAKEN TO INSURE THAT SAID NOTICES ARE NOT ALTERED,
 DEFACED, OR COVERED BY ANY OTHER MATERIAL.
 
    (C) NOTIFY THE REGIONAL DIRECTOR FOR REGION 9, 450 GOLDEN GATE
 AVENUE, ROOM 11409, P.O. BOX 36016, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA 94102, IN
 WRITING, WITHIN 30 DAYS FROM THE DATE OF THIS ORDER, WHAT STEPS IT HAS
 TAKEN TO COMPLY HEREWITH.
 
                         SALVATORE J. ARRIGO
                         ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE
 
    DATED:  MAY 12, 1980
    WASHINGTON, D.C.
 
 
 
                                 APPENDIX
 
        NOTICE TO ALL EMPLOYEES PURSUANT TO A DECISION AND ORDER OF
 
           THE FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY AND IN ORDER TO
 
          EFFECTUATE THE POLICIES OF CHAPTER 71 OF TITLE 5 OF THE
 
            UNITED STATES CODE FEDERAL SERVICE LABOR-MANAGEMENT
 
                                 RELATIONS
 
                   WE HEREBY NOTIFY OUR EMPLOYEES THAT:
 
    WE WILL PROVIDE UNION REPRESENTATIVE DONALD PRUETT OFFICIAL TIME FOR
 THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS REPRESENTATIONAL DUTIES ON FEBRUARY 23, 1979, AND
 MAKE HIM WHOLE FOR THE ANNUAL LEAVE HE UTILIZED ON THAT DATE AND, UPON
 SUBMISSION OF AN APPROPRIATE VOUCHER, PAY TO DONALD PRUETT WHATEVER
 TRAVEL AND PER DIEM EXPENSES AN EMPLOYEE ENGAGED IN OFFICIAL AGENCY
 BUSINESS WOULD BE ENTITLED.
 
    WE WILL NOT FAIL OR REFUSE TO PROVIDE TO DONALD PRUETT OR ANY AGENCY
 EMPLOYEE, WHILE ENGAGED IN REPRESENTING THE NATIONAL TREASURY EMPLOYEES
 UNION, CHAPTER 81, THE EMPLOYEES' EXCLUSIVE REPRESENTATIVE, DURING UNION
 - AGENCY NEGOTIATIONS OF A COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT, OFFICIAL
 TIME AND WHATEVER TRAVEL AND PER DIEM EXPENSES AN EMPLOYEE ENGAGED IN
 OFFICIAL AGENCY BUSINESS WOULD BE ENTITLED.
 
    WE WILL NOT IN ANY LIKE OR RELATED MANNER, INTERFERE WITH, RESTRAIN
 OR COERCE OUR EMPLOYEES IN THE EXERCISE OF THEIR RIGHTS ASSURED BY THE
 STATUTE.
 
                           (AGENCY OR ACTIVITY)
 
    DATED:  . . .  BY:  . . .
 
                                 SIGNATURE
 
    THIS NOTICE MUST REMAIN POSTED FOR 60 CONSECUTIVE DAYS FROM THE DATE
 OF POSTING AND MUST NOT BE ALTERED, DEFACED OR COVERED BY ANY OTHER
 MATERIAL.
 
    IF EMPLOYEES HAVE ANY QUESTIONS CONCERNING THIS NOTICE OR COMPLIANCE
 WITH ANY OF ITS PROVISIONS, THEY MAY COMMUNICATE DIRECTLY WITH THE
 REGIONAL DIRECTOR, REGION 9, FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY, WHOSE
 ADDRESS IS:  450 GOLDEN GATE AVENUE, ROOM 11409, P.O.  BOX 36016, SAN
 FRANCISCO, CA 94102, AND WHOSE TELEPHONE NUMBER IS (415) 556-8150.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 --------------- FOOTNOTES$ ---------------
 
 
    /1/ THE COMPLAINT WAS AMENDED AT THE HEARING, WITHOUT OBJECTION, TO
 REFLECT THAT "OFFICIAL TIME" INCLUDED THE PAYMENT OF TRAVEL AND PER DIEM
 EXPENSES.
 
    /2/ LODI IS APPROXIMATELY THIRTY-FOUR MILES FROM SACRAMENTO.  RAND
 MCNALLY ROAD ATLAS, 51ST ANNUAL EDITION, 1975, P. 16.
 
    /3/ MARDELL KEEHAN WAS UNAVAILABLE TO TESTIFY AT THE HEARING
 CONDUCTED ON FEBRUARY 27, 1980.  THE PARTIES AGREED TO PRESENT MS.
 KEEHAN'S TESTIMONY BY DEPOSITION WHICH WAS TAKEN ON MARCH 7, 1980.
 ACCORDINGLY, THE DEPOSITION OF MARDELL KEEHAN IS HEREBY RECEIVED AS PART
 OF THE RECORD HEREIN.
 
    /4/ APPARENTLY THE COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE UNION
 AND RESPONDENT PROVIDED OFFICIAL TIME FOR UNION REPRESENTATIVES AT
 "QUARTERLY" MEETINGS.  IT IS ALSO APPARENT THAT USING "BANK TIME" WOULD
 RESULT IN PRUETT REMAINING IN WORK STATUS DURING THE DAY.
 
    /5/ THE TELEPHONE REPLYS WERE FOLLOWED UP WITH LETTERS TO THE UNION
 UNION DATED FEBRUARY 27 AND MARCH 21, 1979, WHICH INDICATED THAT
 RESPONDENT'S EMPLOYEES COULD NOT RECEIVE OFFICIAL TIME FOR MIDTERM
 NEGOTIATIONS, THE LATTER STATING THAT RESPONDENT'S NATIONAL AND REGIONAL
 LABOR RELATIONS STAFF ADVISED THAT EMPLOYEES DID NOT " . . . RECEIVE
 TIME (I.E.  OFFICIAL TIME, BANK TIME, ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE, ETC.) OR
 REIMBURSEMENT FOR ANY EXPENSES IN CONNECTION WITH MIDTERM NEGOTIATIONS."
 ACCORDINGLY, PRUETT USED EIGHT HOURS ANNUAL LEAVE ON FEBRUARY 23, 1979.
 
    /6/ THE FOLLOWING ACCOUNT IS A COMPOSITE OF THE TESTIMONY OF PRUETT,
 KEEHAN AND CRONE.  WHILE PRUETT'S OVERALL VERSION OF THE INCIDENTS WHICH
 OCCURRED ON FEBRUARY 23 CORRESPONDS IN MANY RESPECTS WITH KEEHAN'S AND
 CRONE'S TESTIMONY, I AM INCLINED TO FIND PRUETT'S RECOLLECTION TO BE
 SOMEWHAT LESS RELIABLE.  PRUETT'S TESTIMONY REGARDING THE DRIVING TIMES
 FROM HIS HOME TO AND FROM THE MEETING PLACES RAISES QUESTIONS UNANSWERED
 IN THE RECORD BUT WOULD SEEM TO SUPPORT RESPONDENT'S RECOLLECTION OF
 WHERE THE PARTIES FIRST MET.  FURTHER, RESPONDENT'S CORROBORATED
 TESTIMONY AS TO THE ORDER IN WHICH THE FACILITIES WERE VISITED AND THAT
 A DETAILED DISCUSSION CONCERNING THE UNION'S PROPOSALS OCCURRED ONLY
 AFTER VISITING THE NEW SITES APPEARS TO BE MORE REASONABL