Philadelphia Naval Shipyard (Activity) and International Association of Fire Fighters, Local F-61, AFL-CIO (Labor Organization/Petitioner)



[ v04 p484 ]
04:0484(67)CU
The decision of the Authority follows:


 4 FLRA No. 67
 
 PHILADELPHIA NAVAL SHIPYARD
 Activity
 
 and
 
 INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF
 FIREFIGHTERS, LOCAL F-61, AFL-CIO
 Labor Organization/Petitioner
 
                                            Case No. 23-CU-23
 
                    DECISION AND ORDER CLARIFYING UNIT
 
    UPON A PETITION DULY FILED UNDER SECTION 7111(B)(2) OF THE FEDERAL
 SERVICE LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS STATUTE, 5 U.S.C. 7101-7135, A
 HEARING WAS HELD BEFORE A HEARING OFFICER OF THE AUTHORITY.  THE HEARING
 OFFICER'S RULINGS MADE AT THE HEARING ARE FREE FROM PREJUDICIAL ERROR
 AND ARE HEREBY AFFIRMED.
 
    UPON THE ENTIRE RECORD IN THE SUBJECT CASE, THE AUTHORITY FINDS:  THE
 PETITIONER SEEKS TO CLARIFY AN EXISTING EXCLUSIVELY RECOGNIZED UNIT OF
 ALL GRADED NON-SUPERVISORY FIREFIGHTERS AND INSPECTORS IN THE FIRE
 BRANCH OF THE SECURITY DIVISION OF THE ACTIVITY'S ADMINISTRATIVE
 DEPARTMENT /1/ TO INCLUDE SIX EMPLOYEES CURRENTLY CLASSIFIED AS
 SUPERVISORY FIREFIGHTER, GS-6, (CAPTAIN), CONTENDING THAT THESE
 EMPLOYEES ARE NOT SUPERVISORS WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 7103(A)(10)
 OF THE STATUTE.  THE ACTIVITY CONTENDS THAT THE INCUMBENTS IN THE
 SUBJECT POSITIONS ARE SUPERVISORS WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION
 7103(A)(10) OF THE STATUTE AND, ON THIS BASIS, OPPOSES THEIR INCLUSION
 IN THE RECOGNIZED UNIT.  SECTION 7103(A)(10) DEFINES SUPERVISOR AS
 FOLLOWS:
 
    "SUPERVISOR" MEANS AN INDIVIDUAL EMPLOYED BY AN AGENCY HAVING
 AUTHORITY IN THE INTEREST OF
 
    THE AGENCY TO HIRE, DIRECT, ASSIGN, PROMOTE, REWARD, TRANSFER,
 FURLOUGH, LAYOFF, RECALL,
 
    SUSPEND, DISCIPLINE, OR REMOVE EMPLOYEES, TO ADJUST THEIR GRIEVANCES,
 OR TO EFFECTIVELY
 
    RECOMMEND SUCH ACTION, IF THE EXERCISE OF THE AUTHORITY IS NOT MERELY
 ROUTINE OR CLERICAL IN
 
    NATURE BUT REQUIRES THE CONSISTENT EXERCISE OF INDEPENDENT JUDGMENT,
 EXCEPT THAT, WITH RESPECT
 
    TO ANY UNIT WHICH INCLUDES FIREFIGHTERS OR NURSES, THE TERM
 "SUPERVISOR" INCLUDES ONLY THOSE
 
    INDIVIDUALS WHO DEVOTE A PREPONDERANCE OF THEIR EMPLOYMENT TIME TO
 EXERCISING SUCH AUTHORITY;
 
    THE FIRE BRANCH IS COMPOSED OF ONE FIRE CHIEF, TWO ASSISTANT CHIEFS,
 SIX CAPTAINS, TWENTY-NINE FIREFIGHTERS, AND FIVE INSPECTORS.  THE
 INSPECTORS AND THE FIRE CHIEF WORK EIGHT HOUR DAYS, MONDAY THROUGH
 FRIDAY, EXCEPT FOR TUESDAY WHEN THE FIRE CHIEF WORKS AN ADDITIONAL
 SIXTEEN HOURS BECAUSE BOTH THE ASSISTANT CHIEFS ARE OFF.  THE ASSISTANT
 CHIEFS, CAPTAINS, AND FIREFIGHTERS ARE DIVIDED EVENLY INTO TWO PLATOONS,
 WITH EACH PLATOON WORKING ALTERNATE 24 HOUR SHIFTS COMPRISED OF EIGHT
 HOURS OF ACTIVE DUTY, EIGHT HOURS STANDBY, AND EIGHT HOURS SLEEP,
 BARRING EMERGENCIES.  AT ANY GIVEN TIME, ONE ASSISTANT CHIEF IS ON DUTY
 ALONG WITH ONE CAPTAIN AND 5-6 FIREFIGHTERS AT ENGINE COMPANY NO. 1, ONE
 CAPTAIN AND 5-6 FIREFIGHTERS AT ENGINE COMPANY NO. 2, AND ONE CAPTAIN
 AND 4-5 FIREFIGHTERS AT LADDER COMPANY NO. 1.
 
    THE FIRE CHIEF IS THE PRIMARY SUPERVISORY OFFICIAL AND IS RESPONSIBLE
 FOR DIRECTING THE ADMINISTRATIVE OPERATION OF THE FIRE BRANCH.  THE
 ASSISTANT CHIEFS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR SUPERVISING THEIR RESPECTIVE
 PLATOONS.  USUALLY THE ASSISTANT CHIEF WILL RESPOND TO FIRE ALARMS,
 ALONG WITH HIS FIREFIGHTING PERSONNEL.  WHEN HE DOES, HE IS IN CHARGE OF
 DIRECTING THE FIREFIGHTING OPERATION.  ON A ROTATIONAL BASIS, CAPTAINS
 FILL IN FOR ASSISTANT CHIEFS APPROXIMATELY EIGHT PERCENT OF THEIR
 WORKING TIME.
 
    THE CAPTAINS, UNLIKE OTHER FIREFIGHTERS BELOW THEM, WEAR DIFFERENT
 UNIFORMS AND ARE REQUIRED TO TAKE NINETY-TWO HOURS OF SUPERVISORY
 TRAINING WITHIN SIX MONTHS OF THEIR APPOINTMENT.  AS CAPTAINS, THEY ARE
 IN CHARGE OF THE ROUTINE OPERATION OF THE FIREFIGHTING COMPANY TO WHICH
 THEY ARE ASSIGNED, ALTHOUGH THEY ROTATE REGULARLY FROM ONE COMPANY TO
 ANOTHER.  EACH DAY, ROUTINE TASKS WITHIN THE FIRE COMPANY ARE ASSIGNED
 BY THE CAPTAIN TO THE VARIOUS FIREFIGHTERS ON A ROTATING BASIS. THE
 CAPTAIN DOES NOT WORK ALONG WITH THE FIREFIGHTERS IN ACCOMPLISHING THESE
 TASKS, NOR DOES HE PROVIDE IMMEDIATE SUPERVISION DURING THEIR
 ACCOMPLISHMENT.  INSTEAD, HE MAY GO TO THE COMMON OFFICE SHARED BY ALL
 THE CAPTAINS AND DO SUCH PAPERWORK AS MAINTAINING RECORDS FOR PAY
 PURPOSES, PREPARING THE NEXT SHIFT'S DUTY ROSTER, OR PREPARING AN
 OVERTIME ROSTER.
 
    THE DAY'S ROUTINE USUALLY CALLS FOR A THIRTY MINUTE TRAINING SESSION,
 GIVEN BY THE CAPTAIN TO THE FIREFIGHTERS, FOLLOWED BY THE ENTIRE
 COMPANY'S GOING INTO THE FIELD TO CONDUCT INSPECTIONS OF THE BUILDINGS
 THAT THE FIRE PREVENTION OFFICE HAS SCHEDULED.  IN CONDUCTING THESE
 INSPECTIONS, THE CREW DISPERSES THROUGHOUT THE BUILDING WITH EACH
 INDIVIDUAL, INCLUDING THE CAPTAIN, RESPONSIBLE FOR CHECKING THE FIRE
 SAFETY OF A PORTION OF THE BUILDING.  AFTER CONCLUDING THE INSPECTION,
 FIREFIGHTERS MAY WRITE UP THEIR INDIVIDUAL ASPECTS OF THE REQUIRED
 REPORT, WITH THE CAPTAIN SIGNING OFF ON THEIR FINDINGS, OR THE CAPTAIN
 MIGHT COMPOSE THE REPORT IN ITS ENTIRETY.  THE AFTERNOON MAY FIND THE
 COMPANY GOING OUT ON MORE BUILDING INSPECTIONS, OR THE CAPTAIN MAY GO
 OFF ON HIS OWN TO ISSUE "HOT WORK" PERMITS.  THIS INVOLVES INSPECTING
 THE PREMISES OF A WORKSITE TO INSURE THAT IT IS SAFE FOR FIRE PRODUCING
 ACTIVITIES, SUCH AS WELDING.  WHILE THE CAPTAIN IS DOING THIS, HIS CREW
 MIGHT BE DOING MORE ROUTINE DUTIES AT THE FIRE COMPANY.
 
    WHEN AN ALARM SOUNDS, AND THE INSTALLATION HAS AN AVERAGE OF 4-6
 ALARMS IN A TWENTY-FOUR HOUR DAY WITH EACH ALARM TAKING AN AVERAGE OF 45
 MINUTES OUT OF THE WORKDAY, THE CAPTAIN AND CREW RESPOND, AS DOES AN
 ASSISTANT CHIEF.  THE ASSISTANT CHIEF MAY ASSIGN A SPECIFIC PORTION OF
 THE FIRE CONTROL EFFORT TO THE CAPTAIN, WHO THEN SUBDIRECTS THE EFFORT.
 THERE HAVE BEEN OCCASIONS WHEN A CAPTAIN WILL BE THE SENIOR FIREFIGHTER
 AT THE FIRE, IN WHICH CASE HE DIRECTS THE FIREFIGHTING EFFORT.
 
    THE CAPTAINS DO NOT HIRE, PROMOTE, SUSPEND, REMOVE, TRANSFER,
 FURLOUGH, LAYOFF OR RECALL EMPLOYEES.  HOWEVER, IN THE AREA OF
 PROMOTIONS, CAPTAINS DO FILL OUT AN APPRAISAL FORM ON THOSE CURRENT
 EMPLOYEES SEEKING THE PROMOTION, AS DOES AN ASSISTANT CHIEF.  THESE
 FORMS ARE USED BY THE RATING AND RANKING PANEL TO DETERMINE A LIST OF
 CANDIDATES FROM WHICH THE FIRE CHIEF MAKES HIS SELECTION.  WHEREAS,
 CAPTAINS PERFORM THE FIRST LEVEL OF REVIEW WITH REGARD TO ANNUAL
 PERFORMANCE APPRAISALS, THE ASSISTANT CHIEF, THE SECOND LEVEL OF REVIEW,
 RETAINS THE RIGHT TO REVISE ANY EVALUATIONS.  A CAPTAIN'S PROPOSED
 DENIAL OF A WITHIN GRADE INCREASE IS REVIEWABLE AND PASSED UPON BY THE
 FIRE CHIEF.  ANY APPEAL OF SUCH AN ACTION WOULD BE LODGED WITH THE FIRE
 CHIEF.  ALTHOUGH CAPTAINS HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO WRITE LETTERS OF
 COMMENDATION, THE RECORD INDICATES THAT ON AT LEAST TWO OCCASIONS WHERE
 A CAPTAIN RECOMMENDED MONETARY AWARDS FOR FIREFIGHTERS, THESE
 RECOMMENDATIONS WERE DENIED.  THE RECORD FURTHER INDICATES THAT CAPTAINS
 HAVE EFFECTIVELY RECOMMENDED THE DETAILING OF FIREFIGHTERS TO THE JOB OF
 DRIVER/OPERATOR, BUT THAT OTHER RECOMMENDED TRANSFERS OF PERSONNEL MUST
 BE REVIEWED AND APPROVED BY THE ASSISTANT CHIEF.
 
    IN TERMS OF DISCIPLINE, CAPTAINS ISSUE LETTERS OF CAUTION, LETTERS OF
 REPRIMAND, AND SUSPENSIONS OF UP TO TWO DAYS.  MORE SEVERE DISCIPLINE
 MUST BE PROPOSED BY THE ASSISTANT CHIEF, EXCEPT IN THE CASE OF
 PROBATIONARY EMP