American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Council of Social Security District Office Locals (Union) and Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Social Security Administration, San Francisco Region, Bureau of District Office Operations, San Francisco, California (Agency); American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 3571 (Union) and, Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Social Security Administration, South Bend District, Indiana (Agency) , American Federation of Government Employees, Local 1395, AFL-CIO (Union) and Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Social Security Administration, Great Lakes Program Service Center, Chicago, Illinois (Agency)



[ v04 p584 ]
04:0584(79)NG
The decision of the Authority follows:


 4 FLRA No. 79
 
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF
 GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES,
 AFL-CIO, COUNCIL OF
 SOCIAL SECURITY DISTRICT
 OFFICE LOCALS
 Union
 
 and
 
 DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH,
 EDUCATION, AND WELFARE,
 SOCIAL SECURITY ADMIN-
 ISTRATION, SAN FRANCISCO
 REGION, BUREAU OF
 DISTRICT OFFICE
 OPERATIONS, SAN FRANCISCO,
 CALIFORNIA
 Agency
                                            Case No. 0-NG-138
 
 
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF
 GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES,
 AFL-CIO, LOCAL 3571
 Union
 
 and
 
 DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH,
 EDUCATION, AND WELFARE,
 SOCIAL SECURITY ADMIN-
 ISTRATION, SOUTH BEND
 DISTRICT, INDIANA
 Agency
                                            Case No. 0-NG-199
 
 
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF
 GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES,
 AFL-CIO, LOCAL 1395
 Union
 
 and
 
 DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH,
 EDUCATION, AND WELFARE,
 SOCIAL SECURITY ADMIN-
 ISTRATION, GREAT LAKES
 PROGRAM SERVICE CENTER,
 CHICAGO, ILLINOIS
 Agency
                                            Case No. 0-NG-217
 
         CONSOLIDATED DECISION AND ORDER ON NEGOTIABILITY APPEALS
 
    THESE CASES COME BEFORE THE FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY (THE
 AUTHORITY) PURSUANT TO SECTION 7105(A)(2)(E) OF THE FEDERAL SERVICE
 LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS STATUTE (THE STATUTE) (5 U.S.C. 7101 ET
 SEQ.).
 
    IN EACH OF THE ABOVE-CAPTIONED CASES, A SIMILAR ISSUE AROSE AS TO THE
 EFFECT OF A UNIT CONSOLIDATION ON THE OBLIGATION OF THE AGENCY TO
 BARGAIN WITH THE UNION AT THE LOCAL LEVEL.  DISPOSITION OF EACH OF THE
 THREE APPEALS DEPENDS UPON THE RESOLUTION OF A COMMON ISSUE.  THEREFORE,
 THE AUTHORITY'S ACTION WITH RESPECT TO EACH SUCH APPEAL IS EXPRESSED IN
 THE INSTANT CONSOLIDATED DECISION WHICH APPLIES INDIVIDUALLY TO EACH OF
 THE ABOVE-CAPTIONED CASES.
 
    THE RECORD IN EACH OF THESE CASES SHOWS THAT THE NEGOTIABILITY
 DISPUTE BEFORE THE AUTHORITY IN EACH CASE AROSE DURING NEGOTIATIONS
 BETWEEN THE LOCAL PARTIES WHICH, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, CONCERNED THE
 ESTABLISHMENT OF PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL SYSTEMS, INCLUDING MATTERS
 PERTAINING TO THE IDENTIFICATION OF CRITICAL ELEMENTS AND THE
 ESTABLISHMENT OF PERFORMANCE STANDARDS.  THE RECORD IN EACH CASE ALSO
 SHOWS THAT ON AUGUST 30, 1979, DURING THE TIME THE LOCAL PARTIES WERE
 INVOLVED IN THOSE NEGOTIATIONS, THE WASHINGTON REGIONAL OFFICE OF THE
 AUTHORITY CERTIFIED THE AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES AS
 THE EXCLUSIVE REPRESENTATIVE OF A CONSOLIDATED UNIT OF SOCIAL SECURITY
 ADMINISTRATION EMPLOYEES WHICH INCLUDED THE UNITS INVOLVED IN EACH OF
 THE INSTANT APPEALS.
 
    MORE PARTICULARLY, IN AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES,
 AFL-CIO, COUNCIL OF SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION DISTRICT OFFICE
 LOCALS AND DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION, AND WELFARE, SOCIAL SECURITY
 ADMINISTRATION, SAN FRANCISCO REGION, BUREAU OF DISTRICT OFFICE
 OPERATIONS, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, CASE NO. 0-NG-138, THE UNION
 REQUESTED THAT THE AGENCY BARGAIN ON, AND SUBMITTED PROPOSALS
 CONCERNING, THE PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL SYSTEMS THEN UNDER DEVELOPMENT BY
 THE SAN FRANCISCO REGION.  THE AGENCY ALLEGED THAT THE UNION'S PROPOSALS
 WERE OUTSIDE THE DUTY TO BARGAIN, AND THE UNION, ON OR ABOUT JULY 30,
 1979, INSTITUTED THE SUBJECT APPEAL WITH THE AUTHORITY.  SUBSEQUENTLY,
 AS NOTED ABOVE, THE UNIT INVOLVED WAS CERTIFIED AS A PART OF THE
 CONSOLIDATED UNIT. SIMILARLY, IN AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
 EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, LOCAL 3571 AND DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION, AND
 WELFARE, SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, SOUTH BEND DISTRICT, INDIANA,
 CASE NO. 0-NG-199, THE UNION AND THE AGENCY EXECUTED AN AGREEMENT, ON OR
 ABOUT SEPTEMBER 3, 1979, AND SUBMITTED IT TO THE AGENCY HEAD FOR
 APPROVAL PURSUANT TO SECTION 7114(C) OF THE STATUTE.  THE AGENCY HEAD
 DISAPPROVED CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF THE AGREEMENT PERTAINING TO
 PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL SYSTEMS AND THE UNION, ON OR ABOUT NOVEMBER 1,
 1979, INSTITUTED THE SUBJECT APPEAL WITH THE AUTHORITY.  HOWEVER,
 ACCORDING TO THE RECORD IN THE CASE, PRIOR TO THE EXECUTION OF THE
 AGREEMENT BY THE LOCAL PARTIES, THIS UNIT, AS NOTED ABOVE, WAS CERTIFIED
 AS PART OF THE CONSOLIDATED UNIT.  IN AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
 EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, LOCAL 1395 AND DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION, AND
 WELFARE, SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, GREAT LAKES PROGRAM SERVICE
 CENTER, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, CASE NO. 0-NG-217, THE UNION ON OR ABOUT
 AUGUST 8, 1979, APPEARS TO HAVE REQUESTED FROM THE AGENCY WRITTEN
 ALLEGATIONS AS TO THE NEGOTIABILITY OF VARIOUS PROPOSALS THEN UNDER
 DISCUSSION BY THE LOCAL PARTIES.  DURING THE TIME THIS REQUEST WAS UNDER
 CONSIDERATION BY THE AGENCY, THE UNIT INVOLVED HEREIN, AS NOTED ABOVE,
 ALSO WAS CERTIFIED AS A PART OF THE CONSOLIDATED UNIT.
 
    THE AGENCY TAKES THE POSITION IN EACH OF THE ABOVE-CAPTIONED CASES
 THAT THE NEGOTIABILITY DISPUTES THEREIN HAVE BEEN RENDERED MOOT BY THE
 CERTIFICATION OF A CONSOLIDATED UNIT OF EXCLUSIVE RECOGNITION WHICH
 INCLUDES THE UNITS INVOLVED IN EACH OF THE SUBJECT CASES.  THAT IS, THE
 AGENCY CONTENDS, AS OF AUGUST 30, 1979, THE DUTY TO BARGAIN WITH THE
 UNION UNDER THE STATUTE EXISTS ONLY AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL, I.E., THE
 PRESENT LEVEL OF RECOGNITION, AND, THUS, IT IS NO LONGER UNDER AN
 OBLIGATION TO BARGAIN AT THE LEVEL OF THE LOCAL PARTIES HEREIN.
 
    THE UNION, TAKES THE POSITION NONE OF THESE CASES IS MOOT, BUT EACH
 IS PROPERLY BEFORE THE AUTHORITY UNDER SECTION 7117(C) OF THE STATUTE IN
 THAT EACH APPEAL AROSE OUT OF A COLLECTIVE BARGAINING RELATIONSHIP IN
 CIRCUMSTANCES WHERE AN AGENCY ALLEGED THAT CERTAIN MATTERS WERE NOT
 WITHIN THE DUTY TO BARGAIN.  THE UNION ARGUES THAT, NOTWITHSTANDING THE
 UNIT CONSOLIDATION, THE OBLIGATION OF THE AGENCY TO BARGAIN WITH THE
 UNION IN EACH OF THESE CASES STILL EXISTS.  THAT IS, THE UNION CONTENDS
 IT REPRESENTED THE EMPLOYEES PRIOR TO THE UNIT CONSOLIDATION AND
 CONTINUES TO REPRESENT THOSE EMPLOYEES AFTER THE CONSOLIDATION AND,
 THUS, THE ONLY CHANGED CIRCUMSTANCE IS THE CHANGE IN THE LEVEL OF
 EXCLUSIVE RECOGNITION.
 
    MOREOVER, IN CONNECTION WITH SAN FRANCISCO REGION, CASE NO.
 0-NG-138, IN PARTICULAR, THE UNION STATES THE NEGOTIATIONS INVOLVED IN
 THAT CASE TOOK PLACE PURSUANT TO A PROVISION OF THE EXISTING AGREEMENT
 BETWEEN THE PARTIES WHICH ESTABLISHED PROCEDURES FOR NEGOTIATIONS DURING
 THE TERM OF THE AGREEMENT.  IN THIS REGARD, THE UNION ARGUES, SINCE AN
 EXISTING AGREEMENT CONTINUES IN EFFECT ABSENT AN AGREEMENT TO THE
 CONTRARY, THE AGENCY HAS A CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATION TO BARGAIN AT THE
 LOCAL LEVEL IN THE SAN FRANCISCO REGION CASE NOTWITHSTANDING THE UNIT
 CONSOLIDATION.  SIMILARLY, IN CONNECTION WITH SOUTH BEND DISTRICT, CASE
 NO. 0-NG-199, THE UNION CONTENDS THE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE LOCAL
 PARTIES, WHICH WAS EXECUTED SUBSEQUENT TO AUGUST 30, 1979, WAS
 NEGOTIATED PURSUANT TO THE EXCLUSIVE RECOGNITION WHICH EXISTED AT THE
 LOCAL LEVEL PRIOR TO THE UNIT CONSOLIDATION AND THUS REMAINS IN EFFECT
 DESPITE THAT CONSOLIDATION.
 
    THE CONTENTIONS OF THE PARTIES IN EACH OF THESE APPEALS FOCUS ON
 WHETHER, SUBSEQUENT TO THE UNIT CONSOLIDATION, A BARGAINING OBLIGATION
 EXISTS AT THE LOCAL LEVEL.  THAT IS, THE ESSENCE OF THE PARTIES' DISPUTE
 IN THESE APPEALS CONCERNS THE EXISTENCE OF A DUTY TO BARGAIN IN THE
 CIRCUMSTANCES INVOLVED AND NOT WHETHER THE PROPOSALS OR PROVISIONS
 THEMSELVES VIOLATE LAW OR REGULATION.  THE PROPER FORUM IN WHICH TO
 RAISE THESE ISSUES IS NOT A NEGOTIABILITY APPEAL UNDER SECTION 7117(C),
 BUT WOULD BE AN UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICE PROCEEDING PURSUANT TO SECTION
 7118 OF THE STATUTE.  SEE AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES,
 AFL-CIO, LOCAL 2879 AND SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, SAN DIEGO,
 CALIFORNIA, 2 FLRA NO. 93(1980).  CF. AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
 EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, LOCAL 1931 AND DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, NAVAL WEAPONS
 STATION, CONCORD, CALIFORNIA, 2 FLRA NO. 19(1979) AND NATIONAL
 FEDERATION OF FEDERAL EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 1363 AND HEADQUARTERS, U.S. ARMY
 GARRISON, YONGSAN, KOREA, 2 FLRA NO. 50(1979).
 
    ADDITIONALLY, IN CONNECTION WITH SAN FRANCISCO REGION, CASE NO.
 0-NG-138, TO THE EXTENT THAT THE DISPUTE BETWEEN THE PARTIES OVER THE
 EFFECT OF AN EXISTING AGREEMENT IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES PRESENTED INVOLVES
 A QUESTION OF CONTRACT INTERPRETATION, THE PROPER FORUM IN WHICH TO
 RESOLVE SUCH AN ISSUE WOULD BE PURSUANT TO WHATEVER PROCEDURES THE
 PARTIES THEMSELVES HAVE ADOPTED FOR SUCH PURPOSES THROUGH SUCH
 AGREEMENT.  SEE AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO,
 LOCAL 1931 AND DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, NAVAL WEAPONS STATION, CONCORD,
 CALIFORNIA, 2 FLRA NO. 19(1979) AND NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF GOVERNMENT
 EMPLOYEES, LOCAL R14-62 AND UNITED STATES ARMY, DUGWAY PROVING GROUNDS,
 DUGWAY, UTAH, 3 FLRA NO. 107(1980).
 
    BASED ON THE FOREGOING, THE UNION'S APPEALS IN EACH OF THE
 ABOVE-CITED CASES DO NOT PRESENT ISSUES WHICH THE AUTHORITY CAN
 APPROPRIATELY RESOLVE AT THIS TIME UNDER SECTION 7117 OF THE STATUTE AND
 PART 2424 OF ITS RULES AND REGULATIONS.  ACCORDING, IT IS ORDERED THAT
 EACH OF THE AFOREMENTIONED APPEALS IS HEREBY DISMI