International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Lodge 2424 (Union) and Department of the Army, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland (Agency) 

 



[ v05 p438 ]
05:0438(54)NG
The decision of the Authority follows:


 5 FLRA No. 54
 
 INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF
 MACHINISTS AND AEROSPACE WORKERS,
 LODGE 2424
 Union
 
 and
 
 DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY,
 ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND,
 MARYLAND
 Agency
 
                                            Case No. 0-NG-310
 
                 DECISION AND ORDER ON NEGOTIABILITY ISSUE
 
    THIS CASE COMES 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).
 
                              UNION PROPOSAL
 
    ALTHOUGH THE UNION'S PETITION FOR REVIEW DID NOT INCLUDE THE SPECIFIC
 LANGUAGE OF THE MATTER PROPOSED TO BE NEGOTIATED, IT IS CLEAR FROM THE
 RECORD IN THIS CASE THAT THE MATTER PROPOSED TO BE NEGOTIATED IS AS
 FOLLOWS:
 
    THAT THE NEGOTIATING MEMBERS OF LOCAL LODGE 2424, INTERNATIONAL
 ASSOCIATION OF MACHINISTS
 
    AND AEROSPACE WORKERS BE ALLOWED OFFICIAL DUTY TIME FOR CONTRACT
 PREPARATORY TIME THAT IS
 
    REASONABLE, NECESSARY AND IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST.  THUS, THE AGENCY'S
 REQUEST THAT THE UNION'S PETITION BE DISMISSED FOR FAILURE TO PRESENT A
 PROPOSAL SUFFICIENTLY SPECIFIC AND DELIMITED IN FORM AND CONTENT IS
 DENIED.
 
                    QUESTION HERE BEFORE THE AUTHORITY
 
    THE QUESTION IS WHETHER THE UNION'S PROPOSAL IS CONSISTENT WITH
 SECTIONS 7131(B) AND (D) OF THE STATUTE AND, THEREFORE, NOT WITHIN THE
 DUTY TO BARGAIN, AS ALLEGED BY THE AGENCY.
 
    CONCLUSION AND ORDER:  THE PROPOSAL DOES NOT CONFLICT WITH SECTION
 7131 OF THE STATUTE.  ACCORDINGLY, PURSUANT TO SECTION 2424.10 OF THE
 AUTHORITY'S RULES AND REGULATIONS (5 C.F.R. 2424.10, AS AMENDED BY 45
 FED. REG. 48, 575 (1980)), IT IS ORDERED THAT THE AGENCY SHALL UPON
 REQUEST (OR AS OTHERWISE AGREED TO BY THE PARTIES) BARGAIN CONCERNING
 THE SUBJECT PROPOSAL.  /1/
 
    REASONS:  THE PROPOSAL HERE IN DISPUTE, WHICH, AS EXPLAINED BY THE
 PARTIES, WOULD PROVIDE THAT THE UNION REPRESENTATIVES' PREPARATION FOR
 NEGOTIATIONS WILL BE CONDUCTED ON OFFICIAL TIME, BEARS NO MATERIAL
 DIFFERENCE FROM THE PROPOSALS WHICH WERE BEFORE THE AUTHORITY FOR
 DECISION IN AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, LOCAL
 1692 AND HEADQUARTERS 323RD FLYING WING (ATC), MATHER AIR FORCE BASE,
 CALIFORNIA, 3 FLRA NO. 47 (1980), AND FEDERAL UNIFORMED FIRE FIGHTERS,
 LOCAL F-169 AND U.S. ARMY ARMAMENT RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT COMMAND,
 DOVER, NEW JERSEY, 3 FLRA NO. 49 (1980) AND HELD TO BE WITHIN THE DUTY
 TO BARGAIN UNDER THE STATUTE.
 
    IN THOSE CASES, THE AUTHORITY HELD THAT THE DISPUTED PROPOSALS FOR
 THE USE OF OFFICIAL TIME BY UNION REPRESENTATIVES TO PREPARE FOR
 COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AND IMPASSE RESOLUTION CONCERNED A MATTER WHICH
 FALLS WITHIN THE DUTY TO BARGAIN UNDER SECTION 7131(D) OF THE STATUTE,
 RATHER THAN A MATTER WHICH IS EXCEPTED FROM THE DUTY TO BARGAIN AS
 "INTERNAL BUSINESS OF A LABOR ORGANIZATION" UNDER SECTION 7131(B).  IN
 REACHING ITS DECISION, THE AUTHORITY DID NOT RULE ON THE QUESTION OF
 WHAT ACTIVITIES COULD PROPERLY CONSTITUTE "PREPARATIONS" UNDER THE
 OFFICIAL TIME PROVISIONS OF THE STATUTE.
 
    IN MATHER AIR FORCE BASE, SUPRA, THE AUTHORITY HELD:
 
    THE DISPUTED PROPOSAL IN THE INSTANT CASE CLEARLY DOES NOT RELATE
 SOLELY TO THE STRUCTURE
 
    AND INSTITUTION OF THE LABOR ORGANIZATION.  RATHER, THE PROPOSAL
 SPECIFICALLY INVOLVES THE
 
    ALLOTMENT OF OFFICIAL TIME TO UNION NEGOTIATORS FOR THE PURPOSE OF
 PREPARING FOR CONTRACT
 
    NEGOTIATIONS WITH MANAGEMENT. . . . CONGRESS INTENDED THAT ACTIVITIES
 SUCH AS COLLECTIVE
 
    BARGAINING NEGOTIATIONS WHICH INVOLVE LABOR-MANAGEMENT CONTACTS, AS
 WELL AS PREPARATION FOR
 
    SUCH ACTIVITIES, ARE NOT "INTERNAL BUSINESS OF LABOR ORGANIZATION"
 WITHIN THE MEANING OF
 
    SECTION 7131(B) OF THE STATUTE.  ACCORDINGLY, SECTION 7131(B) WOULD
 NOT BAR NEGOTIATIONS UNDER
 
    SECTION 7131(D) . . . ON THE PROPOSAL AT ISSUE AND THE AGENCY
 ALLEGATION THAT THE PROPOSAL IS
 
    NOT WITHIN THE DUTY TO BARGAIN MUST BE SET ASIDE.  MOREOVER, SUCH
 PROPOSAL WOULD BE CONSISTENT
 
    WITH THE CONTEMPLATION OF CONGRESS . . .
 
    IN SUMMARY, . . . THE AMOUNT OF OFFICIAL TIME TO BE USED BY UNION
 NEGOTIATORS TO PREPARE
 
    FOR COLLECTIVE BARGAINING NEGOTIATIONS IS A MATTER WHICH FALLS WITHIN
 THE DUTY TO BARGAIN AS
 
    PROVIDED IN SECTION 7131(D) OF THE STATUTE, AS DISTINGUISHED FROM THE
 USE OF OFFICIAL TIME BY
 
    EMPLOYEES REPRESENTING AN EXCLUSIVE REPRESENTATIVE IN THE ACTUAL
 "NEGOTIATION OF A COLLECTIVE
 
    BARGAINING AGREEMENT" WHICH IS EXPRESSLY AUTHORIZED BY SECTION
 7131(A) OF THE STATUTE ITSELF
 
    . . . MOREOVER, AS PREVIOUSLY STATED, THE USE OF OFFICIAL TIME TO
 PREPARE FOR NEGOTIATIONS IS
 
    A MATTER WHICH IS NOT EXCEPTED FROM THE DUTY TO BARGAIN AS "INTERNAL
 BUSINESS OF A LABOR
 
    ORGANIZATION" UNDER SECTION 7131(B) OF THE STATUTE.
 
    IN SO CONCLUDING, HOWEVER, THE AUTHORITY NOTES THAT THE INSTANT CASE
 DOES NOT PRESENT AND
 
    THE AUTHORITY THEREFORE DOES NOT RULE ON THE QUESTION OF WHAT
 ACTIVITIES WOULD PROPERLY
 
    CONSTITUTE "PREPARATIONS" UNDER THE OFFICIAL TIME PROVISIONS OF THE
 STATUTE.  SUCH QUESTIONS
 
    ARE MORE APPROPRIATELY RESOLVED BY THE PARTIES DURING NEGOTIATIONS OR
 BY ARBITRATORS IN THE
 
    SPECIFIC FACTUAL CONTENTS OF INDIVIDUAL CASES, SUBJECT TO REVIEW BY
 THE AUTHORITY PURSUANT TO
 
    SECTION 7122 OF THE STATUTE AND PART 2425 OF THE AUTHOR