Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Region IV, Atlanta, Georgia and Department of Health and Human Services, Region IV, Atlanta, Georgia (Respondent) and National Treasury Employees Union (Labor Organization/Charging Party) 



[ v05 p458 ]
05:0458(58)CA
The decision of the Authority follows:


 5 FLRA No. 58
 
 DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION
 AND WELFARE, REGION IV, ATLANTA,
 GEORGIA AND DEPARTMENT OF
 HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES,
 REGION IV, ATLANTA, GEORGIA /1/
 Respondent
 
    AND
 
 NATIONAL TREASURY EMPLOYEES
 UNION
 Labor Organization/Charging Party
 
                                            CASE NO. 4-CA-249
 
                            DECISION AND ORDER
 
    THIS MATTER IS BEFORE THE AUTHORITY PURSUANT TO REGIONAL DIRECTOR
 SEYMOUR X. ALSHER'S ORDER TRANSFERRING CASE TO THE FEDERAL LABOR
 RELATIONS AUTHORITY IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 2429.1 OF THE RULES AND
 REGULATIONS OF THE FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY (5 CFR 2429.1).
 
    UPON CONSIDERATION OF THE ENTIRE RECORD IN THE SUBJECT CASE,
 INCLUDING THE PARTIES' STIPULATION OF FACTS, ACCOMPANYING EXHIBITS AND
 BRIEFS SUBMITTED BY THE RESPONDENT, GENERAL COUNSEL AND CHARGING PARTY,
 THE AUTHORITY FINDS:
 
    THE COMPLAINT HEREIN ALLEGES THAT RESPONDENT VIOLATED SECTION
 7116(A)(1), (5) AND (8) OF THE FEDERAL SERVICE LABOR-MANAGEMENT
 RELATIONS STATUTE (5 U.S.C.  7101-7135) WHEN, BEGINNING ON OR ABOUT
 SEPTEMBER 26, 1979, IT REFUSED TO GIVE THE NATIONAL TREASURY EMPLOYEES
 UNION (THE UNION) THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE REPRESENTED AT A FORMAL
 DISCUSSION WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 7114(A)(2)(A) OF THE STATUTE.
 
    THE UNDISPUTED FACTS, AS STIPULATED BY THE PARTIES, ARE AS FOLLOWS:
 
    ON NOVEMBER 30, 1978, THE UNION WAS CERTIFIED AS THE EXCLUSIVE
 REPRESENTATIVE FOR A UNIT CONSISTING OF CERTAIN EMPLOYEES OF THE
 REGIONAL OFFICE OF DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION AND WELFARE, REGION
 IV, ATLANTA, GEORGIA.  FROM MAY 1979 THROUGH NOVEMBER 1979, THE
 RESPONDENT AND THE UNION WERE ENGAGED IN CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS.  ONE
 ISSUE WHICH AROSE WAS WHETHER ORIENTATION SESSIONS CONDUCTED FOR NEW
 EMPLOYEES WERE FORMAL DISCUSSIONS WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION
 7114(A)(2)(A) OF THE STATUTE.  /2/ THE PARTIES REACHED NO AGREEMENT ON
 THE MATTER WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS.
 
    BY LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 14, 1979, THE UNION REQUESTED THAT IT BE
 GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE REPRESENTED AT ORIENTATION SESSIONS PURSUANT
 TO SECTION 7114(A)(2)(A) OF THE STATUTE.  THE RESPONDENT DENIED THE
 REQUEST BY LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 25, 1979.  THE REQUEST WAS RENEWED BY
 THE UNION'S CHAPTER PRESIDENT ON SEPTEMBER 26, 1979.  ALSO ON SEPTEMBER
 26, 1979, AN ORIENTATION SESSION WAS CONDUCTED.
 
    THE STIPULATION AND SUPPORTING EXHIBITS REVEAL THAT THE ORIENTATION
 SESSIONS ARE CONDUCTED ON THE THIRD WEDNESDAY OF EVERY MONTH.
 ATTENDANCE NORMALLY AVERAGES FROM 15 TO 18 EMPLOYEES.  THOSE REQUIRED TO
 ATTEND ARE NEW EMPLOYEES AND INCLUDE EMPLOYEES IN THE UNION'S BARGAINING
 UNIT, EMPLOYEES IN OTHER BARGAINING UNITS REPRESENTED BY UNIONS OTHER
 THAN THE CHARGING PARTY AS WELL AS UNREPRESENTED EMPLOYEES.  THE
 ORIENTATION SESSIONS, IN QUESTION, ARE CONDUCTED BY PERSONNELISTS FROM
 THE RESPONDENT'S REGIONAL PERSONNEL OFFICE.  THE FORMAT OF THE SESSIONS
 CONSISTS OF DISTRIBUTION OF AN ORIENTATION PACKET AND DISCUSSION,
 INCLUDING QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS, BETWEEN THE PERSONNELISTS AND EMPLOYEE
 ATTENDING THE SESSION CONCERNING THE SUBJECTS COVERED BY THE MATERIALS
 IN THE PACKET AS WELL AS THOSE SET FORTH IN AN ESTABLISHED AGENDA.  THE
 RECORD REVEALS THAT THE PACKET COVERS A RANGE OF MATERIAL INCLUDING
 BASIC INFORMATION ON FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT AND THE AGENCY AS WELL AS
 VARIOUS AREAS INVOLVING PERSONNEL POLICIES, PROGRAMS AND GENERAL
 CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT, SUCH AS ALCOHOLISM AND DRUG ABUSE, EQUAL
 EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY, AND STANDARDS OF CONDUCT.  THE AGENDA COVERS A
 SIMILAR RANGE OF SUBJECTS, SUCH AS TRAINING AND CAREER DEVELOPMENT,
 LABOR RELATIONS, AND CONDUCT AND DISCIPLINE.
 
    THE GENERAL COUNSEL AND THE CHARGING PARTY CONTEND THAT THE
 ORIENTATION SESSION IS A FORMAL DISCUSSION WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION
 7114(A)(2)(A) OF THE STATUTE AND THAT THE UNION IS ENTITLED TO BE
 REPRESENTED THEREAT.
 
    THE RESPONDENT ARGUES THAT BECAUSE THE ORIENTATION SESSIONS ARE NOT
 LIMITED TO EMPLOYEES OF ONE PARTICULAR BARGAINING UNIT BUT ARE CONDUCTED
 BY ITS REGIONAL PERSONNEL OFFICE FOR ALL THE EMPLOYEES IT SERVICES,
 SECTION 7114(A)(2)(A) DOES NOT APPLY.  MOREOVER, THE RESPONDENT ARGUES
 THAT THE ORIENTATION SESSIONS ARE ANALOGOUS TO A VISIT BY AN EMPLOYEE TO
 THE PERSONNEL OFFICE IN THAT THEY ARE CONDUCTED BY INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE
 CLEARLY IDENTIFIED AS REPRESENTATIVES OF THE REGIONAL PERSONNEL OFFICE
 AND THAT ONLY BASIC INFORMATION CONCERNING EMPLOYMENT IS DISSEMINATED.
 
    IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THIS CASE INCLUDING THE REQUIRED MANDATORY
 ATTENDANCE OF NEW EMPLOYEES AT THE ORIENTATION SESSIONS IN QUESTION, THE
 SUBJECT MATTER DISCUSSED AND THE ESTABLISHED AGENDA FOR SUCH
 DISCUSSIONS, THE AUTHORITY FINDS SUCH MEETINGS TO BE FORMAL DISCUSSIONS,
 WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 7114(A)(2)(A) OF THE STATUTE.  THE
 PERSONNELISTS WHO CONDUCT THE DISCUSSIONS ARE, IN THE AUTHORITY'S
 OPINION, "REPRESENTATIVES OF THE AGENCY." HENCE, THE DISCUSSION IS
 BETWEEN REPRESENTATIVES OF THE AGENCY AND "ONE OR MORE EMPLOYEES IN THE
 (BARGAINING) UNIT." FINALLY, THE PARTIES HAVE STIPULATED, AND THE RECORD
 REVEALS, THAT THE SUBJECTS COVERED CONCERN PERSONNEL POLICIES, PRACTICES
 OR OTHER GENERAL CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT.
 
    INASMUCH AS THE ORIENTATION SESSIONS IN QUESTION ARE FORMAL
 DISCUSSIONS WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 7114(A)(2)(A) OF THE STATUTE
 THE UNION IS ENTITLED TO BE REPRESENTED AT THEM INSOFAR AS THEY INVOLVE
 ANY MEMBER OF ITS BARGAINING UNIT.  THUS, BY ITS ACTIONS IN DENYING THE
 EXCLUSIVE REPRESENTATIVE OF CERTAIN OF ITS EMPLOYEES, THE OPPORTUNITY TO
 BE REPRESENTED AT, AND REPRESENT ITS MEMBERS' INTERESTS AT, A FORMAL
 DISCUSSION UNDER SECTION 7114(A)(2)(A) OF THE STATUTE CONCERNING
 PERSONNEL POLICIES, PRACTICES AND OTHER GENERAL CONDITIONS OF
 EMPLOYMENT, THE RESPONDENT VIOLATED SECTION 7116(A)(1), (5) AND (8) OF
 THE STATUTE.  /3/
 
                                 ORDER /4/
 
    PURSUANT TO SECTION 2423.29 OF THE RULES AND REGULATIONS OF THE
 FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY AND SECTION 7118 OF THE STATUTE, THE
 AUTHORITY HEREBY ORDERS THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN
 SERVICES, REGION IV, ATLANTA, GEORGIA, SHALL:
 
    1.  CEASE AND DESIST FROM:
 
    (A) REFUSING TO GIVE THE NATIONAL TREASURY EMPLOYEES UNION THE
 OPPORTUNITY TO BE REPRESENTED AT ORIENTATION SESSIONS FOR NEW EMPLOYEES
 CONDUCTED BY REPRESENTATIVES OF ITS REGIONAL PERSONNEL OFFICE AND WHICH
 ARE ATTENDED BY MEMBERS OF THE BARGAINING UNIT REPRESENTED BY NATIONAL
 TREASURY EMPLOYEES UNION, AND WHERE PERSONNEL POLICIES AND PRACTICES OR
 OTHER GENERAL CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT ARE DISCUSSED;
 
    (B) IN ANY LIKE OR RELATED MANNER, FAILING OR REFUSING TO COMPLY WITH
 ANY PROVISION OF THE FEDERAL SERVICE LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS STATUTE;
 
    (C) IN ANY LIKE OR RELATED MANNER, INTERFERING WITH, RESTRAINING, OR
 COERCING ANY EMPLOYEE IN THE EXERCISE OF ANY RIGHT UNDER THE FEDERAL
 SERVICE LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS STATUTE.
 
    2.  TAKE THE FOLLOWING AFFIRMATIVE ACTION IN ORDER TO EFFECTUATE THE
 PURPOSE AND POLICIES OF THE STATUTE:
 
    (A) GIVE THE NATIONAL TREASURY EMPLOYEES UNION THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE
 REPRESENTED AT THE EMPLOYEE ORIENTATION SESSIONS WHICH INVOLVE THE
 EMPLOYEES IN ITS BARGAINING UNIT.
 
    (B) POST AT DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, REGION IV,
 ATLANTA, GEORGIA, COPIES OF THE ATTACHED NOTICE MARKED "APPENDIX" ON
 FORMS TO BE FURNISHED BY THE FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY.  UPON
 RECEIPT OF SUCH FORMS THEY SHALL BE SIGNED BY THE PRINCIPAL REGIONAL
 OFFICIAL AND SHALL BE POSTED AND MAINTAINED BY HER FOR 60 CONSECUTIVE
 DAYS THEREAFTER, IN CONSPICUOUS PLACES, INCLUDING ALL BULLETIN BOARDS
 AND OTHER PLACES WHERE NOTICES TO EMPLOYEES ARE CUSTOMARILY POSTED.
 REASONABLE STEPS SHALL BE TAKEN BY RESPONDENT TO INSURE THAT SUCH
 NOTICES ARE NOT ALTERED, DEFACED, OR COVERED BY ANY OTHER MATERIAL.
 
    (C) PURSUANT TO SECTION 2423.30 OF THE AUTHORITY'S RULES AND
 REGULATIONS, NOTIFY THE REGIONAL DIRECTOR, REGION IV, 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., APRIL 14, 1981
 
                       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 REFUSE TO GIVE THE NATIONAL TREASURY EMPLOYEES UNION THE
 OPPORTUNITY TO BE REPRESENTED AT ORIENTATION SESSIONS FOR NEW EMPLOYEES
 CONDUCTED BY REPRESENTATIVES OF ITS REGIONAL PERSONNEL OFFICE AND WHICH
 ARE ATTENDED BY MEMBERS OF THE BARGAINING UNIT REPRESENTED BY NATIONAL
 TREASURY EMPLOYEES UNION, AND WHERE PERSONNEL POLICIES AND PRACTICES OR
 OTHER GENERAL CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT ARE DISCUSSED.
 
    WE WILL NOT, IN ANY LIKE OR RELATED MANNER, FAIL OR REFUSE TO COMPLY
 WITH ANY PROVISION OF THE FEDERAL SERVICE LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS
 STATUTE.
 
    WE WILL NOT, IN ANY LIKE OR RELATED MANNER, INTERFERE WITH, RESTRAIN
 OR COERCE ANY EMPLOYEE IN THE EXERCISE OF ANY RIGHT UNDER THE FEDERAL
 SERVICE LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS STATUTE.
 
                                (ACTIVITY)
 
    DATED:
 
                                   BY:
 
   (SIGNATURE)                   (TITLE)
 
 
    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 ITS PROVISIONS, THEY MAY COMMUNICATE DIRECTLY WITH THE REGIONAL
 DIRECTOR FOR THE FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY WHOSE ADDRESS IS:
 1776 PEACHTREE STREET, N.W., SUITE 501, NORTH WING, ATLANTA, GEORGIA,
 30309, AND WHOSE TELEPHONE NUMBER IS (404) 881-2324.
 
 
 
 
 
 --------------- FOOTNOTES$ ---------------
 
 
    /1/ AS A CONSEQUENCE OF THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF
 EDUCATION, THE REMAINING PORTION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION
 AND WELFARE WAS DESIGNATED AS THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN
 SERVICES, AND THE MATTERS AT ISSUE HEREIN RELATE SOLELY TO A BARGAINING
 UNIT AT THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES.
 
    /2/ SECTION 7114.  REPRESENTATION RIGHTS AND DUTIES
 
   .          .          .          .
 
 
    (A)(2) AN EXCLUSIVE REPRESENTATIVE OF AN APPROPRIATE UNIT IN AN
 AGENCY SHALL BE GIVEN THE
 
    OPPORTUNITY TO B