American Federation of Government Employees, Local 2578, AFL-CIO (Union) and General Services Administration, National Archives and Records Service, Headquarters, Washington, DC (Agency) 

 



[ v06 p477 ]
06:0477(91)NG
The decision of the Authority follows:


 6 FLRA No. 91
 
 LOCAL 2578, AMERICAN FEDERATION
 OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO
 Union
 
 and
 
 GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION,
 NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS,
 SERVICE, HEADQUARTERS,
 WASHINGTON, D.C.
 Agency
 
                                            Case No. O-NG-167
 
                 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 (STATUTE) (5 U.S.C. SEC. 7101 ET
 SEQ.).
 
                              UNION PROPOSAL
 
    NO EMPLOYEE WILL BE DENIED THE RIGHT TO EAT AT HIS OR HER WORK
 STATION UNLESS ACTUAL DANGER
 
    TO THE WORK PROCESS WOULD OTHERWISE RESULT.
 
                    QUESTION HERE BEFORE THE AUTHORITY
 
    THE QUESTION IS WHETHER, AS ALLEGED BY THE AGENCY, THE UNION'S
 PROPOSAL IS NEGOTIABLE ONLY AT THE ELECTION OF THE AGENCY UNDER SECTION
 7106(B)(1) OF THE STATUTE BECAUSE IT CONCERNS THE TECHNOLOGY OF
 PERFORMING WORK.  /1/
 
                                  OPINION
 
    CONCLUSION AND ORDER:  THE PROPOSAL IN THIS PARTICULAR CASE CONCERNS
 THE TECHNOLOGY OF PERFORMING WORK, A MATTER WHICH IS NEGOTIABLE ONLY AT
 THE ELECTION OF THE AGENCY UNDER SECTION 7106(B)(1) OF THE STATUTE, AND
 THE AGENCY HAS DECLINED TO NEGOTIATE.  ACCORDINGLY, PURSUANT TO SECTION
 2424.10 OF THE AUTHORITY'S RULES AND REGULATIONS (5 CFR 2424.10, AS
 AMENDED BY 45 F.R. 48575), IT IS ORDERED THAT THE UNION'S PETITION FOR
 REVIEW BE, AND IT HEREBY IS, DISMISSED.
 
    REASONS:  THE MISSION OF THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS SERVICE OF
 THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION (NARS) INCLUDES THE PRESERVATION OF
 THE RECORDS OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.  /2/ IN THE INSTANT CASE, NARS
 HAS ADOPTED AND UTILIZES VARIOUS PROTECTIVE AND PREVENTIVE MEASURES
 DESIGNED TO MAINTAIN AN ENVIRONMENT SUITABLE TO CARRYING OUT THE RECORDS
 PRESERVATION ASPECT OF ITS MISSION.  FOR EXAMPLE, ALL ACCESSIONED PAPER
 RECORDS ARE REQUIRED, AMONG OTHER THINGS, TO BE FUMIGATED AND MADE FREE
 OF DUST, STORED IN AREAS MAINTAINED AT A CONSTANT TEMPERATURE OF 70
 DEGREES AND HUMIDITY OF 50 PERCENT, AND KEPT FREE OF INSECTS, RODENTS,
 AND OTHER PAPER-DESTROYING PESTS.  /3/ IN COMPLEMENTARY MANNER, SMOKING,
 EATING AND DRINKING ARE PROHIBITED IN OFFICES WHICH ARE LOCATED IN STACK
 AREAS AND WHICH ARE USED IN PART AS RESEARCH ROOMS OR FOR RECORDS
 STORAGE /4/ BECAUSE OF THE POTENTIALLY HARMFUL EFFECT OF THESE
 ACTIVITIES ON PAPER RECORDS.  /5/
 
    THE AGENCY CONTENDS THAT THE PROHIBITION ON SMOKING, EATING, AND
 DRINKING IN EMPLOYEE OFFICES WHERE RECORDS ARE STORED OR USED IS A PART
 OF ITS RECORDS PRESERVATION "TECHNOLOGY," I.E., THE TECHNOLOGY OF
 PERFORMING THE WORK OF THE AGENCY, WHICH IS EXCEPTED FROM THE OBLIGATION
 TO BARGAIN UNDER SECTION 7106(B)(1) OF THE STATUTE AND THAT THE UNION'S
 PROPOSAL IS NONNEGOTIABLE BECAUSE IT WOULD REQUIRE THE AGENCY TO
 NEGOTIATE WITH RESPECT TO THAT TECHNOLOGY.  IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THIS
 CASE, WE AGREE WITH THE AGENCY.
 
    THE UNION'S PROPOSAL PROVIDES THAT AN EMPLOYEE WILL NOT BE DENIED THE
 RIGHT TO EAT AT HIS OR HER WORK STATION UNLESS ACTUAL DANGER TO THE WORK
 PROCESS WOULD OTHERWISE RESULT.  THAT IS, THE PROPOSAL WOULD, IN EFFECT,
 PERMIT AN EMPLOYEE TO EAT AT HIS OR HER WORK STATION REGARDLESS OF THE
 PRESENCE OF ARCHIVAL MATERIALS AS LONG AS THOSE MATERIALS ARE NOT IN
 ACTUAL DANGER.  HOWEVER, AS INDICATED ABOVE, THE PROHIBITION ON EATING
 IN AREAS WHERE RECORDS ARE STORED OR USED IS A PART OF THE GROUP OF
 PROTECTIVE AND PREVENTIVE MEASURES WHICH THE AGENCY UTILIZES TO MAINTAIN
 AN ENVIRONMENT SUITABLE TO THE PRESERVATION OF RECORDS.  IN THIS
 RESPECT, AS NOTED ABOVE, IT IS THE AGENCY'S RESPONSIBILITY TO PRESERVE
 THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES OF THE UNITED STATES.  AS SUCH, IT IS PART OF THE
 TECHNOLOGY OF PERFORMING THE AGENCY'S WORK.  /6/ THEREFORE, THE AGENCY
 MUST BE ABLE TO PRESCRIBE TECHNOLOGY OF PERFORMING THE WORK OF THE
 AGENCY THAT IS NOT DELETERIOUS TO THE AIM OF SAFEGUARDING THOSE RECORDS.
  ACCORDINGLY, SINCE THE UNION'S PROPOSAL WOULD REQUIRE THE AGENCY TO
 NEGOTIATE REGARDING THE TECHNOLOGY BY MEANS OF WHICH THE AGENCY
 ACCOMPLISHES ITS MISSION OF PRESERVING ARCHIVAL RECORDS, WHICH IS A
 MATTER NEGOTIABLE ONLY AT THE ELECTION OF THE AGENCY UNDER SECTION
 7106(B)(1) OF THE STATUTE, WE FIND THAT THE AGENCY'S ALLEGATION THAT THE
 PROPOSAL IS OUTSIDE THE DUTY TO BARGAIN MUST BE SUSTAINED.
 
    ISSUED, WASHINGTON, D.C., AUGUST 31, 1981
 
                       RONALD W. HAUGHTON, CHAIRMAN
 
                         HENRY B. FRAZIER, MEMBER
 
                        LEON B. APPLEWHAITE, MEMBER
 
                     FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
 
 
 
 
 
 --------------- FOOTNOTES: ---------------
 
 
    /1/ SECTION 7106(B)(1) OF THE STATUTE PROVIDES, IN RELEVANT PART, AS
 FOLLOWS:
 
    SEC. 7106.  MANAGEMENT RIGHTS
 
   .          .          .          .
 
 
    (B) NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL PRECLUDE ANY AGENCY AND ANY LABOR
 ORGANIZATION FROM
 
    NEGOTIATING
 
    (1) AT THE ELECTION OF THE AGENCY, ON THE . . . TECHNOLOGY, METHODS,
 AND MEANS OF
 
    PERFORMING WORK;  . . .
 
    /2/ 44 U.S.C. 2105 PROVIDES, IN RELEVANT PART, AS FOLLOWS:
 
    THE ADMINISTRATOR OF GENERAL SERVICES SHALL PROVIDE FOR THE
 PRESERVATION, ARRANGEMENT,
 
    REPAIR AND REHABILITATION, DU