Bureau of the Mint, Department of the Treasury (Respondent) and American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO (Charging Party)



[ v07 p464 ]
07:0464(70)CA
The decision of the Authority follows:


 7 FLRA No. 70
 
 BUREAU OF THE MINT
 DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY
 Respondent
 
 and
 
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
 EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO
 Charging Party
 
                                            Case No. 3-CA-1123
 
                            DECISION AND ORDER
 
    THIS MATTER IS BEFORE THE AUTHORITY PURSUANT TO THE REGIONAL
 DIRECTOR'S "ORDER TRANSFERRING CASE TO THE AUTHORITY" IN ACCORDANCE WITH
 SECTION 2429.1 OF THE AUTHORITY'S RULES AND REGULATIONS (5 CFR 2429.1
 (A)).
 
    UPON CONSIDERATION OF THE ENTIRE RECORD IN THIS CASE, INCLUDING THE
 PARTIES' STIPULATION OF FACTS, ACCOMPANYING EXHIBITS AND BRIEFS
 SUBMITTED BY THE GENERAL COUNSEL AND THE RESPONDENT, THE AUTHORITY
 FINDS:
 
    THE COMPLAINT HEREIN ALLEGES THAT THE RESPONDENT VIOLATED SECTION
 7116(A)(1), (5) AND (8) OF THE STATUTE ON MARCH 13, 1980, AND CONTINUING
 THEREAFTER, BY ITS FAILURE TO REIMBURSE EMPLOYEES SERVING AS UNION
 NEGOTIATORS FOR TRAVEL AND PER DIEM EXPENSES INCURRED ON OFFICIAL TIME
 IN REGARD TO RENEGOTIATION OF THE PARTIES' NATIONAL COLLECTIVE
 BARGAINING AGREEMENT.  THE RESPONDENT ADMITS THAT ITS CONDUCT IS
 VIOLATIVE OF THE STATUTE AS PRESENTLY INTERPRETED.  /1/ HOWEVER, THE
 RESPONDENT ARGUES THAT SUCH PRECEDENT SHOULD BE REVERSED BECAUSE THE
 AUTHORITY'S DECISION IN INTERPRETATION AND GUIDANCE, SUPRA, IS WITHOUT A
 BASIS IN THE STATUTE.  THE RESPONDENT ALSO ARGUES THAT IT DOES NOT HAVE
 LEGAL AUTHORITY TO EXPEND APPROPRIATED FUNDS FOR THE PAYMENT OF TRAVEL
 AND PER DIEM EXPENSES TO EMPLOYEES SERVING AS UNION NEGOTIATORS.
 FINALLY, IT CONTENDS THE AUTHORITY'S DECISION IN INTERPRETATION AND
 GUIDANCE, SUPRA, IS WITHOUT FORCE AND EFFECT.  /2/
 
    THE PARTIES STIPULATE THAT THEY HAVE BEEN ENGAGED IN RENEGOTIATING
 THEIR EXISTING NATIONWIDE AGREEMENT SINCE OCTOBER OF 1979, AND THAT THE
 ALLEGED VIOLATIVE CONDUCT STEMS FROM THE RESPONDENT'S REFUSAL TO HONOR
 UNION REQUESTS FOR TRAVEL AND PER DIEM EXPENSES.  THUS, IN A LETTER
 DATED MARCH 13, 1980, RESPONDENT TOOK THE POSITION THAT IT WISHED TO
 LITIGATE THE AUTHORITY'S INTERPRETATION OF LAW IN THIS REGARD IN AN
 UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICE PROCEEDING AND, UPON ISSUANCE OF A FINAL ORDER
 REQUIRING PAYMENT, PETITION FOR JUDICIAL REVIEW.
 
    THE AUTHORITY HAS CONSIDERED THE RESPONDENT'S ARGUMENTS, ESSENTIALLY
 BASED ON THE RESPONDENT'S READING OF THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY, THAT
 ESTABLISHED PRECEDENT (NOTE 1, SUPRA) BE REVERSED.  HOWEVER, NO BASIS
 HAS BEEN ADVANCED TO DEMONSTRATE THAT THE ESTABLISHED PRECEDENT IS
 INCORRECT, NOR HAS THE RESPONDENT RAISED ARGUMENTS NOT PREVIOUSLY
 CONSIDERED.  THUS, THE AUTHORITY CONCLUDED IN ITS DECISION IN
 INTERPRETATION AND GUIDANCE AND SUBSEQUENT CASES BASED UPON AN ANALYSIS
 OF THE STATUTE AND THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF SECTION 7131 THAT ANY
 EMPLOYEE WHO IS ON OFFICIAL TIME UNDER SECTION 7131 WHILE REPRESENTING
 AN EXCLUSIVE REPRESENTATIVE IN THE NEGOTIATION OF A COLLECTIVE
 BARGAINING AGREEMENT IS ENTITLED TO PAYMENT FROM AGENCIES FOR TRAVEL AND
 PER DIEM EXPENSES.  THEREFORE, THE AUTHORITY FINDS THAT RESPONDENT
 VIOLATED SECTION 7116(A)(1) AND (8) WHEN IT DECLINED TO PAY TRAVEL AND
 PER DIEM EXPENSES TO ANY EMPLOYEE ON OFFICIAL TIME UNDER SECTION 7131(A)
 OF THE STATUTE WHILE REPRESENTING THE UNION IN THE RENEGOTIATION OF THE
 PARTIES' NATIONWIDE NEGOTIATED AGREEMENT.  /3/
 
                                   ORDER
 
    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 BUREAU OF THE MINT, DEPARTMENT OF THE
 TREASURY, SHALL:
 
    1.  CEASE AND DESIST FROM:
 
    (A) FAILING OR REFUSING TO PROVIDE PAYMENT OF PROPERLY DOCUMENTED
 TRAVEL AND PER DIEM EXPENSES INCURRED BY ITS EMPLOYEES AS A RESULT OF
 THEIR PARTICIPATION ON OFFICIAL TIME UNDER SECTION 7131(A) OF THE
 STATUTE AS DULY DESIGNATED REPRESENTATIVES OF THE AMERICAN FEDERATION OF
 GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, THE EMPLOYEES' EXCLUSIVE REPRESENTATIVE,
 IN SCHEDULED CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS.
 
    (B) IN ANY LIKE OR RELATED MANNER INTERFERING WITH, RESTRAINING, OR
 COERCING ITS EMPLOYEES IN THE EXERCISE OF THEIR RIGHTS ASSURED BY THE
 STATUTE.
 
    2.  TAKE THE FOLLOWING AFFIRMATIVE ACTION IN ORDER TO EFFECTUATE THE
 PURPOSES AND POLICIES OF THE STATUTE:
 
    (A) PROVIDE PAYMENT TO ANY OF ITS EMPLOYEES WHO SUBMIT A PROPERLY
 DOCUMENTED VOUCHER FOR TRAVEL AND PER DIEM EXPENSES INCURRED AS THE
 RESULT OF PARTICIPATION ON OFFICIAL TIME UNDER SECTION 7131(A) OF THE
 STATUTE AS THE DULY DESIGNATED REPRESENTATIVES OF THE AMERICAN
 FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, IN CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS.
 
    (B) POST AT ITS FACILITIES NATIONWIDE COPIES OF THE ATTACHED NOTICE
 ON FORMS TO BE FURNISHED BY THE FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY.  UPON
 RECEIPT OF SUCH FORMS, THEY SHALL BE SIGNED BY THE DIRECTOR OF THE
 BUREAU OF THE MINT AND SHALL BE POSTED AND MAINTAINED BY HIM FOR 60
 CONSECUTIVE DAYS THEREAFTER, IN CONSPICUOUS PLACES, INCLUDING ALL
 BULLETIN BOARDS AND OTHER PLACES WHERE NOTICES TO EMPLOYEES ARE
 CUSTOMARILY POSTED.  THE DIRECTOR SHALL TAKE REASONABLE STEPS TO INSURE
 THAT SAID 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 III, 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., DECEMBER 29, 1981
 
                       RONALD W. HAUGHTON, CHAIRMAN
                       HENRY B. FRAZIER III, MEMBER
                       LEON B. APPLEWHAITE, MEMBER
                       FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
 
                          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 FAIL OR REFUSE TO PROVIDE PAYMENT OF PROPERLY DOCUMENTED
 TRAVEL AND PER DIEM EXPENSES INCURRED BY OUR EMPLOYEES AS A RESULT OF
 THEIR PARTICIPATION ON OFFICIAL TIME UNDER SECTION 7131(A) OF THE
 STATUTE AS DULY DESIGNATED REPRESENTATIVES OF THE AMERICAN FEDERATION OF
 GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, OUR EMPLOYEES' EXCLUSIVE REPRESENTATIVE,
 IN SCHEDULED CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS.
 
    WE WILL NOT IN ANY LIKE OR RELATED MANNER INTERFERE WITH, RESTRAIN,
 OR COERCE OUR EMPLOYEES IN THE EXERCISE OF THEIR RIGHTS AS ASSURED BY
 THE STATUTE.
 
    WE WILL PROVIDE PAYMENT TO ANY OF OUR EMPLOYEES WHO SUBMIT A PROPERLY
 DOCUMENTED VOUCHER FOR TRAVEL AND PER DIEM EXPENSES INCURRED AS A RESULT
 OF PARTICIPATION ON OFFICIAL TIME UNDER SECTION 7131(A) OF THE STATUTE
 AS THE DULY DESIGNATED REPRESENTATIVES OF THE AMERICAN FEDERATION OF
 GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, OUR EMPLOYEES' EXCLUSIVE REPRESENTATIVE,
 IN SCHEDULED CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS.
 
                           (AGENCY OR ACTIVITY)
 
    DATED:
 
                                   BY:
 
                            (SIGNATURE) (TITLE)
 
    THIS NOTICE MUST REMAIN POSTED FOR 60 CONSECUTIVE DAYS FROM THE DATE
 OF THIS 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, FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY, REGION 222, WHOSE ADDRESS
 IS 1111 18TH STREET, N.W., WASHINGTON, D.C., 20036 AND WHOSE TELEPHONE
 NUMBER IS (202) 653-8452.
 
 
 
 
 
 --------------- FOOTNOTES: ---------------
 
 
    /1/ INTERPRETATION AND GUIDANCE, 2 FLRA 264(1979).  SUBSEQUENTLY, THE
 AUTHORITY ISSUED BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO AND FIREARMS, WESTERN
 REGION, DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, 4 FLRA
 NO. 40(1980), APPEAL DOCKETED, NO. 80-7673 (9TH CIR. NOV. 28, 1980) AND
 U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, SCIENCE AND EDUCATION ADMINISTRATION,
 AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH, NORTH CENTRAL REGION, DAKOTAS-ALASKA AREA, 6 F