Interpretation and Guidance

 



[ v07 p682 ]
07:0682(105)PS
The decision of the Authority follows:


 7 FLRA No. 105
 
                                            Case No. O-MC-7
 
                        INTERPRETATION AND GUIDANCE
 
    INTRODUCTION
 
    AS ANNOUNCED IN ITS NOTICE OF JULY 24, 1981, /1/ THE AUTHORITY
 DETERMINED, PURSUANT TO ITS POWERS UNDER SECTION 7105(A)(1) OF THE
 FEDERAL SERVICE LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS STATUTE (THE STATUTE) (5
 U.S.C. 7101-7135), THAT AN INTERPRETATION OF THE STATUTE WAS WARRANTED
 ON THE FOLLOWING QUESTION:
 
       WHETHER SECTION 7131(A) OF THE FEDERAL SERVICE LABOR-MANAGEMENT
    RELATIONS STATUTE (5 U.S.C. 7131(A)), WHICH AUTHORIZES OFFICIAL TIME
    TO EMPLOYEES REPRESENTING AN EXCLUSIVE REPRESENTATIVE IN THE NEGOTIATION
    OF A COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT, APPLIES TO THE NEGOTIATION OF A
    LOCAL AGREEMENT WHICH SUPPLEMENTS A NATIONAL OR CONTROLLING (MASTER) 
    AGREEMENT.
 
    THE AUTHORITY INVITED INTERESTED PERSONS TO EXPRESS THEIR VIEWS IN
 WRITING CONCERNING THE QUESTION.  THE RESPONSES SUBMITTED TO THE
 AUTHORITY BY 14 FEDERAL AGENCIES AND 8 LABOR ORGANIZATIONS HAVE BEEN
 CAREFULLY CONSIDERED.  IN VIEW OF THE EXTENT AND DETAIL OF THESE
 SUBMISSIONS, THE AUTHORITY HAS DETERMINED THAT NO USEFUL PURPOSE WOULD
 BE SERVED BY PROVIDING FOR AN ORAL HEARING.
 
    CONCLUSION
 
    SECTION 7131(A) OF THE STATUTE, /2/ WHICH AUTHORIZES OFFICIAL TIME TO
 EMPLOYEES REPRESENTING AN EXCLUSIVE REPRESENTATIVE IN THE NEGOTIATION OF
 A COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT, DOES NOT APPLY TO THE NEGOTIATION OF
 A LOCAL AGREEMENT WHICH SUPPLEMENTS A NATIONAL OR CONTROLLING (MASTER)
 AGREEMENT.
 
    DISCUSSION
 
    IN ANSWERING THE QUESTION OF WHETHER THE OFFICIAL TIME PROVISIONS OF
 SECTION 7131(A) OF THE STATUTE APPLY TO THE NEGOTIATION OF A LOCAL
 AGREEMENT WHICH SUPPLEMENTS A NATIONAL OR CONTROLLING (MASTER)
 AGREEMENT, IT IS APPROPRIATE TO EXAMINE THE PERTINENT STATUTORY
 LANGUAGE, AS WAS DONE BY THE AUTHORITY IN INTERPRETATION AND GUIDANCE, 2
 FLRA 264(1979).  AS STATED THEREIN:  /3/
 
    SECTION 7131(A) EXPRESSLY STATES IN RELEVANT PART THAT "(A)NY
 EMPLOYEE REPRESENTING AN
 
    EXCLUSIVE REPRESENTATIVE IN THE NEGOTIATION OF A COLLECTIVE
 BARGAINING AGREEMENT UNDER THIS
 
    (STATUTE) SHALL BE AUTHORIZED OFFICIAL TIME FOR SUCH PURPOSES,
 INCLUDING ATTENDANCE AT IMPASSE
 
    PROCEEDING(S)." THIS SECTION THUS PROVIDES THAT WHEN AN EXCLUSIVE
 REPRESENTATIVE AND AN
 
    AGENCY UNDERTAKE THE NEGOTIATION OF A "COLLECTIVE BARGAINING
 AGREEMENT," AN EMPLOYEE
 
    REPRESENTING THE EXCLUSIVE REPRESENTATIVE IN THAT UNDERTAKING MUST BE
 AUTHORIZED OFFICIAL TIME
 
    FOR SUCH PURPOSES.
 
    IN THIS CONNECTION, THE PHRASE "COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT" IN
 SECTION 7131(A) IS
 
    DEFINED AT SECTION 7103(A)(8)(92 STAT. 1193), AS FOLLOWS:
 
    (8) "COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT" MEANS AN AGREEMENT ENTERED
 ENTERED INTO AS A RESULT
 
    OF COLLECTIVE BARGAINING PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS
 (STATUTE).
 
    THE PHRASE, "COLLECTIVE BARGAINING," IN TURN, IS DEFINED IN SECTION
 7103(A)(12)(92 STAT. 1194) AS FOLLOWS:
 
    (12) "COLLECTIVE BARGAINING" MEANS THE PERFORMANCE OF THE MUTUAL
 OBLIGATION OF THE
 
    REPRESENTATIVE OF AN AGENCY AND THE EXCLUSIVE REPRESENTATIVE OF
 EMPLOYEES IN AN APPROPRIATE
 
    UNIT IN THE AGENCY TO MEET AT REASONABLE TIMES AND TO CONSULT AND
 BARGAIN IN A GOOD-FAITH
 
    EFFORT TO REACH AGREEMENT WITH RESPECT TO THE CONDITIONS OF
 EMPLOYMENT AFFECTING SUCH
 
    EMPLOYEES AND TO EXECUTE, IF REQUESTED BY EITHER PARTY, A WRITTEN
 DOCUMENT INCORPORATING ANY
 
    COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT REACHED, BUT THE OBLIGATION REFERRED
 TO IN THIS PARAGRAPH DOES
 
    NOT COMPEL EITHER PARTY TO AGREE TO A PROPOSAL OR TO MAKE A
 CONCESSION(.)
 
    THUS THE ENTITLEMENT TO OFFICIAL TIME UNDER SECTION 7131(A) OF THE
 STATUTE FLOWS TO ANY EMPLOYEE REPRESENTING AN EXCLUSIVE REPRESENTATIVE
 IN THE NEGOTIATION OF A "COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT," WHICH "IS ANY
 AGREEMENT THAT IS ENTERED INTO AS A RESULT OF THE PERFORMANCE OF THE
 MUTUAL OBLIGATION OF THE PARTIES TO BARGAIN IN A GOOD-FAITH EFFORT TO
 REACH AGREEMENT WITH RESPECT TO CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT AFFECTING
 EMPLOYEES IN THE APPROPRIATE UNIT." /4/ HENCE, UNLESS WHAT IS BEING
 NEGOTIATED MEETS THIS DEFINITION OF "COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT,"
 THE OFFICIAL TIME PROVISIONS OF SECTION 7131(A) OF THE STATUTE DO NOT
 APPLY.
 
    PARTIES AT THE LEVEL OF EXCLUSIVE RECOGNITION, WHO ARE UNDER THE
 MUTUAL OBLIGATION TO BARGAIN WITH RESPECT TO CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT
 AFFECTING EMPLOYEES IN AN APPROPRIATE UNIT, MAY AGREE TO AUTHORIZE
 REPRESENTATIVES BELOW THE LEVEL OF EXCLUSIVE RECOGNITION TO SUPPLEMENT
 PROVISIONS OF THE NATIONAL OR CONTROLLING (MASTER) AGREEMENT.  THUS,
 LOCAL SUPPLEMENTAL AGREEMENTS ARE NEGOTIATED VOLUNTARILY PURSUANT TO THE
 AGREEMENT OF THE PARTIES AT THE LEVEL OF EXCLUSIVE RECOGNITION AND NOT
 PURSUANT TO A "MUTUAL OBLIGATION" TO BARGAIN.
 
    ACCORDINGLY, THE OFFICIAL TIME PROVISIONS OF SECTION 7131(A) OF THE
 STATUTE DO NOT ENCOMPASS NEGOTIATIONS BELOW THE LEVEL OF EXCLUSIVE
 RECOGNITION WHICH ARE DESIGNED TO CREATE LOCAL AGREEMENTS TO SUPPLEMENT
 A NATIONAL OR CONTROLLING (MASTER) AGREEMENT.  HOWEVER, IT SHOULD BE
 EMPHASIZED THAT THE OFFICIAL TIME PROVISIONS OF SECTION 7131(A) DO
 ENCOMPASS NEGOTIATIONS AT THE LEVEL OF EXCLUSIVE RECOGNITION INCLUDING
 NEGOTIATION OF "LOCAL ISSUES" AS PART OF THE NATIONAL OR CONTROLLING
 (MASTER) AGREEMENT.  /5/ MOREOVER, WHEN THE PARTIES AT THE NATIONAL OR
 CONTROLLING (MASTER) AGREEMENT LEVEL AGREE TO AUTHORIZE THE CREATION OF
 LOCAL AGREEMENTS, /6/ THEY REMAIN EMPOWERED PURSUANT TO SE