National Treasury Employees Union and NTEU Chapter 80 (Union) and Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, Central Region (Agency)

 



[ v08 p197 ]
08:0197(38)NG
The decision of the Authority follows:


 8 FLRA No. 38
 
 NATIONAL TREASURY EMPLOYEES
 UNION AND NTEU CHAPTER 80
 Union
 
 and
 
 DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY,
 INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE,
 CENTRAL REGION
 Agency
 
                                            Case No. 0-NG-353
 
                DECISION AND ORDER ON NEGOTIABILITY ISSUES
 
    THE PETITION FOR REVIEW IN THIS CASE COMES BEFORE THE FEDERAL LAB OR
 RELATIONS AUTHORITY (THE AUTHORITY) PURSUANT TO SECTION 7105(A)(2)(E) OF
 THE FEDERAL SERVICE LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS STATUTE (THE STATUTE) AND
 RAISES ISSUES CONCERNING THE NEGOTIABILITY OF SEVEN UNION PROPOSALS
 SUBMITTED TO ADDRESS CHANGED WORKING CONDITIONS OCCASIONED BY THE
 AGENCY'S DECISION TO ADOPT AN OPEN SPACE OFFICE ARRANGEMENT. UPON
 CAREFUL CONSIDERATION OF THE ENTIRE RECORD, INCLUDING THE PARTIES'
 CONTENTIONS, THE AUTHORITY MAKES THE FOLLOWING DETERMINATIONS.
 
                            UNION PROPOSALS 1-6
 
    1.  (A) PARTITIONS SHALL BE SEVEN FEET IN HEIGHT.
 
    (B) PARTITIONS SHALL REST DIRECTLY ON THE FLOOR.
 
    (C) PARTITIONS SHALL BE EQUIPPED WITH ELECTRICAL OUTLETS.
 
    (D) PARTITIONS SHALL EXTEND TO OUTSIDE WALLS.
 
    2.  (A) DRAPES OF SIGNIFICANT SOUND-DEADENING OR SOUND-ABSORBING
 QUALITY SHALL BE
 
    INSTALLED.
 
    (B) INDIVIDUAL SETS OF DRAPES, ABLE TO BE OPENED AND CLOSED
 INDEPENDENTLY OF OTHER DRAPES,
 
    SHALL BE INSTALLED IN EACH "CUBICLE" THAT HAS WINDOWS
 
    3.  A SOUND SYSTEM OF "WHITE NOISE" SHALL BE INSTALLED AND UTILIZED.
 
    4.  ACOUSTICAL CARPETING SHALL BE INSTALLED.
 
    5.  EACH EMPLOYEE SHALL BE SUPPLIED WITH A DESK LAMP.
 
    6.  SUCH MEETINGS FOR, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, CASE-MANAGEMENT
 INVENTORIES;  EMPLOYEE
 
    COUNSELLING, EMPLOYEE DISCIPLINE, DESK AUDITS, SHALL TAKE PLACE ONLY
 IN THE EMPLOYEE'S
 
    SUPERVISOR'S OFFICE OR IN SOME OTHER CLOSED OFFICE OF CONFERENCE
 ROOM.
 
    THE PROPOSALS CONCERN THE IMPLEMENTATION BY THE AGENCY OF AN OPEN
 SPACE OFFICE DESIGN (WHICH DESIGN, ITSELF, IS NOT IN DISPUTE).  THE
 AGENCY CLAIMS THE PROPOSALS WOULD INTERFERE WITH ITS RIGHT UNDER SECTION
 7106(B)(1) OF THE STATUTE TO DETERMINE "THE TECHNOLOGY, METHODS, AND
 MEANS OF PERFORMING WORK." HOWEVER, THE AGENCY HAS NOT ESTABLISHED
 EITHER THAT THE PROPOSALS IN DISPUTE THEMSELVES WOULD HAVE ANY
 TECHNOLOGICAL RELATIONSHIP TO ACCOMPLISHING OR FURTHERING THE
 PERFORMANCE OF THE AGENCY'S WORK;  OR THAT THEY WOULD INTERFERE WITH THE
 PURPOSE FOR WHICH AN OPEN SPACE OFFICE DESIGN WAS ADOPTED.
 
    IN THIS REGARD, THE INSTANT PROPOSALS BEAR NO MATERIAL DIFFERENCE
 FROM THOSE HELD TO BE NEGOTIABLE IN AMERICAN FEDERATION OF STATE,
 COUNTY, AND MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, LOCAL 2477 AND LIBRARY OF
 CONGRESS, WASHINGTON, D.C. (AND THE CASE CONSOLIDATED THEREWITH), 7 FLRA
 NO. 89(1982), AND ARE WITHIN THE DUTY TO BARGAIN FOR THE REASONS FULLY
 SET FORTH IN THAT CASE.
 
                             UNION PROPOSAL 7
 
    THE FIRST AND LAST FIFTEEN (15) MINUTES OF EACH WORKDAY ARE TO BE
 DEVOTED TO PACKING AND
 
    UNPACKING FILES.  THIS TIME SHALL BE NON-CASE TIME AND THIS LOSS OF
 PRODUCTIVE TIME SHALL NOT
 
    BE USED TO DECREASE AN EMPLOYEE'S PERFORMANCE EVALUATION.
 
    THE PROPOSAL WOULD REQUIRE MANAGEMENT TO ASSIGN SPECIFIED TYPES OF
 WORK AT SPECIFIC TIMES TO BARGAINING UNIT EMPLOYEES AND WOULD PRECLUDE
 THE ASSIGNMENT OF OTHER WORK AT THOSE TIMES.  THUS, IN AGREEMENT WITH
 THE AGENCY, THE AUTHORITY FINDS THE PROPOSAL VIOLATES MANAGEMENT'S RIGHT
 "TO ASSIGN WORK" UNDER SECTION 7106(A)(2)(B) OF THE STATUTE.  SEE, E.G.,
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, INTERNATIONAL
 COUNCIL OF U.S. MARSHALS SERVICE LOCALS AND DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, U.S.
 MARSHALS SERVICE, 4 FLRA NO. 52(1980),AT 3 OF THE DECISION.
 
    ACCORDINGLY, PURSUANT TO SECTION 2424.10 OF THE AUTHORITY'S RULES AND
 REGULATIONS (5 CFR 2424.10(1981), IT IS ORDERED THAT THE AGENCY SHALL
 UPON REQUEST (OR AS OTHERWISE AGREED TO BY THE PARTIES) BARGAIN ON UNION
 PROPOSALS 1-6. /1/ IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT THE PETITION FOR REVIEW
 WITH RESPECT TO UNION PROPOSAL 7 BE, AND IT HEREBY IS, DISMISSED.
 
    ISSUED, WASHINGTON, D.C., MARCH 11, 1982
 
                       RONALD W. HAUGHTON, CHAIRMAN
 
                       HENRY B. FRAZIER III, MEMBER
 
                        LEON B. APPLEWHAITE, MEMBER
 
                     FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
 
 
 
 
 
 --------------- FOOTNOTES: ---------------
 
 
    /1/ IN DECIDING THAT THESE PROPOSALS ARE WITHIN THE DUTY TO BARGAIN,
 THE AUTHORITY, OF COURSE, MAKES NO JUDGMENT AS TO THEIR MERITS.