09:0526(61)RO - National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH and NFFE Local 1967 -- 1982 FLRAdec RP



[ v09 p526 ]
09:0526(61)RO
The decision of the Authority follows:


 9 FLRA No. 61
 
 NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF CHILD HEALTH
 AND HUMAN DEVELOPMENT, NATIONAL
 INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
 Activity
 
 and
 
 NATIONAL FEDERATION OF FEDERAL
 EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 1967
 Labor Organization/Petitioner
 
                                            Case No. 3-RO 85
 
                            DECISION AND ORDER
 
    UPON A PETITION DULY FILED WITH THE FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
 UNDER SECTION 7111(B)(1) OF THE FEDERAL SERVICE LABOR-MANAGEMENT
 RELATIONS STATUTE (THE STATUTE), A HEARING WAS HELD BEFORE A HEARING
 OFFICER OF THE AUTHORITY.  /1/ THE AUTHORITY HAS REVIEWED THE HEARING
 OFFICER'S RULINGS MADE AT THE HEARING AND FINDS THAT THEY ARE FREE FROM
 PREJUDICIAL ERROR.  THE RULINGS ARE HEREBY AFFIRMED.
 
    UPON THE ENTIRE RECORD IN THIS CASE, /2/ THE AUTHORITY FINDS:  THE
 PETITIONER, NATIONAL FEDERATION OF FEDERAL EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 1967, SEEKS
 TO EXCLUSIVELY REPRESENT ALL PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYEES OF THE NATIONAL
 INSTITUTE OF CHILD HEALTH AND HUMAN DEVELOPMENT (ACTIVITY) AT BETHESDA,
 MARYLAND.  THE ACTIVITY IS PART OF THE NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
 (NIH) WHICH CONSISTS OF VARIOUS INSTITUTES, BUREAUS AND DIVISIONS, THE
 NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE, AND THE CLINICAL CENTER.  NIH HAS
 APPROXIMATELY 1,398 PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYEES, MOST OF WHOM ARE LOCATED IN
 BETHESDA, MARYLAND.  THE PETITIONER SEEKS TO REPRESENT APPROXIMATELY 118
 OF THESE EMPLOYEES, ALL EMPLOYED IN BETHESDA.  THERE ARE NO EXCLUSIVELY
 REPRESENTED UNITS OF PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYEES IN BETHESDA.  /3/
 
    EACH OF THE DIVISIONS WITHIN NIH SHARES THE OVERALL NIH MISSION OF
 IMPROVING THE HEALTH OF THE NATION.  THE SPECIFIC MISSION OF THE
 ACTIVITY INVOLVES POPULATION RESEARCH AND THE SPECIAL PROBLEMS OF
 MOTHERS, CHILDREN AND FAMILIES.  AS WITH MOST OF THE NIH RESEARCH
 INSTITUTES, THE ACTIVITY PERFORMS LABORATORY AND CLINICAL RESEARCH, AND
 IS ALSO RESPONSIBLE FOR ADMINISTERING A SYSTEM OF GRANTS AND CONTRACTS
 WHICH SUPPORT OUTSIDE RESEARCH.
 
    THE ACTIVITY CONTENDS THAT THE PETITIONED FOR UNIT IS NOT APPROPRIATE
 UNDER THE CRITERIA OF SECTION 7112(A)(1) OF THE STATUTE, /4/ AS THE
 EMPLOYEES SOUGHT DO NOT SHARE A COMMUNITY OF INTEREST SEPARATE AND
 DISTINCT FROM PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYEES AT THE VARIOUS BUREAUS, INSTITUTES
 AND DIVISIONS WHICH COMPRISE NIH, AND THAT THE ONLY APPROPRIATE UNIT
 WOULD BE A RESIDUAL UNIT OF ALL UNREPRESENTED PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYEES.
 IT FURTHER CONTENDS THAT THE UNIT SOUGHT WOULD RESULT IN FRAGMENTATION
 AND PROLIFERATION OF UNITS AT NIH RESULTING IN AN ADVERSE IMPACT ON
 EFFECTIVE DEALINGS AND EFFICIENCY OF AGENCY OPERATIONS.
 
    THE RECORD REVEALS THAT THE PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYEES SOUGHT HAVE JOB
 CLASSIFICATIONS WHICH ARE COMMON TO THOSE IN THE OTHER COMPONENTS OF
 NIH, AND ARE REGULARLY REASSIGNED AND OCCASIONALLY DETAILED TO OTHER
 SEGMENTS OF THE AGENCY.  PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYEES OF THE VARIOUS BUREAUS,
 INSTITUTES AND DIVISIONS OF NIH FREQUENTLY COLLABORATE WITH EACH OTHER
 IN THEIR RESPECTIVE AREAS OF EXPERTISE.  THE EMPLOYEES SOUGHT SHARE THE
 SAME WORKING CONDITIONS AND ARE COVERED BY THE SAME PERSONNEL POLICIES
 AND PRACTICES AS ALL OTHER PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYEES AT NIH.  THUS, ALL
 PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYEES AT NIH ARE IN THE SAME AREA OF CONSIDERATION FOR
 REDUCTIONS IN FORCE, RETENTION RIGHTS AND PROMOTION ACTIONS, AND ALL ARE
 COVERED BY THE SAME EMPLOYEE GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE, CAREER LADDER, MERIT
 PROMOTION PLAN, ADVERSE ACTION POLICY AND AWARD PROGRAM.  MOREOVER,
 ALTHOUGH EACH COMPONENT OF NIH HAS ITS OWN PERSONNEL OFFICE TO HANDLE
 DAY-TO-DAY OPERATIONS, THE NIH CENTRAL PERSONNEL OFFICE IS RESPONSIBLE
 FOR THE OVERALL POLICY DEVELOPMENT AND PROGRAM EVALUATION OF ALL
 COMPONENTS OF NIH INCLUDING THE ADMINISTRATION OF ALL LABOR-MANAGEMENT
 RELATIONS FUNCTIONS, WHICH FUNCTIONS ARE CENTRALIZED IN ITS
 LABOR-MANAGEMENT BRANCH.
 
    IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, THE AUTHORITY FINDS THAT THE UNIT WHICH THE
 PETITIONER SEEKS TO REPRESENT IS NOT APPROPRIATE FOR EXCLUSIVE
 RECOGNITION UNDER SECTION 7112(A)(1) OF THE ST