11:0195(44)RO - Providence VA Medical Center, Davis Park, Providence, RI and Laborers International Union of North America, Health Care Division, Local 1056 -- 1983 FLRAdec RP



[ v11 p195 ]
11:0195(44)RO
The decision of the Authority follows:


 11 FLRA No. 44
 
 PROVIDENCE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION
 MEDICAL CENTER, DAVIS PARK,
 PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND
 Activity
 
 and
 
 LABORERS INTERNATIONAL UNION
 OF NORTH AMERICA, HEALTH CARE
 DIVISION, LOCAL 1056, AFL-CIO
 Labor Organization/Petitioner
 
                                            Case No. 1-RO-39
 
                            DECISION AND ORDER
 
    Upon a petition duly filed with the 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.  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, including the parties'
 contentions, the Authority finds:  The Petitioner, Laborers
 International Union of North America, Health Care Division, Local 1056,
 AFL-CIO (LIUNA), seeks an election in a unit of all General Schedule
 (GS) professional employees of the Activity, excluding, inter alia, all
 Title 38 /1/ professional employees.  /2/ The Activity contends that the
 only appropriate unit under the Statute would encompass all
 unrepresented professional employees, including Title 38 professionals;
 that the unit sought therefore is inappropriate because the GS
 professional employees do not share a community of interest separate and
 distinct from the other professional employees of the Activity;  and
 that such a unit would lead to unwarranted fragmentation of the Activity
 and would not promote effective dealings and efficiency of agency
 operations.
 
    For approximately 10 years, until May 1980, Local 980, National
 Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE), had been the certified exclusive
 representative for a unit consisting of all nonsupervisory professional
 personnel at the Activity, including Title 38 professionals;  i.e., the
 same unit which the Activity contends is the only appropriate unit
 herein.  /3/ LIUNA now seeks a unit limited to the GS professional
 employees in the former NFFE unit, excluding Title 38 professionals,
 contending that GS professionals have a community of interest separate
 from Title 38 professionals.
 
    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 Statute.  /4/ The record establishes that the GS
 professionals here sought, as well as the Title 38 professional
 employees of the Activity, have the same or substantially similar
 occupational classifications and job descriptions and perform the same
 functions;  work side-by-side as integrated medical treatment teams;
 have common supervision;  are functionally integrated in carrying out
 the mission of the Activity;  have essentially the same working
 conditions and are subject to the same legal and administrative
 constraints applicable to patient care.  Moreover, as indicated above,
 there has been a history of collective bargaining at the Activity for a
 unit consisting of GS and Title 38 professional employees.  While Title
 38 professionals are paid under a slightly different salary scale than
 GS professionals and are in a different competitive area for purposes of
 reduction-in-force, the Authority concludes that such differences fail
 to support the Petitioner's assertion that Title 38 professional
 employees have a clear and identifiable community of interest separate
 and distinct from the other professional employees at the Activity.
 Accordingly, the Authority finds that the unit sought is not appropriate
 for exclusive recognition under section 7112(a)(1) of the Statute and
 shall therefore dismiss the petition.  See Department of the Navy, Navy
 Publications and Printing Service Branch Office, Vallejo, California, 10
 FLRA No. 108