11:0618(105)CA AFGE, LOCAL 1760 VS HHS, SSA -- 1983 FLRAdec CA
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The decision of the Authority follows:
11 FLRA NO. 105
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, OFFICE OF PROGRAM SERVICE CENTERS AND NORTHEASTERN PROGRAM SERVICE CENTER Respondent and AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 1760, AFL-CIO Charging Party Case No. 2-CA-602
This matter is before the Authority pursuant to the Regional Director's "Order Transferring Case to the Federal Labor Relations Authority" in accordance with section 2429.1(a) of the Authority's Rules and Regulations.
Upon consideration of the entire record in this case, including the stipulation of facts and the parties' contentions, the Authority finds:
The complaint alleges that the Respondent violated section 7116(a)(1), (5) and (8) of the Federal Service Labor - Management Relations Statute (the Statute) by terminating, on or about September 6 and 7, 1980, the dues withholding authorizations of certain of its employees contrary to the provisions of section 7115(a) of the Statute, 1 in that [ v11 p618 ] it honored dues revocation requests at a period of time less than the one-year interval set forth therein. The complaint further alleges that this action represented a reversion by the Respondent to contract provisions previously rejected by the Charging Party, in derogation of the Respondent's duty to negotiate in good faith. 2
The Charging Party and the Respondent were parties to a collective bargaining agreement, entered into prior to the nationwide consolidation of Social Security Administration units on August 30, 1979, which provided for the revocation of dues withholding authorizations at six-month intervals effective the first full pay period following March 1 or September 1, if a revocation request was received by such dates. On July 26, 1979, after the Statute became effective, the Charging Party notified the Respondent that it objected to the continuation of the six-month intervals for dues revocation and requested negotiations with regard to new procedures for implementing section 7115(a) of the Statute. Although the parties subsequently met on several occasions to negotiate, they never reached agreement on new procedures to implement section 7115(a). Thereafter, on or about September 7, 1980, the Respondent, applying the provisions of the parties' local agreement, terminated dues withholding authorizations for certain of its employees pursuant to their revocation requests submitted at six-month intervals.
As noted previously by the Authority in its Interpretation and Guidance, 1 FLRA 183 (1979), the Statute, in contrast to Executive Order 11491, does not make dues allotments dependents upon a written agreement between an agency and an exclusive representative. Additionally, unlike the Executive Order which required agreements to contain a provision enabling employees to revoke their dues authorizations at six-month intervals, the Statute requires that an authorization may not be revoked for a period of one year. As further stated by the Authority, while nothing contained in the Statute precludes the parties to an agreement negotiated under the Executive Order from mutually agreeing to continue or renew their contractual provisions establishing six-month intervals for revocations, where a labor organization or an agency objects to the [ v11 p619 ] continuation of such contractual six-month intervals, section 7115(a) of the Statute applies and the one-year period begins to run from either of the following dates, whichever is later:
(a) the ending date of the preceding six-month interval during which the employee could have revoked his or her dues authorization; or
(b) the date on which the employee authorized dues withholding.
In U.S. Army, U.S. Army Materiel Development and Readiness Command, Warren, Michigan, 7 FLRA No. 30 (1981), the Authority held that "the language in section 7115(a) that 'any such assignment may not be revoked for a period of 1 year' must be interpreted to mean that authorized dues allotments may be revoked only at intervals of 1 year."
With respect to the instant case, in view of the Charging Party's expressed opposition to continuing or renewing the practice of permitting dues revocations at six-month intervals, the statutory provision requiring revocations only at one-year intervals became applicable. Thus, pursuant to section 7115(a), the time for revocation of dues authorizations following the effective date of the Statute would be during the first full pay period in March 1980 and in each March thereafter 3 or the anniversary date of the employee's initial dues withholding authorization, whichever is later. 4 Accordingly, the Respondent's action in terminating dues withholding authorizations on or about September 7, 1980, at less than a one-year interval, was contrary to the requirements of section 7115(a) of the statute and therefore violated section 7116(a)(1) and (8). U.S. Army, U.S. Army Materiel Development and Readiness Command, Warren, Michigan, 7 FLRA No. 30 (1981). 5 [ v11 p620 ]
Pursuant to section 2423.29 of the Rules and Regulations of the Federal Labor Relations Authority and section 7118 of the Statute, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Department of Health and Human Services, Social Security Administration, Office of Program Service Centers and Northeastern Program Service Center shall:
1. Cease and desist from:
(a) Honoring revocations from bargaining unit employees of assignments authorizing the deduction from pay of the amount of regular and periodic union dues which are made at less then one-year intervals.
(b) In any like or related manner interfering with, restraining, or coercing any employee in the exercise of any right assured by the Federal Service Labor - Management Relations Statute.
2. Take the following affirmative action in order to effectuate the purposes and policies of the Federal Service Labor - Management Relations Statute:
(a) Reinstate to dues withholding status every bargaining unit employee whose dues assignment was terminated improperly at less than one-year intervals, by reason of an improper dues revocation procedure, and whose assignment has not reached a date appropriate for termination pursuant to section 7115(a) of the Federal Service Labor - Management Relations Statute.
(b) Reimburse the exclusive representative, American Federation of Government Employees, Local 1760, AFL - CIO, in an amount equal to the regular and periodic dues it would have received from the pay of affected employees but did not receive as a result of the Respondent's implementation of a dues revocation procedure which was inconsistent with section 7115(a) of the Federal Service Labor - Management Relations Statute.
(c) Post at its facilities at the Office of Program Service Centers, Baltimore, Maryland and Northeastern Program Service Center, Flushing, New York, 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 respective Directors, or their designees, and shall be posted and maintained for 60 consecutive days thereafter, in conspicuous places, including bulletin boards and other places where notices to employees are customarily posted. Reasonable steps shall be taken by the Respondent to insure that such Notices are not altered, defaced, or covered by any other material. [ v11 p621 ]
(d) Pursuant to section 2423.30 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations, notify the Regional Director, Region II, 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., March 17, 1983 Ronald W. Haughton, Chairman Henry B. Frazier III, Member Leon B. Applewhaite, Member FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
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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 honor revocations from bargaining unit employees of assignments authorizing the deduction from pay of the amount of regular and period union dues which are made at less than one-year intervals.
WE WILL NOT in any like or related manner interfere with, restrain, or coerce any employee in the exercise of any right assured by the Federal Service Labor - Management Relations Statute.
WE WILL reinstate to dues withho