11:0687(115)RO DIGEST HEADINGS STATUTE SUBJECT MATTER INDEX ENTRIES DIGEST NOTES DECISION AND ORDER ORDER -- 1983 FLRAdec RO
[ v11 p687 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
11 FLRA NO. 115
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION BUREAU OF DRUGS Activity and MEDICAL-DENTAL OFFICERS SOCIETY OF FDA Labor Organization/Petitioner Case No. 3-RO-92
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. The Authority has reviewed the hearing officer's rulings made at the hearing and finds 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, Medical - Dental Officers Society of FDA, seeks an election in a unit composed of all nonsupervisory medical and dental officers employed at the Bureau of Drugs, Food and Drug Administration. At the hearing in this matter, the Petitioner stated its willingness to proceed to an election in an alternative unit composed of either all nonsupervisory medical and dental officers employed at the FDA within the Washington, D.C. area, or all nonsupervisory medical and dental officers employed at the FDA (in the Washington, D.C. area or elsewhere).
The Activity principally contends that the petitioned-for unit is inappropriate under the Statute because the employees involved lack a clear and identifiable community of interest separate and distinct from other professional employees of FDA headquarters. The Activity further contends that the petitioned-for unit and the two alternative units are inappropriate in that they would lead to unwarranted fragmentation and would not promote effective dealings and efficiency of agency operations. On the other hand, the Petitioner contends that the employees in the proposed unit as well as those in the alternative units share a community of interest separate and distinct from other FDA employees and that any of the proposed units will promote effective dealings with, and efficiency of the operations of, the agency involved. [ v11 p 687 ]
The Authority finds that neither the unit which the Petitioner seeks to represent nor any of the proposed alternative units is appropriate for exclusive recognition under section 7112(a)(1) of the Statute. Section 7112(a)(1) provides in pertinent part:
(T)he Authority shall determine any unit to be an appropriate unit only if the determination will ensure a clear and identifiable community of interest among the employees in the unit and will promote effective dealings with, and efficiency of the operations of, the agency involved.
Thus, in order to be found appropriate, a proposed unit must meet all three of the foregoing criteria. 1
The medical and dental officers are functionally integrated with other professional employees in carrying out the mission of the Activity; have essentially the same working conditions as other professional employees; and perform a part of the process of the evaluation and regulation of drugs shared by an interdisciplinary group of professional employees including pharmacologists, physiologists, chemists, pharmacists, biologists and microbiologists at the Activity. While medical and dental officers are paid under a slightly different salary scale than other professionals, have unique professional legal liabilities, and are in a separate competitive area for purposes of reduction-in-force, the Authority concludes that such factors are insufficient to support the Petitioner's assertion that medical and dental officers have a clear and identifiable community of interest separate and distinct from the other professional employees at the Activity. Accordingly, the conclusion must be that the employees sought do not have a clear and identifiable community of interest separate and distinct from other professional employees of the Bureau of Drugs, or of the FDA. The Authority finds that the unit and alternative units sought are not appropriate for exclusive recognition under section 7112(a)(1) of the Statute and shall therefore dismiss the petition. See Providence Veterans Administration Medi