12:0043(12)CA - DOD Dependents Schools and Overseas Education Association, NEA -- 1983 FLRAdec CA



[ v12 p43 ]
12:0043(12)CA
The decision of the Authority follows:


 12 FLRA No. 12
 
 DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE DEPENDENTS
 SCHOOLS
 Respondent
 
 and
 
 OVERSEAS EDUCATION ASSOCIATION, NEA
 Charging Party
 
                                            Case Nos. 3-CA-1482
                                                      3-CA-1484
 
                            DECISION AND ORDER
 
    This matter is before the Authority pursuant to the Regional
 Director's "Order Transferring Case to the Authority" in accordance with
 section 2429.1(a) of the Authority's Rules and Regulations.
 
    Upon consideration of the entire record in these consolidated cases,
 including the parties' stipulation of facts, accompanying exhibits, and
 briefs submitted by the Respondent and the General Counsel, /1/ the
 Authority finds:
 
    The consolidated complaint alleges that the Department of Defense
 Dependents Schools (the Respondent) violated section 7116(a)(1) and (5)
 of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute)
 /2/ when it declined to issue "permissive travel orders" to its
 employee, Ronald Bentz, an area director of the Overseas Education
 Association (OEA) stationed at Karlsruhe, Germany, to attend a National
 Education Association (NEA) national convention in Los Angeles,
 California from June 24 to July 7, 1980.  It is further alleged that the
 Respondent violated section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Statute by
 refusing to issue "temporary duty orders" to Bentz in connection with
 his attendance at an OEA board of directors meeting and a labor
 relations training session in Washington, D.C. from September 24 to
 October 6, 1980.  By these acts it is alleged the Respondent
 unilaterally changed a practice of issuing such orders for OEA officials
 to attend the same or similar functions in the past.  On five occasions
 from September 1979 to May 1980, the Respondent issued travel orders for
 Bentz to attend four conference/labor relations workshops and one
 transition team meeting.  The record reflects that, on at least four of
 these occasions, Bentz was in a duty status.  By contrast, the
 stipulation indicates that Bentz was not in a duty status from June 24
 to July 8, 1980, the travel period for attending the NEA convention in
 Los Angeles, /3/ one of the instances at issue here.
 
    The Respondent argues, inter alia, that the travel orders which were
 issued to Bentz on the previous occasions were approved because the
 activities were work-related, /4/ while the requests at issue herein
 were for events which involved union activities only.  The General
 Counsel takes the position that, by rejecting the requests in the two
 cited instances, the Respondent changed a condition of employment
 established by past practice.
 
    In regard to the Respondent's refusal to issue travel orders for
 Bentz to attend the NEA convention in Los Angeles, the authority
 concludes that the General Counsel has not met its burden of proving
 that there was a change in past practice involving a condition of
 employment.  Thus, the record reveals that Bentz would not have been in
 a duty status during such travel, in contrast to the earlier instances
 when he was issued permissive travel orders while in a duty status.
 Additionally, unlike the earlier occasions when Bentz was issued travel
 orders in connection with labor relations workshops and a transition
 team meeting, there is no evidence in the record that the union
 convention involved herein concerned other than internal union business.
  Therefore, the Authority concludes that the General Counsel has failed
 to establish that the Respondent unilaterally changed a past practice
 involving a condition of employment in violation of section 7116(a)(1)
 and (5) of the Statute, and therefore will dismiss the allegation of the
 complaint in this regard.
 
    However, with regard to the allegation concerning the Respondent's
 refusal to issue travel orders in connection with Bentz' attendance at
 OEA meetings and labor relations training sessions in Washington, D.C.
 from September 24 to October 6, 1980, it appears that the circumstances
 surrounding this request were not materially different from Bentz'
 previous requests which were granted by the Respondent to attend similar
 labor relations workshops/training functions while in a duty status.
 Therefore, the Authority finds that the Respondent unilaterally changed
 an established past practice and thereby violated section 7116(a)(1) and
 (5) of the Statute when it refused to grant the requested orders for
 travel from September 24 to October 6, 1980.  /5/
 
                                   ORDER
 
    Pursuant to section 2423.29 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations
 and section 7118 of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations
 Statute, the Authority hereby orders that the Department of Defense
 Dependents Schools shall:
 
    1.  Cease and desist from:
 
    (a) Unilaterally altering or changing an established past practice as
 existed prior to September 24, 1980 with respect to the issuance of
 travel orders to Ronald Bentz, an area director of the Overseas
 Education Association, to attend labor relations training, without first
 notifying the Overseas Education Association, NEA, the exclusive
 bargaining representative of the Respondent's employees, and, upon
 request, bargaining in good faith to the full extent consonant with law.
 
    (b) In any like or related manner interfering with, restraining, or
 coercing its employees in the exercise of rights 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) Notify the Overseas Education Association, NEA, the exclusive
 bargaining representative of the Respondent's employees, of any proposed
 change in established past practices with respect to travel orders, or
 any other term or condition of employment and, upon request, bargain in
 good faith to the full extent consonant with law.
 
    (b) Post at its facilities at the Germany South Region, 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
 Director of the Germany South Region, or his designee, and shall be
 posted and maintained by him for 60 consecutive days thereafter, in
 conspicuous places, including all bulletin boards and other places where
 notices to employees are customarily posted.  The Director shall take
 reasonable steps to insure that such Notices are not altered, defaced,
 or covered by any other material.
 
    (c) Pursuant to section 2423.30 of the Authority's Rules and
 Regulations, notify the Regional Director of Region III, 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.
 
    IT IS HEREBY FURTHER ORDERED that the allegation contained in the
 consolidated complaint in Case Nos. 3-CA-1482 and 3-CA-1484 relating to
 the Respondent's refusal to issue permissive travel orders for Ronald
 Bentz to attend a National Education Association national convention
 while not in a duty status be, and it hereby is, dismissed.  Issued,
 Washington, D.C., May 6, 1983
                                       Barbara J. Mahone, Chairman
                                       Ronald W. Haughton, Member
                                       Henry B. Frazier III, Member
                                       FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
 
                          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 unilaterally alter or change an established past practice
 as existed prior to September 24, 1980 with respect to the issuance of
 travel orders to Ronald Bentz, an area director of the Overseas
 Education Association, to attend labor relations training, without first
 notifying the Overseas Education Association, NEA, the exclusive
 bargaining representative of of our employees, and, upon request,
 bargaining in good faith to the full extent consonant with law.
 
    WE WILL NOT in any like or related manner interfere with, restrain,
 or coerce our employees in the exercise of rights assured by the Federal
 Service Labor-Management Relations Statute.
 
    WE WILL notify the Overseas Education Association, NEA, the exclusive
 bargaining representative of our employees, of any proposed change in
 established past practices with respect to travel orders, or any other
 term or condition of employment and, upon request, bargain in good faith
 to the full extent consonant with law.
                                       (Activity)
 
 Dated:  By:  (Signature) (Title)
 
    This Notice must remain posted for 60 consecutive days from the date
 of posting, and must not be altered, defaced, or covered by any other
 material.
 
    If employees have any questions concerning this Notice or compliance
 with its provisions, they may communicate directly with the Regional
 Director for the Federal Labor Relations Authority whose address is:
 P.O. Box 33758, Washington, D.C. 20033-0758 and whose telephone number
 is:  (202) 653-8452.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 --------------- FOOTNOTES$ ---------------
 
 
    /1/ In view of the disposition herein, it is unnecessary to pass upon
 the Respondent's Motion to Strike and the General Counsel's Opposition
 to Motion to Strike.
 
 
    /2/ Section 7116(a)(1) and (5) provides:
 
          Sec. 7116.  Unfair labor practices
 
          (a) For the purpose of this chapter, it shall be an unfair
       labor practice for an agency--
 
          (1) to interfere with, restrain, or coerce any employee in the
       exercise by the employee of any right under this chapter;
 
                                  * * * *
 
          (5) to refuse to consult or negotiate in good faith with a
       labor organization as required by this chapter(.)
 
 
    /3/ The Respondent specifically relied upon this fact in denying the
 request for permissive travel orders, citing and interpreting the
 Department of Defense's Joint Travel Regulations (JTR) paragraph C6250
 to the effect that such orders "will be issued only to employees who are
 in a duty status during the travel period."
 
 
    /4/ In this connection, the Respondent refers to the JTR, Part F
 (Travel at No Expense to the Government), paragraph C6250,