12:0143(35)CU - Air Force, Sacramento Air Logistics Center, McClellan AFB, CA and IFPTE Local 220; Air Force, Sacramento Air Logistics Center, McClellan AFB, CA and AFGE Local 1857 and IFPTE Local 220 -- 1983 FLRAdec RP



[ v12 p143 ]
12:0143(35)CU
The decision of the Authority follows:


 12 FLRA No. 35
 
 DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE
 SACRAMENTO AIR LOGISTICS CENTER
 MCCLELLAN AIR FORCE BASE, CALIFORNIA
 Activity/Petitioner
 
 and
 
 INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF PROFESSIONAL AND
 TECHNICAL ENGINEERS, LOCAL 220, AFL-CIO
 Labor Organization
 
                                            Case No. 9-RA-7
 
 DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE
 SACRAMENTO AIR LOGISTICS CENTER
 MCCLELLAN AIR FORCE BASE, CALIFORNIA
 Activity/Petitioner
 
 and
 
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
 EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 1857, AFL-CIO
 Labor Organization
 
 and
 
 INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF PROFESSIONAL AND
 TECHNICAL ENGINEERS, LOCAL 220, AFL-CIO
 Labor Organization
 
                                            Case No. 9-CU-53
 
                    DECISION AND ORDER CLARIFYING UNIT
 
    Upon petitions duly filed with the Federal Labor Relations Authority
 under section 7111(b)(2) of the Federal Service Labor-Management
 Relations Statute (the Statute), a hearing was held before a hearing
 officer of the Authority.  The hearing officer's rulings made at the
 hearing are free from prejudicial error and are hereby affirmed.
 
    Upon the entire record in these cases, including the parties'
 contentions, the Authority finds:
 
    In Case No. 9-RA-7, the Activity/Petitioner, Sacramento Air Logistics
 Center, McClellan Air Force Base, seeks a determination as to whether
 the bargaining unit of its employees for which the International
 Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, Local 220, AFL-CIO
 (IFPTE) has been recognized as the exclusive representative since 1967,
 continues to be appropriate for the purpose of exclusive recognition
 under the Statute after two reorganizations within the Directorate of
 Maintenance.  /1/ The Activity/Petitioner's position is that the unit is
 no longer appropriate.
 
    Alternatively, in Case No. 9-CU-53, the same Activity seeks to
 clarify the unit now represented by IFPTE to conform to the
 circumstances resulting from the reorganizations, and/or by accreting
 the employees affected by the reorganizations to a unit currently
 represented by the American Federation of Government Employees, Local
 1857, AFL-CIO (AFGE).
 
    AFGE takes no position as to the continued appropriateness of the
 unit represented by IFPTE, but indicates that, if the Authority finds
 the IFPTE unit to be no longer appropriate, or determines that some or
 all of those employees should be included within AFGE's unit, it would
 represent them.
 
    IFPTE, on the other hand, maintains that the unit it currently
 represents remains appropriate.  It contends that the only effect of the
 reorganizations has been to raise the question of whether those
 employees currently represented by AFGE, who were transferred into the
 administrative division of the Activity where the IFPTE unit exists, are
 now appropriately part of its unit.  Without specifically seeking
 clarification of its unit to include that group of employees, IFPTE
 expresses its willingness to represent them if the Authority should so
 direct.
 
    The unit represented by IFPTE consists of approximately 450 employees
 in the Production Branch of the Flight Instruments and Pneudraulics
 Components Division of the Activity's Directorate of Maintenance.  It
 consists of employees engaged in working on or with flight instruments,
 and their support personnel.  The AFGE unit is a command-wide
 consolidated unit of some 80,000 employees, approximately 250 of whom
 are in the aforementioned Production Branch and are generally engaged in
 pneudraulic components rather than flight instruments.  The issues
 raised herein relate solely to whether the existing pattern of
 representation within the Production Branch should continue or be
 altered.
 
    In 1980, the Activity contracted out the bulk of its test equipment
 repair and calibration work, and transferred the remaining 25
 non-supervisory test equipment specialists from its
 Communications-Electronics Division into the Flight Instruments and
 Pneudraulics Components Division and its Production Branch.  Designated
 as "Section B" of the Production Branch, they repair and calibrate test
 equipment used by mechanics to repair components.  These employees were,
 and continue to be, represented by AFGE.
 
    In 1981, the Activity abolished the Flight Computer Section of the
 Production Branch and administratively transferred all of its 171
 employees to the Flight Indicator Section or the General Flight
 Instrument Section.  All three of those Sections were composed of
 employees represented by IFPTE, and, before the reorganization, they
 comprised IFPTE's unit in its entirety.  This reorganization had no
 effect on the employees' work or work stations.  As part of the 1981
 reorganization, the Activity transferred approximately 17
 non-supervisory employees from the Flight Indicator Section to Section B
 where they were further trained as equipment repair and calibration
 specialists and engaged in automatic test equipment functions on
 electronic equipment.  Those employees were, and continue to be,
 represented by IFPTE.  Section B was then divided into "Subsection BA"
 (the Peculiar Equipment Calibration Unit), consisting of those employees
 represented by AFGE, and "Subsection BB," comprised of those who
 continued to be represented by IFPTE.
 
    Before the 1980 and 1981 reorganizations, the Production Branch
 consisted of about 222 employees represented by AFGE in two Sections,
 both dealing entirely with pneudraulic components;  and about 452
 employees represented by IFPTE in three Sections all dealing with flight
 instruments.  After the reorganizations, AFGE represented about 250
 employees in the two pneudraulic components divisions and the new
 "Subsection BA," while IFPTE represented approximately 451 employees in
 the two remaining flight instrument sections and in "Subsection BB,"
 composed of employees transferred from those two sections.  In sum, the
 two reorganizations resulted in the creation of Section B and, more
 precisely, the placement of Subsection BA into the Production Branch.
 
    The employees in the Flight Indicator Section and the General Flight
 Instrument Section represented by IFPTE are engaged in the overhaul,
 calibration and final acceptance of aircraft instruments, just as they
 were before the reorganizations.  The employees in Subsections BA and BB
 work on the test equipment that others, most significantly those in the
 Flight Indicator and General Flight Instrument Sections, use to perform
 their work and turn out an end product.  The employees in the
 pneudraulic components sections, represented by AFGE, overhaul and
 repair aircraft hydraulic flight units, pumps, motors, and miscellaneous
 hydraulic and pneudraulic equipment.  The employees in Subsections BA
 and BB, whose work is electronic in nature and requires electronics
 skills, do not work with pneudraulics or hydraulics.
 
    Employees in Subsections BA and BB, the Flight Indicator Section and
 the General Flight Instrument Section, work together in two buildings
 which are connected by a conveyor belt and which has been called,
 historically, the Instrument Repair Complex (Complex).  The pneudraulic
 components employees represented by AFGE are located at least 500-600
 yards away.  Their work is not part of the integrated work product of
 the Complex, and they have little or no contact with the employees
 working in the Complex.
 
    Most of the Production Branch employees represented by AFGE are in
 the WG-8255 job series involving pneudraulic or hydraulic equipment
 repair and testing.  Almost all of the employees at the Complex,
 represented by IFPTE, are Instrument Mechanics in the WG-3359 job
 series.  /2/ Their work involves electrical instrument repair, utilizing
 electrical instruments and computers, and requires electro-mechanical
 skills.
 
    The majority of the employees in Subsections BA and BB are in the
 WG-2602 and WG-2650 job classifications, working as electronics
 measurement equipment mechanics and electronics integrated systems
 mechanics.  As noted above, the employees of Subsection BA were
 physically transferred into the Production Branch in 1980 and were then
 physically located in the Instrument Repair Complex.  The employees of
 Subsection BB, on the other hand, were merely transferred
 organizationally in 1981 from another section within the Complex where
 they had been performing similar automatic test equipment functions.
 They have now been trained to cope with additional job requirements and
 reclassified as WG-2602s or WG-2650s.  The employees in Subsections BA
 and BB perform no work on pneudraulic equipment.  Insofar as the record
 shows, all of the WG-2602s and WG-2650s employed by the Activity are
 located in Subsection BA or BB of the Production Branch.  Of the
 approximately 450 employees in Production Branch sections represented by
 IFPTE, more than 400 are classified as Instrument Mechanics WG-3359.
 the activity employs only 4 other wg-3359s, all located in subsection
 BA.
 
    The employees in Subsection BA, and those represented by IFPTE
 located in the Instrument Repair Complex, deal with each other on a
 regular basis, while their work contacts with the pneudraulic components
 employees represented by AFGE are infrequent.  The employees in the
 Instrument Repair Complex share common lunch and rest room facilities as
 well as a common work site.  They also share 13-minute rest breaks as
 opposed to the 10 minute breaks alloted to the pneudraulic component
 employees represented by AFGE.  The employees in the WG-3359 job series,
 who comprise over 90% of the IFPTE unit, progress in pay from WG-5 to
 WG-8 to WG-10, and have a journeyman level of WG-8 or 10.  The
 pneudraulic employees in AFGE's unit within the Production Branch, who
 are in the WG-8255 job series, progress from WG-5 to 7, to 9, to 10, and
 have a journeyman level of WG-9.  Neither the journeyman level nor the
 method of wage progression is clear with respect to the WG-2602s and
 WG-2650s, who comprise the majority of the employees in Subsections BA
 and BB, but their skills and training are closely related to those of
 the WG-3359 employees and dissimilar from those of the WG-8255s.
 
    It is concluded from the foregoing that IFPTE's bargaining unit
 continues to be appropriate under the criteria set forth in section
 7112(a)(1) of the Statute.  /3/ That unit remains essentially as it was
 before the reorganizations, a unit of Production Branch employees in the
 Instrument Repair Complex as opposed to employees who perform
 pneudraulic functions.  The employees in IFPTE's unit continue to share
 a community of interest evidenced by their daily job interaction;
 common physical location;  shared lunch room and rest room facilities;
 common or similar training, skills and equipment;  similar work
 products, job series and wage progression;  minimal temporary or
 permanent interchange to or from that unit;  and common hours.
 Similarly, the integrated nature of the Instrument Repair Complex itself
 tends to promote effective dealings at that level with regard to labor
 relations and personnel matters, and the common problems and conditions
 inherent to the employees of the Complex seem to ensure that efficiency
 of the Activity's operations would be enhanced by negotiating and
 administering labor relations at that level.  Accordingly, the Authority
 finds that the unit represented by IFPTE continues to be appropriate for
 the purpose of exclusive recognition, and the petition in Case No.
 9-RA-7 shall be dismissed.
 
    It is also concluded, for the reasons enumerated above, that the
 employees in Subsection BA share a unique community of interest with the
 other employees of the Complex, separate and distinct from that of the
 pneudraulic function employees of the Production Branch.  The record
 does not indicate that they share a community of interest with any
 employees outside the Production Branch.  Further, not only would their
 inclusion in the unit represented by IFPTE promote efficiency of agency
 operations and effective dealings for the reasons already expressed, but
 it is clear that their exclusion perpetuates an artificial division of
 Section B and of the Instrument Repair Complex, necessitating contract
 negotiation and administration at a level unsupported by the Activity's
 administrative configuration or by the history of bargaining.
 
    Accordingly, the Authority finds that the bargaining unit represented
 by IFPTE should be clarified to include non-supervisory test equipment
 specialists who were transferred from the Communications-Electronics
 Division into the Peculiar Equipment Calibration Unit within the
 Production Branch of the Flight Instrument and Pneudraulic Components
 Division.
 
                                   ORDER
 
    IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the unit sought to be clarified, in which
 the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers,
 Local 220, AFL-CIO was recognized in 1967 be, and it hereby is,
 clarified by including in said unit all eligible employees in the
 Peculiar Equipment Calibration Unit, Automatic Test Systems Support
 Unit, Flight Indicator Section, and General Flight Instrument Section of
 the Flight Instruments and Pneudraulics Components Division in the
 Directorate of Maintenance, Sacramento Air Logistics Center, excluding
 management officials, supervisors, professional employees, employees
 with temporary appointments not to exceed one year and employees engaged
 in civilian personnel work other than in a purely clerical capacity.
 
    IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the petition in Case No. 9-RA-7 be, and it
 hereby is, dismissed in its entirety.  
 
 Issued, Washington, D.C., June 7, 1983
 
                                       Barbara J. Mahone, Chairman
                                       Ronald W. Haughton, Member
                                       Henry B. Frazier III, Member
                                       FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
 
 
 
 
 
 
 --------------- FOOTNOTES$ ---------------
 
 
    /1/ The original IFPTE unit is described as:  All eligible employees
 in the Flight Computer Section, Flight Indicator Section and General
 Flight Instrument Section of the Flight Instruments and Pneudraulics
 Components Division in the Directorate of Maintenance, Sacramento Air
 Logistics Center and excluding management officials, supervisors,
 professional employees, employees with temporary appointment not to
 exceed one year and employees engaged in civilian personnel work in
 other than a purely clerical capacity.  The Flight Computer