12:0149(36)NG - AFGE Local 1749 and Air Force, 47th Flying Training Wing, Laughlin AFB, TX -- 1983 FLRAdec NG
[ v12 p149 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
12 FLRA No. 36 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, LOCAL 1749 Union and DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE, 47TH FLYING TRAINING WING, LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, TEXAS Agency Case No. O-NG-554 DECISION AND ORDER ON NEGOTIABILITY ISSUE This case comes before the Authority pursuant to section 7105(a)(2)(E) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute) and raises an issue concerning the negotiability of the following Union proposal. All training/drills to be conducted after 1600 hours, Saturdays, Sundays and on holidays must be pre-scheduled in writing, and a copy provided to the designated union steward of each shift and copies posted on appropriate bulletin boards thirty (30) days prior to training being performed. Any deviation from the scheduled training will be rescheduled thirty (30) days from the scheduled date with a copy of the change provided to the union steward of each shift and the change posted on the appropriate bulletin boards. Upon careful consideration of the entire record, including the parties' contentions, the Authority makes the following determinations. The Union's proposal is intended to cover the scheduling and notification of training of a unit of fire fighters at an Agency location which conducts aircraft pilot training. In this regard, the Agency states: Training to prepare/qualify firefighters to operate as a team during an emergency must of necessity be conducted in close proximity to the aircraft runways; therefore, it is impossible to conduct such firefighting training during the time student pilots are flying or practicing takeoffs/landings. . . . It should also be noted that firefighter training cannot be conducted during the time student pilots are flying because the firefighters would then be unable to perform their primary duty, that of immediate response to an emergency. Consequently, there are occasions when firefighter training can only be given after 1600 hours daily or on Saturdays, Sundays or holidays. /1/ With respect to the constraints which would be imposed by the Union proposal, the Agency contends: In order to be qualified as a firefighter and/or a team, firefighters must be prepared to respond on a moment's notice. The only way management has to assure itself of this preparedness is through unscheduled training/drills. Also in this connection, the Agency asserts, "It would be impossible for management to schedule, 30 days in advance, training which would provide firefighters with the necessary skills/abilities for responding to a 'middle-of-the-night' emergency during a driving rain storm." /2/ Thus, in the circumstances of this case as described by the Agency, the instant proposal would prevent management from acting at all to assign certain types of training to firefighters after 1600 hours and on weekends and holidays, periods during which training must be conducted on occasion, without the requisite notice. That is, it would not be possible to schedule training in adverse weather conditions 30 days in advance of its performance nor, under the notice required by the proposal, would it be possible to conduct unannounced drills to assess the readiness of employees to respond to emergencies. Hence, the Union proposal, as written, is inconsistent with the Agency's right under section 7106(a)(2)(B) of the Statute "to assign work." See International Association of Fire Fighters, Local F-61 and Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, 3 FLRA 438 (1980). /3/ Accordingly, pursuant to section 2424.10 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations, IT IS ORDERED that the Union's petition for review be, and it hereby is, dismissed. 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/ Agency Statement of Position at 2. /2/ Id. at 4. /3/ In its response to the Agency's statement of position, the Union says that the proposal does not cover readiness tests or security checks. This assertion is inconsistent with the plain language of the proposal which covers "(a)ll training/drills to be conducted. . . . " In finding the instant proposal nonnegotiable, the Authority does not decide whether a more limited proposal, such as that described by the Union, would be negotiable.