12:0540(102)NG - New York State Nurses Association and VA Medical Center, Manhattan, NY -- 1983 FLRAdec NG
[ v12 p540 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
12 FLRA No. 102 NEW YORK STATE NURSES ASSOCIATION Union and VETERANS ADMINISTRATION MEDICAL CENTER, MANHATTAN, NEW YORK Agency Case No. O-NG-542 DECISION AND ORDER ON NEGOTIABILITY ISSUES The petition for review in this case comes before the Authority pursuant to section 7105(a)(2)(E) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute), and presents the issue of the negotiability of the following Union proposal: Article 5.03 Work Schedules A. Each supervisor will make a reasonable effort within the demands of patient care needs to give each employee every other weekend off. To meet the staffing requirement, part-time employees can be asked to work two weekends a month. B. Each supervisor will make a reasonable effort to minimize rotation to the least amount necessary to meet patient care needs. Rotation will be distributed on an equitable basis among both full-time and part-time employees. During the four-week posting period, nurses may be assigned to evening relief or night relief, but not both. During a four-week posting period, no nurse will be required to rotate from the day to evening shift or the day to night shift on more than three separate occasions. C. If, following a four-week period of evening or night relief, a nurse is scheduled to provide relief on the relief shift other than that worked during the last four-week period, the nurse will be given at least 50 hours of non-duty time between the end of one four-week period of relief and the beginning of the next four-week period of relief. (The underscored portions are at issue.) Upon careful consideration of the entire record, including the parties' contentions, the Authority makes the following determinations. In agreement with the Agency, the Authority finds that the Union's proposal would interfere with management's right to determine the numbers, types, and grades of employees or positions assigned to a tour of duty and, therefore, is negotiable only at the Agency's election under section 7106(b)(1) of the Statute. /1/ The disputed portions of the proposal, taken together, state absolute requirements that on specified days or during specified time periods certain employees would not be required to work. The proposal thereby would require management to assign nurses based solely on a schedule regardless of personnel needs. In this regard, the Agency contends without controversion that in order to meet its responsibility to provide quality medical care while complying with the Union's work schedule proposal it would have to hire additional personnel. Thus, the proposal is substantively identical in effect to the proposal which was before the Authority and held to be negotiable only at the election of the agency under section 7106(b)(1) in American Federation of Government , Employees, Local 3669, AFL-CIO and Veterans Administration Medical Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 2 FLRA 640 (1980). In that case, regardless of the particular nursing skills and specializations required at a given time to provide quality medical care, management would have been required by the Union's proposal to make assignments solely on the basis of which nurses had not received the previous weekend off. For the reasons stated in V.A. Medical Center, Minneapolis, the proposal herein would similarly directly interfere with the numbers, types and/or grades of employees assigned to a work project or tour of duty and, accordingly, is negotiable only at the election of the Agency under section 7106(b)(1) of the Statute. 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. /2/ Issued, Washington, D.C., August 12, 1983 Barbara J. Mahone, Chairman Ronald W. Haughton, Member Henry B. Frazier III, Member FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY --------------- FOOTNOTES$ --------------- /1/ Section 7106(b)(1) provides as follows: Sec. 7106. Management rights . . . . (b) Nothing in this section shall preclude any agency and any labor organization from negotiating-- (1) at the election of the agency, on the numbers, types, and grades of employees or positions assigned to any organizational subdivision, work project, or tour of duty, or on the technology, methods, and means of performing work(.) /2/ In view of the decision herein, the Authority finds it unnecessary to reach the Agency's contention that negotiation of the proposal is also barred by an Agency regulation for which there is a compelling need.