12:0600(110)NG - NFFE Local 1579 and VA Regional Office, Louisville, KY -- 1983 FLRAdec NG

[ v12 p600 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:

 12 FLRA No. 110
                                            Case No. O-NG-308
    The petition for review in this case comes before the Federal Labor
 Relations Authority pursuant to section 7105(a)(2)(E) of the Federal
 Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute).  The issue
 presented is the negotiability of two Union proposals.
                             Union Proposal 1
          Proposal 1 - INCENTIVE AWARDS
          1.  The Employer agrees that the Union shall have two (2)
       representatives on the Incentive Awards Committee.  Said
       representatives will participate in deliberations and discussions
       with respect to planning the suggestion program, stimulating
       participation, establishing goals and targets, evaluating
       progress, and appraising employee, supervisor, and management
          2.  During evaluations and voting procedures with respect to
       nominees for Incentive Awards, the Union representatives shall
       serve as participating members of the committee.
                       Question Before the Authority
    The question presented is whether Union Proposal 1 is, as alleged by
 the Agency, inconsistent with section 7106(a)(2)(B) of the Statute or is
 otherwise outside the duty to bargain since it would apply to nonunit
 Conclusion and Order:  Union Proposal 1 is not inconsistent with section
 7106(a)(2)(B) of the Statute, nor does it extend to employees who are
 not in the bargaining unit.  Accordingly, pursuant to section 2424.10 of
 the Authority's Rules and Regulations, IT IS ORDERED that the Agency
 shall upon request (or as otherwise agreed to by the parties) bargain on
 this proposal.  /1/ Reasons:  Paragraph 1 of Union Proposal 1 would
 place two Union representatives on the Incentive Awards Committee and
 would, in effect, require the Committee to participate in planning,
 stimulating participation in, and evaluating the suggestion program.  As
 to paragraph 1, the Agency's sole contention is that, since it has
 already delegated responsibility over the suggestion program to the
 Personnel Officer, negotiations over the proposal would be inconsistent
 with its right to assign work under section 7106(a)(2)(B).  /2/ However,
 the proposal herein would authorize a procedure for union participation
 in the administration of a program which directly concerns conditions of
 employment of bargaining unit employees, see National Federation of
 Federal Employees, Local 541 and Veterans Administration Hospital, Long
 Beach, California, 12 FLRA No. 62 (1983), and is in no manner concerned
 with management's assignment of work to management representatives.  See
 American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 1886 and
 Marine Corps Development and Education Command, Quantico, Virginia, 2
 FLRA 423 (1980).  Moreover, the Agency has not alleged, nor is it
 otherwise apparent, that any applicable law, rule, or regulation vests
 in management the sole and exclusive right to establish and execute a
 suggestion program or otherwise precludes negotiation over such a
 program.  /3/ Accordingly, the Agency's contention that paragraph 1 of
 Union Proposal 1 is not within the duty to bargain cannot be sustained.
    Paragraph 2 of Union Proposal 1 would require that the Union
 representatives on the Incentive Awards Committee serve as participating
 members in evaluating and voting on nominees for incentive awards.  In
 that regard, as acknowledged by the Union, the Incentive Awards
 Committee only makes recommendations to the Regional Director, who has
 the final authority to approve or disapprove any recommended award.  /4/
 The Agency's sole contention as to paragraph 2 is that the language of
 the proposal would establish an Incentive