13:0415(70)CA - VA Medical and Regional Office Center, Cheyenne, WY and AFGE Local 1014 -- 1983 FLRAdec CA



[ v13 p415 ]
13:0415(70)CA
The decision of the Authority follows:


 13 FLRA No. 70
 
 VETERANS ADMINISTRATION MEDICAL
 AND REGIONAL OFFICE CENTER
 CHEYENNE, WYOMING
 Respondent
 
 and
 
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
 EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, LOCAL 1014
 Charging Party
 
                                            Case No. 7-CA-967
 
                            DECISION AND ORDER
 
    This matter is before the Authority pursuant to the Regional
 Director's "Order Transferring Case to the Federal Labor Relations
 Authority" in accordance with section 2429.1(a) of the Authority's Rules
 and Regulations.
 
    Upon consideration of the entire record, including the stipulation of
 facts and the parties' contentions, /1/ the Authority finds:
 
    The complaint alleges that the Respondent violated section
 7116(a)(1), (5) and (8) of the Federal Service Labor-Management
 Relations Statute (the Statute) when its agent, Chief Nurse Sally
 McCreary, conducted an "exit interview" with unit employee Connie
 Richards concerning conditions of employment.  Such conduct is alleged
 to constitute both a bypass of the exclusive representative in violation
 of section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Statute and a formal discussion
 within the meaning of section 7114(a)(2)(A) of the Statute which was
 held without the exclusive representative having been given prior notice
 and an opportunity to be present, in violation of section 7116(a)(1) and
 (8) of the Statute.
 
    The stipulated record reflects that the day after Richards submitted
 her resignation, McCreary and Richards met at McCreary's request to
 discuss the reasons for the resignation.  Among the matters discussed
 were Richards' dissatisfaction with elements of her job and McCreary's
 response thereto, Richards' work experience in the hemodialysis unit,
 and Richards' comment regarding what she perceived as "over supervision"
 by a specific RN which resulted in McCreary later advising that RN of
 Richards' comment.
 
    In a recently issued decision, Department of Health and Human
 Services, Social Security Administration, Bureau of Field Operations,
 San Francisco, California, 10 FLRA No. 24 (1982), the Authority
 dismissed a complaint which alleged, in part, a violation of section
 7116(a)(1) and (8) of the Statute by the holding of formal discussions
 with bargaining unit employees concerning assignment and distribution of
 work following an employee's detail to another city, without providing
 the Union prior notice and an opportunity to be present.  /2/ In that
 case, the Authority, after noting some of the factors relevant to a
 determination of whether meetings are "formal" in nature, concluded that
 the General Counsel had failed to meet the burden of proving that the
 meetings in question were "formal discussions" within the meaning of
 section 7114(a)(2)(A) of the Statute.  In so finding, the Authority
 noted that the stipulated record did not contain enough specific
 evidence about the meetings to enable the Authority to determine whether
 they were in fact "formal" in nature.  In the instant case, the
 Authority similarly concludes that the General Counsel has not met its
 burden of proving that the meeting in question was a formal discussion.
 Thus, the stipulated facts do not reveal, among other things, (1)
 whether the individual who held the discussions was merely a first-level
 supervisor or was higher in the management hierarchy;  (2) how long the
 meeting lasted;  (3) how the meeting was called;  (4) whether a formal
 agenda was established for the meeting;  or (5) whether the employee's
 attendance at the meeting was mandatory.  Therefore, the Authority finds
 that the General Counsel has failed to establish that the Respondent
 violated section 7116(a)(1) and (8) of the Statute.  /3/
 
    As to the allegation that the meeting also constituted a violation of
 section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Statute, the Authority concludes that
 the General Counsel has failed to establish a bypass of the exclusive
 representative.  In so finding, the Authority notes particularly that
 the interview was held by the supervisor solely to ascertain the reasons
 for the employee's resignation and that the stipulated record contains
 no evidence that the Respondent attempted to undermine the Union or to
 negotiate with the employee.  /4/
 
                                   ORDER
 
    IT IS ORDERED that the complaint in Case No. 7-CA-967 be, and it
 hereby is, dismissed in its entirety.  
 
 Issued, Washington, D.C., November 17, 1983
 
                                       Barbara J. Mahone, Chairman
                                       Ronald W. Haughton, Member
                                       Henry B. Frazier III, Member
                                       FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
 
 
 
 
 
 
 --------------- FOOTNOTES$ ---------------
 
 
    /1/ The Respondent's untimely brief has not been considered.
 
 
    /2/ See also Department of Health and Human Services, Social Security
 Administration, Bureau of Field Operations, San Francisco Region, 10
 FLRA No. 25 (1982).
 
 
    /3/ In view of this determination, the Authority finds it unnecessary
 to decide and specifically does not pass upon whether the "exit
 interview" involved herein concerned "any grievance or any personnel
 policy or practices or other general condition of employment" within the
 meaning of section 7114(a)(2)(A) of the Statute.
 
 
    /4/ See Internal