13:0549(92)CU - 934th Tactical Airlift Group (AFRES), Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, Minneapolis, MN and Local 1997, AFGE -- 1983 FLRAdec RP
[ v13 p549 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
13 FLRA No. 92 934th TACTICAL AIRLIFT GROUP (AFRES), MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA Activity and LOCAL 1997, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE, AFL-CIO Petitioner Case No. 5-CU-20007 DECISION AND ORDER CLARIFYING UNIT Upon a petition duly filed with the 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 careful consideration of the entire record, including the parties; contentions, the Authority finds: Local 1997, American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO (AFGE) was recognized on March 27, 1963 as the exclusive bargaining representative for a unit of all current and future eligible Department of Air Force employees in the Minneapolis-St. Paul commuting area who are serviced by the Central Civilian Personnel Office, 934th Tactical Airlift Group, Minneapolis, Minnesota and paid from appropriated funds. Essentially, the petition seeks to clarify the bargaining unit status of numerous employees based on the Activity's allegation that they are supervisors, management officials, professional employees, or employees engaged in Federal personnel work in other than a purely clerical capacity. /1/ SUPERVISORS The Activity contends that John Vlahos, Flight Instructor (Safety Officer), GM-2181-13; Charles Borgeson, Flight Instructor, GM-2181-13; and John McCormack, Freight Loader, WG-6968-09 are supervisors within the meaning of section 7103(a)(10) of the Statute and should be excluded from the unit. /2/ Of these the record establishes that McCormack assigns and directs the work of subordinates and that such duties are not merely routine or clerical in nature, but require the consistent exercise of independent judgment. Accordingly, McCormack is a supervisor within the meaning of section 7103(a)(10) of the Statute and should be excluded from the unit. The Authority further find that as Vlahos and Borgeson do not exercise any of the statutory indicia of supervisory authority, they are not supervisors within the meaning of section 7103(a)(10) of the Statute. MANAGEMENT OFFICIALS The Activity contends that John Vlahos, Flight Instructor (Safety Officer, GM-2181-13; Charles Borgeson, Flight Instructor, GM-2181-13; Conrad Skladal, Navigator (Instructor), GS-2181-12; Douglas Pederson, Navigator (Instructor), GS-2181-11; Mark Davidson, Command Post Assistant, GS-303-07; and Hilary Schyma, Plans and Mobility Technician, GS-303-09 are management officials within the meaning of section 7103(a)(11) of the Statute and should be excluded from the unit. /3/ In the lead case of Department of the Navy, Automatic Data Processing Selection Office, 7 FLRA 172 (1981), the Authority interpreted the statutory definition of "management official" to include those individuals who: (1) create, establish or prescribe general principles, plans, or courses of action for an agency; (2) decide upon or settle upon general principles, plans or courses of action for an agency; or (3) bring about or obtain a result as to the adoption of general principles, plans or courses of action for an agency. Applying these criteria to the instant case, the Authority finds that John Vlahos, Charles Borgeson and Conrad Skladal are management officials and shall order their exclusion from the bargaining unit. Thus, the record establishes that Vlahos, the Activity's Safety Officer, has developed Activity policy in the areas of flying, munitions and ground safety including the Explosive Safety program, Weather Warning procedures in the form of AFRES Base Regulation 55-1, the Disabled Damaged Aircraft Recovery Plan and the Personal Safety Protection Equipment and Clothing program. Additionally, on his own authority, he may make expenditures for the purchase of safety equipment and clothing. Borgeson is responsible for the establishment of certain long and short term local flying operating policies for the Activity, including 934th TAG Supplement 1 to MAC Regulation 55-130, Chapter 10. Such local operating policies reflect substantial deviations from Air Force policy and are necessitated by the uniqueness of the Activity which is not collocated with an active duty unit, owns its own planes, and operates out of a civilian airport where it is directly involved in civilian air traffic. Skladal has established numerous Activity policies and regulations in the area of navigation including the evaluation criteria used in testing navigation skill and the procedures used in training navigators in tactical, low level navigation. It follows that the responsibilities of all three of these employees require and authorize them to formulate, determine or influence the policies of the Activity within the meaning of section 1703(a)(11) as interpreted by the Authority. With respect to the other alleged management officials, the Authority finds that they are employees whose actions assist in implementing, as opposed to shaping, the Activity's policies. Thus, the record is clear that these incumbents are not management officials in that they do not exercise any duties or responsibilities which require or authorize them to formulate, determine, or influence the policies of the Activity within the meaning of section 7103(a)(11) of the Statute. Accordingly, the Authority finds that these incumbents should be included in the recognized bargaining unit. EMPLOYEES ENGAGED IN FEDERAL PERSONNEL WORK IN OTHER THAN A PURELY CLERICAL CAPACITY The Activity contends that Michael Burns, Military Personnel Technician, GS-204-08 should be excluded from the recognized unit on the grounds that he is engaged in Federal personnel work in other than a purely clerical capacity within the meaning of section 7112(b)(3) of the Statute. Mr. Burns is the chief of the Personnel Systems Management Branch in the Military Personnel office and is responsible for management of the data base for military personnel. He handles the military rosters for the units on the base and makes sure than all information is accurate and kept up to date. Based on the above, the Authority finds that Burns is not engaged in personnel work within the meaning of the Statute and should be included in the recognized unit. While it may be true that Burns does perform work related to personnel matters for his employing agency, the work is involved with the records of military personnel who are specifically excluded by section 7103(a)(2) of the Statute from the definition of "employee" and cannot be included in any bargaining unit under the State. Accordingly, the Authority finds that Burns is not engaged in the kind of work which would give rise to a conflict of interest between his job responsibility and union representation. /4/ Accordingly, the Authority shall order that Michael Burns, Military Personnel Technician, GS-204-08 be included in the recognized unit. PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYEES The Activity contends that Melvin Ziehl, Education Specialist, GS-1710-12 is a professional employee within the meaning of section 7103(a)(15) of the Statute and should be excluded from the recognized unit which specifically excludes professional employees. /5/ Mr. Ziehl has a Masters Degree in Education which is a requirement for his position. As Director of Aerospace Education for a seven state region, he exercises broad discretion and receives little supervision in the performance of his duties which are predominantly intellectual and varied in character. These duties include his direct involvement with the Aerospace Education Program and educational policy within the region, and the preparation of teachers to teach aerospace education. Based on the above, the Authority finds that Melvin Ziehl, Education Specialist, GS-1710-12 is a professional employee within the meaning of section 7103(a)(15) of the Statute. /6/ Accordingly, as the recognized unit herein specifically excludes professional employees, the Authority shall order that he be excluded from said unit. ORDER IT IS ORDERED that the unit sought to be clarified be and it hereby is, clarified by excluding from said unit John McCormack, Freight Loader, WG-6968-09; John Vlahos, Flight Instructor (Safety Officer), GM-2181-13; Charles Borgeson, Flight Instructor, GM-2181-13; Conrad Skladal, Navigator (Instructor), GS-2181-12 and Melvin Ziehl, Education Specialist, GS-1710-12; and by including in said unit Douglas Pederson, Navigator (Instructor), GS-2181-11; Mark Davidson, Command Post Assistant, GS-303-07; Hilary Schyma, Plans and Mobility Technician, GS-303-09 and Michael Burns, Military Personnel Technician, GS-204-08. Issued, Washington, D.C., December 22, 1983 Barbara J. Mahone, Chairman Ronald W. Haughton, Member Henry B. Frazier III, Member FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY --------------- FOOTNOTES$ --------------- /1/ During the course of the hearing, the parties stipulated that certain job classifications should be removed from consideration herein. The Authority deems such stipulations to be motions to amend the petition which are hereby granted. /2/ Section 7103(a)(10) defines a "supervisor" as: . . . an individual employed by an agency having authority in the interest of the agency to hire, direct, assign, promote, reward, transfer, furlough, layoff, recall, suspend, discipline, or remove employees, to adjust their grievances, or to effectively recommend such action, if the exercise of the authority is not merely routine or clerical in nature but requires the consistent exercise of independent judgment . . . . /3/ Section 7103(a)(11) defines a "management official" as: . . . an individual employed by an agency in a position the duties and responsibilities of which require or authorize the individual to formulate, determine, or influence the policies of the agency(.) /4/ See U.S. Army District Recruiting Command-Philadelphia, 12 FLRA No. 85 (1983). /5/ Section 7103(a)(15) provides: (15) 'professional employee' means-- (A) an employee engaged in the performance of work-- (i) requiring knowledge of an advanced type in a field of science or learning customarily acquired by a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction and study in an institution of higher learning or a hospital (as distinguished from knowledge acquired by a general academic education, or from an apprenticeship, or from training in the performance of routine mental, manual, mechanical, or physical activities); (ii) requiring the consistent exercise of discretion and judgment in its performance; (iii) which is predominantly intellectual and varied in character (as distinguished from routine mental, manual, mechanical, or physical work); and (iv) which is of such character that the output produced or the result accomplished by such work cannot be standardized in relation to a given period of time; or (B) an employee who had completed the courses of specialized intellectual instruction and study described in subparagraph (A)(i) of this paragraph and is performing related work under appropriate direction or guidance to qualify the employee as a professional employee described in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph(.) /6/ See Veterans Administration, Regional Office, Portland Oregon, 9 FLRA No. 101 (1982).