14:0076(17)RO - DOD, Navy, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, NH and IFPTE Local 4 -- 1984 FLRAdec RP



[ v14 p76 ]
14:0076(17)RO
The decision of the Authority follows:


 14 FLRA No. 17
 
 DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
 DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY
 PORTSMOUTH NAVAL SHIPYARD
 PORTSMOUTH, NEW HAMPSHIRE
 Activity
 
 and
 
 INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF
 PROFESSIONAL AND TECHNICAL
 ENGINEERS, LOCAL 4, AFL-CIO-CLC
 Labor Organization/Petitioner
 
                                            Case Nos. 1-CU-30003
                                                      1-RO-30008
 
                            DECISION AND ORDER
 
    Upon petitions duly filed with the Authority under section 7111(b) 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 consideration of the entire record in
 these consolidated cases, including the positions of the parties, the
 Authority finds:
 
    The Petitioner, International Federation of Professional and
 Technical Engineers, Local 4, AFL-CIO-CLC (IFPTE), seeks to include
 certain employees of the Activity, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, who are
 currently in a unit exclusively represented by the Federal Employees
 Metal Trades Council (Council), in the bargaining unit at the Activity
 for which it is the exclusive representative.  In the alternative, IFPTE
 seeks an election to represent these employees in a separate unit.
 
    Since 1963, IFPTE has been the exclusive representative of a unit
 which now is described as including all general schedule professional
 and non-professional employees in engineering science and associated
 fields at the Activity, but which excludes physical science technicians
 in the Radiological Monitoring Division of the Radiological Control
 Office.  By its petition in Case No. 1-CU-30008, IFPTE seeks to add the
 latter technicians to the above-described unit.  Currently there are
 approximately 1,300 employees in IFPTE's unit;  the petition would add
 approximately 70 physical science technicians to that unit.
 
    The GS employees sought have been included in a unit represented by
 the Council, which is basically a wage grade unit at the Activity.  The
 Council in 1963 was granted recognition by the Activity to represent
 wage-grade employees at the Shipyard.  In 1973, the physical science
 technicians in the Radiological Monitoring Division of the Radiological
 Control Office were reclassified from radiation monitor (Wage Board)
 positions to their present status as general schedule employees, but
 remained part of the Council's unit.
 
    The Petitioner contends, inter alia, that the technicians should be
 included in its general schedule unit because, due to their current
 duties, such a result will ensure a clear and identifiable community of
 interest among the employees in the unit, and will promote effective
 dealings with, and efficiency of operations of the Activity involved.
 The Activity supports the Petitioner's contention that the CU petition
 should be granted, and the Council concurs.  The Council filed a
 disclaimer of interest in connection with the RO petition, and stated
 that it waives coverage of its collective bargaining agreement with the
 Activity as it relates to the GS technicians involved herein.
 
    The Activity provides logistics support for the Navy and constructs,
 repairs, and overhauls naval ships.  The approximately 70 physical
 science technicians work in the Radiological Monitoring Division of the
 Radiological Control Office where work involving radioactive material is
 being performed.  Their duties include surveillance of radiologically
 controlled areas for compliance with established radiological work
 practices and procedures.  Subsequent to 1973, their duties and the
 methods of performing their duties underwent certain changes due to
 increased work load and technological advances.  Further, the
 technicians' educational requirements have increased greatly in order
 for them to handle their job responsibilities, and they now are required
 either to have at least an Associate Degree in a related field, or to
 meet alternate educational requirements in order to be hired.  Unlike
 Wage Grade employees in the Council's unit, the GS technicians are
 trained in a basic engineering discipline and are required to meet
 advanced educational requirements.  Further, the GS technicians have
 substantially the same working conditions as employees in the unit
 represented by the Petitioner, are subject to the same supervision, and
 have continuing day-to-day contact and interaction in fulfillment of
 their common mission.
 
    Recognizing the changes in circumstances since 1973, the Council
 entered into an informal agreement with IFPTE in 1975.  Since that time,
 the IFPTE has represented the technicians, and the Council has remitted
 dues collected from the technicians to the IFPTE.
 
    Section 7112(a)(1) of the Statute charges the Authority with the
 responsibility of determining the appropriateness of any unit.  It
 provides that the Authority shall determine any unit to be an
 appropriate unit only if the determination will ensure a clear and
 identifiable community of interest among the employees in the unit and
 will promote effective dealings with, and efficiency of the operations
 of, the agency involved.  In applying these criteria to the
 circumstances of this case, the Authority notes that the technicians are
 classified as general schedule employees, and are supervised by and work
 with GS employees who have similar educational requirements and share
 substantially the same working conditions and have continuing day-to-day
 contact and interaction.  Moreover, all parties involved agree that
 inclusion of these employees in the Petitioner's unit would be
 advantageous, and the history of representation since 1975 supports such
 assertion.  Therefore, the Authority finds that a single unit of all
 general schedule employees, including the technicians, is appropriate
 for exclusive recognition within the meaning of section 7112(a)(1) of
 the Statute, as this will ensure a clear and identifiable functional
 community of interest among the employees in the IFPTE's unit, and will
 promote effective dealings with, and efficiency of the operations of,
 the Activity.  Moreover, it is clear that by reason of the facts noted
 in this connection, these employees do not continue to share a community
 of interest with those in the unit represented by the Council, which de
 facto has not represented them since its 1975 agreement with the
 Petitioner.  Accordingly, the clarification of unit sought by the
 Petitioner shall be granted by the Authority.  In view of these
 findings, the Authority shall dismiss the petition in case No.
 1-RO-30008.