14:0076(17)RO - DOD, Navy, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, NH and IFPTE Local 4 -- 1984 FLRAdec RP
[ v14 p76 ]
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.