14:0153(29)RO - Fish and Wildlife Service Finance Center, Denver, CO and NFFE Local 2053 and AFGE -- 1984 FLRAdec RP



[ v14 p153 ]
14:0153(29)RO
The decision of the Authority follows:


 14 FLRA No. 29
 
 U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
 FINANCE CENTER, DENVER, COLORADO
 Activity
 
 and
 
 NATIONAL FEDERATION OF FEDERAL
 EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 2053
 Petitioner
 
 and
 
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
 EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO
 Intervenor
 
                                            Case No. 7-RO-30003
 
                    DECISION AND DIRECTION OF ELECTION
 
    Upon a petition duly filed with the Federal Labor Relations Authority
 under section 7111(b)(1) 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 the entire record in this case, including the parties'
 contentions, the Authority finds:  The Petitioner, National Federation
 of Federal Employees, Local 2053 (NFFE), seeks to represent all
 professional and non-professional employees of the Activity, the U.S.
 Fish and Wildlife Service Finance Center, Denver, Colorado (the Finance
 Center), excluding all management officials, supervisors, and employees
 described in section 7112(b)(2), (3), (4), (6) and (7) of the Statute.
 The Activity contends that the petitioned-for unit is not appropriate
 under the criteria set forth in section 7112(a)(1) of the Statute /1/
 because the employees involved do not share a community of interest
 separate and distinct from other employees of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
 Service, and that the petitioned-for unit, standing alone, would result
 in a fragmentation of units and would not promote effective dealings or
 efficiency of agency operations.  The Activity asserts that, at a
 minimum, an appropriate unit would consist of some 200 employees of the
 Office of the Assistant Director of Administration, Washington, D.C.,
 which includes the Denver Finance Center, and that the "preferred"
 appropriate unit should encompass the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's
 national headquarters office consisting of some 1,100 to 1,200
 employees.  NFFE and the Intervenor, American Federation of Government
 Employees, AFL-CIO (AFGE), take the position that only the
 petitioned-for unit is appropriate in that its employees have a separate
 and distinct community of interest from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
 Service employees in Washington.  The Petitioner indicates that it is
 not interested in an election for any alternative units.  There are no
 bars to an election in the instant case nor any previous collective
 bargaining history for the employees sought.
 
    The Finance Center located in Denver, Colorado, is one of six
 divisions in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Office of the
 Assistant Director for Administration, all of which report to the
 Assistant Director.  The other five divisions, all located in
 Washington, D.C., are the Division of Contracting and General Services,
 Division of Finance, Office of Information Resources Management,
 Division of Personnel, and Office of Safety and Security.  The Finance
 Center is responsible for implementing financial policies and
 procedures, processing all financial documents and transactions, and
 preparing and maintaining official accounting records and reports to
 managers throughout the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as required by
 the Program and Financial Management Information System (PFMIS).  It
 operates and maintains the automated systems required to support the
 finance operations and the PFMIS, including systems analysis and design
 support necessary to maintain the automatic data processing systems,
 identification and implementation of needed changes to the financial
 processing and accounting subsystems, and incorporation of approved
 changes to the PFMIS.  It is also responsible for updating the Service's
 Management Systems Handbook, a comprehensive technical guide to all
 aspects of the Service's PFMIS.  The Finance Center's mission is
 separate and distinct from other U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
 components in that it is a centralized financial and informational
 organization for the entire Service with agency level responsibility.
 
    The record establishes that the Denver Finance Office shares no
 duties or functions in common with four of the five divisions within the
 Office of the Assistant Director in Washington.  As to the fifth, i.e.,
 the Division of Finance, while there are some similarities there also
 are significant differences.  Prior to May 1982, the Denver Finance
 Center was one of two branches in the Service's Division of Finance
 which was located in Washington.  Thereafter, the Finance Center which
 was elevated to the level of a division reporting directly to the
 Assistant Director of Administration.  Now, while the Denver Finance
 Center's mission involves the implementing of internal financial
 policies and procedures and the processing of financial documents within
 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Division of Finance located in
 Washington, D.C. has a different mission in that it is responsible for
 interpreting external policy issues as they apply to the U.S. Fish and
 Wildlife Service and developing policies in the financial areas of
 accounting, fund control, travel, cash management, debt collection, cost
 recoverable activities, and imprest fund administration.  In view of the
 foregoing, the Authority concludes that the employees sought share
 common mission and job categories even to a limited extent with only one
 of the five other divisions of the Office of the Assistant Director for
 Administration, and share no common duties or mission with the others.
 
    By contrast, the Finance Center in Denver is geographically separated
 from all of the other Service components (located in Washington, D.C.);
 has a separate and distinct mission;  its employees are within a
 separate competitive area for reduction-in-force;  and its employees do
 not transfer or interchange with other Service components in Washington.
  Moreover, although the Finance Center is covered by overall Agency
 personnel policies, it receives most personnel services from the Region
 6 personnel office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, located in
 Denver.  Additionally, while Finance Center employees have some of the
 same job classifications as employees in other components of the Service
 and are generally covered by the same area of consideration for
 promotions, they do not share common immediate or secondary supervision.
  Under these circumstances, the Authority concludes that the employees
 in the petitioned-for unit share a clear and identifiable community of
 interest separate and distinct from other employees of the Activity, and
 that the petitioned-for unit will promote effective dealings and
 efficiency of agency operations.  Thus, the unit sought encompasses all
 employees within a separate and distinct centralized financial and
 informational organization which has agency-level nationwide
 responsibility.  Accordingly, the Authority finds the following unit to
 be appropriate for the purpose of exclusive recognition within the
 meaning of the Statute:
 
          All professional and non-professional employees of the U.S.
       Fish and Wildlife Service Finance Center, Denver Colorado,
       excluding all management officials, supervisors, and employees
       described in section 7112(b)(2), (3), (4), (6) and (7) of the
       Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute.
 
    It is noted that this unit includes professional employees.  As
 prescribed by section 7112(b)(5) of the Statute, the Authority is
 prohibited from including professional employees in a unit with
 non-professional employees unless a majority of the professional
 employees vote for inclusion in such a unit.  Accordingly, the desire of
 the professional employees as to inclusion in a unit with
 non-professional employees must be ascertained by a self-determination
 election.  The Authority, therefore, directs separate elections in the
 following groups:
 
          Voting Group (a):  All professional employees of the U.S. Fish
       and Wildlife Service Finance Center, Denver, Colorado, excluding
       non-professional employees, all management officials, supervisors,
       and employees described in section 7112(b)(2), (3), (4), (6) and
       (7) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute.
 
          Voting Group (b):  All non-professional employees of the U.S.
       Fish and Wildlife Service Finance Center, Denver, Colorado,
       excluding professional employees, all management officials,
       supervisors, and employees described in section 7112(b)(2), (3),
       (4), (6) and (7) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations
       Statute.
 
    The employees in the non-professional Voting Group (b) will be polled
 as to whether they desire to be represented by the National Federation
 of Federal Employees, Local 2053;  by the American Federation of
 Government Employees, AFL-CIO;  or by neither.
 
    The employees in the professional Voting Group (a) will be asked two
 questions on their ballots:  (1) whether they wish to be included with
 the non-professional employees for the purpose of exclusive recognition,
 and (2) whether they wish to be represented for the purpose of exclusive
 recognition by the National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 2053;
  by the American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO;  or by
 neither.  In the event that a majority of the valid votes in Voting
 Group (a) is cast in favor of inclusion in the same unit with the
 non-professional employees, the ballots of Voting Group (a) shall be
 combined with those of Voting Group (b).
 
    Unless a majority of the valid votes of Voting Group (a) is cast for
 inclusion in the unit with non-professional employees, they will be
 taken to have indicated their desire to constitute a separate unit, and
 an appropriate certification will be issued indicating whether these
 employees desire to be represented for the purpose of exclusive
 recognition by the National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 2053;
  by the American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO;  or by
 neither.
 
    Thus, the unit determination in this case is based in part upon the
 result of the election among the professional employees.  However, the
 Authority makes the following findings with regard to the appropriate
 unit:
 
    1.  If a majority of the professional employees vote for inclusion in
 the unit with non-professional employees, the following employees
 constitute a unit appropriate for the purpose of exclusive recognition
 within the meaning of section 7112 of the Statute:
 
          All professional and non-professional employees of the U.S.
       Fish and Wildlife Service Finance Center, Denver, Colorado,
       excluding all management officials, supervisors, and employees
       described in section 7112(b)(2), (3), (4), (6) and (7) of the
       Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute.
 
    2.  If a majority of the professional employees do not vote for
 inclusion in a unit with non-professional employees, the following two
 groups of employees constitute separate units appropriate for the
 purpose of exclusive recognition within the meaning of section 7112 of
 the Statute:
 
          (a) All professional employees of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
       Service Finance Center, Denver, Colorado, excluding
       non-professional employees, all management officials, supervisors,
       and employees described in section 7112(b)(2), (3), (4), (6) and
       (7) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute.
 
          (b) All non-professional employees of the U.S. Fish and
       Wildlife Service Finance Center, Denver, Colorado, excluding
       professional employees, all management officials, supervisors, and
       employees described in section 7112(b)(2), (3), (4), (6) and (7)
       of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute.
 
                           DIRECTION OF ELECTION
 
    Elections by secret ballot shall be conducted among employees in the
 voting groups described above as soon as feasible.  The appropriate
 Regional Director shall supervise or conduct the elections, as
 appropriate, subject to the Authority's Rules and Regulations.  Eligible
 to vote are those in the voting groups who were employed during the
 payroll period immediately preceding the date below, including employees
 who did not work during that period because they were out ill, on
 vacation or on furlough, including those in the military service who
 appear in person at the polls.  Ineligible to vote are employees who
 have quit or were discharged for cause since the designated payroll
 period and who have not been rehired or reinstated before the election
 date.  Those eligible shall vote on whether they desire to be
 represented for the purpose of exclusive recognition by the National
 Federation of Federal Employees, Local 2053;  by the American Federation
 of Government Employees, AFL-CIO;  or by neither.
 
    Issued, Washington, D.C., March 26, 1984
                                       Barbara J. Mahone, Chairman
                                       Ronald W. Haughton, Member
                                       Henry B. Frazier III, Member
                                       FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
 
 
 
 
 
 --------------- FOOTNOTES$ ---------------
 
 
 
    /1/ Section 7112(a)(1) provides:
 
    Sec. 7112.  Determination of appropriate units for labor organization
 representation
 
          (a)(1) The Authority shall determine the appropriateness of any
       unit.  The Authority shall determine in each case whether