14:0166(34)RO - Air Force, Detachment 4, AFCMD, Air Force Plant Representative Office, Pratt and Whitney Aircraft Group , West Palm Beach, FL and NFFE Local 2048 and AFGE Local 3846 -- 1984 FLRAdec RP



[ v14 p166 ]
14:0166(34)RO
The decision of the Authority follows:


 14 FLRA No. 34
 
 DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE
 DETACHMENT 4, AIR FORCE CONTRACT
 MANAGEMENT DIVISION, AIR FORCE PLANT
 REPRESENTATIVE OFFICE, PRATT AND
 WHITNEY AIRCRAFT GROUP
 WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA
 Activity
 
 and
 
 NATIONAL FEDERATION OF FEDERAL
 EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 2048
 Petitioner
 
 and
 
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
 EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 3846, AFL-CIO
 Intervenor
 
                                            Case No. 4-RO-30009
 
                    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 Authority has reviewed the hearing
 officer's rulings made at the hearing and finds that they are free from
 prejudicial error.  The rulings 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 2048 (NFFE), seeks an election in a unit
 composed of all professional and nonprofessional employees of the Air
 Force Plant Representative Office, Detachment 4, Air Force Contract
 Management Division, Pratt and Whitney Aircraft Group, West Palm Beach,
 Florida, excluding management officials, supervisors and employees
 described in section 7112(b)(2), (3), (4), (6) and (7) of the Statute.
 The foregoing unit of employees is identical to that for which the
 American Federation of Government Employees, Local 3846, AFL-CIO (AFGE)
 was first certified as the exclusive representative by the Regional
 Director of Region 4 of the Authority on October 2, 1980.  /1/
 Intervenor AFGE is in agreement with the Petitioner as to the continuing
 appropriateness of the unit.
 
    The Air Force Contract Management Division (AFCMD) contends that the
 unit described by the petition is not appropriate for purposes of
 exclusive recognition under the Statute.  Thus, while AFCMD is in
 agreement as to the specific categories of employees to be included and
 excluded from the unit, and further admits that the unit sought, which
 is composed solely of employees whose duty station is West Palm Beach,
 Florida, has in the past been agreed to by AFCMD, it argues that the
 current unit description inaccurately sets forth the name of the
 "employer" as it misstates the organizational designation of the
 Activity as "Air Force Plant Representative Office, Detachment 4." It is
 the position of AFCMD that the employees at issue herein are employed by
 AFCMD and that the use of the Activity's name as employer is both
 inaccurate and unacceptable.
 
    The existing unit consists of some 70 professional and
 nonprofessional employees assigned to the Air Force Plant Representative
 Office located at Pratt and Whitney Aircraft in West Palm Beach,
 Florida.  This office is one of more than 20 similar plant
 representative offices or "Detachments" colocated with civilian
 contractor facilities throughout the United States and abroad.  AFCMD,
 with its headquarters at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, is charged
 with the mission, through its plant representatives, of monitoring and
 evaluating the adequacy of Air Force contracts with civilian suppliers
 for the procurement and manufacture of military weapons systems.
 Individual detachments receive personnel and labor relations services
 from one of five different servicing personnel offices, depending upon
 the geographic location of the Detachment office.  /2/
 
    The on-site Detachment Commander at West Palm Beach, a commissioned
 Air Force officer who reports directly to AFCMD Headquarters, exercises
 day to day personnel management responsibility over the employees
 assigned to his Detachment, and enjoys considerable latitude in matters
 affecting the terms and conditions of employment of employees at West
 Palm Beach.  Thus, the record reveals that each Detachment has one or
 two levels of civilian supervision reporting to the Detachment Commander
 and that the Commander at West Palm Beach possesses the authority to
 discipline and remove employees assigned to his facility, select
 candidates to fill vacancies under a merit promotion plan and to adjust
 employee grievances.  Additionally, the competitive area to be utilized
 in the event of a reduction-in-force (RIF) includes only the immediate
 West Palm Beach commuting area.  While the composition of management
 negotiating teams for the conduct of collective bargaining is determined
 at the Headquarters level, Detachment personnel are often assigned as
 members of such teams and Commanders have on occasion been delegated
 independent authority to engage in impact/implementation bargaining with
 exclusive representatives at the detachment level.  Moreover, the
 Detachment Commander possesses independent authority to establish and
 adjust employees' hours of work to comport with contractor work
 schedules.
 
    While AFCMD asserts that it should be designated as the "employer"
 herein on the basis that personnel policies and practices affecting
 Detachment employees emanate from and are uniformly applied by AFCMD
 Headquarters throughout all its Detachment Offices, and as the locus of
 responsibility for the conduct of collective bargaining resides not in
 the Detachment Commander but with AFCMD Headquarters, the record
 discloses and the Authority notes particularly that AFCMD and its
 constituent detachments are not serviced by a single centralized
 personnel/labor relations staff, but rather that as many as five
 separate personnel offices, through servicing agreements, provide these
 services to various AFCMD components.  Moreover, AFCMD concedes that it
 did not contest the appropriateness of the unit description first
 adopted by the Regional Director in 1980 when AFGE was certified as
 exclusive representative for the unit in question, and the record does
 not disclose that any change in the mission, organization or working
 conditions of AFCMD or its Detachment Office at West Palm Beach has
 occurred since that date which would serve as a basis for rendering the
 currently certified unit inappropriate.  Thus, it is concluded, in view
 of the facts set forth above, that the petitioned-for unit continues to
 ensure a clear and identifiable community of interest among employees
 and to promote effective dealings with, and efficiency of the operations
 of, the Agency so as to continue to be appropriate for the purpose of
 exclusive recognition under section 7112 of the Statute.  Accordingly,
 the Authority shall direct an election in the following unit:
 
       All professional and nonprofessional employees of the Air Force
       Plant Representative Office, Detachment 4, Air Force Contract
       Management Division, Pratt and Whitney Aircraft Group, West Palm
       Beach, Florida, excluding management officials, supervisors and
       employees described in 5 USC 7112(b)(2), (3), (4), (6) and (7).
 
    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
 nonprofessional 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
 nonprofessional 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 Air Force
       Plant Representative Office, Detachment 4, Air Force Contract
       Management Division, Pratt and Whitney Aircraft Group, West Palm
       Beach, Florida, excluding all nonprofessional employees,
       management officials, supervisors, and employees described in 5
       USC 7112(b)(2), (3), (4), (6) and (7).
 
          Voting Group (b):  All nonprofessional employees of the Air
       Force Plant Representative Office, Detachment 4, Air Force
       Contract Management Division, Pratt and Whitney Aircraft Group,
       West Palm Beach, Florida, excluding all professional employees,
       management officials, supervisors, and employees described in 5
       USC 7112(b)(2), (3), (4), (6) and (7).
 
    The employees in the nonprofessional Voting Group (b) will be asked,
 on their ballots, whether they desire to be represented by the National
 Federation of Federal Employees, Local 2048;  by the American Federation
 of Government Employees, Local 3846;  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 nonprofessional 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 2048;
  by the American Federation of Government Employees, Local 3846,
 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 nonprofessional 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 nonprofessional employees, they will be taken
 to have indicated their desire to constitute a separate unit, and an
 appropriate certification will be issued indicating whether or not these
 employees desire to be represented for the purpose of exclusive
 recognition by the National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 2048;
  by the American Federation of Government Employees, Local 3846,
 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
 a unit with nonprofessional 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 nonprofessional employees of the Air Force
       Plant Representative Office, Detachment 4, Air Force Contract
       Management Division, Pratt and Whitney Aircraft Group, West Palm
       Beach, Florida, excluding management officials, supervisors and
       employees described in 5 USC 7112(b)(2), (3), (4), (6) and (7).
 
    2.  If a majority of the professional employees do not vote for
 inclusion in a unit with nonprofessional 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 Air Force Plant
       Representative Office, Detachment 4, Air Force Contract Management
       Division, Pratt and Whitney Aircraft Group, West Palm Beach,
       Florida, excluding all nonprofessional employees, management
       officials, supervisors and employees described in 5 USC
       7112(b)(2), (3), (4), (6) and (7).
 
          (b) All nonprofessional employees of the Air Force Plant
       Representative Office, Detachment 4, Air Force Contract Management
       Division, Pratt and Whitney Aircraft Group, West Palm Beach,
       Florida, excluding all professional employees, management
       officials, supervisors, and employees described in 5 USC
       7112(b)(2), (3), (4), (6) and (7).
 
                           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 group 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 to vote within the appropriate unit or units shall
 vote whether they desire to be represented for the purpose of exclusive
 recognition by the National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 2048;
  by the American Federation of Government Employees, Local 3846,
 AFL-CIO;  or by neither.
 
    Issued, Washington, D.C., March 30, 1984
                                       Barbara J. Mahone, Chairman
                                       Ronald W. Haughton, Member
                                       Henry B. Frazier III, Member
                                       FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
 
 
 
 
 
 
 --------------- FOOTNOTES$ ---------------
 
 
    /1/ At the hearing, the petition was amended to confo