15:0022(6)AR - GSA and AFGE -- 1984 FLRAdec AR
[ v15 p22 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
15 FLRA No. 6 GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION Respondent and AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO Charging Party Case No. 8-CA-1121 DECISION AND ORDER This matter is before the Authority pursuant to the Regional Director's "Order Transferring Case to the Federal Labor Relations Authority" in accordance with section 2429.1(a) of the Authority's Rules and Regulations. Upon consideration of the entire record, including the stipulation of facts, accompanying exhibits, and the parties' contentions, /1/ the Authority finds: The complaint alleges that on or about May 1, 1981, the General Services Administration (the Respondent) unilaterally implemented a change in working conditions affecting unit employees in its Phoenix and Las Vegas Field Zones without first providing adequate notice to the American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO (AFGE), the employees' exclusive representative, and an opportunity to bargain concerning the impact and implementation of such change in employee working conditions in violation of section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Statute. /2/ The stipulated record indicates that since September 10, 1980, the AFGE has been certified as the exclusive representative of two consolidated units of professional and non-professional employees, respectively, of the General Services Administration, including employees located in Phoenix, Arizona, and the Las Vegas Field Office, Las Vegas, Nevada. At all times relevant herein, there existed no negotiated agreement between the parties with respect to the national consolidated units. By cover letter dated April 6, 1981, the Respondent transmitted to AFGE a document known as Transmittal Letter No. 23, entitled "Special Operations Response Teams." The stipulated record further indicates that Transmittal Letter No. 23, which established procedures and guidelines relative to special operations response teams, had a substantial impact on the Federal Protective Officers in the AFGE's exclusive unit located in the Phoenix and Las Vegas Field Zones. The April 6, 1981 letter indicated that any response AFGE wished to make should be individual to be contacted, but did not indicate whether or when implementation of Transmittal Letter No. 23 would actually take place. The April 6, 1981 letter was received by AFGE on or about April 14, 1981, and thereafter, by letter dated April 29, 1981, AFGE requested that the parties discuss and bargain over, inter alia, the impact and implementation of Transmittal Letter No. 23. Also on April 29, 1981, the Director of the Federal Protective Service for the Respondent's Region 9 notified employees at the Phoenix and Las Vegas Field Zones by letter that Transmittal Letter No. 23 would be implemented on May 1, 1981. The record further indicates that implementation did in fact occur on that date. The General Counsel takes the position that the Respondent's April 6, 1981 letter attached to Transmittal Letter No. 23 did not provide adequate notice to AFGE of an intended change in working conditions, since it did not indicate either that the transmittal letter was in fact to be implemented or the specific date of implementation. The General Counsel further argues that, even if the April 6, 1981 letter constituted sufficient notice of the Respondent's intent to implement, AFGE was not provided with a reasonable opportunity to bargain prior to actual implementation. The Respondent contends that the April 6, 1981 letter was sufficient notice to AFGE of its intended change in working conditions, and clearly set a response deadline of April 21, 1981, with the address, telephone number and name of the person to whom AFGE's response should be directed, thereby providing sufficient time for AFGE to request bargaining. It is well-established that a union must be given adequate notice by agency management and an opportunity to request bargaining over the impact and implementation of changes in working conditions affecting unit employees. /3/ The question here presented is whether the Respondent's notification on April 6, 1981, of an intended change in the terms and conditions of employment of unit employees constituted adequate notice under the Statute to have enabled AFGE to request bargaining. For the reasons which follow, the Authority finds that AFGE was provided adequate notice and an opportunity to request bargaining prior to the implementation of Transmittal Letter No. 23, and that the Respondent's conduct in implementing the changes contained therein was not violative of the Statute. As previously stated, AFGE was notified of an intended change in terms and conditions of employment of unit employees at two of the Respondent's facilities. In the Authority's view, these changes which were drafted as a complete plan and which were accompanied by a letter setting forth a deadline by which AFGE's response was to be made, clearly demonstrated the Respondent's intention to implement such changes. While the General Counsel argues that the failure to specify an implementation date constituted a failure to provide adequate notice, the Authority concludes to the contrary since it could clearly be ascertained that implementation was forthcoming, and the period of time given for a response was reasonable. It was then incumbent upon AFGE to request bargaining, if it so desired, or to at least request more time to respond, if necessary. Under these circumstances, the Respondent's April 29, 1981 directive that Transmittal Letter No. 23 be implemented at the Phoenix and Las Vegas Field Zones effective May 1, 1981, and its implementation on that date, cannot be found to have violated the Statute. Accordingly, the Authority shall order that the complaint be dismissed in its entirety. /4/ ORDER IT IS ORDERED that the complaint in Case No. 8-CA-1121 be, and it hereby is, dismissed. Issued, Washington, D.C., June 6, 1984 Barbara J. Mahone, Chairman Ronald W. Haughton, Member Henry B. Frazier III, Member FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY --------------- FOOTNOTES$ --------------- /1/ The General Counsel moved to strike portions of the Respondent's brief on the ground that it contains factual material not included in the stipulation. In reaching its decision in the instant case, the Authority has, of course, considered only facts contained in the stipulation, and therefore the motion to strike is denied. /2/ Section 7116(a)(1) and (5) provides: Sec. 7116. Unfair labor practices (a) For the purpose of this chapter, it shall be an unfair labor practice for an agency-- (1) to interfere with, restrain, or coerce any employee in the exercise by the employee of any right under this chapter; . . . . (5) to refuse to consult or negotiate in good faith with a labor organization as required by this chapter(.) /3/ See, e.g., Internal Revenue Service (District, Region and National Office Unit and Service Center Unit), 10 FLRA 326 (1982). /4/ See United States Department of Defense, Department of the Army, Headquarters, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, 8 FLRA 623 (1982) and U.S. Department of the Air Force, Air Force Systems Command, Electronic Systems Division, Hanscom AFB, Massachusetts, 5 FLRA 637 (1981).