15:0043(8)NG - National Weather Service Employees Organization and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration -- 1984 FLRAdec NG
[ v15 p43 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
15 FLRA No. 8 NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE EMPLOYEES ORGANIZATION Union and NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION Agency Case No. O-NG-564 DECISION AND ORDER NO NEGOTIABILITY ISSUE The petition for review in this case comes before the Authority pursuant to section 7105(a)(2)(E) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute), and presents an issue relating to the negotiability of the following Union proposal. Union Proposal Union negotiators will be authorized official time for prenegotiation meetings and official time for meetings held on Mondays and/or Fridays during the negotiation process. The period of time of actual negotiations will be official duty time. This includes unit and non-unit members. (The underlined sentence is in dispute.) Upon careful consideration of the entire record, including the parties' contentions, the Authority makes the following determination. The record reveals that the Union introduced the disputed proposal as a ground rule prior to the negotiation of a new collective bargaining agreement with one element of the Agency to which the Union is certified as exclusive representative. The "non-unit members" referred to in the proposal are employed outside the bargaining unit in other components of the Agency. The Agency contends that it is not obligated to bargain over the granting of official time to any employees who are employed outside the bargaining unit for which the collective bargaining agreement is to be negotiated. The Union, on the other hand, argues that the words "(a)ny employee" in section 7131(a) of the Statute /1/ authorize official time for negotiators both within and outside the bargaining unit. A similar position to the Union's herein was urged by the Authority's General Counsel in United States Air Force, 2750th Air Base Wing Headquarters, Air Force Logistics Command, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio and Wright-Patterson AFB Fire Fighters Local F-88, International Association of Fire Fighters, AFL-CIO, 7 FLRA 738 (1982). However, the Authority concluded, "consistent with the overall scheme of the Statute . . . that official time entitlement under section 7131(a) accrues only to an employee, serving as a representative of an exclusive representative, who is a member of the bargaining unit to which the right to negotiate the bargaining agreement applies." Thus, based on 2750th Air Base Wing Headquarters and the reasons stated therein, the instant proposal, seeking official time for persons outside the bargaining unit for which a new collective bargaining agreement is to be negotiated, is outside the Agency's duty to bargain to the extent it seeks official time for non-unit employees. Accordingly, pursuant to section 2424.10 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations, IT IS ORDERED that the petition for review be, and it hereby is, dismissed. Issued, Washington, D.C., June 8, 1984 Barbara J. Mahone, Chairman Ronald W. Haughton, Member Henry B. Frazier III, Member FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY --------------- FOOTNOTES$ --------------- /1/ Section 7131(a) provides, in pertinent part: Sec. 7131. Official time (a) Any employee representing an exclusive representative in the negotiation of a collective bargaining agreement under this chapter shall be authorized official time for such purposes . . . .