15:0125(23)RO - Navy, Naval Hospital, Submarine Base Bangor Clinic, Bremerton, WA and IAM District Lodge 160, Local Lodge 282 -- 1984 FLRAdec RP
[ v15 p125 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
15 FLRA No. 23 DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY NAVAL HOSPITAL SUBMARINE BASE BANGOR CLINIC BREMERTON, WASHINGTON Activity and INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MACHINISTS AND AEROSPACE WORKERS, AFL-CIO, DISTRICT LODGE 160, LOCAL LODGE 282 Labor Organization/Petitioner and AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, LOCAL 48 Labor Organization/Intervenor Case No. 9-RO-30020 DECISION AND ORDER Upon a petition duly filed 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 contentions of the parties, /1/ the Authority finds: The Petitioner, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, AFL-CIO, District Lodge 160, Local Lodge 282 (IAM), seeks to exclusively represent all non-professional general schedule employees at the Naval Regional Medical Clinic, Submarine Base Bangor (Subbase Bangor), excluding all professional employees, management officials, supervisors and employees described in section 7112(b)(2), (3), (4), (6) and (7) of the Statute. The Intervenor, American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 48 (AFGE) is the exclusive representative of two units of Activity employees: (1) all professional employees of the Naval Regional Medical Center, Bremerton, Washington (now called the Naval Hospital, Bremerton, Washington), including employees of the Branch Clinic, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington, and employees of the Branch Clinic, Naval Undersea Warfare Engineering Station, Keyport, Washington, excluding non-professional employees, management officials, supervisors, employees of the Naval Hospital, Whidbey Island, Washington, employees of the Naval Regional Medical Clinic, Seattle, Washington, employees of the Branch Hospital, Adak, Alaska, and employees described in section 7112 (b)(2), (3), (4), (6) and (7) of the Statute; and (2) all non-professional employees of the Naval Hospital, Bremerton, Washington, including employees of Branch Clinic Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington, excluding professional employees, management officials, supervisors, employees of the Branch Clinic, Naval Undersea Warfare Engineering Station, Keyport, Washington, employees of the Naval Hospital, Whidbey Island, Washington, employees of the Naval Regional Medical Clinic, Seattle, Washington, employees of the Branch Hospital, Adak, Alaska and employees described in section 7112(b)(2), (3), (4), (6) and (7) of the Statute. The AFGE units are covered by a multi-unit negotiated agreement, effective May 25, 1983, for a duration of three years. The Activity argues that the proposed unit of non-professional employees is inappropriate because the employees sought accreted to the Naval Hospital bargaining unit exclusively represented by AFGE. It contends, in addition, that the petitioned-for unit would fragment the existing unit and would not ensure a clear and identifiable community of interest nor promote effective dealings and efficiency of agency operations, which are requirements for exclusive units under section 7112(a)(1) of the Statute. /2/ AFGE contends that it represents the employees at the Bangor Clinic through accretion and that such employees are covered under the parties' current multi-unit negotiated agreement. On or about October 1, 1982, the Branch Clinic at Bangor was organizationally transferred from the Commander at Subbase Bangor to the Commander of the Naval Hospital, Bremerton, Washington. /3/ This transfer of function was completed in August 1983. The employees of the Branch Clinic at Bangor have not physically moved, are under the same immediate supervision and perform the same work as they performed prior to the reorganization. However, substantial organizational and operational changes have occurred. Thus, the officer-in-charge (OIC) of the Bangor Clinic now reports to the Commander of the Naval Hospital instead of to the Subbase Commander, and the OIC now is considered a department head of the Naval Hospital. Further, the Bangor Clinic employees are now covered under the Naval Hospital's personnel policies and practices. They share the same competitive area for reductions-in-force and are in the same area of consideration for merit promotions as other Naval Hospital employees. Also, all administrative, personnel and labor relations services are centralized at the Naval Hospital, and Bangor Clinic employees' personnel files have been physically located at the Naval Hospital facility since the reorganization. Bangor Clinic employees have the same position classifications as other employees of the Naval Hospital, and have the same accreditation requirements; thus, jobs are interchangeable among employees at the hospital and its clinics, and at least one transfer has occurred from the hospital to the Bangor Clinic. Further, the employees at the Bangor Clinic have regular contact with employees at the Naval Hospital concerning patient care, supplies and training. Based on the foregoing, the Authority finds that following the Activity's reorganization of October 1, 1982, the employees of the Bangor Clinic, including the non-professional employees whom IAM here seeks to represent in a separate bargaining unit, accreted to the respective units of professional and non-professional employees at the Naval Hospital exclusively represented by AFGE. It is clear that Bangor Clinic employees are organizationally and functionally integrated into the Naval Hospital's structure because, as noted, administrative, personnel and labor relations functions are centralized at the Naval Hospital level. Further, the Authority notes that the employees of the Bangor Clinic and the employees in the AFGE units share common overall working conditions; have similar position classifications and job requirements; are in the same area of consideration for merit promotions; and are in the same competitive area for reductions-in-force. Therefore, it is concluded that the Bangor Clinic employees share a community of interest with employees in the Naval Hospital units, and that those units, as clarified, will promote effective dealings and efficiency of agency operations. See U.S. International Trade Commission, New York Office, 8 FLRA 283 (1982). /4/ Having concluded that the employees at the Bangor Clinic accreted into the respective professional and non-professional AFGE units, it follows that the unit of non-professional employees sought in the petition filed by the IA, herein is not appropriate for the purpose of exclusive representative inasmuch as these employees do not share a community of interest separate and distinct from the other Naval Hospital employees exclusively represented by AFGE. That petition, therefore, shall be dismissed. ORDER IT IS ORDERED that the respective professional and non-professional employee units for which the American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 48 holds exclusive recognition at the Naval Hospital, Bremerton, Washington, be, and they hereby are, clarified to include in such respective units all eligible employees of the Branch Clinic, Bangor, Washington, who were organizationally transferred to the Naval Hospital, Bremerton, Washington from the command of the Submarine Base Bangor on October 1, 1982. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the petition in Case No. 9-RO-30020 seeking to represent the non-professional employees at the Branch Clinic, Bangor, Washington, in a separate unit be, and it hereby is, dismissed. Issued, Washington, D.C., June 14, 1984 Barbara J. Mahone, Chairman Ronald W. Haughton, Member Henry B. Frazier III, Member FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY --------------- FOOTNOTES$ --------------- /1/ The opeiu was certified as the exclusive representative on March 6, 1981, for a unit defined as follows: all professional and non professional employees of the department of energy's oak ridge operations and technical information center, excluding employees represented by other labor organizations in exclusive units, management officials, supervisors and employees described in 5 usc 7112(B)(2), (3), (4), (6), and (7). /1/ The brief filed by the American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 48 was untimely filed and therefore was not considered by the Authority. /2/ 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, in order to ensure employees the fullest freedom in exercising the rights guaranteed under this chapter, the appropriate unit should be established on an agency, plant, installation, functional, or other basis and 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. /3/ It does not appear that prior to the transfer the employees of the Bangor Clinic were exclusively represented by any labor organization. /4/ Compare U.S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge Operations Office, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, 15 FLRA No. 24 (1984), (accretion was denied because there was no community of interest between the employees at issue and those already in the unit, after a reorganization), and Federal Aviation Administration, Aviation Standards National Field Office, 15 FLRA No. 14 (1984) (none of the labor organizations involved sought to accrete any previously represented employees into their own units of exclusive recognition).