15:0250(48)CU - Tick Eradication Program, Veterinary Services, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Agriculture and AFGE Local Union 3106 -- 1984 FLRAdec RP



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15:0250(48)CU
The decision of the Authority follows:


 15 FLRA No. 48
 
 TICK ERADICATION PROGRAM, VETERINARY SERVICES
 ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE
 UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE /1/
 Petitioner
 
 and
 
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES
 LOCAL UNION 3106, AFL-CIO
 Labor Organization
 
                                            Case No. 6-CU-30005
 
                    DECISION AND ORDER CLARIFYING UNIT
 
    Upon a petition duly filed with the Authority under section
 7111(b)(2) 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 careful consideration of the entire record, including the
 parties' contentions, the Authority finds:  The American Federation of
 Government Employees, Local Union 3106, AFL-CIO (AFGE) was certified as
 the exclusive bargaining representative for a unit of all nonsupervisory
 Animal Health Technicians and Clerical Employees of the U.S. Department
 of Agriculture, Veterinary Services, Tick Eradication Program, Laredo,
 Texas.  Essentially, the petition seeks to clarify the bargaining unit
 status of Tom Deats, Animal Health Technician (Instruction), GS-704-09
 who the Petitioner contends should be excluded from the unit based on
 the fact that he is either a management official, confidential employee,
 or an employee engaged in Federal personnel work in other than a purely
 clerical capacity.  Thus, the Petitioner concluded that Deats does not
 have a clear and identifiable community of interest with the other
 bargaining unit employees and that his duties would result in a conflict
 of interest.
 
    Deats as the Activity's Safety and Training Officer reports directly
 to the Director of the Tick Eradication Program.  He is responsible for
 conducting various training courses such as Tick Identification,
 Defensive Driving, First Aid, Pesticides and Equipment, and Dipping Tank
 Maintenance for GS-07 Tick Inspectors.  In determining which courses to
 teach, Deats is advised by the Director of the Tick Eradication Program,
 the Director of Field Operations, and the Tick Inspectors' Supervisors
 as to the particular educational needs of the employees.  While he does
 have some leeway in developing the courses to be taught, the subject
 matter of the courses is normally determined by his superiors or comes
 from established overseeing the Occupational Health and Safety of the
 Activity's employees.  In this regard, he follows the procedures
 outlined in the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Safety Manual in
 investigating problem areas and submits his reports to the Director with
 recommendations of what might be done to alleviate the problems.  These
 recommendations are reviewed by the Director and others and may or may
 not be followed.  He also is a member of several safety committees and
 councils which deal with safety matters on a state-wide level.
 
    The Authority finds that Deats is not a management official within
 the meaning of section 7103(a)(11) of the Statute.  /2/ In the lead case
 of Department of the Navy, Automatic Data Processing Selection Office, 7
 FLRA 172 (1981), the Authority interpreted the statutory definition of
 "management official" to include those individuals who:  (1) create,
 establish or prescribe general principles, plans, or courses of action
 for an agency;  (2) decide upon or settle upon general principles, plans
 or courses of action for an agency;  or (3) bring about or obtain a
 result as to the adoption of general principles, plans or courses of
 action for an agency.  Applying these criteria to the instant case, the
 Authority finds that Deats is a highly trained individual whose actions
 assist in implementing, as opposed to shaping, the Activity's policies.
 Thus, while the incumbent as the Activity's Training Officer does have
 some leeway in developing the courses to be taught, the courses and
 subject matter are determined by his superiors.  Further, as the
 Activity's Safety Officer, while he is responsible for investigating
 safety problem areas, he does so within established procedures and his
 recommendations must be reviewed and approved by several levels of
 authority.  It follows that Deats currently does not exercise duties or
 responsibilities which require or authorize him to formulate, determine,
 or influence the policies of the Activity within the meaning of section
 7103(a)(11) of the Statute as interpreted by the Authority.
 Accordingly, the Authority finds that Deats is not a management
 official.
 
    Nor does the Authority find that Deats is either a confidential
 employee within the meaning of section 7103(a)(13) of the Statute, /3/
 or an employee engaged in personnel work in other than a purely clerical
 capacity within the meaning of section 7112(b)(3) of the Statute.  In
 this regard, while the record establishes that Deats' supervisor, the
 Director of the Tick Eradication Program is engaged in Labor-Management
 Relations, there is no evidence to indicate that Deats serves in a
 confidential capacity to him.  /4/ Further, the record indicates that
 although Deats is classified as the Activity's Training Officer, he
 actually functions as a training instructor with only superficial
 involvement in course development and no authority to perform formal
 employee evaluations.  The record also indicates that Deats is not
 involved in any other manner with personnel work.  Accordingly, the
 Authority finds that Deats is neither a confidential employee nor an
 employee engaged in personnel work in other than a purely clerical
 capacity.  Based on the above, the Authority finds that as Deats is
 neither a management official, confidential employee nor an employee
 engaged in personnel work in other than a purely clerical capacity, his
 inclusion in the unit would not create a conflict of interest with his
 official duties.  Further, relying on record evidence the Authority
 finds that Deats, with minor exceptions shares the same working
 conditions and is governed by the same personnel policies as other unit
 employees.  Consequently, the Authority shall order that Deats be
 included in the certified bargaining unit.
 
                                   ORDER
 
    IT IS ORDERED that the unit sought to be clarified be, and it hereby
 is, clarified by including in said unit Tom Deats, Animal Health
 Technician (Instruction), GS-704-09.
 
    Issued, Washington, D.C., July 10, 1984
                                       Barbara J. Mahone, Chairma