15:0438(89)CA - HUD and AFGE -- 1984 FLRAdec CA

[ v15 p438 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:

 15 FLRA No. 89
 Charging Party
                                            Case No. 3-CA-20788
                            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 in this case, including the
 stipulation of facts and the parties' contentions, the Authority finds:
    The complaint alleges that the Respondent violated section
 7116(a)(1), (5) and (8) of the Federal Service Labor-Management
 Relations Statute (the Statute) when its agents, Craig Nickerson and
 Michael Ehrman, conducted a meeting on June 22, 1982 at which they
 failed to afford the Union an opportunity to be present, thereby
 bypassing the Union and failing to comply with section 7114(a)(2)(A) of
 the Statute.  /1/
    The stipulated record reflects that on June 22, 1982, Nickerson and
 Ehrman, both Division Directors in the Office of Urban Rehabilitation,
 called a meeting at which all employees present in the Officer were
 required to attend.  In addition to Nickerson and Ehrman, the meeting,
 which commenced 15 minutes after it was called, was attended by
 approximately 30 employees and at least two additional supervisors.  It
 was held outside Nickerson's office in an open area and was conducted
 jointly by Nickerson and Ehrman.  No Union representatives were present.
  The purpose of the meeting was to inform the employees of a pending
 reduction-in-force (RIF), and a memo regarding the RIF was handed out to
 all employees present.  Questions asked at the meeting were responded to
 by Ehrman and Nickerson who either referred the employees present to the
 memo or told them the answer would be provided later.  The meeting
 lasted approximately 20 minutes and no minutes were kept.
    Upon consideration of all the factors relevant to the circumstances
 of the instant case, the Authority concludes that the June 22, 1982
 meeting was "formal" within the meaning of section 7114(a)(2)(A).  /2/
 Thus, the stipulated record establishes that the meeting was conducted
 by two second level supervisors of the bargaining unit employees in
 attendance;  at least two other management representatives were present;
  prepared materials concerning the RIF were passed out at the meeting;
 and attendance was mandatory.  Turning next to the question of whether
 the subject matter discussed at the meeting concerned "any grievance, or
 any personnel policy or practices or other general conditions of
 employment," the Authority notes that there is no dispute that the
 pending RIF falls within such subject matter.  Accordingly, the
 Authority concludes that the meeting held on June 22, 1982 was a formal
 discussion within the meaning of section 7114(a)(2)(A).  Thus, the
 Respondent's failure to provide the exclusive representative with an
 opportunity to be present at a meeting which constituted a formal
 discussion of matters within the meaning of section 7114(a)(2)(A) of the
 Statute was violative of section 7116(a)(1) and (8).
    However, the Authority finds that the Respondent did not bypass the
 Union at the meeting in violation of section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the
 Statute.  Thus, the purpose of the meeting was solely to transmit
 information to the employees.  The stipulated record is devoid of any
 evidence that the Respondent attempted to deal directly with the
 employees with respect to their conditions of employment.  /3/
 Accordingly, this allegation of the complaint must be dismissed.
    Pursuant to section 2423.29 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations
 and section 7118 of the Statute, the Authority hereby orders that the
 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development shall:
    1.  Cease and desist from:
    (a) Failing to provide the exclusive representative, American
 Federation of Government Employees, with an opportunity to be present at
 formal discussions with bargaining unit employees at which personnel
 policies and practices or other conditions of employment are discussed.
    (b) In any like or related manner interfering with, restraining, or
 coercing its employees in the exercise of their rights assured by the
    2.  Take the following affirmative action in order to effectuate the
 purposes and policies of the Statute:
    (a) Post at its facilities, located at 4551 7th Street, S.W.,
 Washington, D.C., copies of the attached Notice on forms to be furnished
 by the Federal Labor Relations Authority.  Upon receipt of such forms,
 they shall be signed by an appropriate official and shall be posted and
 maintained for 60 consecutive days thereafter, in conspicuous places,
 including all bulletin boards and other places where notices to
 employees are customarily posted.  Reasonable steps shall be taken to
 insure that such Notices are not altered, defaced, or covered by any
 other material.
    (b) Pursuant to section 2423.30 of the Authority's Rules and
 Regulations, notify the Regional Director, Region III, Federal Labor
 Relations Authority, in writing, within 30 days from the date of this
 Order, as to what steps have been taken to comply herewith.
    IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the re