15:0497(107)UC - HUD and NFFE -- 1984 FLRAdec RP



[ v15 p497 ]
15:0497(107)UC
The decision of the Authority follows:


 15 FLRA No. 107
 
 U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING
 AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT
 Agency
 
 and
 
 NATIONAL FEDERATION OF FEDERAL
 EMPLOYEES, INDEPENDENT
 Petitioner
 
                                            Case No. 3-UC-30001
 
                            DECISION AND ORDER
 
    Upon a petition filed with the Federal Labor Relations Authority
 under section 7112(d) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations
 Statute (the Statute), a hearing was held before a hearing officer of
 the Authority.  The Authority has reviewed the hearing officer's rulings
 made at the hearing and finds that they are free from prejudicial error.
  The rulings are hereby affirmed.
 
    Upon the entire record in this case, including the parties'
 contentions, the Authority finds.  The National Federation of Federal
 Employees, Independent (NFFE) filed the subject petition seeking to
 consolidate 14 bargaining units located throughout various regional
 offices of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
 for which it is the exclusive representative.  The unit descriptions are
 set forth in the Appendix.  /1/ HUD opposes the petition on the basis
 that the proposed consolidated unit does not meet the appropriate unit
 criteria set forth in section 7112(a)(1) of the Statute.  /2/
 Specifically, HUD contends that there is no clear and identifiable
 community of interest among the employees i4 the consolidated unit
 sought, as they do not share common supervision, working conditions, or
 labor relations policies, and they are widely dispersed geographically.
 Further, HUD asserts that such unit would neither promote effective
 dealings with, nor the efficiency of the operations of, the Agency since
 the proposed unit bears no rational relationship to the operational or
 organizational structure of the Agency and a new administrative
 structure would need to be established to conduct dealings with the
 representative of the proposed unit.
 
    NFFE contends that the unit satisfies the three criteria set forth in
 section 7112 of the Statute.  In this regard, NFFE argues that the
 employees in the unit sought enjoy a common mission, job functions and
 generally uniform personnel policies and practices.  Further, it is
 argued, the unit consolidation would promote effective dealings and
 efficiency of Agency operations by limiting negotiations to only one
 bargaining unit and eliminating redundant bargaining in the existing
 units.
 
    HUD is a cabinet-level agency whose mission is to facilitate the
 construction of housing and community facilities and to aid community
 development through grants to states and local communities, as well as
 mortgage and rent subsidies.  To achieve this mission, the Agency is
 organized, under the direction of the Secretary, into a headquarters
 office, located in Washington, D.C., and 10 regional offices located
 throughout the country, each headed by a Regional Administrator.  Within
 each region there are area offices, each headed by an Area Manager;
 some area offices have subordinate service offices (some of which were
 previously called Insuring Offices), each headed by a Supervisor.  The
 regional offices are responsible for all contact with state and local
 government officials and for coordinating the programs of the agency
 with related programs of other Federal agencies within the geographic
 areas of the same region.  In addition, the regions provide oversight
 and monitoring functions on an annual basis concerning program matters
 conducted by the area offices is within the geographic area of the
 region.  The area offices, as a result of HUD's policy of
 decentralization, are the primary field operational units and are
 responsible for all the program decisions within their respective
 geographical areas (including all subordinate service offices), and are
 the principal points of contact for program participants and sponsors.
 Area offices are fully self-contained and are responsible for all
 administrative, personnel and labor relations functions therein
 including all subordinate service offices.  /3/ HUD employs
 approximately 14,000 employees, of whom approximately 8,500 are
 currently exclusively represented in separate professional and
 non-professional nation-wide consolidated bargaining units by the
 American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO.  The proposed
 consolidated unit would include all 14 of the bargaining units of HUD
 employees exclusively represented by NFFE, encompassing approximately
 2,000 professional and nonprofessional employees, or 14% of HUD's
 workforce.  The 14 bargaining units are located at 3 out of 10 regional
 offices;  8 out of 40 area offices;  and 6 out of 55 service offices,
 nationwide.  /4/
 
    In Department of Transportation, Washington, D.C., 5 FLRA 646 (1981),
 the Authority, in dismissing petitions to consolidate units, noted that
 section 7112(a)(1) of the Statute requires any unit found appropriate to
 conform to the three criteria established by that section-- a clear and
 identifiable community of interest among the employees in the unit, and
 the promotion of effective dealings with, and the efficiency of the
 operations of, the agency involved.  The Authority further noted that
 these criteria are applicable as well to unit consolidation proceedings
 pursuant to section 7112(d) of the Statute.  /5/
 
    With regard to the community of interest criterion, the Authority
 will consider the degree of commonality and integration of the mission
 and function of the components involved;  the distribution of the
 employees involved throughout the organizational and geographical
 components of the agency;  the degree of similarity of the occupational
 undertakings of the employees in the proposed unit;  and the locus and
 scope of personnel and labor relations authority and functions.
 Department of the Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, 8 FLRA 15 (1982).  In the
 instant case, the Authority concludes that the employees who would be
 included in the proposed consolidated unit do not share a clear and
 identifiable community of interest.  In this regard, the record
 establishes that, although there is a common mission shared by all
 employees of the Agency and similar functions are performed by employees
 throughout the field organization of HUD in pursuit of this mission,
 there is no integration of these functions between or among area offices
 or between area offices and regional offices.  This is a consequence of
 HUD's policy of decentralizing authority, as noted above, and the
 character of the programs involved, which are essentially local and
 restricted to the geographic jurisdictions of each area office.
 Moreover, the record establishes that there is little or no interchange
 or transfer of personnel among the various field components involved.
 Further, the record shows that the various bargaining units sought to be
 consolidated are not widely distributed throughout HUD's regional
 structure.  Thus, as noted above, NFFE has bargaining units at only 3
 out of 10 regional offices;  only 8 out of 40 area offices;  and only 6
 out of 55 service offices, nationwide.  However, the employees in the
 petitioned for consolidated unit are widely dispersed geographically.
 Thus, the record shows that while a majority of employees in the
 consolidated unit sought are concentrated in Regions VII (Kansas City),
 VIII (Denver) and IX (San Francisco), a few employees are scattered
 throughout four other regions:  4 locations out of 10 in Region V
 (Chicago), 2 locations out of 6 in Region II (New York);  1 location out
 of 12 in Region IV (Atlanta);  and 1 location out of 9 in Region VI
 (Dallas).  Finally, as a consequence of HUD's policy of decentralization
 noted above, there has been delegation of significant authority and
 discretion to the various regional administrators and area managers in
 personnel and labor relations matters, resulting in varied personnel
 policies and working conditions throughout the regional structure of
 HUD.
 
    Based on these factors, the Authority finds that the petitioned for
 consolidated unit would not insure a clear and identifiable community of
 interest among the employees involved and will order that the petition
 be dismissed.  /6/
 
                                   ORDER
 
    IT IS ORDERED that the petition in Case No. 3-UC-30001 be, and it
 hereby is, dismissed.
 
    Issued, Washington, D.C., August 9, 1984
                                       Barbara J. Mahone, Chairman
                                       Ronald W. Haughton, Member
                                       Henry B. Frazier III, Member
                                       FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
 
                                 APPENDIX
 
    UNIT 1:  Included:  All employees of the Grand Rapids, Michigan,
 Insuring Office of the Federal Housing Administration.
 
    Excluded:  Management and Personnel Official, Supervisors and Guards.
 
    UNIT 2:  Included:  All employees employed by the HUD-FHA Insuring
 Office, Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
 
    Excluded:  All management officials, employees engaged in federal
 personnel work in other than a purely clerical capacity, and supervisors
 as defined in the Order.
 
    UNIT 3:  Included:  All employees of the Department of Housing and
 Urban Development, FHA, Memphis Insuring Office.
 
    Excluded:  All professional employees, management officials,
 employees engaged in Federal personnel work in other than a purely
 clerical capacity, and supervisors and guards as defined in EO 11491, as
 amended.
 
    UNIT 4:  Included:  All professional and nonprofessional General
 Schedule and Wage Grade employees, including temporary employees who
 have been employed for a period exceeding ninety (90) days, of the
 Department of Housing and Urban Development, Kansas City Regional
 Office, Kansas City, Missouri.
 
    Excluded:  All management officials, employees engaged in Federal
 Personnel work in other than a purely clerical capacity, and supervisors
 and guards as defined in Executive Order 11491.
 
    UNIT 5:  Included:  All professional employees, including temporary
 employees with an expected employment of 90 days or longer, employed by
 the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Kansas City Area
 Office.
 
    Excluded:  All management officials, confidential employees,
 supervisors, and employees engaged in Federal personnel work in other
 than a purely clerical capacity as defined in Executive Order 11491, as
 amended.
 
    UNIT 6:  Included:  All non-professional General Schedule employees,
 including temporary employees with an expected employment of 90 days or
 longer, employed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development,
 Kansas City Area Office. including the Topeka Valuation and Endorsement
 Station.
 
    Excluded:  All employees engaged in Federal Personnel work in other
 than a purely clerical capacity, and all professional employees,
 management officials, confidential employees, and supervisors as defined
 in the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute.
 
    UNIT 7:  Included:  All nonprofessional employees of the San
 Francisco Area Office, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development,
 including the employees of the Fresno, Sacramento, Reno and Las Vegas
 Service offices.
 
    Excluded:  Professionals, supervisors, management officials and
 employees described in section 7112(b)(2), (3), (4), (6) and (7) of the
 Statute.
 
    UNIT 8:  Included:  All General Schedule employees of the Regional
 Office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Region
 IX, regardless of duty station.
 
    Excluded:  Management officials and Supervisors, confidential
 employees, employees engaged in personnel work in other than a purely
 clerical capacity, employees engaged in the administration of Title VII
 of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, professional employees (unless
 a majority of the professional employees vote for inclusion in the
 Unit), any employee engaged in intelligence, investigative or security
 work affecting national security, any employee primarily engaged in
 investigation or audit functions affecting the internal security of the
 employer, employees holding temporary appointments.
 
    UNIT 9:  Included:  All non-professional employees in the Newark, New
 Jersey Area Office.
 
    Excluded:  All professionals, managers, supervisors, guards and
 personnel department employees other than those employed in a purely
 clerical capacity.
 
    UNIT 10:  Included:  All non-supervisory GS employees of the
 Department of Housing and Urban Development, Area Office, 210 No. 12th
 Street, St. Louis, Missouri.
 
    Excluded:  Management officials, supervisors, guards, employees
 engaged in Federal personnel work in other than a purely clerical
 capacity, and professional employees.
 
    UNIT 11:  Included:  All non-supervisory full-time employees.
 (Indianapolis, Indiana Area Office)
 
    Excluded:  All Management Officials, Supervisors, Guards, Employees
 engaged in Federal Personnel work in other than a purely Clerical
 capacity and Professionals.
 
    UNIT 12:  Included:  All non-professional employees of the Detroit
 Area Office of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Detroit,
 Michigan.
 
    Excluded:  Supervisors, Managerial Personnel, Management Officials,
 Guards, Professionals, and Employees engaged in Federal personnel work
 in other than a purely clerical capacity (are excluded).
 
    UNIT 13:  Included:  All full-time non-professional employees of the
 Department of Housing and Urban Development under the direction of the
 Area Director of the Little Rock Area Office.
 
    Excluded:  All professional employees, managerial officials,
 temporary, casual, and part-time employees, employees engaged in Federal
 personnel work in other than a purely clerical capacity, and supervisors
 and guards as defined in Executive Order 11491.
 
    UNIT 14:  Included:  All professional employees and all
 nonprofessional GS employees including temporary employees as
 applicable, employed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development
 Regional Office, including all nonprofessional employees of the former
 Denver Insuring Office, Denver, Colorado.  (Region VIII)
 
    Excluded:  All supervisors, management officials and employees
 engaged in Federal Personnel work in other than a purely clerical
 capacity.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 --------------- FOOTNOTES$ ---------------
 
 
    /1/ There are certain discrepancies in the unit descriptions, such as
 whether or not professionals are included in the San Francisco Regional
 Office Unit.  However, in view of the disposition of the subject
 petition, the Authority finds it unnecessary to resolve these
 discrepancies.
 
 
    /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/ The regional administrators are authorized to establish
 administrative, personnel and labor relations policies for their
 respective regional offices.
 
 
    /4/ The absence of balance and conformity in these numbers results
 from a wide disparity in the scope of the bargaining units involved.
 For example, one location may have more than one bargaining unit, while
 another bargaining unit may cover more than one location.  It should
 also be noted that at least in one location, and perhaps more, NFFE's
 bargaining unit does not cover all eligible employees at that location.
 
 
    /5/ Section 7112(d) provides as follows:
 
                                .  .  .  .
 
          (d) Two or more units which are in an agency and for which a
       la