15:0545(114)NG - AFGE, Council of SS District Office Locals and HHS, SSA -- 1984 FLRAdec NG
[ v15 p545 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
15 FLRA No. 114 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, COUNCIL OF SOCIAL SECURITY DISTRICT OFFICE LOCALS Union and DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION Agency Case No. O-NG-741 DECISION AND ORDER ON NEGOTIABILITY ISSUE The petition for review in this case comes from the Authority pursuant to section 7105(a)(2)(E) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute) and presents an issue concerning the negotiability of the following Union proposal: Solicit volunteers among all qualified Claims Representatives before assigning people to the overpayment unit. Upon careful consideration of the entire record, including the parties' contentions, the Authority makes the following determination. According to the Union's statement of intent, the instant proposal would require management to solicit volunteers for a particular work assignment falling within the Claims Representatives' responsibilities, determine which volunteers are qualified for such work assignment, and select one of the qualified volunteers. If there were no volunteers qualified for the assignment, the Agency could choose any employee it deems qualified to perform the work. In this regard, the Union points out that establishment of qualifications for the assignment is exclusively the province of management. Moreover, the Union avers that its proposal is not intended to permit it to bargain over the types of employees who would be assigned to the overpayment unit. Rather, the proposal is consistent with the Agency's expressed intent to assign Claims Representatives to that unit. /1/ Thus, the Union's proposal would apply only in the event management decided that Claims Representatives were the appropriate type of employees to be assigned to the overpayment unit. In Laborers International Union of North America, AFL-CIO, Local 1276 and Veterans Administration, National Cemetery Office, San Francisco, California, 9 FLRA 703 (1982), the Authority reviewed a provision which, inter alia, required management when filling details to select the employee with the earliest service computation date when two or more employees were "equally well qualified and capable of performing the detail work." In finding that portion of Provision 1 to be a "procedure" to be observed by management in exercising its statutory authority within the meaning of section 7106(b)(2) of the Statute, the Authority stated: Where, . . . in management's judgment, two or more employees are equally qualified and capable of performing the work, the selection of any one of those employees to perform the work would be consistent with management's exercise of its discretion. Under such circumstances, the procedure by which employees previously judged by management to be equally qualified will be selected to perform the work is negotiable . . . . /2/ In like manner, the disputed proposal herein does not seek to prescribe the qualifications or occupational types required to work in the overpayment unit but, rather, merely sets forth a procedure to be used by management when selecting among employees determined by management to be qualified to perform the work, if management decides to use Claims Representatives in the unit. Consequently, based on National Cemetery Office and the reasons and cases cited therein, the disputed proposal does not interfere with management's rights pursuant to section 7106(a)(2)(A) and (B) of the Statute to assign employees and work, but instead constitutes a negotiable procedure as defined in section 7106(b)(2). Accordingly, pursuant to section 2424.10 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations, IT IS ORDERED that the Agency shall upon request (or as otherwise agreed to by the parties) bargain concerning the disputed proposal. /3/ Issued, Washington, D.C., August 16, 1984 Barbara J. Mahone, Chairman Ronald W. Haughton, Member Henry B. Frazier III, Member FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY --------------- FOOTNOTES$ --------------- /1/ Union Reply Brief at 1-2. /2/ National Cemetery Office, 9 FLRA at 706. /3/ In deciding that the proposal is within the duty to bargain, the Authority makes no judgment as to its merits.