15:0548(115)CU - Corps of Engineers, Kansas City District, Kansas City, MO and NFFE Local 29 -- 1984 FLRAdec RP
[ v15 p548 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
15 FLRA No. 115 UNITED STATES CORPS OF ENGINEERS KANSAS CITY DISTRICT KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI Activity/Petitioner and NATIONAL FEDERATION OF FEDERAL EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 29 Labor Organization Case No. 7-CU-30011 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. /1/ Upon careful consideration of the entire record, including the parties' contentions, the Authority finds: The National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 29 (NFFE) is certified as the exclusive bargaining representative of a unit of all nonsupervisory General Schedule (GS) and Wage Board (WB) employees of the Kansas City District Corps of Engineers, excluding managerial officials, supervisors, employees engaged in Federal personnel work in other than a purely clerical capacity, guards and professional employees. Essentially, the Activity's amended petition seeks to exclude from the certified bargaining unit 10 employees appointed pursuant to 5 C.F.R. 213.3102(w) under the "Stay-in-School Program" who hold positions classified as clerk-typists, GW-0322-02. /2/ Positions filled under such program are excepted from the competitive service. The Activity contends that the inclusion of such employees (hereinafter called GW employees) would not be appropriate under section 7112(a)(1) of the Statute. /3/ In this regard, it asserts that these temporarily employed employees have no reasonable expectancy of continued employment; do not share a community of interest with the rest of the bargaining unit; and their inclusion would not promote effective dealings with, and efficiency of the operations of, the agency. NFFE disagrees with the Activity's assertions, and additionally contends that GW employees have historically been considered as a part of its exclusively recognized unit. The Kansas City District Office organizationally consists of an Advisory Staff which is divided into eight offices, including Personnel, Resource Management, and Public Affairs; and a Technical Staff which is divided into five divisions, including Procurement and Supply, Real Estate, and Construction. With regard to the GW employees, the record reveals that they are currently employed as clerk-typists, GW-0322-02, in the offices and/or divisions named above. The positions of these employees are classified in accordance with the general schedule system and they are paid according to the same pay schedule as other Activity employees. They share common supervision and similar working conditions, which include flexible work hours, similar breaks and lunch periods, and office conditions; and they receive annual and sick leave benefits. Record testimony indicates that the Stay-in-School Program has been in effect at the Activity for at least 12 years. The record also reveals that of the four GW employees who testified, three have been employed under this program or the GW classification from approximately 1 1/2 to 2 1/3 years, and the fourth has more recently been under this classification for approximately 1 year. The GW employees are all enrolled in institutions of higher learning and work part-time during the academic school year, and full-time during the summer. Their appointments are for a term of 1 year, and may be renewed annually so long as they are enrolled in or accepted for enrollment as resident students in a secondary school or institution of higher learning not above the baccalaureate level. The evidence establishes that such appointments are generally renewed. In this regard, the appointments of the four employees who testified have been renewed at least once, with two of these employees having their appointments further renewed for an additional year. The evidence establishes that such employees could possibly be employed by the Activity for several years as they pursue their education. Upon consideration of the totality of the facts and circumstances presented, the Authority finds in accordance with the requirements of section 7112(a)(1) of the Statute that the stay-in-school or GW employees should be included in the unit as they share a clear and identifiable community of interest with the other employees at the Activity and their inclusion will promote effective dealings with, and efficiency of the operations of, the Activity. In so finding, the Authority notes, particularly, that the GW employees share with other unit employees common supervision and similar working conditions; their positions are classified in accordance with the general schedule system; they are paid according to the same pay schedule; and they also receive sick and annual leave. Further, GW employees have a reasonable expectancy of continued employment as evidenced by the fact that they have been employed by the Activity for a substantial period of time and generally have had their appointments renewed. Additionally, the Authority disagrees with the Activity's assertion that the inclusion of the GW employees would not promote effective dealings and efficiency of agency operations. In so finding, the Authority notes that the existing bargaining unit includes temporary employees whose initial appointments are for 150 days or more as well as certain other temporary employees. /4/ ORDER IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the unit sought to be clarified, in which exclusive recognition was granted to the National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 29, on August 5, 1970, at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kansas City District, Kansas City, Missouri, be, and it hereby is, clarified by including in said unit employees appointed pursuant to 5 C.F.R. 213.3102(w) under the Stay-in-School Program. 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/ The Activity's motion to correct the transcript is hereby granted. /2/ 5 C.F.R. 213.3102(w) states, in pertinent part, that: Students may be appointed (under this program) if the need the earnings from this employment to continue in school . . . , provided that the following conditions are met: (1) Appointees are enrolled in or accepted for enrollment as a resident student in a secondary school . . . or an institution of higher learning not above the baccalaureate level . . . ; (2) Employment does not exceed 20 hours in any calendar week except that students may work full-time whenever their school is officially closed and during any school vacation period; (3) While employed, appointees continue to maintain an acceptable school standing . . . ; (4) Appointees meet the economic criteria prescribed by the Office of Personnel Management . . . ; and (5) Salaries are fixed by the agency head at a level commensurate with the duties assigned and the expected level of performance. Appointments under this authority may not extend beyond 1 year. However, such appointments may be made for additional periods of not to exceed 1 year, each, if the conditions for initial appointment are still met. Students may not be appointed under this authority unless they have reached their 16th birthday. No new appointments may be made between May 13 and August 31 inclusive. /3/ Section 7112(a)(1) of the Statute states that a unit will be appropriate " . . . 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." /4/ In view of the above determination, it is unnecessary for the Authority to pass on NFFE's contention that the GW employees herein were historically included in the unit.