15:0820(157)NG - NTEU Chapter 55 and IRS, Columbia District, Columbia, SC -- 1984 FLRAdec NG



[ v15 p820 ]
15:0820(157)NG
The decision of the Authority follows:


 15 FLRA No. 157
 
 NATIONAL TREASURY EMPLOYEES
 UNION, CHAPTER 55
 Union
 
 and
 
 INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE,
 COLUMBIA DISTRICT,
 COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA
 Agency
 
                                            Case No. O-NG-604
 
                DECISION AND ORDER ON NEGOTIABILITY ISSUES
 
    The petition for review in this case comes before the Authority
 pursuant to section 7105(a)(2)(E) of the Federal Service
 Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute), and raises issues
 relating to the negotiability of six Union proposals.  Upon careful
 consideration of the entire record, including the parties' contentions,
 the Authority makes the following determinations.
 
                             Union Proposal 1
 
          Reassign the two Anderson Revenue Officers to the Greenville
       POD.  We feel that this is in the best interest of the Service,
       since most of the workload is in the upper Anderson locality.
 
                             Union Proposal 2
 
          Reassign the two Greenwood Revenue Officers to the Greenville
       POD.  We feel that the work in this area could be worked as
       efficiently and productively out of Greenville as was possible
       from the Greenwood location.
 
                             Union Proposal 3
 
          Reassign the four Revenue Officers and one Revenue
       Representative in Spartanburg to the Greenville Group.  Leave the
       employees physically located in the Spartanburg office.  Since
       most of the work is in the immediate Spartanburg area or in
       Cherokee and Union counties, the additional manhours and travel
       involved for these employees would seriously affect their morale
       and decrease their productive work time.
 
                             Union Proposal 4
 
          Retain the present Collection staffing in the Aiken office.
       The closing of the Aiken office would have a disastrous impact on
       the professionals and the public served by this office.  Since
       most of the work in this area is in lower Aiken and Edgefield
       counties, the additional manhours and travel involved for the
       Columbia POD personnel working this area would seriously affect
       the morale of these employees and decrease their productive work
       time.
 
    This negotiability dispute arose out of a planned reorganization of
 the Agency's Collection Division in its Columbia, South Carolina
 District.  Prior to the reorganization, there were five revenue officer
 groups in that division.  The planned reorganization was to result in
 the consolidation of groups and reassignment of employees, which would
 affect three of those groups.
 
    Union Proposals 1-4 require the Agency to make employee assignments
 to specify posts-of-duty (PODs).  In this regard, the Agency contends
 that the effect of these proposals is to prevent it from closing or
 consolidating particular PODs, such as Aiken, Anderson, Greenwood, and
 Spartanburg.
 
    In American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 3805
 and Federal Home Loan Bank Board, Boston District Office, 5 FLRA 693
 (1981), the Authority determined that a proposal requiring the agency to
 maintain certain official duty stations for incumbent employees and,
 thus, preventing the agency from eliminating those duty stations
 conflicted with the agency's right to determine its organization, that
 is, with its right to determine where to establish and maintain official
 duty stations, pursuant to section 7106(a)(1) of the Statute.  In the
 present case, in agreement with the Agency, the Authority finds that
 Union Proposals 1-4 by requiring the Agency to assign particular
 employees to specific PODs would have the effect of preventing it from
 closing or consolidating certain PODs, as it has determined to do
 pursuant to the Agency's reorganization plan.  Thus, these proposals are
 materially to the same effect as the proposal in Federal Home Loan Bank
 Board, and for the reasons set forth in that decision, Union Proposals
 1-4 herein must be found to be inconsistent with the Agency's right to
 determine its organization under section 7106(a)(1) of the Statute.
 Therefore, these proposals are outside the duty to bargain.
 
    Accordingly, pursuant to section 2424.10 of the Authority's Rules and
 Regulations, IT IS ORDERED that the petition for review as to Union
 Proposals 1, 2, 3 and 4 be, and it hereby is, dismissed.
 
                             Union Proposal 5
 
          Announce the GS-5 OCR/Receptionist position for competitive
       selection.
 
                             Union Proposal 6
 
          Announce the Advisor Reviewer (GS-12) position for competitive
       selection.
 
    The Agency contends Proposals 5 and 6 are nonnegotiable /1/ because
 they conflict with management's rights under section 7106(a)(2) of the
 Statute.  /2/ However, the Union states that these proposals are
 negotiable because they do not require the Agency to fill the positions
 in question through the competitive procedures, but merely require that
 the Agency, prior to filling the position through whatever means it
 chooses, first use the competitive procedure set forth in Article 7 of
 the parties' contract.  /3/ Thus, according to the Union, Proposals 5
 and 6 are to the same effect as Proposal 2 in National Treasury
 Employees Union and Internal Revenue Service, 7 FLRA 275 (1981), which
 was found to establish a negotiable procedure pursuant to section
 7106(b)(2) of the Statute.  The language of the proposals is susceptible
 to the Union's interpretation, which the Authority adopts for purposes
 of its decision.  Thus, contrary to the Agency's contentions, the
 instant proposals would preserve the discretion inherent in management's
 rights to assign employees, to assign work and to make selections under
 section 7106(a)(2) of the Statute.  Therefore, for the reasons set forth
 in Internal Revenue Service, the Authority finds that Proposals 5 and 6
 herein establish negotiable procedures and are within the duty to
 bargain under section 7106(b)(2) of the Statute.  /4/
 
    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 Union Proposals 5
 and 6.  /5/
 
    Issued, Washington, D.C., August 30, 1984
                                       Barbara J. Mahone, Chairman
                                       Ronald W. Haughton, Member
                                       Henry B. Frazier III, Member
                                       FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
 
 
 
 
 
 
 --------------- FOOTNOTES$ ---------------
 
 
    /1/ The Agency without contravention indicates that, although it
 makes no difference as to its argument concerning negotiability, the
 position in dispute as to Proposal 5 is a GS-5 lead clerk's position.
 In this connection, whichever position the proposal actually concerns,
 i.e., the receptionist or lead clerk, the Authority's determination with
 respect to the negotiability of the proposal is based on whether it is
 inconsistent with man