15:0820(157)NG - NTEU Chapter 55 and IRS, Columbia District, Columbia, SC -- 1984 FLRAdec NG
[ v15 p820 ]
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 management rights under section 7106(a)(2), or whether it establishes a negotiable procedure under section 7106(b)(2) of the Statute. /2/ Section 7106(a)(2) provides in relevant part: Sec. 7106. Management rights (a) Subject to subsection (b) of this section, nothing in this chapter shall affect the authority of any management official of any agency-- . . . . (2) in accordance with applicable laws-- (A) to . . . assign . . . employees in the agency . . . ; (B) to assign work . . . ; (C) with respect to filling positions, to make selections for appointments from-- (i) among properly ranked and certified candidates for promotion; or (ii) any other appropriate source(.) /3/ Union Reply Brief at 2. /4/ Section 7106(b)(2) provides: Sec. 7106. Management rights . . . . (b) Nothing in this section shall preclude any agency and any labor organization from negotiating-- . . . . (2) procedures which management officials of the agency will observe in exercising any authority under this section(.) /5/ In deciding that Union Proposals 5 and 6 are within the duty to bargain, the Authority makes no judgment as to their merits. Furthermore, the Authority decides only the negotiability issues presented under section 7105(a)(2)(E) of the Statute. To the extent that there are other factual issues in dispute between the parties regarding the duty to bargain over these proposals in the specific circumstances of this case, these issues may be raised in other appropriate proceedings. See American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 2736 and Department of the Air Force, Headquarters, 379th Combat Support Group (SAC), Wurtsmith Air Force Base, Michigan, 14 FLRA No. 55 (1984).