15:0851(160)RO - Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth District, Somerville Project Office and AFGE Local 2881 -- 1984 FLRAdec RP
[ v15 p851 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:
15 FLRA No. 160 UNITED STATES ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS, FORT WORTH DISTRICT SOMERVILLE PROJECT OFFICE /1/ Activity and AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, LOCAL 2881 Labor Organization/Petitioner Case No. 6-RO-30010 DECISION AND ORDER Upon a petition duly filed with the Federal Labor Relations Authority under section 7111(b)(1) 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, the Authority finds: The Petitioner, American Federation of Government Employees, Local 2881, AFL-CIO (AFGE or Petitioner), seeks an election in a unit composed of , all professional and nonprofessional employees of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth District, Somerville Project Office, Somerville, Texas, excluding all management officials, supervisors, and employees described in section 7112(b)(2), (3), (4), (6) and (7) of the Statute. At the hearing, the Petitioner further proposed, as an alternative, that the employees in the petitioned-for unit be added to the unit it currently exclusively represents which is composed of all nonprofessional employees at the Whitney Project Office and Power Plant, excluding management officials, employees engaged in Federal personnel work in other than a purely clerical capacity, guards, and supervisors. The Fort Worth District, in part, consists of a District office located in Fort Worth, Texas and 17 Operations and Maintenance, and Multi-Purpose Flood Control Project Offices (Project Offices), including Somerville. The heads of such offices report to the Chief of the Operations Division in the District Office. /2/ These project offices are responsible for: (1) operating and maintaining public use areas and managing all project lands and resources such as fish, wildlife, forestry, and grazing; (2) operating and maintaining dams, power plants, spillways, and outlet works; (3) administering rules and regulations governing public use of the particular project; and (4) inspecting local levee districts and providing advice on maintenance and assistance during emergencies. Although the operation of power plants is set forth as a function, only two project offices, Sam Rayburn-Town Bluff and Whitney, operate such plants, in addition to performing the other functions mentioned above. /3/ The Activity opposes the petitioned-for unit contending that it is not appropriate under the criteria set forth in section 7112(a)(1) of the Statute /4/ because the employees involved do not share a community of interest separate and distinct from the employees in the other project offices which do not operate power plants; that such a unit would lead to unwarranted fragmentation of a major component of the District; and that such a unit would not promote effective dealings and efficiency of agency operations. It also asserts that the alternate unit is inappropriate because the employees located at the Whitney Project Office, which operates a power plant, share a community of interest separate and distinct from employees in the other project offices without power plants including the petitioned-for unit, and further contends that such unit is incompatible with the Whitney bargaining unit which excludes professional employees. The record establishes that the employees in the petitioned-for unit do not share a clear and identifiable community of interest separate and distinct from the employees in the other unrepresented project offices and thus such a unit would not be appropriate under section 7112(a)(1) of the Statute. These employees who would be included in the proposed unit, share with the employees in the other unrepresented Project Offices a common mission and organizational structure; possess similar job classifications and job descriptions; /5/ perform similar work functions; and have essentially similar working conditions. Further, the record reveals that the employees in the petitioned-for unit are subject to the same personnel policies and practices established by the Fort Worth District's Personnel Office (e.g., merit promotion and reduction-in-force procedures) as the other employees. Thus, in view of the above, the Petitioner has not established that the employees in the unit sought share a clear and identifiable community of interest separate and distinct from the employees in the other unrepresented Project Offices. /6/ Further, the Authority finds that the proposed alternative unit of the petitioned-for Somerville employees and the employees in the currently recognized Whitney Project Office and Power Plant unit also is not appropriate. In so finding, the Authority notes particularly that the employees in the petitioned-for Somerville Project Office, which includes professionals, are more closely aligned and share a clear and identifiable community of interest with other employees in the non-represented project offices of the District, and that the unit at Whitney specifically excludes professionals and includes additional job classifications related to its power plant functions. Based upon the foregoing, the Authority concludes that neither the petitioned-for unit nor the alternate unit is appropriate for exclusive recognition under section 7112(a)(1) of the Statute and the petition shall therefore be dismissed. ORDER IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the petition in Case No. 6-RO-30010 be, and it hereby is, dismissed. 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 name of the Activity appears as corrected at the hearing. /2/ The documentary evidence reveals that there are 17 project offices that report to the Operations Division, however, it is noted that this number may vary depending upon whether certain offices are counted as one or separately (e.g., Navarro Mills-Bardwell or Bardwell and Navarro Mills and Belton-Stillhouse or Belton and Stillhouse). /3/ These offices are the only ones in the Fort Worth District that are exclusively represented. Since approximately 1969, the Petitioner, as mentioned above, has represented a unit of nonprofessional employees located at the Whitney Project Office and AFGE, Local 2732 has represented a unit of nonsupervisory, nonprofessional employees located at the Sam Rayburn-Town Bluff Project Office. /4/ Section 7112(a)(1) provides in pertinent part: . . . The Authority 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. /5/ These job classifications include Park Ranger, GS-0025-09; Park Technician, GS-0026-07 and 06; Clerk-Typist, GS-0322-03, and 05; and Maintenance Worker, WG-4749-08, 06, and 06. The two project offices currently represented include such job classifications as well as other classifications related to their power plant functions, such as Power Plant Mechanic, WB-5324; Power Plant Shift Operator, WB-5407; and Power Plant Electrician, WB-2810. /6/ In order to be found appropriate, a proposed unit must meet all of the three criteria for appropriateness established in section 7112(a)(1) of the Statute; a failure to satisfy any one of them must result in a finding that the unit sought is inappropriate. Department of the Navy, Navy and Printing Service Branch Office, Vallejo, California, 10 FLRA 659 (1982).