15:0851(160)RO - Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth District, Somerville Project Office and AFGE Local 2881 -- 1984 FLRAdec RP



[ v15 p851 ]
15:0851(160)RO
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 e