15:0918(173)NG - INS and National INS Council, AFGE -- 1984 FLRAdec NG

[ v15 p918 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:

 15 FLRA No. 173
 Charging Party
                                            Case No. 3-CA-1839
                            DECISION AND ORDER
    This matter is before the Authority pursuant to the Regional
 Director's "Order Transferring Case to the Authority" in accordance with
 section 2429.1(a) of the Authority's Rules and Regulations.  Upon
 consideration of the entire record in this case, including the
 stipulation of facts and accompanying exhibits, and the parties'
 contentions, the Authority finds:
    The Respondent, Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), is
 responsible, inter alia, for ensuring that passengers entering the
 United States at airports are in compliance with certain immigration
 laws.  The function is performed by the Respondent's officers through
 inspection of passengers and their documents at points of entry at the
 airports.  Similar inspections are conducted at the airports and other
 entry locations, regarding baggage, packages and cargo, by the Customs
 Service and the Department of Agriculture.
    Regarding past practices under which passengers would be subject to
 separate inspection procedures by officers of all three agencies, it was
 decided that it might be feasible to train individual officers in all of
 the inspection requirements and procedures so that one officer could
 perform the necessary inspection functions for all three agencies.  The
 objective, aside from ensuring that the necessary inspections were
 performed, was to expedite the entry process.
    In 1978, the Respondent conducted certain experiments with these
 procedures at Dulles International Airport, Washington, D.C. and certain
 other airports.  The National Immigration and Naturalization Service
 Council, American Federation of Government Employees (the Union), was
 notified.  The Union is constituted as a Council of local affiliates
 representing the Respondent's employees at various locations throughout
 the United States and it has represented these employees in a nationwide
 unit of exclusive recognition since 1968.  At the Union's request, the
 parties engaged in consultations and discussions regarding these
 experimental changes in practice and the likely effects on employees,
 but there was no bargaining.
    Based on the experiments, which continued, and following discussions
 by the Respondent with the Customs Service and the Department of
 Agriculture, it was decided in 1978 that the new inspection procedures,
 called "one stop," should be implemented at all airports.  Shortly
 thereafter, the Union was advised of this decision and of the need for
 training INS officers.  An agreement was completed by INS, Customs, and
 Agriculture for the implementation of "one stop," and the Respondent
 provided a copy to the Union.  The changes were discussed by INS and the
 Union at a regularly scheduled national consultation meeting.  Following
 this meeting, the matter was discussed by the Union President and the
 Commissioner of INS.  The Union was offered the opportunity to meet with
 the Respondent's labor relations personnel at the national level to
 discuss its concern regarding the implementation of the new procedures.
    During these discussions, the Union expressed its views regarding the
 rights of passengers entering the country and the need to ensure that
 the appropriate inspections were performed.  It disagreed with the
 decision to implement the new procedures and it expressed concerns about
 the impact on the Respondent's employees.  However, it did not meet with
 the Respondent's labor relations personnel and the record does not
 indicate that it presented proposals to the Respondent which addressed
 these latter concerns.
    The implementation of the new procedures nationally occurred in
 stages.  /1/ When implementation was scheduled for airports in Atlanta,
 Georgia and Houston, Texas as of September 20, 1980, the Union was