16:0056(17)CA - SSA and AFGE -- 1984 FLRAdec CA



[ v16 p56 ]
16:0056(17)CA
The decision of the Authority follows:


 16 FLRA No. 17
 
 SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
 Respondent
 
 and
 
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
 EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO
 Charging Party
 
                                            Case No. 31-CA-534
 
                            DECISION AND ORDER
 
    The Administrative Law Judge issued the attached Decision finding
 that Respondent had engaged in the unfair labor practices alleged in the
 complaint and recommending that it cease and desist therefrom and take
 certain affirmative action.  The Judge further found that the Respondent
 had not engaged in other alleged unfair labor practices and recommended
 dismissal of the complaint with respect to them.  The Respondent filed
 exceptions with respect to the Judge's Decision /1/ and the Charging
 Party filed an opposition to Respondent's exceptions.
 
    Pursuant to section 2423.29 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations
 and section 7118 of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations
 Statute (the Statute), the Authority has reviewed the rulings of the
 Judge made at the hearing and finds that no prejudicial error was
 committed.  The rulings are hereby affirmed.  Upon consideration of the
 Judge's Decision and the entire record, the Authority hereby adopts the
 Judge's findings, conclusions and Recommended Order, except as modified
 herein.
 
    In agreement with the Judge's conclusion, the Authority finds that
 the Respondent violated section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Statute by its
 failure to give the Union adequate prior notice and the opportunity to
 request bargaining concerning the impact and implementation of the
 Respondent's decision to implement Phase II of the Disability Insurance
 Pilot Study on September 26, 1980, as well as its decision to resume the
 Retirement Survivor Insurance sample work on October 8, 1980.  In so
 finding, the Authority notes that where an agency in exercising a
 management right under 7106 of the Statute decides to change a condition
 of employment of unit employees, there exists a statutory duty to
 negotiate if such change results in more than a de minimis impact upon
 unit employees or such impact is reasonably foreseeable.  See U.S.
 Government Printing Office, 13 FLRA No. 39 (1983);  and Department of
 Health and Human Services, Social Security Administration, Chicago
 Region, 15 FLRA No. 174 (1984).  /2/
 
                                   ORDER
 
    Pursuant to Section 2423.29 of the Federal Labor Relations
 Authority's Rules and Regulations and Section 7118 of the Statute, the
 Authority hereby orders that the Social Security Administration shall:
 
    1.  Cease and desist from:
 
    (a) Instituting changes in the use by employees of its on-going
 samples, pilot programs and special studies in the Office of Assessment,
 including the field regional offices, without first notifying the
 American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, the exclusive
 bargaining representative of its employees, and affording the Union the
 opportunity to request negotiations concerning the impact and
 implementation of such changes.
 
    (b) In any like or related manner interfering with, restraining, or
 coercing its employees in the exercise of their rights assured by the
 Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute.
 
    2.  Take the following affirmative actions in order to effectuate the
 purposes and policies of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations
 Statute:
 
    (a) Upon request by the American Federation of Government Employees,
 AFL-CIO negotiate concerning the procedures to be utilized in
 implementing any changes in the use by employees of its on-going
 samples, pilot programs and special studies, and their impact upon
 affected employees.
 
    (b) Post at all its Office of Assessment locations, including the
 satellite and field offices, copies of the attached Notice on forms to
 be furnished by the Federal Labor Relations Authority.  Upon receipt of
 such forms, they shall be signed by the Associate Commissioner, Office
 of Assessment, or his designee, and shall be posted and maintained for a
 period of 60 consecutive days thereafter, in conspicuous places,
 including all bulletin boards and other places where notices to
 employees are customarily posted.  Reasonable steps shall be taken to
 insure that such Notices are not altered, defaced, or covered by any
 material.
 
    (c) Notify the Regional Director, Region III, Federal Labor Relations
 Authority, in writing, within 30 days from the date of this Order, as to
 what steps have been taken to comply with the Order.
 
    IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the allegation of the complaint that the
 Respondent violated section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Statute by
 conducting training sessions for unit employees be, and it hereby is,
 dismissed.  
 
 Issued, Washington, D.C., September 26, 1984
 
                                       Henry B. Frazier III, Acting
                                       Chairman
                                       Ronald W. Haughton, Member
                                       FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
 
 
 
 
 
                          NOTICE TO ALL EMPLOYEES
 
  PURSUANT TO A DECISION AND ORDER OF THE FEDERAL LABOR
 RELATIONS
 AUTHORITY AND IN ORDER TO EFFECTUATE THE POLICIES OF CHAPTER 71
 OF TITLE
 5 OF THE UNITED STATES CODE FEDERAL SERVICE LABOR-MANAGEMENT
 RELATIONS
 WE HEREBY NOTIFY OUR EMPLOYEES THAT:
 
    WE WILL NOT, institute changes in the use by employees of our
 on-going samples, pilot programs and special studies in the Office of
 Assessment, including the field regional offices, without first
 notifying the American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, the
 exclusive bargaining representative of our employees, and affording the
 Union the opportunity to request negotiations concerning the impact and
 implementation of such changes.
 
    WE WILL NOT, in any like or related manner interfere with, restrain,
 or coerce our employees in the exercise of their rights assured by the
 Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute.
 
    WE WILL, notify the American Federation of Employees, AFL-CIO of any
 changes in the use by employees of our on-going samples, pilot programs
 and special studies and, upon request, negotiate with such
 representative concerning the impact and implementation of such changes.
                                       (Agency or Activity)
 
    Dated:  By:
                                       (Signature)
 
    This Notice must remain posted for 60 consecutive days from the date
 of posting, and must not be altered, defaced, or covered by any other
 material.
 
    If employees have any questions concerning this Notice or compliance
 with its provisions, they may communicate directly with the Regional
 Director for the Federal Labor Relations Authority whose address is:
 P.O. Box 33758, Washington, D.C. 20033-0758, and whose telephone number
 is:  (202) 653-8507.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 -------------------- ALJ$ DECISION FOLLOWS --------------------
 
    SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
                                Respondent
 
    and
 
    AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
    EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO
                              Charging Party
 
                                       Case No.: 31-CA-534
 
    Francis X. Dippel, Esq.
    Jack P. Goodman
    For the Respondent
 
    Gloria J. Crawford, Esq.
    Margaret Berkowitz, Esq.
    For the General Counsel
 
    Barry Nelson
    For the Charging Party
 
    Before:  WILLIAM NAIMARK
    Administrative Law Judge
 
                                 DECISION
 
                           Statement Of The Case
 
    Pursuant to a Complaint and Notice of Hearing issued on February 20,
 1981 by the Regional Director for the Federal Labor Relations Authority,
 Washington, D.C. Region, a hearing was held before the undersigned on
 March 19, 1981 at Baltimore, Maryland.
 
    This is a proceeding under the Federal Service Labor-Management
 Relations Statute, 5 U.S.C. Section 7101 et seq. (herein the Act).  On
 October 31, 1980 a charge was filed by American Federation of Government
 Employees, AFL-CIO (herein called the Union or Charging Party) against
 Social Security Administration (herein called Respondent).
 
    Based upon the aforesaid charge it was alleged in the complaint that
 certain conduct by Respondent, in addition to constituting a patent
 breach of a negotiated agreement between the parties, was unilateral in
 nature;  that, as a result thereof, the Union was denied an opportunity
 to negotiate on its impact and implementation-- all in violation of
 Sections 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Act.  Specifically, the complaint
 alleged that (a) on about August 25, 1980 and September 16, 1980,
 respectively, Respondent conducted, without prior notice to the Union,
 training for unit employees regarding changes in certain forms to be
 used in the resumption of the Retirement Survivor Insurance sample of
 Title II, and in the implementation of Phase II of the Disability
 Insurance sample;  (b) by memorandum dated September 26, 1980 Respondent
 directed the implementation of Phase II of the Disability Insurance
 Pilot study of Title II, work, without prior notice to the Union, and by
 implementing such study it changed certain forms used by unit employees
 in their work;  (c) by memorandum dated October 8, 1980 Respondent
 directed the resumption of Title II sample work concerning Retirement
 Survivor Insurance without prior notice to the Union, and by resuming
 such study it changed certain forms used by unit employees in their
 work.
 
    Respondent filed an answer, dated March 1, 1981, in which it admitted
 that it unilaterally conducted the aforesaid training sessions, directed
 implementation of Phase II of the Disability Insurance Pilot Study of
 Title II work, and directed resumption of Title II sample work
 concerning Retirement Survivors Insurance.  It denied changing the forms
 as a result of any such implementation or resumption.  Moreover, it
 denied the commission of any unfair labor practices.
 
    All parties were represented at the hearing.  Each was afforded full
 opportunity to be heard, to adduce evidence, and to examine as well as
 cross-examine witnesses.  Briefs filed by the parties have been duly
 considered.
 
    At the hearing herein the undersigned stated that since the complaint
 alleged, in paragraphs 15 and 17, that certain forms were changed by
 implementing Phase II of the Disability Insurance Pilot Study and the
 resumption of Retirement Survivors Insurance work, no findings would be
 made regarding other changes during such implementation or resumption.
 Upon further consideration I am persuaded that the complaint is
 sufficiently broad to encompass such other changes.  The alleged
 implementation and resumption of work carry with them new procedures,
 and the Respondent-- as appears from the exhibits-- acknowledges that
 changes accompanied the system.  /3/ Further, the modifications were
 litigated at the hearing and no prejudice is shown to have existed
 thereby.  See Iron Workers, Local 444 Gust K. Newberg Construction Co.
 174 NLRB No. 164;  VA Hospital, Charleston, S.C. A/SLMR No. 87.
 
    Subsequent to the hearing General Counsel filed a motion with the
 undersigned to reopen the record and receive "Appendix A to G.C. Exh.
 No. 1(e) into evidence." Appendix A is referred to as Attachment 1 in
 paragraph 5 of the Complaint.  It consists of a list of the bargaining
 units, nationwide and in Washington, D.C. as well as the various states,
 of the non-professional employees of Respondent represented by the
 Union.  No objection has been filed thereto.  The motion is granted and
 the Appendix is received in evidence.
 
    Upon the entire record herein, from my observation of the witness and
 their demeanor, and from all of the testimony and evidence adduced at
 the hearing, I make the following findings, conclusions and
 recommendations:
 
                             Findings of Fact
 
    1.  At all times since August 30, 1979 the American Federation of
 Government Employees, AFL-CIO has been the certified bargaining
 representative of the Respondent's employees in a national consolidated
 unit.
 
    2.  A memorandum of agreement signed by Respondent on November 1,
 1979, and by the Union on November 2, 1979, provided, in substance, that
 prior to implementing any changes in personnel policies, practices, or
 conditions of employment, the employer will notify the Union in advance
 thereof and fulfill its obligation to bargain.
 
    3.  About 1500 individuals are employed by Respondent in ten field
 assessment (regional) offices and 25 satellite offices in the United
 States-- all under the Office of Assessment.  Employed thereat are
 qualify review specialists (QRS), disability reviewers (DR), field
 integrity specialists, program analysts and clericals.
 
    4.  The mission of the Office of Assessment is to conduct a program
 of quality appraisal and analysis through on going samples, /4/ pilot
 programs and special studies.  By conducting samples of claims which
 were paid, the employer monitors the accuracy of its payments while the
 studies aid in correcting discrepancies.  Title II of this program
 includes Retirement Survivors Insurance (RSI) and Disability Insurance
 (DI).  Sample work for both RSI and DI is handled by those designated as
 QRS, DR, and the analysts heretofore mentioned.  The Office of
 Assessment (OA) conducts samples every six months of about 3000 cases
 for DI and about 2000-3000 for RSI.
 
    5.  In September, 1979 OA ended Title II sample work concerning Phase
 I of a DI pilot study.  Further, in February, 1980 it suspended Title II
 sample work related to RSI cases.
 
    6.  Earl P. Tucker, President of the National Council of Field
 Assessment Locals, sent a memorandum dated May 16, 1980 to Fred
 Schutzman, Associate Commissioner, OA.  The Union representative stated
 they were unofficially advised that Title II sample for OA was
 suspended;  that the Union desired to negotiate the impact of the
 changes flowing from the suspension on the employees in OA.
 
    7.  In a reply memorandum dated June 13, 1980, Schutzman informed
 Tucker that the sample had been suspended for an indefinite period
 pending approval by the Office of Management and Budget for an extension
 of several forms used in Title II quality review work.  Authorization
 for use of said forms had expired in January, 1980.  The OA official
 stated that when word is received regarding resumption of the sample,
 the employer would notify the Union.  Schutzman further commented that
 no widespread assignment had taken place of employees to duties outside
 position descriptions;  that no adverse impact had resulted from the
 suspension to warrant negotiations thereon.
 
    8.  A further memorandum regarding suspension of Title II sample,
 dated September 3, 1980, was sent by Schutzman to the Union President.
 He reiterated the contention that no adverse impact had occurred;  that
 it was anticipated the resumption of Title II sample would take place
 soon;  that the Union would be notified when official word is received
 regarding the resumption;  and that OA had authorized Title II training
 to commence on August 25, 1980.
 
    9.  Management did begin a refresher training session on August 25,
 1980 in Baltimore, Maryland.  About twenty employees, including
 bargaining unit workers, attended the course which concerned changes in
 forms to be used in the resumption of RSI work.  Discussion took place
 regarding two new forms:  (1) SSA 4659 which was an annual earnings test
 questionnaire used by the QRS in the field when soliciting information
 from beneficiaries.  Record testimony reflects that the use of this form
 added one-half to one hour's time required by the specialist to conduct
 an interview.  It also increased the average time about one to two weeks
 to process a case through completion.  The QRS was required to obtain
 data regarding the beneficiary's past employment by sending out a sheet
 to his former employers during the previous four years;  (2) SSA 4280
 which was an annual earnings test desk review worksheet to be used by
 case analysts.  /5/
 
    The aforesaid training also covered updates and revisions to the
 Quality Review Manual used in processing cases.  This manual contains
 instructions to field personnel regarding completion of forms.  These
 may be modified at times, and some instructions may be clarified when
 necessary.
 
    10.  On September 16, 1980 Respondent commenced training unit
 employees regarding the implementation of Phase II of a DI Pilot Study
 without notification to the Union.  At least six training sessions have
 been held in Baltimore during the past four years.  The program lasted
 one week, and it was attended by DR's, project managers.  It was
 designed to train the trainers, and to update knowledge for
 modifications made in the DI process.  The sessions dealt with, inter
 alia, changes in forms filled out by reviewers.  Some items had been
 rearranged.  Some questions on the forms were new ones whereas other
 queries were merely modifications.  The reviewer also was required to
 fill out a new form.  However, all pertained to the same task of
 interviewing individuals to determine disability entitlement.  The DR's
 were expected, upon their return to the regional offices, to train other
 DR's and QR's.
 
    The aforesaid sessions also dealt with consultative examinations as
 well as the need for more vocational documentation.  In respect to the
 former, this calls for a request to state agencies to obtain an
 independent doctor to examine the beneficiary.  The DR contacts the
 doctor and the beneficiary regarding an appointment.  Under Phase I such
 examinations were limited since the DR procured the treating sources
 first, and only arranged for a consultative exam if necessary.  Record
 facts show the vocational evidence required by management was specified
 in more detail, although the DR gathered such information under Phase I.
 
    11.  By a memo dated September 26, 1980, addressed to all Field
 Assessment Officers, the Respondent ordered the implementation of Phase
 II of the DI Pilot Study.  No prior notice was given the Union herein.
 A new quality review questionnaire used by the QRS includes an item
 referring to Workmen's Compensation, which was not contained in the
 prior form, and the QRS had to obtain data in that regard.  This
 increased the time required to process DI cases from a few hours to
 several weeks since the specialist had to contact insurance companies to
 verify the payments made as well as determine how that affected payment.
  Further, form SSA 5081 used by the QRS to gather data from
 beneficiaries was replaced by form SSA 5081-02.  While both were
 entitled "Request for Current Medical/Vocational Evidence", the
 replacing form spelled out specific vocational data to be obtained.
 
    12.  In implementing the Pilot Study, as aforesaid, the DR's were
 required to follow through-- as discussed during the training sessions--
 consultation examinations in each case and to procure medical evidence.
 This was not necessary in Phase I of this study.  Further, in Phase II
 the reviewer was now required to establish date of birth of the
 beneficiary by the best available evidence.  This might call for
 obtaining a foreign document, or baptismal certificate, by contacting
 the Division of International Operations which then notified the
 particular embassy.  This new procedure was set forth in the Quality
 Review Manual.  /6/ Processing non-foreign documents might add one to
 three weeks to process a case;  securing foreign data could increase
 case processing time four weeks or longer.  Another procedural change
 involved the manner by which information was furnished the QRS.  Under
 Phase I the reviewer was given a cover sheet with the assigned cases
 showing the beneficiary's disability.  While the sheet was still
 provided under Phase II, the information was not set forth in many
 cases.  Some employees were concerned regarding their safety since they
 were not familiar now with the condition of the beneficiary.
 
    13.  A memo dated September 19, 1980 from Peter M. Wheeler, Director
 of Payment and Eligibility Quality, to Schutzman, regarding the
 implementation of the DI Quality Review System, sets forth the
 objectives of, and key changes wrought by, Phase II of the Pilot Study.
 As indicated therein, it is a separate and distinct study, independent
 of Phase I in respect to the sample, review criteria and procedures, and
 uses to which data will be part.  The changes in Phase II, resulting
 from Phase I are enumerated as follows:
 
          a) Elimination of independent reviews by physicians and DR's.
 
          b) Purchase of CE (Consultative Examinations) in nearly all
       cases.
 
          c) Direct purchase of CE's in more states.
 
          d) Consolidated worksheet for desk reviewer.
 
          e) Simultaneous request for CMER (current medical evidence of
       record) and CE.  /7/
 
    14.  In a memorandum dated October 8, 1980 management advised all
 field assessment officers that clearance had been received for
 commencement of RSI sample.  The resumption of RSI sample work, which
 was now begun, required the case of the new forms (SSA 4280 and SSA
 4659) devoted to "annual earnings test" for the review worksheet and
 quality review questionnaire respectively.  The resumption of RSI sample
 work, including the use of the new forms, was effected without prior
 notice to the Union.  The additional time required to conduct an
 interview and to process a case completely, as well as the added duties
 imposed by the annual earnings test upon the QRS, are set forth in
 paragraph 9 above.
 
    15.  QRS Madeline M. Barborer testified, and I find, that she was
 assigned to handle 12-16 cases each month prior to the resumption of RSI
 sample work and the implementation of Phase II of DI work;  that
 thereafter she was assigned about 26 cases per month.  /8/
 
                                Conclusions
 
    The principal issues for determination herein are as follows:  (1)
 Whether Respondent, by implementing Phase II of the DI Pilot Study on
 September 26, 1980 as well as resuming its RSI sample work on October 8,
 1980 unilaterally effected changes in working conditions of unit
 employees;  (2) if such changes resulted from the implementation and
 resumption, were they of sufficient significance so that Respondent's
 failure to negotiate their impact and implementation was violative of
 Sections 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Act.  /9/
 
    Respondent maintains that the changes made, expressly as to the
 forms, did not constitute changes in personnel policies, practices, or
 working conditions.  Any modifications, it is urged, fell within the
 scope of the employees' required duties.  Further, it is asserted that
 no adverse impact resulted from the changes;  that the alterations in
 the forms constituted "technology, methods and means of performing
 work", as set forth in Section 7106(b)(1) of the Act, and were
 management rights.  It is insisted that no obligation existed on the
 part of Respondent to bargain regarding the "insignificant" changes
 adopted by the employer.
 
    (1) It is now axiomatic that, while management may not be required to
 negotiate over the decision to adopt certain methods of operation, it
 does have certain obligations in that regard.  Thus, before it effects
 changes in working conditions of unit employees, the employer must
 notify the bargaining representative and negotiate the implementation of
 its decision and its impact upon such employees.  Internal Revenue
 Service, Washington, D.C., 4 FLRA No. 68;  78th Division (Training),
 Kilmer USAR Center, Edison, NJ., 1 FLRA No. 97;  Federal Railroad
 Administration, 4 A/SLMR No. 497, A/SLMR No. 418.  The rule, however, is
 qualified to the extent that such changes as are wrought must have a
 sufficient impact upon the work involved to warrant mandatory bargaining
 thereon.  See Office of Programs Operations, Field Operations, SSA, San
 Francisco Region, 5 FLRA No. 45.
 
    In respect to the requirements imposed upon the reviewers by the new
 forms issued by Respondent, it seems clear that they involved additional
 or enlarged tasks by the employees.  Under Phase II of the DI Pilot
 Study the DI was obliged to arrange, or initiate, the consultative
 examination of the beneficiary and to obtain medical evidence.  While
 this was part and parcel of the new form, nevertheless it necessitated
 additional tasks by the reviewer.  Similarly, the latter was required,
 under Phase II, to establish date of birth by procuring a certificate or
 foreign document through the Division of International Operations in
 certain instances.  Other changes resulted from the new questionnaire
 which required the QRS to obtain data regarding workmen's compensation
 paid to the beneficiary.  Moreover, under Phase I the reviewer was given
 a cover sheet with each assigned case showing each beneficiary's
 disability.  Under the new procedure such information was not provided
 in every case.
 
    Likewise, the resumption of RSI sample work entailed the use of new
 forms which directed the QRS and the case analysts to obtain additional
 data.  As a result of the newly adopted item regarding annual earnings
 test the reviewer was required to gather information of all past
 employers during the past four years.  No such information had been
 sought, or demanded, prior to the resumption of the RSI program.
 
    While Respondent argues that these tasks, as heretofore described,
 fell within the established job duties of the employees, record facts
 show the reviewers did not perform them previously.  It may well be true
 that the general responsibility of the OA people was to conduct ongoing
 sample, surveys and studies to verify eligibility and payment accuracy.
 Nevertheless, the modifications in the forms, as implemented by
 management, did require the QRS or case analyst to perform new duties in
 respect thereto.  See Department of Treasury, IRS, Manhattan District,
 A/SLMR No. 841.  Apart from the question of impact, these duties called
 for the employee to obtain new information, contact other agencies or
 offices, and gather data, i.e. the annual earnings test information,
 which had never been required previously.  That changes from Phase I
 resulted by the implementation of Phase II is acknowledged in the memo
 of September 19, 1980 from Wheeler to Schutzman.  The memo describes
 these changes as key changes.  /10/ Thus I find and conclude that
 Respondent did effect changes in working conditions by reason of
 implementing Phase II of the Pilot Study and its resumption of RSI
 sample work.
 
    (2) Respondent insists that the changes, if any, were minor in
 nature;  that they did not impact upon the reviewer's job duties
 significantly, and therefore management should not be faulted for its
 unilateral implementation thereof.
 
    In examining the new tasks imposed upon the employees, it becomes
 apparent that this contention must fall.  The reviewers were now
 required to obtain information, and contact outside sources for same,
 all of which involved considerably more time in processing a case.
 Thus, in respect to Phase II of the Pilot Study, record testimony
 reflects that securing foreign data added four weeks or longer to the
 processing of a case;  that the time required to obtain Workmen's
 Compensation data amounted to several hours, at least, and could take
 several weeks;  and that obtaining information regarding the annual
 earnings test by the QRS increased the average time to complete a case
 by about one-two weeks.  The record also reflects that deadlines are set
 for the processing of cases by the reviewers;  that the delays
 occasioned by the additional time required to handle a case, in view of
 the new data to be obtained, affected the statistics on the "deadline to
 hand in the work." As testified to by QRS Barbour, the employees' were
 concerned about their ratings as a result thereof.  Further, this
 witness testified that, prior to implementation of Phase II of DI and
 the resumption of RSI sample, she was assigned 12-16 cases, whereas
 after its resumption her case load expanded to 26 cases per period - 4
 to 6 weeks.
 
    While management officials herein denied any adverse impact resulting
 from the new forms, or the changes imposed as a result thereof, it
 failed to establish specifics which support such denial.  Contrariwise,
 the witnesses for the General Counsel adverted to more particulars in
 this respect.  Moreover, I am persuaded that the added time taken to
 process a case does have a sufficient impact upon the employees and
 their working conditions.  This becomes apparent when it is seen that
 the time taken by individuals to process a case influences their ratings
 by management.  It has been held in the public sector that the
 establishment of "performance standards" for unit employees imposes
 certain obligations upon the agency.  While the latter has no duty to
 bargain regarding the decision pertaining to their establishment, it is
 obliged to bargain regarding their implementation and the impact on said
 employees.  See 78th Division (Training), Kilmer USAR Center, Edison,
 N.J. supra.  In the case at bar the employees were required to meet
 certain deadlines to hand in their casework.  These deadlines were not
 changed as a result of the added information to be obtained.  Moreover,
 the increased caseload of the quality review specialist, by reason of
 the implementation of Phase II of DI and resumption of RSI sample, must
 necessarily impact upon the employees.  This was adverted to by General
 Counsel's witness.  Thus, on the basis of the foregoing, I am satisfied
 that the work entailed by reason of the new forms sufficiently impacted
 upon the reviewers.  They were not, as urged by Respondent, minor in
 nature since the ratings of these employees were dependent upon their
 timely output.  Hence, it cannot be gainsaid that these additional
 duties-- which necessarily extended the time required to process a
 case-- affected the rating of the individual reviewer.  See Social
 Security Administration, Bureau of Hearings and Appeals, A/SLMR No.
 1176.
 
    On the basis of the foregoing, I find that Respondent instituted
 significant changes in the job duties of the unit employees;  that they
 had a substantial impact upon the reviewers' working condition;  and
 that their unilateral institution was violative of the Act.  In regard
 to the latter, I conclude that Respondent should have bargained with the
 Union in respect to their implementation and impact upon adversely
 affected employees.  Its failure to do constitutes a violation of
 Section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Act.  /11/
 
    Having concluded that Respondent violated Section 7116(a)(1) and (5)
 of the Act, it is recommended the Federal Labor Relations Authority
 issue the following order:
 
                                   ORDER
 
    Pursuant to Section 2423.29 of the Federal Labor Relations
 Authority's Rules and Regulations and Section 7118 of the Statute, the
 Authority hereby orders that the Social Security Administration shall:
 
    1.  Cease and desist from:
 
    (a) Instituting changes in the use by its employees of its on-going
 samples, pilot programs and special studies in the Office of Assessment,
 including the field regional offices, without first notifying the
 American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, the exclusive
 bargaining representative of its employees, and affording it the
 opportunity to bargain, to the extent consonant with law and regulation,
 concerning the implementation of such changes and their impact on
 adversely affected employees.
 
    (b) In any like or related manner interfering with, restraining, or
 coercing its employees in the exercise of their rights assured by the
 Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute.
 
    2.  Take the following affirmative action:
 
    (a) Upon request by American Federation of Government Employees,
 AFL-CIO, meet or negotiate, to the extent consonant with law and
 regulations, concerning the procedures to be utilized in implementing
 any changes in the use by its employees of its on-going samples, pilot
 programs and special studies, and their impact upon adversely affected
 employees.
 
    (b) Post at all its Office of Assessment locations, including the
 satellite and field offices, copies of the attached notice marked
 "Appendix" on forms to be furnished by the Federal Labor Relations
 Authority.  Upon receipt of the forms they shall be signed by the
 Associate Commissioner, Office of Assessment, and they shall be posted
 and maintained for 60 consecutive days thereafter, in conspicuous
 places, including all places where notices to employees customarily are
 posted.  The Associate Commissioner shall take reasonable steps to
 insure that notices are not altered, defaced, or covered by any
 material.
 
    (c) Pursuant to Section 2423.20 of the Rules and Regulations notify
 the Regional Director of Region 3, 1133 15th Street, N.W. Washington,
 D.C. in writing, within 30 days from the date of this order as to what
 steps have been taken to comply herewith.
 
                                       WILLIAM NAIMARK
                                       Administrative Law Judge
 
    Dated:  August 24, 1981
    Washington, D.C.
 
 
 
 
                                APPENDIX
 
                          NOTICE TO ALL EMPLOYEES
 
  PURSUANT TO A DECISION AND ORDER OF THE FEDERAL LABOR
 RELATIONS
 AUTHORITY AND IN ORDER TO EFFECTUATE THE POLICIES OF CHAPTER 71
 OF TITLE
 5 OF THE UNITED STATES CODE FEDERAL SERVICE LABOR-MANAGEMENT
 RELATIONS
 We hereby notify our employees that:
 
    WE WILL NOT institute changes in the use by our employees of our
 on-going sample, pilot programs and special studies in the Office of
 Assessment, including the field regional offices, without first
 notifying the American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, the
 exclusive bargaining representative of its employees, and affording it
 the opportunity to bargain, to the extent consonant with law and
 regulation, concerning the implementation of such changes and their
 impact on adversely affected employees.
 
    WE WILL NOT, in any like or related manner interfere with, restrain,
 or coerce our employees in the exercise of their rights assured by the
 Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute.
 
    WE WILL, upon request, meet and negotiate, to the extent consonant
 with law and regulations, concerning the American Federation of
 Government Employees, AFL-CIO, concerning the procedures to be utilized
 in implementing any changes in the use by our employees of its on-going
 samples, pilot programs and special studies, and their impact upon
 adversely affected employees.
                                       (Agency or Activity)
 
    Dated:  By:
                                       (Signature)
 
    This Notice must remain posted for 60 consecutive days from the date
 of posting and must not be altered, defaced or covered by any other
 material.
 
    If any employees have any questions concerning this Notice or
 compliance with any of its provisions, they may communicate directly
 with the Regional Director, Region 3, Federal Labor Relations Authority,
 whose address is:  1133 15th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., and whose
 telephone number is:  202-653-8452.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 --------------- FOOTNOTES$ ---------------
 
 
    /1/ With regard to the Respondent's contention that the Judge
 considered matters not covered by the complaint, the Authority notes
 that such matters were fully litigated by all parties at the hearing.
 Accordingly, the Respondent's contention that it was denied the
 opportunity to present a proper defense in this regard is rejected.
 
 
    /2/ Thus, the Authority rejects the Judge's use of a "substantial
 impact" test as set forth on page 9 and thereafter in his Decision.
 
 
    /3/ See Joint Exhibit 6.
 
 
    /4/ "Sample" refers to a random selection of cases in which data is
 gathered and analyzed for evaluation.
 
 
    /5/ Both the SSA 4659 and SSA 4280 had not been used previously, and
 they became effective in September, 1980.
 
 
    /6/ Record facts disclose that manual changes were customarily made;
 that it was usual to get new instructions and new forms on how to
 conduct interviews.
 
 
    /7/ A decision based on CMER alone might result differently when
 combined with a CE.
 
 
    /8/ Cases did not "come in" on a regular basis.  New cases were
 receiv