16:0872(122)CA - Air Force, 2750th Air Base Wing HQ, Air Force Logistics Command, Wright- Patterson AFB, OH and AFGE Local 1138 -- 1984 FLRAdec CA



[ v16 p872 ]
16:0872(122)CA
The decision of the Authority follows:


 16 FLRA No. 122
 
 UNITED STATES AIR FORCE
 2750th AIR BASE WING HEADQUARTERS
 AIR FORCE LOGISTICS COMMAND
 WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, OHIO
 Respondent
 
 and
 
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
 EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 1138, AFL-CIO
 Charging Party
 
                                            Case No. 5-CA-20335
 
                            DECISION AND ORDER
 
    This matter is before the Authority pursuant to the Regional
 Director's "Order Transferring Case to the Federal Labor Relations
 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, accompanying exhibits and parties' contentions,
 the Authority finds:
 
    The complaint alleges that the Respondent violated section
 7116(a)(1), (5) and (8) of the Federal Service Labor-Management
 Relations Statute (the Statute) /1/ by unilaterally terminating the dues
 deductions of several unit employees and by denying a union steward's
 request for official time in order to prepare a unit employee's
 grievance.
 
    At all times material herein, the American Federation of Government
 Employees, Local 1138, AFL-CIO (Local 1138/the Union) has held exclusive
 recognition for a unit of nonsupervisory, nonprofessional, General
 Schedule employees of the Headquarters Air Force Logistics Command
 (AFLC), 2750th Air Base Wing and tenants physically located at the
 Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Complex services by the Activity's
 Central Civilian Personnel Office.  /2/ From December 1981 through March
 1982, Respondent moved the Electronic Support Unit composed of some 29
 employees of the Air Force Acquisitions Logistics Division (AFALD), an
 organization within the AFLC, from Wright-Patterson to the Defense
 Electronic Supply Center (DESC) at Gentile Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio,
 some eight miles away.  The transferred AFALD/PT employees have
 continued to be serviced by the Activity's Civilian Personnel Office
 after the move.  They retain their prior job descriptions, duties,
 supervision, and hours of work;  there is no change in the relocated
 group's mission, function, or organization.  Finally, these employees
 are still subject to the same chain of labor-relations authority as they
 were prior to the move.
 
    In a memorandum dated July 1, 1982, the Respondent notified the Union
 that it was discontinuing the dues deductions /3/ of several AFALD/PT
 employees because it considered them to have been severed from the
 established bargaining unit.  In September 1982, the Respondent also
 denied Fred George, a union steward, official time to meet with Mary
 Root, an AFALD/PT employee, regarding her grievance /4/ because it
 claimed she was no longer a bargaining unit member.
 
    The Respondent contends that the phrase describing the established
 bargaining unit as "physically located at the Wright-Patterson Air Force
 Base Complex . . . " /5/ is the decisive element in determining whether
 the AFALD/PT employees are still part of the involved unit.  Thus,
 because the AFALD/PT employees are no longer physically located at
 Wright-Patterson, the Respondent contends that they are no longer part
 of the established unit and that it was, therefore, justified in
 terminating their dues allotments and in denying official time for
 representational purposes.  The General Counsel, however, contends that
 the unit description language is not a legitimate substitute for the
 statutorily prescribed criteria for determining unit appropriateness.
 
    The Authority finds no merit to the Respondent's argument.  The
 stipulated facts show that the involved AFALD/PT employees continue to
 share a clear and identifiable community of interest with their fellow
 AFLC employees in the established unit.  The Authority notes that the
 duties, job descriptions, and working hours of the AFALD/PT employees
 are unchanged following the relocation;  that they enjoy a common
 mission and common supervision with fellow AFALD employees remaining at
 Wright-Patterson;  that both employee groups are subject to the same
 personnel and labor relations policies;  and, that both groups are
 serviced by the Activity's civilian personnel office.  The Authority,
 therefore, finds that the AFALD/PT employees continue to be part of the
 established bargaining unit and that this unit promotes effective
 dealings and efficiency of agency operations.  See, e.g., Department of
 Defense, Defense Communications Agency Headquarters, 11 FLRA No. 96
 (1983).  /6/
 
    Section 7115(a) of the Statute provides for allotments to exclusive
 bargaining representatives.  /7/ Section 7115(b)(1) provides that such
 an allotment shall terminate when "the agreement between the agency and
 the exclusive representative involved ceases to be applicable to the
 employee." When an employee ceases to be part of an established
 bargaining unit, the termination of dues is warranted.  Here, however,
 the Authority concludes that the AFALD/PT employees remained a part of
 the established bargaining unit, and therefore the Respondent, acting at
 its peril, and ignoring the mandates of section 7115 of the Statute,
 thereby violated section 7116(a)(1) and (8) of the Statute by failing to
 continue to honor the AFALD/PT employees' voluntary written requests for
 dues allotments.  See Internal Revenue Service, Seattle District, et
 al., 12 FLRA No. 74 (1983).  /8/
 
    Section 7131(d) of the Statute provides that, except as previously
 provided in section 7131, an employee representing an exclusive
 representative shall be granted official time in an amount agreed upon
 by the parties to be reasonable, necessary, and in the public interest.
 /9/ Here, it is undisputed that the parties' negotiated agreement
 (Article 4, Section 4.06) provided for a reasonable amount of official
 time for union stewards to process unit employees' grievances, and that
 the Respondent denied such a request by the union steward solely on the
 ground that the grieving employee was no longer in the bargaining unit.
 As with the question regarding dues allotments, the question to be first
 decided is whether the employee/grievant involved was still a member of
 the bargaining unit.  The grievant was in the group of employees found
 above to have continued to be part of the appropriate unit.  Thus, the
 Respondent, again acting at its peril, and ignoring the mandate of
 section 7131(d) of the Statute that an employee representing an
 exclusive representative shall be granted official time as agreed upon
 by the parties to be reasonable, violated section 7116(a)(1) and (8) of
 the Statute by denying any official time to the employee designated by
 the exclusive representative to process a unit employee's grievance,
 contrary to the terms of the parties' agreement.  As the Authority has
 previously held, "(W)here the contractual provisions are closely tied
 to, and implement rights and obligations established by, a specific
 substantive provision of the Statute, the finding of a violation of
 section 7116(a)(1) and (8) is appropriate." Veterans Administration
 Lakeside Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois, 12 FLRA No. 57 (1983).
 
                                   ORDER
 
    Pursuant to section 2423.29 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations
 and section 7118 of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations
 Statute, the Authority hereby orders that the United States Air Force,
 2750th Air Base Wing Headquarters, Air Force Logistics Command,
 Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio shall:
 
    1.  Cease and desist from:
 
    (a) Failing to comply with the provisions of section 7115 of the
 Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute by refusing to honor
 valid written assignments from Cynthia R. Arnett, Jesse O. Gooding,
 William K. Kingrey, William E. Schull, Ivan J. Soper, Matthew Vitaliani
 and Carl B. Wright, or any other unit employee, for the payment of
 regular and periodic dues to the American Federation of Government
 Employees, Local 1138, AFL-CIO, or any other exclusive representative of
 its employees.
 
    (b) Interfering with, restraining, or coercing unit employees by
 refusing to honor valid written assignments from Cynthia R. Arnett,
 Jessie O. Gooding, William K. Kingrey, William E. Schull, Ivan J. Soper,
 Matthew Vitaliani and Carl B. Wright, or any other unit employee, for
 the payment of regular and periodic dues to American Federation of
 Government employees, Local 1138, AFL-CIO, or any other exclusive
 representative of its employees.
 
    (c) Failing and refusing to grant official time to any employee
 designated as representative of the American Federation of Government
 Employees, Local 1138, AFL-CIO, or any other exclusive representative of
 its employees, in accordance with the requirements of section 7131(d) of
 the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute, as requested, in
 order to prepare the grievance of Mary Root, or any other bargaining
 unit employee.
 
    (d) 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 in order to effectuate the
 purposes and policies of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations
 Statute:
 
    (a) Reimburse the exclusive representative, American Federation of
 Government Employees, Local 1138, AFL-CIO, in an amount equal to the
 regular and periodic dues it would have received from the pay of Cynthia
 R. Arnett, Jessie O. Gooding, William K. Kingrey, William E. Schull,
 Ivan J. Soper, Matthew Vitaliani, and Carl B. Wright since July 1, 1982,
 but did not receive as a result of the unlawful refusal to honor their
 valid written assignments for such purpose.
 
    (b) Commencing with the first pay period after the date of this
 Order, deduct regular and periodic dues from the pay of Cynthia R.
 Arnett, Jessie O. Gooding, William K. Kingrey, William E. Schull, Ivan
 J. Soper, Matthew Vitaliani and Carl B. Wright, and remit such dues to
 the American Federation of Government Employees, Local 1138, AFL-CIO.
 
    (c) Process the grievance of Mary Root if requested, and grant
 official time to the designated representative of the American
 Federation of Government Employees, Local 1138, AFL-CIO, in order to
 process such grievance, upon request.
 
    (d) Post at its facilities, where bargaining unit employees are
 located, 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 an appropriate official of the Respondent and shall
 be posted and maintained for 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 ensure that such Notices are not altered, defaced, or covered
 by any other material.
 
    (e) Pursuant to section 2423.30 of the Authority's Rules and
 Regulations, notify the Regional Director, Region V, Federal Labor
 Relations Authority, in writing, within 30 days from the date of this
 Order, as to what steps have been taken to comply herewith.
 
    Issued, Washington, D.C., December 18, 1984
 
                                       /s/ Henry B. Frazier III
                                       Henry B. Frazier III, Acting
                                       Chairman
                                       /s/ Ronald W. Haughton
                                       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 fail to comply with the provisions of Section 7115 of the
 Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute by refusing to honor
 valid written assignments from Cynthia R. Arnett, Jessie O. Gooding,
 William K. Kingrey, William E. Schull, Ivan J. Soper, Matthew Vitaliani
 and Carl B. Wright, or any other unit employee, for the payment of
 regular and periodic dues to the American Federation of Government
 Employees, Local 1138, AFL-CIO, or any other exclusive representative of
 our employees.
 
    WE WILL NOT interfere with, restrain, or coerce unit employees by
 refusing to honor and accept a valid written assignment from Cynthia R.
 Arnett, Jessie O. Gooding, William K. Kingrey, William E. Schull, Ivan
 J. Soper, Matthew Vitaliani, and Carl B. Wright, or any other unit
 employee, for the payment of regular and periodic dues to the American
 Federation of Government Employees, Local 1138, AFL-CIO, or any other
 exclusive representative of our employees.
 
    WE WILL NOT fail or refuse to grant official time to any employee
 designated as representative of the American Federation of Government
 Employees, Local 1138, AFL-CIO, or any other exclusive representative of
 our employees, in accordance with the requirements of section 7131(d) of
 the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute, as requested, in
 order to prepare the grievance of Mary Root, or any other bargaining
 unit employee.
 
    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 reimburse the exclusive representative, the American
 Federation of Government Employees, Local 1138, AFL-CIO, in an amount
 equal to the regular and periodic dues it would have received from the
 pay of Cynthia R. Arnett, Jessie O. Gooding, William K. Kingrey, William
 E. Schull, Ivan J. Soper, Matthew Vitaliani and Carl B. Wright since
 July 1, 1982, but did not receive as a result of the unlawful refusal to
 honor their valid written assignments for such purpose.
 
    WE WILL, commencing with the first pay period after the date of this
 Order, deduct regular and periodic dues from the pay of Cynthia R.
 Arnett, Jessie O. Gooding, William K. Kingrey, William E. Schull, Ivan
 J. Soper, Matthew Vitaliani and Carl B. Wright, and remit such dues to
 the American Federation of Government Employees, Local 1138, AFL-CIO.
 
    WE WILL process the grievance of Mary Root, if requested, and grant
 official time to the employee designated as representative of the
 American Federation of Government Employees, Local 1138, AFL-CIO, in
 order to process such grievance, upon request.
                                       (Activity)
 
    Dated:  By:
                                       (Signature) (Title)
 
    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, Region V, Federal Labor Relations Authority, whose address is
 175 W. Jackson Boulevard, Suite A-1359, Chicago, IL 60604, and whose
 telephone number is (312) 353-6306.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 --------------- FOOTNOTES$ ---------------
 
 
    /1/ Section 7116(a)(1), (5) and (8) provides:
 
       Section 7116.  Unfair labor practices
 
          (a) For the purpose of this chapter, it shall be an unfair
       labor practice for an agency
 
          (1) to interfere with, restrain, or coerce any employee in the
       exercise by the employee of any right under this chapter;
 
                                .  .  .  .
 
          (5) to refuse to consult or negotiate in good faith with a
       labor organization as required by this chapter;
 
                                .  .  .  .
 
          (8) to otherwise fail or refuse to comply with any provision of
       this chapter.
 
 
    /2/ While part of a consolidated unit certified in 1978, it is
 stipulated that Local 1138 has been the designated bargaining agent for
 the employees in the unit herein involved.
 
 
    /3/ The Respondent, by Article 8, Section 8.01 of the parties' Master
 Labor Agreement (MLA) agreed to periodic union dues payroll deductions.
 
 
    /4/ Article 4, Section 4.06 of the MLA authorizes a reasonable amount
 of official time for union representatives to prepare and present
 bargaining unit employees' grievances.
 
 
    /5/ The amended certification dated March 30, 1971, describes the
 involved unit as including:
 
          All nonsupervisory (General Schedule) employees of the
       Headquarters Air Force Logistics Command and 2750th AF Base Wing,
       and Tenants physically located at the Wright-Patterson AF Base
       complex and serviced by the Civilian Personnel Office.
 
 
    /6/ In so concluding, the Authority finds that the words "physically
 located" as used in describing the certified bargaining unit were
 intended to refer to tenants at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and not
 intended to otherwise restrict the boundaries of the AFLC bargaining
 unit.
 
 
    /7/ Section 7115.  Allotments to representatives
 
          (a) If an agency has received from an employee in an
       appropriate unit a written assignment which authorizes the agency
       to deduct from the pay of the employee amounts for the payment of
       regular and periodic dues of the exclusive representative of the
       unit, the agency shall honor the assignment and make an
       appropriate allotment pursuant to the assignment.  Any such
       allotment shall be made at no cost to the exclusive representative
       or the employee.  Except as provided under subsection (b) of this
       section, any such assignment may not be revoked for a period of 1
       year.
 
 
    /8/ In view of this finding, and as the termination of dues
 withholding did not result from or accompany a withdrawal of Union
 recognition by the Respondent, the Authority does not find that the
 Respondent has violated section 7116(a)(5) of the Statute.  See Internal
 Revenue Service, Seattle District, et al., supra;  National Archives and
 Records Service and National Archives Trust Board, General Services
 Administration, Washington, D.C., 9 FLRA 413 (1982).
 
 
    /9/ Section 7131(d) provides in pertinent part:
 
                                .  .  .  .
 
          (d) Except as provided in the preceding subsections of this
       section--
 
          (1) any employee representing an exclusive representative, or
 
          (2) in connection with any other matter covered by this
       chapter, any employee in an appropriate unit represented by an
       exclusive representative, shall be grant